Full Title: The Renewable Enegy Policy Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
Author(s): Jay P. Kesan
Publisher(s): University of Illinois Law Review
Publication Date: 3/2011

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Description:

Within the ever-expanding realm of alternative energy options, liquid biofuels justifiably hold a prominent position, as current transportation fuel infrastructure in the United States can only accommodate liquid fuels.7 Not only is the vast fleet of automobiles, trucks, ships, and air- planes designed to combust liquid fuels,8 but the vast network of pipe- lines, fueling stations, and fuel pumps can only distribute and dispense liquid fuels.9 Even if a viable alternative to liquid transportation fuels were developed today, the amount of capital investment and time needed to effectuate a shift to this new technology would be great.10 It is, therefore, abundantly clear that our heavy reliance on liquid transportation fuels will continue in the short- to mid-term. As such, liquid biofuels derived from renewable feedstocks currently are the most attractive renewable energy option within the immense transportation sector. This proposition is bolstered by recent trends toward the production of current infrastructure-compatible “drop-in” biofuels11 that have quelled some of the concerns that a shift to widespread implementation of traditional liquid biofuels (e.g., ethanol) would also require large capital in- vestment in infrastructure.12