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The Implications of Alternative Biofuel Policies on Carbon Leakage

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  • Drabik, Dusan
  • de Gorter, Harry
  • Just, David R.

Abstract

We show how leakage differs, depending on the biofuel policy and market conditions. Carbon leakage is shown to have two components: a market leakage effect and an emissions savings effect. We also distinguish domestic and international leakage and show how omitting the former like the IPCC does can bias leakage estimates. International leakage is always positive, but domestic leakage can be negative. The magnitude of market leakage depends on the domestic and foreign gasoline supply and fuel demand elasticities, and on consumption and production shares of world oil markets for the country introducing the biofuel policy. Being a small country in world oil markets does not automatically imply that leakage is 100 percent or above that of a large country. We show leakage due to a tax credit is always greater than that of a mandate, while the combination of a mandate and subsidy generates greater leakage than a mandate alone. In general, one gallon of ethanol is found to replace only 0.35 gallons of gasoline – not one gallon as assumed by life-cycle accounting. For the United States, this translates into one (gasoline-equivalent) gallon of ethanol emitting 1.13 times more carbon than a gallon of gasoline if indirect land use change (iLUC) is not included in the estimated emissions savings effect and 1.43 times more when iLUC is included.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 102689.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:102689

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Keywords: biofuels; market leakage; carbon leakage; emissions savings; domestic leakage; tax credit; mandate; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q27; Q41; Q42; Q54;

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  1. Drabik, Dusan & de Gorter, Harry, 2010. "Biofuels And Leakages In The Fuel Market," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91265, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  2. Holland, Stephen P. & Knittel, Christopher R & Hughes, Jonathan E., 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt9gh5b4rv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  3. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2007. "The Welfare Economics of a Biofuel Tax Credit and the Interaction Effects with Price Contingent Farm Subsidies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(2), pages 477-488.
  4. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2008. "The Economics of a Blend Mandate for Biofuels," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 738-750.
  5. Brian C. Murray & Bruce A. McCarl & Heng-Chi Lee, 2004. "Estimating Leakage from Forest Carbon Sequestration Programs," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(1), pages 109-124.
  6. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Biofuels Subsidies and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2960, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Janda, Karel & Kristoufek, Ladislav & Zilberman, David, 2011. "Biofuels: Review of Policies and Impacts," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5v1112qr, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. Bento, Antonio M. & Klotz, Richard & Landry, Joel R., 2011. "Are there Carbon Savings from US Biofuel Policies? Accounting for Leakage in Land and Fuel Markets," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104008, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Karel Janda & Ladislav Kristoufek & David Zilberman, 2011. "Modeling the Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts of Biofuels," Working Papers IES 2011/33, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Oct 2011.
  4. de Gorter, Harry & Drabik, Dusan & Just, David R., 2011. "Modeling Carbon Leakages with Forestation Policies," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114450, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Ladislav Kristoufek & Karel Janda & David Zilberman, 2012. "Regime-Dependent Topological Properties of Biofuels Networks," CAMA Working Papers 2012-49, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Drabik, Dusan, 2011. "The Theory of Biofuel Policy and Food Grain Prices," Working Papers 126615, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  7. de Gorter, Harry & Drabik, Dusan & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2013. "Should Zambia produce biodiesel from soybeans ? some insights from an empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6498, The World Bank.

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