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The Policy Objectives of a Biofuel Industry in Canada: An Assessment

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  • Danny G. Le Roy

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada)

  • Kurt K. Klein

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada)

Abstract

Canada has a huge stock of biomass resources, which provides a basis (and a temptation) for development of a major bio-fuels industry. Both federal and provincial governments have engaged in a wide array of subsidies, mandates, and other measures to stimulate production and consumption of biofuels. As a result, biofuels has become a growth industry in Canada with production of ethanol almost 10 times higher than it was ten years earlier. However, this has come at considerable cost to taxpayers. Increased biofuel production has resulted in minimal reduction in greenhouse gases, short run (but not long run) increases in net farm income (that benefited grain and oilseed producers but hurt livestock producers), large increases in the prices of farm land due to the higher grain and oilseed prices, and minimal impacts on rural economic diversification.

Suggested Citation

  • Danny G. Le Roy & Kurt K. Klein, 2012. "The Policy Objectives of a Biofuel Industry in Canada: An Assessment," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-16, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:2:y:2012:i:4:p:436-451:d:22242
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Swenson, David A., 2006. "Input-Outrageous: The Economic Impacts of Modern Biofuels Production," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12644, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Brian S. Freeze & T. Peters, 1999. "A Note on the Profitability of Wheat-ethanol-feedlot Production in Alberta," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 47(1), pages 67-78, March.
    3. Mitchell, Catherine & Connor, Peter, 2004. "Renewable energy policy in the UK 1990-2003," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1935-1947, November.
    4. Ryan, Lisa & Convery, Frank & Ferreira, Susana, 2006. "Stimulating the use of biofuels in the European Union: Implications for climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3184-3194, November.
    5. Uwe Schneider & Bruce McCarl, 2003. "Economic Potential of Biomass Based Fuels for Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(4), pages 291-312, April.
    6. Henke, J.M. & Klepper, G. & Schmitz, N., 2005. "Tax exemption for biofuels in Germany: Is bio-ethanol really an option for climate policy?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(14), pages 2617-2635.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    biofuel; Canada; policy; economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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