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The Economics of a Blend Mandate for Biofuels

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  • Harry de Gorter
  • David R. Just

Abstract

A biofuel blend mandate may increase or decrease consumer fuel prices with endogenous oil prices, depending on relative supply elasticities. Biofuel tax credits always reduce fuel prices. Tax credits result in lower fuel prices than under a mandate for the same level of biofuel production. If tax credits are implemented alongside mandates, then tax credits subsidize fuel consumption instead of biofuels. This contradicts energy policy goals by increasing oil dependency, CO 2 emissions, and traffic congestion, while providing little benefit to either corn or ethanol producers. These social costs will be substantial with tax credits costing taxpayers $28.7 billion annually by 2022. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:91:y:2008:i:3:p:738-750
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2009.01275.x
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