The Politics of Sustainable Biofuels Policy
An enabling policy environment is critical to sustainable bioenergy development. This project includes two studies that seek to understand the drivers and impact of biofuels policy. The first study examines Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) policy. ILUC provisions were incorporated into California and U.S. policy when the modeling was still premature. I trace the political dynamics that led to this unusual policy outcome and evaluate the unintended consequences. The second study, now in the preliminary stages, will compare how fuel policies in the U.S., E.U., and California affect the commercialization of advanced biofuels. This is a political economic analysis that explores how market structure mediates the impact of policy.
Biofuels are an intensely politicized policy issue. This project investigates the political drivers of biofuels regulation, including the interest group politics, institutional structures, and role of science in the policy-making process. The primary focus is indirect land use change (ILUC) factors in the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. In secondary work, this project explores how the political economy shapes the resulting impact of policy on advanced biofuels commercialization.