Biofuels have the exciting potential of mitigating the grave threats of global warming, reducing the world's dependence on imported oil from insecure sources and of reducing the skyrocketing costs of oil that are threatening to undermine the world's economies and devastating the people in non-oil producing, developing countries. For the people in these countries, biofuel offer a promising road to enhance development since they use local materials, can provide local jobs, and do not require the import of expensive equipment and expertise. Brazil has been the pioneer in the use of biofuel, allowing it to eliminate its oil imports, becoming completely energy independent, and demonstrating to the world the potential benefits of substitution of biofuels for fossil fuels. Indeed, inspired by Brazil's example, the United States in recent years has developed a strong biofuel industry, albeit from the disadvantageous feedstock of corn. The United States has just created an alliance with Brazil to make major purchases of its biofuels. The European Union and countries around the world are rapidly developing their own biofuel potentials. But Brazil and its replicators have to exercise great care in designing and implementing biofuel programs. The environmental and social risks of biofuel development, also demonstrated in Brazil, are great and could well undermine all of the potential advantages if not done right.
Richard L. Ottinger, Biofuels - Potential, Problems & Solutions, 19 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 253 (2009), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/576/.