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Abstract

Biofuels have been widely promoted as an important part of the global energy mix, due to public interest in alternative energy sourcing and a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concurrently, questions have been raised about the social and environmental costs of biofuel production. While previous studies have focused primarily on biofuel production from conventional, starch-based feedstocks, this study provides a preliminary analysis of the production of cellulosic-based ethanol mandated in the U.S. renewable fuel standard. Using a global general equilibrium framework and switchgrass as a model bioenergy crop, results suggests that meeting the mandate will further intensify competition for land both domestically and abroad. Impacts of cellulosic production on global commodity prices, quantities, export, and land use are also documented.

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