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Abstract

This study evaluates the environmental efficiency of seven recently constructed ethanol plants in the North Central region of the U.S., using nonparametric data envelopment analysis (DEA). Environmental efficiency is measured and decomposed into its technical and allocative sources. Results show that, on average, plants in our sample may be able to reduce GHG emissions by a maximum of 6% or by 3,116 tons per quarter. The economic (shadow) cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions reveals that, at current activity levels, plants may have room for simultaneous improvement of environmental efficiency and economic profitability.

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