Biofuel Critics Avoid Debate

Spalding, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 19, 2008 -- Comments by UK scientist Professor Robert Watson reported on the BBC News website last week said that Professor Watson said ‘biofuels policy in the EU and the UK may have run ahead of the science’.

In an interview which was not even able to get the date of the introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) right [1], Professor Watson called for the policy to be suspended until the Renewable Fuels Agency finishes its current assessment into the wider effects of biofuel production.

His comments were quickly picked up and widely reported, as well as being seized upon by Conservative Shadow Environment Minister Peter Ainsworth MP and campaign groups such as Greenpeace.

As a leading independent source of information on all aspect of bioenergy, Enagri was keen to speak to Professor Watson about the basis of some of his assertions and to find out more about his recommendations. As the April issue of Enagri went to press on 31 March, no reply had been received.

Richard Crowhurst, managing director of Enagri, said: “You would have thought that, having called for a delay in the RTFO on one of the nation’s most listened to radio shows, he’d be keen to expand the debate, get the stakeholders involved. Why then has he chosen to ignore Enagri’s invitation to expand on his position through our publication?

“As a magazine we’ve always tried to allow all sides a forum, something that has attracted submissions from US environmentalists like Lester Brown. As for Professor Watson, we know he received our e-mail, but no reply, not even a polite no, has been received so far.

“The same goes for shadow environment secretary Peter Ainsworth. If the Tories are as green as they keep trying to paint themselves, isn’t it time that they actually explained how they would improve on the RTFO framework, rather than just using it to take political pot shots at the Government?”

The full story can be found the April issue of the Enagri electronic magazine, available from the Enagri website at

1. In a transcript of the interview, the interviewer says that compulsory blending of biofuels under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will come into force from April 1. In fact the RTFO comes into effect on April 15.

2. Enagri is an information provider and consultancy to the bioenergy industry, covering topics including liquid biofuels, solid biomass and anaerobic digestion.

3. Enagri’s subscriber services include: • Weekly e-mail newsletters • Weekly market information report • Monthly Enagri magazine • Regularly updated, searchable database of news, events and web links • 24/7 access to a full archive of news and market data • 24/7 access to the Enagri Knowledge Base with searchable links to thousands of scientific reports, news articles and other data on renewable energy and energy crops • Negotiated discounts and special offers

About Enagri Limited

Richard Crowhurst, Managing Director
Enagri Limited
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Tel. +44 (0)1406 400002

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Press Release Submitted On: March 31, 2008 at 11:41 am
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