Václav Klaus returns an amendment to the Air Protection Act to the deputies
Dear Chairwoman Ms Němcová,
I am using the competency given to me by Article 50 of the Czech constitution and I am returning a bill to the lower chamber of the Parliament. The bill in question is an amendment to Bill No 86/2002 Collection, which was a law about the protection of the atmosphere and about the change of some additional bills, the so-called Air Protection Act, as articulated by newer directives. The amendment was approved by the chamber on April 28th, 2010.
Starting from June 1st, 2010, the amendment would require the percentage of biofuels to be increased from 3.5% (now) to 4.1% in motor gasolene and from 4.5% (now) to 6% in diesel fuels.
This step was justified by the goal to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from burning of fuels, to weaken our dependence on the imports of fossil fuels, and to increase the demand for the domestic agricultural production.
First of all, the very fight against CO2 is extremely questionable. It is based on the theory of man-made global warming which stands on very shaky foundations and which is being subjected to an ever strengthening criticism.
After many scandals that revealed fudging of the data, it is far from clear whether the global mean temperature is evolving in an unequivocal direction at all and it is not obvious whether such dynamics deviates from the natural variability of the temperature. Also, the impact of CO2 on the changes of the global mean temperature hasn't been convincingly demonstrated, especially when it comes to CO2 emitted by the mankind. Lacking is a reliable audit of the hypothetical positive and negative consequences of the eventual climate change as well as an appraisal of the efficiency of the expenses required by policies attempting to reduce the production of this gas by us. Despite these problems, enormous amounts of money are being spent to reduce it and new policies are being approved even though their secondary negative effects are getting ever more obvious. And at this moment, instead of re-evaluating the existing so-far thoughtless approach which is only welcome by certain groups with a vested interest, we are expected to make another step in the direction whose correctness is getting more questionable every day.
Positive and negative impacts of the biofuel addition to the motor fuels haven't been evaluated in a trustworthy and comprehensive way. Nevertheless, some studies concluded that biofuels damage Nature more than petrol and diesel fuels do. The ambitious goal of the European Union to increase the percentage of biofuels in fuels to 10% by 2020 may lead to the liquidation of some forests and their transformation to plantations, the increase of food prices due to the replacement of food-related outplanting by the industrial one, damages to wildlife, and unmanageable intrusions to the free Nature surrounding the industrial plantations. Blanket cultivation of industrial monocultures on large agricultural fields will lead to a non-negligible increase of the production of greenhouse gases, erosion of soil, the need to increase the amount of fertilizers, pollution of so-far clean parcels, a significant demand for water resources and transportation, and these things represent a negative impact on Nature.
There also exist serious doubts about the impact of biofuels on human health. By burning biofuels, new types of exhaust gases are getting to the atmosphere. Experimental data about their impact on human health are not available. Tests of harmlessness for human health of processes such as long-term inhalation of the products of vegetable oils haven't yet been published in Europe.
The contribution of biofuels to the energy independence of our country is questionable. They are just an admixture, not a replacement of conventional fuels. Because of the small percentage of the added alcohol, it remains almost impossible to check the required percentage of the admixtures. The bill is also unable to guarantee the support of Czech farmers because importers (and foreign farmers) will be supported in the same way. The policy will increase the price of fuels and it will lower the longevity of the vehicles. The increase of the percentage of biofuels in motor fuels would therefore bring negative consequences for the living standards of the population.
Because of all these reasons, I decided to return the bill to the lower chamber of the Parliament.
Translated from Czech: LM
Bonus: Some anti-biofuel studies
Three weeks ago, after a pressure from Reuters, the European Commission had to reveal a document showing that the greenhouse emissions from biofuels may be up to 4 times higher than the emissions from conventional fuels.
In March 2010, IFPRI recommended the EU not to exceed 5.6% of biofuels because a higher percentage is harmful.
As early as in 2008, OECD denounced biofuels. These days, biofuels have apparently been abandoned even by Greenpeace (CZ). We're talking about the "first generation biofuels". The second generation is still in the stage of development.