Bulldoze the rainforest for biodiesel?

America may be addicted to oil, but so is the rest of the world. Realizing that the addiction isn’t subsiding anytime soon, some governments are trying to encourage a homegrown version of the oil-drug: biodiesel. It can be made from vegetable oil and burns much cleaner than regular gas. In Indonesia, gasoline subsidies are forcing ...

608031_biodiesel5.jpg
608031_biodiesel5.jpg

America may be addicted to oil, but so is the rest of the world. Realizing that the addiction isn't subsiding anytime soon, some governments are trying to encourage a homegrown version of the oil-drug: biodiesel. It can be made from vegetable oil and burns much cleaner than regular gas.

America may be addicted to oil, but so is the rest of the world. Realizing that the addiction isn’t subsiding anytime soon, some governments are trying to encourage a homegrown version of the oil-drug: biodiesel. It can be made from vegetable oil and burns much cleaner than regular gas.

In Indonesia, gasoline subsidies are forcing the government to look for more cost-effective means of procuring oil. The Indonesians want to use palm oil, already one of their big export products, to create biodiesel and offset petroleum costs. But wait – resist the urge to herald Indonesia as a model for “green” energy while decrying U.S. energy policies. The original plan was to grow the necessary plants by bulldozing the rainforest.

The government earlier this year scrapped plans to create the world’s largest palm oil plantation – nearly 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) – in one of the world’s most diverse forest areas in the center of Borneo after it was shown that most of the land was too high and steep for palm oil.

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