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May 25, 2018  |  Login
Biofuels are fuels produced from organic material, especially plants. Through photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into energy. When those plants are burned, or made into fuel in other ways, they release the energy they produced as well as the carbon dioxide they utilized to create that energy. Thus, we can harness the energy that exists in plants while maintaining a balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Biofuels are thought to be more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. However, the production of biofuels has recently become an important political issue. As demand for biofuels increases, more farmers are devoting a greater percentage of their crops for the production of biofuels rather than for sale as food. This not only causes food shortages, but also drives up the price of food as supply decreases with respect to demand. Many governments, including the U.S. government, provide subsidies to farmers for growing biofuels, which motivates them to continue to divert more crops away from use as food. Current debate centers on whether the burning of biofuels produces enough energy to justify the world's reduced food supply. Additionally, some environmentalists doubt how environmentally friendly biofuels really are.

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