Guys- It costs a lot of money and energy to transport biofuels feedstocks to biorefineries. This limits production efficiency http://i-r-squared.blogspot.com/2007/03/logistics-problem-of-cellulosic-ethanol.html and it is also an opportunity for regulation. Given the often prohibitive cost of transporting biofuels feedstocks long distances, regulating the siting of biorefineries might be a way to regulate where biofuels crops are grown.
Regulating refinery location may be easier than regulating agricultural production locations. This semester I'm working on a project to examine whether regulating refinery location is one way to limit land conversion caused by biofuels. I'm a little dubious about how useful this can be. Still, I think the exercise will be interesting. How should we quantify the value lost of land converted to farm biofuels feedstocks? What criteria should we consider?
-subsistence potential/avoided urbanization