Science, values, and the political framing of indirect land use change (ILUC)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) refers to deforestation and agricultural expansion due to increased crop prices. It is a controversial spillover effect of biofuels that is estimated by "shocking" agricultural market models with high biofuel scenarios. The validity of this modeling is highly contested in biofuel regulation. As a case study of ILUC discourse, this chapter analyzes how ILUC science was interpreted and strategically framed during rulemaking for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in 2007-2009. The analysis covers three stages of the initial rulemaking process: academic advisory reports, agency rulemaking documents, and public comments. It finds that at every stage, stakeholders blended values-based and science-based arguments. Even when stakeholders framed their stances as firmly based on science, their interpretation of "right" action in the face of uncertainty also depended on normative values. The takeaway for policy-makers is that ILUC is not an issue where policy answers can be straightforwardly derived from science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScience and the Law
Subtitle of host publicationHow the Communication of Science Affects Policy Development in the Environment, Food, Health, and Transport Sectors
EditorsWilliam G. Town, Judith N. Currano
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780841231085
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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