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Posts Tagged ‘energy independence’

Corn Ethanol is Just a Very Bad Deal, Claims a New Anti-Farm Lobby Advertising Campaign

More scientific testing is needed to explore possible safety and environmental dangers of biofuels, advocacy groups charge.

by on Jul.23, 2010

At stake here is not only the fuel economy, operating cost, and performance of your vehicle, but also potentially huge negative effects on all small engines.

Politics might make strange bedfellows, but when environmental and industry advocacy groups hop into the sack together it gets our attention.

This is precisely what’s happening with a newly launched advertising campaign that challenges the pork-driven, pay-to-play U.S. Congress to put aside the influence – critics say bribes – of the huge contributions from agribusiness and stipulate that “objective” scientific testing be conducted before allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline. (See How a Bad Bush Administration Energy Policy Begets More Bad Policy?)

At stake here is not only the fuel economy, operating cost, and performance of your vehicle, but also potentially huge negative effects on all small engines, powering everything from lawn mowers, to outboard motors, to weed whackers, to chain saws – to name but a few.

Taxpayers currently subsidize corn ethanol at the rate of 45 cents a gallon, or roughly $6 billion last year.

From an automotive perspective there are two clear central issues:

  • The first is how to decrease emissions and our dependence on imports of foreign oil from terrorist supporting countries.
  • The second is a subset of the first: what if the biofuels we are using — ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas — really cause more emissions than they save?

That’s why how the EPA calculates the “life cycle emissions effects” is of such concern to the currently subsidized businesses, the agricultural lobby and various clean air special interest groups.

Anti Lobbies!

The U.S. is under Congressional mandate to use increasing amounts of renewable fuels because of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. EPA is responsible for revising and implementing regulations to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard program will increase the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. At one point, the goal under President Bush was 35 billion/2017.


U.S. DOE Announces $24 Million for Algal Biofuels

Federal agency releases its National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap along with some limited research funds to support it.

by on Jul.02, 2010

How about a tank of microalgae Botryococcus?

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced an investment of as much as  $24 million of your tax dollars to three research groups to explore the commercialization of algae-based biofuels.

Despite algae’s potential, touted for 50  years, many technical and economic challenges must be overcome for algal biofuels to find their way into your tank.

Developing cost-effective renewable transportation fuels is said to be a key component of the Obama Administration’s strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions and move the U.S. toward energy independence – a goal that goes all the way back to the Carter Administration and the aftermath of the fuel crisis of the 1970s. This latest program from DOE is actually a revival of one that was dropped by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996.


U.S. oil imports remain at more than 375 million barrels a month, close to the record of more than 400 million in spite of the ongoing Great Recession and failed Administration attempts to create jobs.


Same Freight Load, Half the Energy?

New Council for Freight Efficiency says it will reinvent trucking.

by on Oct.28, 2009


Burned by a snake-oil salesman approach to technology...

The Rocky Mountain Institute announced this morning the inaugural meeting of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

The immodest goal is to reinvent the U.S. trucking industry to carry just as much freight on half as much energy.

RMI claims there is a “lack of trustworthy information evaluating different technologies” for fleets to make investment decisions.

Keep on truckin'!

Keep on truckin'!

The new group as part of RMI’s “MObility and Vehicle Efficiency” team (MOVE), will collect, assess, and circulate information on performance and efficiency benefits to technology developers, fleet owners, and truck drivers, said a statement from the transportation research and consulting team at RMI in Boulder, Colorado.