synfuels


First they destroy the Gulf of Mexico and now they are after your car. When these things happen, they always appear clueless. Really.

I was going to write about the drought today again, but there are some stories that you can not pass up.

http://consumerist.com/2012/08/bps-bad-gas-made-it-into-200-stations-in-chicago-area-affecting-at-least-7000-customers.html

BP’s Bad Gas Made It Into 200 Stations In Chicago Area, Affecting At Least 7,000 Customers

By on August 23, 2012 10:00 AM

Since the news hit this week that tainted gas from a BP fuel storage facility in northwest Indiana could be causing drivers to have problems with their vehicles, it seems BP had to scramble a bit to get a gauge on how bad the situation is. The company has churned out a few press releases in the last few days, and has now alerted customers and the media that about 200 retail gas outlets in Indiana and the Chicago area had a case of bad gas.

In the first few hours after the tale of bad gas spread, customers were having a hard time getting an actual BP representative on the phone, much less someone who would have the skill to address the situation. We must say since that point, the company has been trying to get a better handle on the tainted gas, as well as launching a web site for consumers with issues.

In the latest statement from a company spokesman, BP handed down the numbers of 200 retail outlets that were supplied with off-specification regular-grade gasoline, aka the stuff you’d likely fill up with, as well as 20 sites in the Milwaukee area:

The company continues to go through its shipping records and is contacting retailers who may have loaded tanker trucks with the off-specification fuel and is replacing it with on-specification product.

This fuel, sourced from BP’s Whiting, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin gasoline storage terminals, contained a higher than normal level of polymeric residue, which can lead to hard starting and other drivability issues.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Well many of us like cooking with natural gas, and in a dramatically reduced energy environment absent hydrocarbons biofuels will make this possible. I do not believe they should be used in our transportation ground fleet and obviously air travel will have to be banned. Really burning wood or other things like dung would also have to be banned. Solar cookers can help in that. Still the use of biofuels is a closed system, first absorbing carbon then releasing it so it is carbon neutral.

http://sundropfuels.com/index-10.html

Even without the coming generation of “energy crops,” Sundrop Fuels can produce more than a billion gallons of renewable drop-in fuel using the agricultural residue and woody biomass that is available right now.
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How Sundrop Fuels connects biomass with the best resources. 

There is ample high-quality biomass feedstock available throughout the U.S. to supply the Sundrop Fuels biorefineries with the feedstock necessary to produce billion of gallons of drop-in biofuels per year. Our flexibility in energy source and biomass type allows Sundrop Fuels to locate in the most economically and environmentally efficient areas of the country.

 

 

While providing the highest fuel yield of any biomass process, the Sundrop Fuels RP Reactor™ radiant heat transfer technology can use any cellulosic plant material as feedstock. This can include:

Agriculture waste
Rice straw
Rice Hulls
Wheat straw
Existing and future energy crops
Miscanthus
Switchgrass
High-biomass sorghum
Woody biomass
Sustainable harvesting
Forest thinnings
Insect kill

 

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More tomorrow.

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Look it is summer. It is 95 degrees out. I am a sailor in a calm. So yes I am kinda mailing this in. But in my defense this stuff has really turned interesting. So here is another installation of beautiful energy conservation.

http://www.masterremodelersinc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=62

Sustainability

Master Remodelers is committed to using “green” building science to maximize your energy savings and comfort and your home’s durability. Our green home remodeling efforts in Pittsburgh are on the forefront of our nation’s initiative to address climate change and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy. We will show you how your home remodeling project or home addition can be beautiful, energy efficient and a smart investment. That’s why we proudly say that we’re about “Advancing the Art and Science of Living.” 

Take a look at our 2010 award-winning kitchen as an example and our blog on the subject for more examples of green home remodeling in Pittsburgh.

OUR CREDENTIALS

We are one of only a handful of home remodeling contractors in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania dual-certified to deliver whole house energy savings for your remodel.

YOUR BENEFITS

home energy audit shows air leaks

While your home remodeling can include new, renewable building materials that are beautiful, healthier and sustainable, our main focus is on energy conservation. This is best determined by a home energy audit. Done right, going green has many benefits:  much lower utility bills, lower mortgage rates, higher resale value… and you’ll enjoy a healthier home for you and your family. Learn more at HomeEnergy.org

(right: Our infrared camera sees leaks that you can’t)

WHAT SHADE OF GREEN?

energy_audits

In the home remodeling Design and Planning process you make decisions about how green you want to go.  “Lite green” home remodeling could mean simply better insulation and doors and windows.  Or low flow showerheads and strategically planted shade trees. Maybe add bamboo floors, recycled-content counter tops, and low VOC paint. “Deep green” could mean solar, a geothermal heat pump or complete energy independence.

Home energy audits

A great place to start your decision-making is with a home energy audit to determine your home’s current energy efficiency.  We offer three different levels of audits plus other ancillary tests to choose from. For most homes, the greatest energy leaks are in floors, walls and ceilings.  Leaky ductwork follows, and then heating and cooling systems.

FINANCIAL INCENTIVES

Today there are many benefits and incentives for you to go green.  Ask us about low interest loans, grants, tax credits and rebates, plus monthly utility savings.

Master_Remodelers_DifferenceCall 412-341-6585 today to set up an appointment to discuss green remodeling for your home. Or email us your questions.

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More tomorrow.

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Let us put aside the fact militaries themselves are a huge waste of money. It is estimated that for every 1 $$$ the US for instance spends on a bullet they get 75 cents in return. That is just if it sits on the shelf. If it is used of course it is worth nothing. Not to mention that lavishing spending on militaries brought Empires from the Egypt to the Soviet Union’s down. But the USA’s Military wastes energy like there is no tomorrow. The worst offenders of course are the Airforce and the Navy. The Airforce in particular spews kerosene byproducts into the upper atmosphere where they do the most harm and the Navy because they burn warm asphalt at sea. Not to mention the nuclear issues both as weapons and power sources. But think about our main battle tank. It is as big as a modest 2 story house and it runs on diesel. So the idea that they want to go to zero energy use is great. But I got my doubts.

http://globalgreenworld.org/?p=736

U.S. Army Launches Plan to Make All Military Bases Net Zero

Posted by Ggw Admin on Apr 19, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Army Vision for Net Zero, Fort Bliss, net zero, renewable energy, U.S. Army, U.S. Military, Waste Reduction, water conservation

Over the past couple of years, the U.S. Army has announced several initiatives ranging from solar-powered tents for troops to hydrogen-powered tanks, however this is their most ambitious program yet. With the help of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Army is aiming to have all Army installations across the country be net zero.


Army Vision for Net Zero, Fort Bliss, net zero, renewable energy, U.S. Army, U.S. Military, Waste Reduction, water conservation

With funds from the DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the “Army Vision for Net Zero” program will aim to meet mandates to reduce energy as a result of Executive Order 13514. The order calls for all new buildings to be net zero energy by 2030, and it dictates a 30 percent reduction in water use and a 50 percent reduction in waste that goes to landfills. On top of that, the National Defense Authorization Act also mandates that the Army produce or acquire 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

“The first priority is less,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy Environment Katherine Hammack said. “If you use less energy, you don’t have to buy as much – or you don’t have to make as much from alternative energy sources or renewable energy sources. So if you look at energy, that is a focus on energy efficiency. If you’re talking about water, then that’s water conservation. Or even if you’re talking about waste, that’s reducing the amount of waste we have in the steam.”

The program already has a poster child in the form of Fort Bliss. The military base boasts solar daylighting in the dining facility, warehouse and gym, energy-efficient windows, utility monitoring and control for heating and air-conditioning systems in approximately 70 buildings, and plans to increase the on-site hybrid waste-to-energy/concentrating solar power plant from 90 to 140 megawatts. The City of El Paso has committed to provide 1 million tons per year of municipal solid waste, which will be transformed into energy by the base.

“The Army’s net zero vision is a holistic approach to addressing energy, water, and waste at Army installations,” Kingery said. “We look at net zero as a force multiplier for the Army that will help us steward our resources and manage our costs.”

Considering that defense is a massive cause of national debt, the plan serves two purposes – reduced spending and “greening” national security. If the military can get on board with renewable energy, it makes you wonder why other areas of government are having such trouble.

+ U.S Army

Images © US Army

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More tomorrow

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Remember when your mom used to say, “Clean your plate. There are children in the world who are starving.”? Well now it is save the world kind of stuff. Wasting food wastes huge amounts of energy. This brief article below sums it up nicely. Please click on the authors name to see more of this authors work.

http://boingboing.net/2010/08/03/theres-more-energy-i.html

There’s more energy in wasted food than there is in the Gulf of Mexico

Maggie Koerth-Baker at 8:42 PM Tuesday, Aug 3, 2010

Recently, while doing some research on the carbon footprint of food, I ran across some studies that reported Americans ate, on average, 3774 calories of food each day.

Something about that smelled funny to me.

Sure, Americans eat a lot. But 3774 calories a day? I have family members who subsist almost solely off fried meat and various sorts of potatoes and I’m not convinced that even they hit that number on a regular basis. When I took my questions to the researchers, I found out that my hunch was correct. Americans aren’t, technically, eating an average of 3774 calories per day. This figure is calculated by looking at food produced, divided by the number of Americans. It assumes we’re eating all that, but, in reality, according to environmental scientist Gidon Eshel we really only eat about 2800 calories per day. That whopping 3774 includes both what we eat—and what we waste.

And what we waste—not just at home, but from the farm field, to the grocery store, to our Tupperware containers full of moldy leftovers—is a big deal.

We use a lot of energy producing, transporting, processing, storing and cooking food we don’t eat. About 2150 trillion kilojoules worth a year, according to a recent study. That’s more kilojoules than the United States could produce in biofuels. And it’s more than we already produce in all the oil and gas extracted annually from the Gulf of Mexico.

Reducing that waste requires both changes in the way we eat at home, and systematic changes that address waste at every part of the food cycle. Right now, I’ve talked to a lot of researchers who can identify the problem, but don’t have a lot of suggestions for concrete solutions. I’m sure they’re out there, though, and I’ll report back as I track them down.

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More tomorrow.

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This is so weird. This column makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like this guys thinking much, but this is a pretty lucid moment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/10/AR2005111001502.html

Pump Some Seriousness Into Energy Policy

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank God for $3.50 gasoline. True, we had it for only a brief, shining moment, and there is not much good to be said about the catastrophic hurricanes that caused it. But the price was already inexorably climbing as a result of 2.3 billion Chinese and Indians industrializing. Their increased demand is what brought us to the energy knife’s edge and makes us so acutely vulnerable to supply disruptions.

Yet, the Senate is attacking the problem by hauling oil executives to hearings on “price gouging.” Even by Senate standards, the cynicism here is breathtaking. Everyone knows what the problem really is. It’s Economics 101: increasing demand and precariously tight supply.

Yet for three decades we have done criminally little about it. Conservatives argued for more production, liberals argued for more conservation and each side blocked the other’s remedies — when even a child can see that we need both:

Demand . Just yesterday we were paying $3.50 a gallon at the pump and were ready to pay $4 or $5 if necessary. No blessing has ever come more disguised. Now that we have lived with $3.50 gasoline, $3 seems far less outrageous than, say, a year ago. We have a unique but fleeting opportunity to permanently depress demand by locking in higher gasoline prices. Put a floor at $3. Every penny that the price goes under $3 should be recaptured in a federal gas tax so that Americans pay $3 at the pump no matter how low the world price goes.

Why is this a good idea? It is the simplest way to induce conservation. People will alter their buying habits. It was the higher fuel prices of the 1970s and early ’80s that led to more energy-efficient cars and appliances — which induced such restraint on demand that the world price of oil ultimately fell through the floor. By 1986 oil was $11 a barrel. Then we got profligate and resumed our old habits, and oil is now around $60. Surprise.

The worst part is that much of this $60 goes overseas to foreigners who wish us no good: Wahhabi Saudi princes who subsidize terrorists; Hugo Chavez, the mini-Mussolini of the Southern Hemisphere; and (through the fungibility of oil) the nuclear-hungry, death-to-America Iranian mullahs. This is insanity. It makes infinitely more sense to reduce consumption, drive the world price down and let the premium we force ourselves to pay at the pump (which begins the conservation cycle) go to the U.S. Treasury. If the price drops to $2, plow that $1 tax right back into the American economy by immediately reducing, say, Social Security or income taxes.

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To read the rest of the piece, go to the Washington Post’s website. More next week.

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Oil People are nothing but proven liars. There is always “oil down there” they tell investors. But only 10 or 20 of the holes they drill actually produce any oil, so is it any wonder that they are unprepared when they come in? Especially in the case of the Gulf Spew if they come in violently.

http://www.fcnp.com/commentary/national/7696-the-peak-oil-crisis-the-leading-edge.html

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Leading Edge

By Tom Whipple
Wednesday, November 03 2010 01:01:22 PM

Do you remember the furor over drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge a few years back? The whole country was up in arms. At various times some 50 to 60 percent of Americans favored drilling in the area as they were told this would result in lower gas prices.

Last week the USGS lowered its estimate of the amount of oil that could be extracted from the region all the way from 10 billion barrels down to less than one billion, making drilling in the area uneconomical. By the way, the amount of crude being pumped down the Alaskan pipeline now has fallen from 2 million barrels a day (b/d) when the pipeline first opened back in the 1970’s to about 600,000 b/d in recent weeks. The trouble is that when the flow of oil falls below a quantity estimated to be 200-300,000 b/d (some say 500,000) the line will have to be closed as there will simply not be enough hot oil being sent down the pipeline to keep it from freezing in winter.

Last week an organization in California, The Post Carbon Institute, released a new book, “The Post Carbon Reader,” which draws a much broader picture of the serious issues facing mankind. With 30 authors, each specializing in some aspect of the multiple troubles we face, the scope of the book touches on nearly every aspect of our civilization that is out of balance, unsustainable, and headed for a fall. The basic proposition of the book is that the world has reached the limits of growth in terms of its population, economic activity, and the ability of the atmosphere to absorb more carbon emissions. Either the world’s peoples must transform themselves into a sustainable number living in a sustainable manner or there will be many dire consequences right up to the possibility that the human race itself could become extinct. Clearly, this is serious stuff.

As long as a problem is perceived as being decades, or even a few years away, it is not a concern.

Some hold that our sustainability problem started when we first started planting crops and domesticating animals 10,000 years ago. This thesis says if we had stuck with hunting and gathering as a race we would have been able to sustain our act indefinitely, but then we would never have had enough surplus energy to learn reading & writing, and to build cities, the Internet and space ships. Our immediate problem, however, started in earnest with the industrial revolution about 200 years ago when we first started digging up prodigious quantities of coal and feeding it into steam engines. It wasn’t long before we struck oil and the rest is history. The world’s population went from an estimated 5 or 10 million when we first started farming, to a billion when we started serious coal digging, to about 7 billion today. We also got incredibly richer in terms of material goods and could sure get around much faster.

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More tomorrow.

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http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/07/renewables-are-growing-fast-whats-new?cmpid=rss

Renewables are Growing Fast: What’s New?

Published: July 21, 2010

Paris — If you’re looking for a comprehensive resource for renewable energy installation figures, look no further: The Renewables Global Status report was released last week, and it provides a great snapshot of where and how renewables are being developed around the world.

The report was released by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, also known as REN21, and it provides an upbeat picture for renewables, despite the murky outlook for the global economy.

The report was originally released in 2005. Since then, solar PV has grown by 60 percent annually, wind by 27 percent, solar hot water by 19 percent, according to the authors. In 2009, renewables made up more than half of investment in global power generation. And that’s with depressed oil and gas prices, lenders being very choosy about projects and individual consumers facing their own financial problems. Total investment in the industry was about $150 billion last year.

Other than the stellar investment figures during a slow year for most other industries, there’s not much surprising in the 2009 report. The industry continues to move along – increasingly in developing countries – driven largely by robust public policy. Where policy lacks, investment does too.

Perhaps the most important trend is the role of China in the global renewable energy market. According to the report, the country produces about 40 precent of solar PV panels, 30 percent of wind turbines and 77 percent of solar hot water systems globally. The Chinese presence will impact investment decisions of companies as they work to compete with “The China Price,” and decide where to locate manufacturing facilities.

Many organizations like the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration put together yearly figures on renewables. But none do it quite as comprehensively and clearly as the REN21 folks do. It’s worth keeping around as a go-to resource for figures on the industry.

Here are some other highlights taken straight from the report about the various renewables sectors:

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More tomorrow.

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This pains me almost as much as Mary Landrieu. I never worked for Dick but he was always good on so many issues. C’est la vie…sigh

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091019/jones



Dick Gephardt’s Spectacular Sellout

By Sebastian Jones

This article appeared in the October 19, 2009 edition of The Nation.

September 30, 2009

In March, months after the government gave an unprecedented $85 billion to AIG, the insurance giant released a list of counterparties, exposing some of the world’s top financial institutions as the real recipients of the bailout. First among its peers, Goldman Sachs got a whopping $12.9 billion, despite having claimed in September to be insulated from AIG’s troubles. Based on these revelations, Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who had dogged the financial industry since the crisis began, told his staff to prepare a letter calling for an investigation.

Two Congressional staffers familiar with the matter told The Nation that a draft was circulated to House members on March 23. Within hours, Cummings’s office had received a phone call from a lobbying firm hired by Goldman Sachs, making an “insistent but polite” request for a meeting. Cummings, intending to send the letter regardless, granted the audience, and so it was that top Goldman executives like president Gary Cohn and CFO David Viniar arrived the next day. They brought someone else too, a big-name Democratic politician with serious populist credibility: Dick Gephardt.

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But the real issue here is pollution.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31633524/the_climate_killers/9

The Arm Twister
Dick Gephardt
CEO, Gephardt Group

The former House majority leader now uses his considerable political clout as a lobbyist for Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company. Working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, Gephardt has emerged as the most credible proponent of “clean coal” — an imaginary technology being touted by the industry as an alternative to limits on carbon pollution. (“Clean coal is like healthy cigarettes,” says Al Gore. “It does not exist.”) In July, Gephardt was the keynote speaker at the Clean Coal Technology Conference, an honor bestowed after he helped win $1 billion in stimulus funding for FutureGen, a “clean coal” boondoggle promoted by Peabody. That’s a significant return on the $1.7 million that Peabody and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance have invested in Gephardt Group’s services since 2007. His firm also lobbies for Ameren, the nation’s fourth-dirtiest utility, as well as for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The head of Peabody’s Washington office, Fred Palmer, marvels at the access the ex-congressman still enjoys on Capitol Hill: “I can meet with a lot of people, but I’m Fred Palmer. He’s Dick Gephardt.”

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So to Dick we must say – Smoke gets in our eyes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTxZOEdEE8I

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I know he is an Australian bloke but he owns the media in the US…

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31633532/as_the_world_burns/

Meet the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming in Tim Dickinson’s “The Climate Killers.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31633524/the_climate_killers/2

The Disinformer
Rupert Murdoch
CEO, News Corporation

In 2007, when the world’s most powerful media baron announced his newfound conviction that global warming “poses clear, catastrophic threats,” it seemed as though the truth about climate change might finally get the attention it deserves. Murdoch promised that not only would News Corp. itself become carbon-neutral by 2010, but that his media outlets would explain the urgent need for a cap on carbon emissions. Climate change, he pledged, would be addressed as a sober reality across the News Corp. empire, whether as a plot element on 24 or in a story on Fox News. “I don’t think there’s any question of my conviction on this issue,” Murdoch declared. “I’ve come to feel it very strongly.”

Since then, however, Murdoch and his media operations have become the nation’s leading source of disinformation about climate change. In October, Fox Business ran an extended segment on “The Carbon Myth,” inviting a hack scientist to “make the case” that more carbon pollution is actually “good for the environment.” The Wall Street Journal has continued to lie not only about the reality of global warming but about Obama’s efforts to prevent it, denouncing climate legislation as “likely to be the biggest tax in American history.”

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Read the whole article. It is pretty damning.

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Oh and I can’t resist, this is the best collection of envirovideos I have ever seen.

http://ecopolitology.org/2010/01/11/the-top-9-viral-videos-of-the-green-movement-1958-2010/

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