Several articles on the increasing number of slice-and-dicers in the state.
Also, ethanol lobbyists want the feds to force customers to buy more of their food-based power; this is cronyism in action. That customers don’t want to burn more corn in their cars and don’t want the higher prices and don’t want to risk damaging their engines is not a factor in the lobbying.
6/16 – Forum News Service at Bismark Tribune – N.D. utility regulators approve wind farm project – The state PSC approved the Brady Wind Energy Center I near Dickinson. There has been a lot of public opposition to the project for quite some time.
I just learned that Robert Wilson (@CountCarbon) does a huge amount of graphing. (Yeah, yeah, I’m slow to catch up with what’s happening. On the other hand, keeping up with change is the purpose of this blog.)
Here are two of his illustrations that shows the utter foolishness of two specific energy policies: ethanol and solar power.
Question along with graph to help figure out your answer:
Question: Would corn be better used to feed people than cars?
I have a backlog of energy articles. That allows me to group comments together. Today’s focus: the morality of ethanol assessed based on the damage it causes.
12/17/14 – CBS Minnesota – U of M Study Finds Ethanol Worse for Air Quality Than Gasoline – When measured at the tailpipe, ethanol-laden gasoline measures about the same as regular gasoline. Study from the University of Minnesota says that when you count all of the inputs to grow corn and turn it into ethanol it is far worse for the environment than plain gasoline.
Articles on operation of salt water disposal sites, damage from ethanol, drones in the oil patch, and an interview with Chevron’s CEO (including comments on harsh over regulation in California).
5/26 – Journal Publishing – Putting the ‘safe’ in hazardous oil waste – Superb article on salt water disposal (SWD). Waste water from a well, perhaps two or 3 gallons for every gallon of oil, goes to special treatment sites.
The SWD sites have lots of tanks to let the saltwater settle. Oil floats to the top, is skimmed off, then sold.
Here are a few recent articles that help me understand what is happening in the open frontier of energy. Two articles on the damage from ethanol and a view of Cowboyistan. Also cool pictures of North Dakota.
3/10 – Robert Bryce at New York Times – End the Ethanol Rip-Off – In addition to the environmental damage from tearing up grasslands, harm to poor people world-wide, damage to small engines at 10%, and damage to most car engines at 15%, burning corn to power cars is wasteful economically.
A new study funded by the federal government reached the conclusion that ethanol made from residue after corn harvesting releases 7% more greenhouse gases that straight gasoline.
The reason for the surprise is that the study considers the ancillary effects of biofuels. For example, when the residual is left on the ground, it improves the soil’s ability to absorb CO2. When the increased CO2 from non-absorption into the ground is considered, biofuels make the environment worse.
It used to be that one particular motel in Fairbury, Nebraska would be packed every day of the week for the first two weeks of the pheasant season and then all weekend for several more weeks. Now, there are a few hunters that show up occasionally.
The EPA has reduced the amount of ethanol that must be used in gasoline. The federal requirement is based on absolute volume of ethanol and not the amount of gasoline sold. Thus, even though gasoline use dropped instead of rising, the amount of ethanol has to increase. This would force us to use E15, which would damage many auto engines on the road. The AAA asserts that only 5% of the light trucks on the market can use E15. That linked article also says E15 actually has twice as much corn (ethanol) as E10.
A small victory for consumers who buy gas, everyone that owns a vehicle with an engine that otherwise would be damaged, and the poor who spend a disproportionate share of their income buying artificially high-priced corn.