December 24, 2005
Canadian Prime Minister vows to mandate biofuels
Those canadians are ahead of us in so many ways... Latest News and Financial Information | Reuters.com
December 21, 2005
Seattle Times notes legislative support for biodiesel
Honk if you love bio-diesel
Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2002695001_biodieseled21.html
In these usually rough-and-tumble weeks of pre-legislative session posturing, there's one issue where not only bipartisan consensus, but enthusiasm, is emerging: biodiesel -- and state efforts to encourage its use and production. It's about time.
The hurricane-induced volatility of summer gas prices and increasing concerns about world oil supply have goosed discussions about fuel alternatives. While the Legislature all but ignored the possibilities last year, now everyone from Senate Republicans to House Democrats to the governor are pushing legislative agendas that advance biodiesel's use and production in Washington state. The details differ, and skeptics raise valid questions. But the concept has appeal across both partisan and geographical boundaries. The proposals are not panaceas for oil-supply problems, but could help Washington spawn a clean-fuels industry that benefits the entire region.
Last week, Gov. Christine Gregoire proposed creating a market for biodiesel by requiring that all diesel sold in the state contain 2 percent fuel created from farm crops, such as canola or mustard seeds.
Republican Rep. Janéa Holmquist of Moses Lake is expected to introduce a bill setting the same standard but one that is phased in only as state production can ramp up. Her similar bill last year never made it out of committee, but she's optimistic now.
Democratic Rep. Hans Dunshee, D- Snohomish, wants the Legislature, within the session's first days, to approve grants or a low-interest loan program for crushers to draw the oil out of the seeds. The idea is that farmers will be persuaded to plant more biodiesel crops this season if they see the investment.
Senate Republicans want to provide tax breaks for biodiesel, the mechanical service work that accommodates it and farm equipment that produces it.
Some tussling is guaranteed over any minimum biofuel content in diesel products -- oil companies won't like it; also, over whether it should be established immediately, attracting biofuel from other states or over time, so Washington growers can provide all of it.
A 2-percent standard would require roughly 20 million gallons of biodiesel, Dunshee said. That would translate to about 160,000 acres of production, but only about 10,000 acres are now in crops suited for biodiesel.
The good news is that lawmakers seem ready to act on an issue that fits Washington's environmental ethos, while providing an economic opportunity for its agriculture industry.
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December 8, 2005
My renewable energy reading list
Many people have asked me to share some of the reading i have found most useful in my journey from bits to barrels. Here in no particular order, are the books I have found most helpful so far:
Sleeping With The Devil, Robert Baer.
The Bottomless Well by Huber and Mills.
The End of Oil, by Paul Roberts.
lots of web sites, but those are the most books that have been most influential to me so far.