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Things you didn't know about OIL SHALE
Denver Post ^ | 07/23/2008 | Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah

Posted on 07/24/2008 7:00:09 AM PDT by rface

Colorado, Wyoming and Utah have more oil in oil shale than OPEC. Everyone seems to know that by now, but here are six things you probably did not know about oil shale.

1) Did you know oil shale has a smaller carbon footprint than ethanol? When calculating the carbon emissions of the entire oil shale process, without the use of carbon capture technology, its total carbon footprint is about 7 percent larger than gasoline. But a peer-reviewed article in the February issue of Science calculates the entire carbon footprint of ethanol to be 93 percent larger than gasoline. The article reports that even switchgrass footprint is 50 percent larger than gasoline.

2) Did you know oil shale uses less water than ethanol and no more than gasoline? Increased ethanol production will require more irrigation. A September 2007 article in Southwest Hydrology states that irrigated corn requires more than 780 barrels of water for each barrel of ethanol. The Department of Energy reports that oil shale, for the entire process including land restoration, requires three barrels of water for every barrel of shale oil, about the same as gasoline.

3) Did you know oil shale uses much less land than either ethanol or gasoline? One acre of corn produces 10 barrels of ethanol. One acre in the oil patch produces about 10,000 barrels of oil. One acre of oil shale produces between 100,000 and one million-plus barrels of shale oil! No, that's not a typo.

Whether your concern is carbon emissions, water use or wildlife habitat, oil shale is a better answer than ethanol. And when it comes to transportation fuels, ethanol is the only alternative of any real significance.

4) Did you know oil shale has been commercially produced in Brazil for 30 years and in Estonia for 80 years? Technology is not a barrier.

5) Did you know that oil shale failed in 1982 due to the price dropping to $10 a barrel, not because of technology or scarcity of water? That was a quarter century ago, and a lot has changed since then. Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1982 was the Computer. Today, we have better technology, better environmental regulations and OPEC can no longer flood the oil market.

6) Did you know current law gives each governor, before any commercial leases are granted, the right to set the pace of oil shale development? But Rep. Mark Udall has put a moratorium on commercial leasing regulations, effectively taking away that right for Utah's governor. The action produces no additional rights for Colorado, but destroys Utah's right to move forward at any pace.

I've supported Colorado's right to choose its own pace. Utah deserves the same courtesy.

Democrats control Congress, so Americans ought to be asking about their plan to lower gas prices. Let's hope their plan doesn't rest on solar, wind and geothermal, because planes, trains and automobiles don't run on electricity; they run on oil - mostly foreign oil. Or at least 97 percent of the time they run on oil, and the other 3 percent is mostly ethanol. Let's also hope the Democrats" plan doesn't rest on ethanol to break our dependence on foreign oil, because it can't. More on that later.

Americans ship about $700 billion annually to foreign oil traffickers, and Democrats respond by shutting down America's own energy supplies. Now at the mercy of foreign governments smart enough to produce their own energy, we are selling away our nation's place in the world and funding the rise of our most aggressive competitors and even our enemies.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Colorado; US: Utah; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: congress; drilling; energy; energyfacts; environment; oil; oilshale; shaleoil
Denver Post EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an online-only column ...... [[ they probably wouldn't want the "Hard Copy" Denver Post readers to see this.]]
1 posted on 07/24/2008 7:03:14 AM PDT by rface
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To: rface

Good stuff.


2 posted on 07/24/2008 7:13:12 AM PDT by TheZMan (Bitter backwoods east Texan Christian gun clinger with the AC at 72 degrees.)
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To: rface

A few oil shale refineries would send the OPEC mafia scrambling to reduce prices.


3 posted on 07/24/2008 7:14:02 AM PDT by pallis
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To: rface

Bump


4 posted on 07/24/2008 7:15:39 AM PDT by Uncledave (Zombie Reagan '08)
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To: rface

does the oil have to be extracted or can the rock also be burned like coal?


5 posted on 07/24/2008 7:21:41 AM PDT by edzo4
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To: rface

Bump.


6 posted on 07/24/2008 7:21:48 AM PDT by Theo (Global warming "scientists." Pro-evolution "scientists." They're both wrong.)
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To: rface

When are some prominent Republicans going to stand up and say WHY the Democrats are blocking oil production? It is not enough just to say they are.

Oh, I forgot, Republicans don’t have the stones to publicly call Democrats socialists. They might be called mean spirited.....instead of just stoopid.


7 posted on 07/24/2008 7:22:58 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: rface
Folks pay big bucks to have their articles published in Science magazine.

Not that means they are open to agenda driven propaganda but, in fact, they are.

Science is not all that good a reference unless you have some other article of comparable nature available in a different peer reviewed journal.

End of story.

8 posted on 07/24/2008 7:25:41 AM PDT by muawiyah (We need a "Gastank For America" to win back Congress)
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To: edzo4

To use it for transportation fuel, we need to extract the liquid petroleum.


9 posted on 07/24/2008 7:26:25 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: rface
The action produces no additional rights for Colorado, but destroys Utah's right to move forward at any pace.

I've supported Colorado's right to choose its own pace. Utah deserves the same courtesy.

Just what Alaska has faced for decades.

10 posted on 07/24/2008 7:27:32 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

what about electric power plants?


11 posted on 07/24/2008 7:27:37 AM PDT by rface
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To: rface

One of many great ideas.

Last week at a local political event one speaker asked the audience: How many nuclear power plants had been built in America over the last 30 years? Many answered 0, 1, 2, etc. He stated over two hundred and then talked about how our navel fleet has been built around nuke power and that should tell us it is safe and reliable and that we need to move forward with nuclear generation facilities. I agree


12 posted on 07/24/2008 7:30:38 AM PDT by PORD (People...Of Right Do)
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To: rface
I would say the ability to use it for liquid fuel makes it too valuable to use in a power plant when we already have large resources of coal.

For comparision, but note this is several years old. Petroleum has risen even more compared to the others.

Source:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/archive/aeo07/overview.html

13 posted on 07/24/2008 7:33:29 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: edzo4

The oil is cooked out of the rock with heat. In one method above ground, in the other below ground, in the first there is a lot of rock to dispose of, while in the second this is, of course, not a issue. So no the rock is not like coal.


14 posted on 07/24/2008 7:34:41 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: TheZMan; rface
GOODY :D...great read.
15 posted on 07/24/2008 7:38:12 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: rface

bump


16 posted on 07/24/2008 7:40:04 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: rface

read later


17 posted on 07/24/2008 7:40:23 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: count-your-change
I am pretty sure you can just grind up oil shale and use it like coal to power turbines, i have seen pieces of the rock lit on fire and burned

this is from wikipedia (so it may be true)

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock, containing significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds), from which liquid hydrocarbons can be manufactured. The name oil shale is something of a misnomer as the rock is not necessarily a shale and the hydrocarbon in it is not truly oil. Deposits of oil shale are located around the world, including major deposits in the United States. Global deposits are estimated as equivalent to 2.9–3.3 trillion (2.9–3.3 x 1012) barrels of recoverable oil.

The kerogen in oil shale can be converted to synthetic crude oil through the chemical process of pyrolysis. When heated to a sufficiently high temperature a vapor is driven off which can be distilled (retorted) to yield a petroleum-like shale oil—a form of non-conventional oil—and combustible shale gas (shale gas can also refer to gas occurring naturally in shales). Oil shale can also be burnt directly as a low-grade fuel for power generation and heating purposes, and be used as a raw material in the chemical and construction materials industries.

it also says 90% of elctricity in Estonia is produced by burning oil shale

18 posted on 07/24/2008 7:51:14 AM PDT by edzo4
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To: rface
Did you know oil shale has a smaller carbon footprint than ethanol?

We really need to get over this silly carbon footprint thing. Let's call it the "Plant Food Quotient".

19 posted on 07/24/2008 7:51:19 AM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: thackney

Nuclear for electricity as the exclusive energy source for electricity . That fees up oil shale, coal to oil , natural gas etc for cars.

Coal for coal to oil liquefaction.

Oil Shale only for petroleum.

Natural gas for cars.

etc.


20 posted on 07/24/2008 8:00:46 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: edzo4
I am pretty sure you can just grind up oil shale and use it like coal to power turbines, i have seen pieces of the rock lit on fire and burned

It will burn but much of the volume you start with will remain as solid, not just ash.

21 posted on 07/24/2008 8:01:34 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Nuclear for electricity as the exclusive energy source for electricity . That frees up oil shale, OCS, ANWR, coal for coal to oil , natural gas etc. all for cars.

Coal for coal to oil liquefaction.

Oil Shale only for petroleum.

Natural gas for cars.

etc.


22 posted on 07/24/2008 8:01:35 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: rurgan
Nuclear for electricity as the exclusive energy source for electricity

Nuclear isn't very good for making swings in load needed in a electrical grid. It is great for the base load but will not be our only source.

23 posted on 07/24/2008 8:03:16 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: edzo4
it also says 90% of elctricity in Estonia is produced by burning oil shale

They don't burn the shale directly, they extract the petroleum to make fuel oil. Most of Estonia's oil production comes from oil shale.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Baltic/Oil.html

Oil shale is consumed for power generation by the Eesti Energia and Kohtla-Järve Soojus electric companies and for shale-to-oil processing by Kiviter AS, which processes the oil shale to produce about 8,000 bbl/d of distillate liquid fuels.

http://www.estoniaenergy.com/

24 posted on 07/24/2008 8:10:31 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: edzo4
does the oil have to be extracted or can the rock also be burned like coal?

. Early settlers in the area discovered oil shale when the rocks they used for their chimneys caught fire, so it does burn; but the modern extraction technologies are in-place and underground, leaving little impact on the surface.

Shell's technology uses underground fracturing of the host rock, then heat to extract a high quality light sweet (very low sulfur) crude. Water already available in the rock is frozen into a curtain around the extraction area, so that nothing escapes into the local rock. When the area has produced all it can, the rock is cooled so that the residual oil hardens back up and stays put. The method produces no tailings, needs no additional water, and leaves only a well site pad to be reclaimed.

25 posted on 07/24/2008 8:14:25 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: edzo4

I need to correct myself. It appears Estonia still uses some direct burning of the oil shale “rock”.

Power plants are using the obsolete pulverized combustion boilers with efficiency 29 % (from mass of shale mined). It means big amount of ash and small particles after burning of this kind of fuel, but Estonian oil shale is rather specific fossil fuel because after the dissociation of carbonates (Ca and Mg) during combustion process, essential desulfurization of flue gases by ash sulfation in furnace and gas ducts takes place.

http://www.kirj.ee/public/oilshale/Est-OS.htm


26 posted on 07/24/2008 8:15:15 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney

Natural Gas and coal standby for load handling.


27 posted on 07/24/2008 8:18:05 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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Which addresses the real point of energy independence ... it will be attained ONLY via a combination of energy sources.


28 posted on 07/24/2008 8:19:08 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: thackney

By only source I meant close to 90%. Maybe I wasn’t exact enough in my wording . I know 100% is not realistic. But at 80%-90% nuclear for electricity would free up a lot of coal for coal to oil liquefaction, and natural gas for cars. France is pretty close to 70% to 80% nuclear powered.


29 posted on 07/24/2008 8:19:43 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: thackney

By only source I meant close to 90%. Maybe I wasn’t exact enough in my wording . I know 100% is not realistic. But at 80%-90% nuclear for electricity would free up a lot of coal for coal to oil liquefaction, and natural gas for cars. France is pretty close to 80% nuclear powered.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5369610
“France has 58 nuclear power plants like this, which meet 80 percent of its total electricity needs and allow it to export power to Britain, ...”


30 posted on 07/24/2008 8:21:37 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: edzo4
Stories from early settlers told of burning rocks and like any material in a fire the oil would cook out and support combustion. But as with using a retort to remove the oil burning the oil shale leaves behind the rock as an “ash” that has to be disposed of in some manner. Other countries may not have the problem of deciding what to do with it as the U.S. does. Since new coal fired plants face opposition because they “aren't clean enough”, a shale fired plant isn't likely to be accepted. Note the “low grade”.
The in situ removal of the oil would be/is possible if,IF restrictions are lifted. A natural resource that should be in use already for oil and leave the coal for electrical generation.
31 posted on 07/24/2008 8:22:26 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: rurgan
Another problem with nuclear is basically the same problem as coal, natural gas and petroleum have. Environmentalists and NIMBYs.

Today most of our uranium comes from foreign suppliers. Quintupling that demand needs a change in supply. And a gift from President Carter means we still will not reprocess our nuclear waste (like France, Japan, Russia and others) requiring an even larger supply of “new” uranium.

We don't have a lack of resources, but a lack of will to use them (or rather a lack of will to elect those who will let us).

32 posted on 07/24/2008 8:25:16 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: count-your-change
Fly ash from coal is added to concrete to make it stronger and water resistant.

http://www.ecosmartconcrete.com/facts_what.cfm

Fly Ash

One of the most commonly used pozzolans in concrete is fly ash, a by-product from coal-fired power plants. Using fly ash in concrete generally decreases permeability, improves sulphate resistance and other durability aspects of concrete, and allows lower water content in the mixture. Using fly ash improves the plasticity and workability of fresh concrete, and produces a warmer colored concrete. The annual production of fly ash in the US and Canada is 60 million tonnes per year, and there will be an estimated 600 million tonnes produced worldwide by the end of this year. Currently, about 80 % of the fly ash produced ends up in landfills. In North America, fly ash is typically used to replace an average of 8 % of the cement in concrete, while in many European countries, the replacement rate is greater than 25%.

33 posted on 07/24/2008 8:29:35 AM PDT by edzo4
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To: thackney

“We don’t have a lack of resources, but a lack of will to use them (or rather a lack of will to elect those who will let us).”

That true. But that’s true for nuclear, coal, oil ,oil shale , etc.

But liberals and those brainwashed by liberals elect these evil communist Democrats like Pelosi and Boxer who restrict our energy production of our companies. US conservatives no better and we vote for people like Tom Tancredo and Micth McConnel who are great. Long live Tom Tancredo and Micth McConnel.

Democrats and the liberal mainstream media have brainwashed the government educated public into thinking wrongly that these energy sources will ruin the environment and destroy the planet by causing global warming. Well the liberal media and Democrats have been lying through their teeth in their effort to destroy capitalism and our way of life. There is no global warming because the Earth is getting cooler and will continue to cool as the Sun is very inactive.

In the past, they observed that the sun once went 50 years without producing sunspots. That period coincided with a little ice age on Earth that lasted from 1650 to 1700. Coincidence? Some scientists say it was, but many worry that it wasn’t.

Geophysicist Phil Chapman, the first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, said pictures from the US Solar and Heliospheric Observatory also show that there are currently no spots on the sun. He also noted that the world cooled quickly between January last year and January this year, by about 0.7C.

“This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record, and it puts us back to where we were in 1930,” Dr Chapman noted in The Australian recently.

If the world does face another mini Ice Age, it could come without warning. Evidence for abrupt climate change is readily found in ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/06/the-sunspot-mys.html


34 posted on 07/24/2008 8:38:12 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: thackney

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5369610
“France has 58 nuclear power plants like this, which meet 80 percent of its total electricity needs and allow it to export power to Britain, ...”

No reason why The U.S. can’t do the same.


35 posted on 07/24/2008 8:39:23 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: thackney
Dear thackney,

“Another problem with nuclear is basically the same problem as coal, natural gas and petroleum have. Environmentalists and NIMBYs.”

One way to reduce the effects of NIMBYism is to build more reactors where reactors already are operating. In Maryland, the state government has given approval to Constellation Energy's adding a third nuclear reactor to Calvert Cliff's two existing reactors. It's still early on in the federal process, but Constellation is targeting 2015 for making the power plant operational.

The benefits here are two-fold: the new reactor will generate as much electricity as the two older reactors combined thus doubling the amount of electricity generated from Calivert Cliffs; because it's being built on a site with existing reactors (and because the new reactor has a fraction of the environmental impact as the two older reactors), it's tougher to hold it up for environmental concerns.

Additionally, many nuclear sites, including Calvert Cliffs, are large enough to handle the construction of several more reactors. At Calvert Cliffs, the old reactors are scheduled to be decommissioned by 2034. I wouldn't be surprised to see that extended by a few years. But in the meantime, Constellation could build two more beyond the one that is planned, decommission the old ones, and the net effect would be increase electricity generation from that one site three-fold.

I was looking at the nuclear industry's website and noticed that there are currently at least 33 new nuclear reactors in the works in the United States that will generate roughly 50GW of electricity, which is about a 55% increase over the 92GW currently generated.

I'm hoping that this is a trend.


sitetest

36 posted on 07/24/2008 8:40:16 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: thackney

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5369610
“France has 58 nuclear power plants like this, which meet 80 percent of its total electricity needs and allow it to export power to Britain, ...”

No reason why The U.S. can’t do the same ( I mean if the Democrat party and the media are beaten and stopped then we can do that).


37 posted on 07/24/2008 8:40:22 AM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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To: rurgan

Your right GM makes 19 natural gas autos however none in the states.


38 posted on 07/24/2008 8:41:46 AM PDT by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: sitetest
I'm hoping that this is a trend.

I hope the same.

39 posted on 07/24/2008 8:46:51 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: rface

bump


40 posted on 07/24/2008 8:53:10 AM PDT by gibsosa
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To: rface

“they probably wouldn’t want the “Hard Copy” Denver Post readers to see this.]]”

Yeah, because their liberal subscribers would cancel.

Senator Salazar of Colorado is proud of the fact that he has effectively prevented the development of oil shale on BLM lands.


41 posted on 07/24/2008 8:56:55 AM PDT by popdonnelly (Boycott Washington D.C. until they allow gun ownership)
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To: rface

Hey, Orrin. Try to tell this to that crapweasel colleague of yours, Ken Salazar. He has been the main roadblock to shale exploration in Colorado.


42 posted on 07/24/2008 9:00:37 AM PDT by princeofdarkness (Barack Hussein Obama- The Only Candidate Who Makes John Kerry Look Steadfast and Principled.)
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To: edzo4

I knew of the use of fly ash in concrete but not the level, a good way to make use of an otherwise waste product. How does the higher use in Europe affect the quality of the concrete? If at all? For certain better in concrete than landfills.


43 posted on 07/24/2008 9:25:56 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: pallis
Shell Oil has is the leader in oil shale technology. Shell have been testing in Colorado for the last decade or so and have spent huge amounts of money in R & D. Unfortunately, Governor Ritter and Senator Salazar have made it clear that as long as they are in power, Shell will not be allowed to process oil shale in Colorado.

After Ritter drove the nail into Shell's Colorado Oil Shale coffin, Shell made a deal with Jordon to extract oil from their oil shale. IIRC, Shell is also positioning itself for an oil shale operation in China.

As we all know, only energy produced and consumed in the United States produces greenhouse gases, so it is completely understandable why all carbon based energy production in the United States must be banned. The sooner the better. /sarc

44 posted on 07/24/2008 11:14:57 AM PDT by goldfinch
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To: rurgan
How about this:

Nuclear for electricity as the semi-exclusive energy source for electricity (including plug-in electric cars)

Coal for coal to oil liquefaction and the balance of our electricity needs

Oil Shale only for petroleum.

Natural gas for home heating and cars

Hydro for electricity

Wind, solar, etc for higher priced electricity to be sold to all of the greenies (rationed of course)

45 posted on 07/24/2008 2:49:33 PM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: BlueMondaySkipper; All

This sounds really good:

It’s time we all sent this plan to Congress, the President, media and talk show hosts in emails:

Nuclear for electricity as the semi-exclusive energy source for electricity (including plug-in electric cars)

Coal for coal to oil liquefaction and the balance of our electricity needs

(2 trillion barrels of oil) in Oil Shale only for petroleum.

Natural gas for home heating and cars


46 posted on 08/04/2008 2:41:02 PM PDT by rurgan (socialism doesn't work. Government is the problem not the solution to our problems.)
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