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Who's Fueling Whom? - Why the biofuels movement could run out of gas
Smithsonian ^ | November 2007 | Richard Conniff

Posted on 11/24/2007 7:19:51 PM PST by neverdem

I first started to think that the biofuels movement might be slipping into la-la land when I spotted a news item early this year about a 78-foot powerboat named Earthrace. In the photographs, the boat looked like a cross between Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose and a Las Vegas showgirl. Skipper Pete Bethune, a former oil industry engineer from New Zealand, was trying to set a round-the-world speed record running his 540-horsepower engine solely on biodiesel.

Along the way, he spread the word that, as one report put it, "it's easy to be environmentally friendly, even in the ostentatious world of powerboating."

Well, it depends on what you mean by "easy." Bethune's biodiesel came mostly from soybeans. But "one of the great things about biodiesel," he declared, is that "it can be made from so many different sources." To prove it, his suppliers had concocted a dollop of the fuel for Earthrace from human fat, including some liposuctioned from the intrepid skipper's own backside.

Given the global obesity epidemic, that probably seemed like a sustainable resource. You could almost imagine NASCAR fans lining up for a chance to personally power Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Chevy Monte Carlo into the tunnel turn at Pocono. But biofuel skeptics were seeing warning flags everywhere.

Over the past few years, biofuels have acquired an almost magical appeal for environmentalists and investors alike. This new energy source (actually as old as the first wood-fueled campfire) promises to relieve global warming and win back America's energy independence: instead of burning fossil fuels such as coal or oil, which fill the atmosphere with the carbon packed away during thousands of years of plant and animal growth, the idea is to extract energy only from recent harvests. Where we now pay larcenous prices to OPEC, we'd pay our own farmers and foresters instead.

Of course, biofuels also produce carbon dioxide, which is the major cause of global warming. But unlike fossil fuels, which don't grow back, corn, soybeans, palm oil, grasses, trees and other biofuel feedstocks can recapture, through photosynthesis, the massive quantities of carbon dioxide they release. This makes biofuels seem like a good way to start bringing the carbon ledger back into balance. Other factors have made the promise of biofuels even more tantalizing.

• Ethanol producers in this country receive a tax credit of 51 cents a gallon, on top of billions of dollars in direct corn subsidies. (In 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available, it was $9 billion.) In Europe biodiesel subsidies can approach $2 a gallon.

• Some biofuel entrepreneurs are coining energy, and profits, from stuff we now pay to get rid of: methane from municipal dumps, wood chips piling up around sawmills, manure from livestock facilities, and paper-mill sludge that now usually ends up being trucked to a landfill.

• With a little planning, proponents say, biofuels could give us not just energy but wildlife too. Switchgrass and other potential feedstocks provide good habitat for birds and other animals between harvests.

All this, and in the minds of people like Pete Bethune, we get to keep our muscle boats too.

So what's the hitch? Partly it's that bit about doing a little planning. The move to biofuels thus far looks more like a stampede than a considered program to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. Critics in the financial community have used words like "gold rush" and even the dreaded "bubble," fretting that "biofool" investors are putting too much money into new refineries, which could go bust as markets and subsidies shift or as technologies and feedstocks become obsolete.

Betting the farm on biofuels has become commonplace: this year alone American farmers planted an additional 15 million acres in corn, and they were expecting one of the largest harvests in history. The share of the corn crop going into ethanol is also increasing pell-mell, from about 5 percent ten years ago to 20 percent in 2006, with the likelihood that it could go to 40 percent in the next few years.

Not surprisingly, the price of corn doubled over the last two years. This past January, angry consumers took to the streets in Mexico City to protest the resulting surge in the price of tortillas, a staple food. In China, rising feed costs boosted pork prices 29 percent, prompting the government to back off its plan to produce more biofuels. Even titans of agribusiness worried out loud that we might be putting fuel for our cars ahead of food for our bellies.

The chief executive at Tyson Foods said the poultry producer was spending an extra $300 million on feed this year and warned of food-price shocks rippling through the market. Cargill's chief predicted that reallocation of farmland due to biofuel incentives could combine with bad weather to cause food shortages around the world. Cattle ranchers and environmentalists, unlikely bedfellows, both called for rethinking those incentives.

Not that anybody seems to have given them much thought in the first place. One problem with current subsidies is that they act as if all biofuels were created equal—while some may actually be worse for the environment than conventional gasoline. For instance, corn ethanol on average produces about 13 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, according to Daniel Kammen, a public policy professor at the University of California at Berkeley. But when ethanol refineries burn coal to provide heat for fermentation, emissions are up to 20 percent worse for the environment than gasoline. Yet that ethanol still earns the full subsidy.

In the United States, state and federal biofuel subsidies cost about $500 for every metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions they avoid, according to a study by the Global Subsidies Initiative, an environmentally oriented nonprofit. We could pay somebody else to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, via the European carbon emissions trading market, for about $28 a ton.

But don't biofuel subsidies buy us energy independence? President Bush, a former oil executive, declared last year that we are "addicted to oil." In this year's State of the Union speech, he set a national goal of producing 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017. The next morning, C. Ford Runge, who studies food and agriculture policy at the University of Minnesota, calculated that this would require 108 percent of the current crop if it all came from corn. Switching to corn ethanol also risks making us dependent on a crop that's vulnerable to drought and disease. When the weather turned dry in the Southeast this summer, for instance, some farmers lost up to 80 percent of their corn.

In a recent Foreign Affairs article, "How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor," Runge and co-author Benjamin Senauer noted that growing corn requires large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides and fuel. It contributes to massive soil erosion, and it is the main source, via runoff in the Mississippi River, of a vast "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. (This year the dead zone, expanding with the corn crop, was the third-largest on record.) The article made the switch to corn ethanol sound about as smart as switching from heroin to cystal meth.

Biofuel subsidies might make sense, other critics say, if they favored "cellulosic" ethanol instead—fuel that comes from breaking down the cellulose in the fibrous parts of the plant, such as the corn stalk instead of the kernel. That wouldn't put direct pressure on food prices, and might even reduce them by providing a market for agricultural waste products. Cellulosic technology is also the key to exploiting such nonfood plants as switchgrass, and it promises an improvement of more than 80 percent in greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional gasoline. But while an experimental cellulosic ethanol plant is now operating in Canada, and several others are being built in this country, most experts say it will take years for the technology to become economically competitive. There are also political realities. "Corn and soybean interests haven't spent 30 years paying campaign bills" for national politicians, says Runge, "to give the game away to grass."

Even if cellulosic ethanol becomes practical, biofuels will provide at best only part of the solution to the problems of global warming and energy supply. That's because biofuels will never match the one thing fossil fuels do brilliantly: concentrating solar energy. A gallon of gasoline represents the power of the sun gathered up and locked away by about 196,000 pounds of plants and animals. To produce all the petroleum, coal and natural gas on earth, it took an entire planet's worth of plants and animals growing and dying over about 700 million years.

Switching to biofuels means getting our energy only from what we can grow in the present day, and that's not much. In the course of a year, an acre of corn yields only as little as 60 gallons of ethanol, after you subtract the fossil fuels used to cultivate, harvest and refine the crop.

So let's flash forward five years. Twice a month you swing by the biofuels station to fill the 25-gallon tank in your sporty flex-fuel econo-car. (Pretend you've kissed the SUV goodbye.) Even this modest level of energy consumption will require a ten-acre farm to keep you on the highway for a year.

That might not sound too bad. But there are more than 200 million cars and light trucks on American roads, meaning they would require two billion acres' worth of corn a year (if they actually used only 50 gallons a month). The country has only about 800 million acres of potential farmland.

What if we managed to break out of the corn ethanol trap and instead set aside 100 million acres for high-yielding cellulosic ethanol crops? That's an attractive option to almost everyone outside the corn industry, including such environmental groups as the Natural Resources Defense Council. But it would still produce only about an eighth of the nation's projected energy consumption in 2025, according to a University of Tennessee study.

One other problem with the rush to "greener" fuels is that, despite the biodiversity happy talk, wildlife is already prominent among biofuel victims. Last year, for instance, farmers were protecting about 36 million acres through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which works to restore degraded lands, reduce soil erosion and maintain wildlife habitat. CRP land is what biofuel proponents often have their eyes on when they talk about producing biofuels and biodiversity by growing switchgrass. But farmers look at the bottom line, sizing up the $21 per acre they net with the CRP payment (to take a representative example from southwest Minnesota) against the $174 they can now earn growing corn. And they have begun pulling land out of CRP and putting it back into production.

Other countries are also rapidly surrendering habitat to biofuel. In Indonesia and Malaysia, companies are bulldozing millions of acres of rain forest to produce biodiesel from oil palm, an imported species. The United Nations recently predicted that 98 percent of Indonesia's forests will be destroyed within the next 15 years, partly to grow palm oil. Many of the new plantations will be on the island of Borneo, a mother lode of biological diversity.

Apart from the effect on wildlife, critics say Indonesia's forests are one of the worst places to grow biofuels, because they stand on the world's richest concentration of peat, another nonrenewable fuel. When peat dries out or is burned to make way for a plantation, it releases huge quantities of carbon dioxide. Indonesia, despite its undeveloped economy, already ranks as the world's third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, after China and the United States. When you add the peat effect into the equation, according to the conservation group Wetlands International, Indonesian palm oil biodiesel is up to eight times worse for the environment than gasoline.

Oh, and one final irony. The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that because of the way U.S. biofuel laws are written, foreign tankers loaded with Indonesian biodiesel can stop briefly at an American port, blend in a splash of regular petroleum diesel and qualify for a U.S. subsidy on every gallon. It's called "splash and dash," because the tankers generally push on to Europe to collect additional subsidies there. All in the name of greener fuels.

None of this means we should give up on biofuels. But we need to stop being dazzled by the word and start looking closely at the realities before blind enthusiasm leads us into economic and environmental catastrophes. We also should not let biofuels distract us from other remedies. Conservation and efficiency improvements may not sound as sexy as biofuels. But they are typically cheaper, faster and better at dealing with the combined problems of global warming and uncertain energy supply. They also call on what used to be the defining American traits of thrift and ingenuity.

And what about Pete Bethune, gallivanting around the planet in his powerboat and telling us it's easy to be environmentally friendly in this newfangled world? I think he must be kidding. Our brief infatuation with biofuels has already taught us, with every high-priced tortilla, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Richard Conniff, a longtime contributor to the magazine, is a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biofuel; biofuels; energy; farming; globalwarming; science
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1 posted on 11/24/2007 7:19:54 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Harness flatulence.


2 posted on 11/24/2007 7:23:42 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: neverdem

as long as they’re talking about switchgrass, algae, sewage, sawdust or grassclippings—biofuels is ok. Soybeans and corn are not so nice.


3 posted on 11/24/2007 7:27:46 PM PST by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: neverdem
This makes biofuels seem like a good way to start bringing the carbon ledger back into balance. >>>>>>>>>>>>>

The law of entropy suggests that its not a matter of balance of the carbon ledger. There is no carbon ledger.

The amoount of carbon in the environment is always the same, it just takes on different forms.During the cretaceous period, Carbon Dioxide made up more tha 20% of the atmosphere, but life thrived even more than today.

Global warming is driven by the sun. Anyone who does not use that for aa departure point, is basically not a scientist, but a politician.

Biomass is a myth, simply because it cannot be accurately measured or quantified.

4 posted on 11/24/2007 7:32:12 PM PST by Candor7 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baghdad_(1258))
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To: neverdem

Interesting article except for the fact that th author seems to have bought into the global warming bull shit, hook, line and sinker.


5 posted on 11/24/2007 7:36:01 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: neverdem
Richard Conniff

Should stick to writing about animals and etc, because he doesn't know jack about this subject.

6 posted on 11/24/2007 7:41:31 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: neverdem

exporting corn at 3.80 when wholesale
gasoline is 2.30, is insane.

if the US does not convert the corn into alcohol,
some other country will.


7 posted on 11/24/2007 7:44:23 PM PST by riored
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To: kinoxi
To prove it, his suppliers had concocted a dollop of the fuel for Earthrace from human fat

oh, this is rich. I was going to post something about a "slippery slope..."

8 posted on 11/24/2007 7:46:08 PM PST by the invisib1e hand
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To: neverdem

“One other problem with the rush to “greener” fuels is that, despite the biodiversity happy talk, wildlife is already prominent among biofuel victims. Last year, for instance, farmers were protecting about 36 million acres through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which works to restore degraded lands, reduce soil erosion and maintain wildlife habitat. CRP land is what biofuel proponents often have their eyes on when they talk about producing biofuels and biodiversity by growing switchgrass. But farmers look at the bottom line, sizing up the $21 per acre they net with the CRP payment (to take a representative example from southwest Minnesota) against the $174 they can now earn growing corn. And they have begun pulling land out of CRP and putting it back into production.”
______________________________________________________________

Get ready for the next Dust Bowl.


9 posted on 11/24/2007 8:05:27 PM PST by sinanju
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To: Graybeard58

“Interesting article except for the fact that th author seems to have bought into the global warming bull shit, hook, line and sinker.”

______________________________________________________________

Not to mention the gratuitous stab at NASCAR fans.


10 posted on 11/24/2007 8:06:42 PM PST by sinanju
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To: org.whodat

He apparently has bought every argument against biofuels hook, line, and sinker. And yes Richard, we can even produce energy by concentrating the sun’s rays. Large fields that do this have existed for decades but have now experience rapid growth.

My bet is with the engineers and scientists who will find a way to make a better product once a market for it exists.


11 posted on 11/24/2007 8:09:01 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: neverdem

Wonder what the social and economic cosequences would be if they found out marijuana plants made biofuel?


12 posted on 11/24/2007 8:16:44 PM PST by umgud (the profound is only so to those that it is)
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To: neverdem

Biofuel subsidies might make sense, other critics say, if they favored “cellulosic” ethanol instead—fuel that comes from breaking down the cellulose in the fibrous parts of the plant, such as the corn stalk instead of the kernel. That wouldn’t put direct pressure on food prices, and might even reduce them by providing a market for agricultural waste products. Cellulosic technology is also the key to exploiting such nonfood plants as switchgrass,...........

************************

Uhhh. *knock knock* Capitalist noobs.

Growing switchgrass uses land just like growing corn. Switching from corn to switchgrass will have exactly the same effect on the price of food.


13 posted on 11/24/2007 8:19:49 PM PST by Hunterite
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To: neverdem

14 posted on 11/24/2007 8:24:55 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: neverdem
his suppliers had concocted a dollop of the fuel for Earthrace from human fat, including some liposuctioned from the intrepid skipper's own backside.

YIKES!

Don't even begin to TRY and figure out how much energy it takes to produce a pound of that stuff.

I'll bet it makes corn to ethanol seem like a perpetual energy source.

15 posted on 11/24/2007 8:29:04 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: P-40

> My bet is with the engineers and scientists who will find a way to make a better product once a market for it exists.

We do not design and build something because we can. That is the surest way to lose money there is. We design and build when it makes economic sense and there is a market for it.


16 posted on 11/24/2007 8:30:26 PM PST by BuffaloJack (Before the government can give you a dollar it must first take it from another American)
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To: umgud
Wonder what the social and economic cosequences would be if they found out marijuana plants made biofuel?

Never going to happen, the most efficient plant for making biodiesel is rape seed, what is called canola oil. All you need to do is squeeze it to remove the oil, and you have a produce that can be used as animal feed left over.

17 posted on 11/24/2007 8:39:33 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Graybeard58

Interesting article except for the fact that th author seems to have bought into the global warming bull shit, hook, line and sinker.

*************************

Yup. There is no global warming.


18 posted on 11/24/2007 8:41:52 PM PST by Hunterite
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To: P-40

My bet is with the engineers and scientists who will find a way to make a better product once a market for it exists.

*********************

A market doesn’t exist because it is expensive. “engineers and scientists” can’t wave a magic wand and make it all better for us uneducated country folk. And neither will throwing money at “engineers and scientists” give the magic wand for to wave and make it all better for us uneducated country folk.


19 posted on 11/24/2007 8:44:00 PM PST by Hunterite
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To: Hunterite

How about kelp from the ocean?


20 posted on 11/24/2007 8:47:12 PM PST by B4Ranch (( "Freedom is not free, but don't worry the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share." ))
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To: B4Ranch

How about kelp from the ocean?

******************

Let me consult with my crystal ball.


21 posted on 11/24/2007 8:50:27 PM PST by Hunterite
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To: BuffaloJack
We design and build when it makes economic sense and there is a market for it.

We also do not pour billions of dollars into improving an existing product until it is proven that it will first sell.
22 posted on 11/24/2007 8:50:56 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: org.whodat
Should stick to writing about animals and etc, because he doesn't know jack about this subject.

Which implys that you know much more. This seems like a fairly well reasoned and reasearced piece. Anybody able to reason can see numerous problems with the current rush to burn food.

Your assertion would have more credibility if you gave at least one example of his apparent lack of knowledge on the subject. While your at it, can you tell us your personal interest, if any, in bio-fuels?

23 posted on 11/24/2007 8:52:22 PM PST by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: Hunterite
A market doesn’t exist because it is expensive.

I remember when launching something into space was a really big and expensive deal. Now it is relatively cheap. Why? There was a market for 'stuff in space' so engineers and scientists found out how to do it cheaply.
24 posted on 11/24/2007 8:53:14 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: neverdem
Remove the tax money and have people pay for biofuels at full cost.

We will talk about this topic, after that most important event happens....

25 posted on 11/24/2007 8:56:02 PM PST by Hunble
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To: neverdem

Little backyard operations with WVO and a bio-diesel “still” are worthy for the individual as the fuel is pretty much ....near free short a few more minutes of ones day to tend too the operation.

I have a frybrid.com system in my older diesel truck. I have a 100 gallon bed tank that has heaters in it that lets me use straight WVO I get from a local Mom & Pop Burger Joint. A series of pre filters I use get tossed in the dishwasher after a tank full or two and I drag em out before the heat /dry cycle melts em.......reinstall clean and fresh !

The 100 gallon bed tank negates the time spent filling the tank and I keep the OEM tank for regular diesel that I start and flush the WVO from the lines with before parking overnight or in cold temps.

I don;t make my own Bio-diesel with the little after market stills .....I just use the frybrid.com system .

The ethanol empires will never fly........it’s crap as is the idea !

........just my opinion of course.


26 posted on 11/24/2007 9:03:24 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos

Sounds cool!


27 posted on 11/24/2007 9:24:38 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Minn

He just stitched together a bunch of prefabricated arguments.


28 posted on 11/24/2007 9:26:27 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: Squantos
The ethanol empires will never fly........it’s crap as is the idea !

True, the author doesn't seem to be able to understand the difference between a true biofuel such as seed oil and making moonshine.

29 posted on 11/24/2007 9:29:26 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: Hunble

We can talk about this topic after the next 9/11.


30 posted on 11/24/2007 9:34:30 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40
We can talk about this topic after the next 9/11.

The next 9/11 event will be directed against the same people who have been against this war, and supported the enemy.

Next time, I will no longer give a damn!

31 posted on 11/24/2007 9:40:51 PM PST by Hunble
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To: P-40

I must have missed it. Just and how did getting a pound to orbit get cheaper?

Ex NASA engineer


32 posted on 11/24/2007 9:40:54 PM PST by John Jamieson
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To: John Jamieson

Are you trying to say that the cost of launching say, the first weather satellite, costs the same today as it did in 1974?


33 posted on 11/24/2007 9:42:43 PM PST by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: neverdem

Free after recoup of initial costs is always cool.....;O)


34 posted on 11/24/2007 9:44:23 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: ckilmer
Yep. I have no problem with them making biofuels from food that has passed through the alimentary canals of people, and other animals.

I do have a problem with them skipping that important step, driving up the cost of food across the board....

35 posted on 11/24/2007 9:47:27 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: neverdem

I forgot too add that local & state bean counters are trying to make regular diesel with a blue dye and ag / farm diesel with a red dye. To operate an POV without either or will get one a fine if they get their way in the next state legislature lynching of the innovator’s.

Seems if state doesn’t get their dime....it’s my crime if they get their way......


36 posted on 11/24/2007 9:51:20 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos

What kind of mileage numbers do you get burning WVO?


37 posted on 11/24/2007 9:59:33 PM PST by B4Ranch (( "Freedom is not free, but don't worry the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share." ))
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To: B4Ranch

The old 94 cummins 12 valve gets right at 17mpg . 2WD Clean little Dodge I use in warmer weather to go too and from work.....3 season ride. Winter is the 92 FJ80 , the 88 4x4 Toyota Pickup or the New Dodge 2500 4x4 that are all still original. I am looking for a wrecked newer dodge to salvage the 24v 5.9L cummins engine & drive train etc to make a project vehicle out of the underpowered FJ80. Seen a few folks do such recently and it’s something I want to do. Cummins Diesel in a FJ80 Toyota !


38 posted on 11/24/2007 10:08:51 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: neverdem

Tell Conniff the magic code word is INSULATION...


39 posted on 11/24/2007 10:13:43 PM PST by timer (n/0=n=nx0)
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To: Squantos

Hey Squantos,

Does that system of yours give off any odors?


40 posted on 11/24/2007 10:24:09 PM PST by SoConPubbie
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To: P-40
He just stitched together a bunch of prefabricated arguments.

Prefabricated? What does that mean? Well researched? You people critical of the author aren't looking so good. He doesn't know jack. His arguments are prefabricated. Can we get to some specifics on where he is in error? Not to say that he isn't, but you sure haven't shown it.

41 posted on 11/24/2007 10:26:53 PM PST by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: Hunterite
Could they make biofuel out of leaves from trees ?
42 posted on 11/24/2007 10:28:00 PM PST by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM .53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD.)
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To: Squantos
It reminds me of the revenuers/mafia demanding their cut. Ethyl alcohol is a commercial commodity used for more than just its euphoric effect that the "sin tax" is based upon. So they came up with the denatured alcohol, e.g. SDA 40, which is not taxed by the rate for alcohol that you can drink. It's adulturated with a chemical that makes you sick if you drink it.
43 posted on 11/24/2007 10:32:21 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: SoConPubbie

Not as noticeable as advertised........some folks say it smells like food. I think it just stinks like the diesel does...

I have steam cleaned the tank once in the year I have had it to inspect the system for rust as the tank was stell vs aluminum......but the system I have has one filter while filling the tank from a WVO waste trap. Then from the tank too my fuel line it has 3 more filters before it gets to the regular in line filter. I change or wash filters ever 10k. The truck had a filter relocation kit that makes it easy to do.


44 posted on 11/24/2007 10:36:32 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: neverdem

Agree........Well we always have drip gas right out of the pipe up here in the Panhandle of Texas.......runs good in an older flathead ford truck I have, hasn’t blowed up yet ! .......it’s free too !


45 posted on 11/24/2007 10:43:46 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: neverdem

I repeat: the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to lessen our need for oil is to allow everyone who can and wants to to telecommute.


46 posted on 11/24/2007 11:00:46 PM PST by fightinJAG ("Tell the truth. The Pajama People are watching you.")
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To: neverdem
It seems to me government has distorted the whole bio fuel issue by offering subsidies. Now capital and other resources are pouring into something that only makes economic sense because of those subsidies. That isn’t the path to economic success... It pulls those resources from other ventures that would be economically positive. So this is burning resources unproductively costing us all.
47 posted on 11/24/2007 11:10:06 PM PST by DB
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To: fightinJAG
I repeat: the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to lessen our need for oil is to allow everyone who can and wants to to telecommute.

That's fine for workers who can telecommute and do productive work. We need stuff to sell overseas, or our currency will crash.

48 posted on 11/24/2007 11:44:19 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

BioFuels in the form of corn stoves offers 60% savings with a payback on investment in 3 mos.

http://www.americanenergysystems.com/HeatCalculator/index.cfm


49 posted on 11/24/2007 11:51:58 PM PST by spanalot
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To: Prophet in the wilderness
Could they make biofuel out of leaves from trees ? ************************

50 posted on 11/25/2007 12:10:03 AM PST by Hunterite
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