Alternative Fuels on the Fly

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The search for alternative transportation fuels just got a little easier.

The U.S. Department of Energy, now headed by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, has rolled out an “Alternative Fueling Station Locator.” In other words, if you’re driving a vehicle that runs on biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas or propane, this tool can help you find it .

The locator uses Google Maps and works with cell phones, Blackberrys and PDAs.

The locator looks pretty “bare bones” at first. But type in a ZIP code or city and state, then select a fuel, and it gives you dots on a map and a list of stations. Depending on what you select, you’ll see what’s lacking when it comes to alternative fuel infrastructure in the U.S.

For instance, there are a five places to fill up on biodiesel listed in Northern Michigan, and zero for hydrogen. Check out your city and state to see what pops up.

The locator isn’t perfect. It listed a site in California during a search for “electric” in Northern Michigan. So it behooves travelers to call ahead, and check out resources from trade organizations like the National Biodiesel Board and the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.

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  1. We need to do everything in our power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.We have so much available to use such as wind and solar as well as technologies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. There could be no better investment in than to invest in energy independence. Create clean cheap energy,create millions of BADLY needed new green jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year did serious damage to our society and economy. Record numbers of jobs and homes have been lost due to the direct impact on our economy.Oil is finite.We are using it globally at the rate of 2 X faster than new oil is being discovered. Added to the strain on our supplies foreign countries are bursting in populations and becoming modern.China and India alone are expected to add another 3 million vehicles to their highways in the next 2 decades. I just read a fantastic book called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now by Jeff Wilson.Great Book!

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