One of the more solid tenets of Big Oil dogma has always been that carbon pricing, whether a simple tax or a market-based cap-and-trade system, is terrible and conservatives must stand in unison against it. Daily Caller reporter Michael Bastach, a former Koch Institute Intern, confirmed this recently: “This vote against a carbon tax in the (American
Imagine paying over $300 for a gallon of gas. That was essentially what Exxon was paying in 1989 when their oil tanker, Valdez, split open and released over 10 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska. The cleanup alone is estimated to have cost roughly $2.5 billion and settlements over $1.1 billion. Divide $3.6 billion by 10 million gallons and Exxon paid well over $300 a gallon for oil they never even sold at the pump. Include all the bad PR and the total cost of the whole incident could easily double.
If current estimates are correct about BP’s monster oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico then there is roughly 5 to 6 million gallons of crude floating around in need of some immediate attention. And immediate is the key word because statistics show that the cost to clean up a gallon of oil on land can run 10 to 30 times more than it does at sea.
So what should BP do? Wait and hope the booms hold and the oil never makes it to land. But when it does, they can expect to start paying over $300 a gallon. This wait and hope is not the answer. The answer is in the backs, equipment and know-how of the Gulf area fisherman.
Algae biofuels are receiving more and more attention in the media and from the Obama administration. Evidence of this can be seen through increasing number of algae related stories in the news as well as several recent actions by the administration, most important of which is the U.S. Department of Energy awarding millions of dollars in research grants for the study of algae .
Recent government grants like this in addition to many private organizations like Exxon investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the future of algae fuels have only added to the drive of many small companies looking to develop the best way to grow algae. Many of these organizations have decided on bioreactor growth systems and are looking at either using artificial or natural lighting to maximize the growth of algae.
However, one company is taking more of an “all of the above” approach in developing an algae growth system.
Does that headline grab you? If not, these numbers should:
If that has not grabbed your attention yet, consider that in January of this year, Continental Airlines completed a test flight using a biofuel mixture, which included fuel derived from algae. The test flight yielded a 1.1 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to a jet engine using traditional jet fuel.
That isn’t exactly a great leap forward, but achieving incremental increases in fuel efficiency coupled with the latest engine technology, as well as use of new materials in aircraft production, such as the Boeing 787, could signal a dynamic shift for the airline industry.
As a continuation of my post from Monday (What is CleanTech… and, is it really an “industry?”), my thesis continues to be it is not an industry, but CleanTech is indeed a “movement” or a shift in business thinking that will allow for some very new and creative businesses solutions to emerge. Today I expand into the first of the three pillars (environment, energy, and international cooperation/legislation) that will increasingly bring all business sectors together and drive them to innovate and incorporate clean technologies… or, not at our species’ peril.
Not unlike bacteria, humans continue to produce (and reproduce) until they have reached an unsustainable peak. Evidence of this is the persistent need for expansion as was seen in the Roman Empire; or more starkly, the rapid decline of the Mayan culture. While the recent financial turbulence may not have long-term effects on overall population growth, as we project our consumption rate of our available resources and crowd into the space we have left to grow into, it has become increasingly apparent that our environment is a very real constraint to continued unbridled growth.