Since enactment of the nation’s first state mandate for nearly all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain a small percentage of biodiesel, there was always some uncertainty whether or not production facilities would be built to meet the goal in the law. Language in the law would have allowed the mandate to never take effect unless the in-state production reached 8,000,000 gallons per year. With the opening of one plant in December and two more under construction, the mandate is expected to come into force at the end of June 2005.
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NOTE: Article originally published October 2002.
Cruising the Ethanol Highway Hybrid cars using plant-based fuel and electricity could save huge amounts of gas. Hydrogen is no answer now. by David Morris Originally published in the Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2004 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared his support for a “hydrogen highway.” By 2010 he wants hydrogen fueling stations on all… Continue reading
Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil by David Morris Originally published in Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 9, 2004 Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President Bush announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the Union Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, “It is a goal… Continue reading
In January 2004, we published this report by David Morris describing a promising domestic energy strategy that relies on biofuels and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) as a solution moving the U.S. towards energy independence.The idea of a hydrogen economy has burst like a supernova over the energy policy landscape, mesmerizing us with its possibilities while blinding us to its weaknesses. Such a fierce spotlight on hydrogen is pushing more promising strategies into the shadows.
The Hybrid Highway The hydrogen-fueled transit vision being peddled in Washington and Sacramento obscures a more achievable alternative. by David Morris Originally published in Mother Jones, January/February 2004 For the first time in history, California and Washington may be on the same page when it comes to transportation. That is wonderful or worrisome depending on… Continue reading
The Ethanol Glass Is Still Only Half Full by David Morris originally published in Ethanol Today, September 2003 The ethanol industry is alive and well. By the middle of next year demand could exceed 3 billion gallons. As New York, Connecticut and other states phase out MTBE demand could surpass 4 billion gallons by 2007…. Continue reading
This October 2001 paper by David Morris looks at how plant matter must be an important element in a sustainable economy because it is the only renewable resource from which we can fashion physical products. In the next few months and years we will be making decisions at the local, state, national and international level that will channel tens, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars of money into certain areas and markets. We are changing the rules.
One of the most controversial issues relating to ethanol is the question of what environmentalists call the “net energy” of ethanol production. Simply put, is more energy used to grow and process the raw material into ethanol than is contained in the ethanol itself? In 1992, ILSR addressed this question. Our report, based on actual energy consumption data from farmers and ethanol plant operators, was widely disseminated and its methodology has been imitated by a number of other researchers. This paper updates the data in that original report and addresses some of the concerns that some reviewers of the original report expressed. Continue reading