Monday, June 16, 2008

Tired of hearing about the rise in the price of petrol? Sick of being over the barrel to greedy oil companies?Well, it looks like someone is finally exercising common sense, though it may well be a day late and a dollar short. Let's hope not. Our political leaders and our press are not doing much to help us, and that includes the do-gooder lefties at the Observer et al. That paper is one of the few in the UK that comes in a plastic wrap, but of course it's an ethical plastic wrap, maybe blessed by Rabbi Lucy Siegle. And of course the 4x4s they advertise are ethical 4x4s. Don't mind me if I point out that driving one of these is tantamount to treason, as they force more consumption of petrol, driving the price up and bringing on disaster. This week in the UK the military was on call to guard petrol supplies. Lucy Siegle might take note. She might also take note of the following ethanol companies that are budding in the US, where they are finally listening to the fact that we can use plant waste and not the edible parts. Maybe they read this blog. Remy Chevalier kindly sent me an article by Katie Fehrenbacher who made a list of such companies, and so I will excerpt her work here. Well done Ms. Fehrenbacher!
There are over a dozen companies racing to build ethanol plants in the US, which will use waste material and plant byproducts and woody energy plants. The Twenty in Ten Initiative aims to increase renewable and alternative fuel use in transportation to the equivalent of 35 billion gallons of ethanol a year by 2017.
Companies working on this include:
Verenium, which is in the final stages of testing and evaluating its demo facility, which can produce 1.4 million gallons a year. Japanese companies are using their knowledge to build a similar plant in Osaka. Verenium is publicly traded, Nasdaq symbol VRNM.
Coskata, which is producing ethanol in its labs and plans to build a pilot project in Madison, Pennsylvania, with the aim of producing 100 millions gallons a year in an undisclosed location.
Range Fuels is expecting to produce 100 millions gallons a year in Soperton, Georgia, with plans to finish construction in 2009. Range Fuel uses a thermochemical process to turn biomass into synthetic gas and then fuel.
POET presently works with corn based ethanol, but is working on using other plant sources. It envisions producing 125 million gallons a year, 25 million of which will be cellulosic ethanol, for which they expect their faclities to be finished by 2011. It is located in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
Mascoma is working with the University of Tennessee to build a demo refinery in Monroe County that will use switchgrass that will produce 5 millions gallons a year. It also has operations in other states.
ZeaChem has a test facility in Meno Park, California, where it has brewed ethanol from poplar wood. It works with GreenWood Resources, a forest manager. A test facility that will produce 1.5 million gallons a year is under development in Portland, Oregon.
SunEthanol aims to have a pilot plant producing by 2009. Former CEO Jef Sharp says it is working with ICM and also planning a commercial scale plant with an undisclosed partner.
BlueFire Ethanol has in the works a 3.1 million gallon per year facility in Lancaster, California. It is working with the US government on a second project that will convert waste from landfills, which is projected to turn out 17 million gallons of ethanol per year. It trades on OTC as BFRE.
Abengoa Bioenergy opened a pilot plant in York, Nebraska in 2007. Plans are under way to build ethanol faclities in Hugoton and Colwich, Kansas, the two of which are expected to produce 60 million gallons a year.
Iogen is a Canadian company building a refinery in Saskatchewan, and has also received funding from the US government to build in the US, possibly in Shelley, Idaho, where they expect to turn out 18 million gallons a year.This, however, may be on hold.
SunOpta is another Canadian company, it has a long history in the ethanol business, but continues to delay its financial statements. It claimed last year that it has several pilot facilities operational in the US funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratories. Trades on Nasdaq as STKL.
KL Process Design Group opened a wood-fibre ethanol refinery earlier this year in Upton, Wyoming.
Cleantech Biofuels, based in St. Louis Missouri, is working with Hazen Research to produce ethanol from solid waste in Golden, Colorado. Trades on the OTC as CLTH.
American Energy Enterprises (AEEE) is located in Brookfield, Connecticut, in which state it is hoping to produce 24-50 million gallons a year in the near future, and upgrade to 100 million using a process called "dilute acid hydrolysis."
We might here note that if Henry Ford had built his ethanol plants in the '30s, using hemp and farms wastes, we would not be in the mess we are in today. What transpired was a tragedy, as greed took over. The Secretary of the Treasury for many years was Andrew Mellon, also the richest man in America. Sounds like a plutocracy to me, and who can deny some amount of conspiracy? Mellon's family and friends worked hard to suppress hemp and ethanol consumption was made illegal. His nephew-in-law was Harry Anslinger, who was appointed to an agency specially created for him - the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. And just to help things along, the Hearst press ran articles that were bigoted and untrue which associated hemp with racially motivated rapes and murder.
As one of the fastest growing biomass plants in the world, the present US government might well revive the '40s Hemp for Victory campaign and come to the aid of its citizens - but it is not, and again, who can deny that there is some amount of conspiracy here? Bush is not doing the job, and the Arabs, who some claim are all terrorists, are growing rich. Since Bush got in the price of crude soared from $30 - $140+. This allows for options traders to make a killing, literally, and please do connect some dots. There is no defence, except of course for the stupidity one, which one might accept to a degree.
If we let right wing and left wing extermists talk us out of energy development, we will be in an awful state very soon. Listen to moderates who talk sense, and who are not tied in to oil companies or messed up 'climate change' theories. Both those sides are wasting our time, our resources, and our lives.

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