Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Darryl Hannah Do Your Homework

Alberta Oil Sands are getting a dirty name. Darryl Hannah, Al Gore and Schwarzenegger are all champions of low-carbon fuel standards aimed at cutting imports from places like Alberta. They also see ethanol as the oil of the future but whether this wonder gas is really that wonderful is unclear.

Does it require less energy to produce ethanol?

Independent study by Michigan State University MSU shows that there is 56% more energy in a gallon of ethanol than it takes to produce it. The available energy from ethanol is much higher than the input energy for producing ethanol.

Or More?

The fossil energy expended during production alone...easily outweighs the consumable energy in the end product."".... those who think using the "green" fuel will reduce fossil fuel consumption are deluding themselves -- and the federal government's practice of subsidizing ethanol by offering tax exemptions to oil refiners who buy it is a waste of money. Tad Patzek UC Berkeley Geoengineering Professor

Either way at the moment fossil fuel is still necessary and Alberta is the safest place to get it.

Some truths from Financial Post Writer Claudia Cattaneo:

-that if it weren't for Canada's oil, Americans would have to depend even more on Venezuela, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to fuel their tanks, while waiting -- and waiting for other sources such as biofuels and wind power to save the day;

-that Canada's oilsands business is doing more than most American motorists to reduce its carbon footprint;

-that Canada's oilsands industry is growing because that's what Americans have asked for;

-that light, sweet oil is a vanishing energy source worldwide;

-that Canada's oil is sold to the United States at market prices without strings; and

-that Americans, the top consumers of energy in the world, are hardly in a position to lecture Canadians on the environment or to criticize how Canadians make a living.

I drive economically or better yet walk and ride a bicycle, I recycle and I do my best to help the environment BUT I am not deluded that I can give up fossil fuels.

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