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CO2 Pipelines and Ethanol – Entropy Factories

By Energy Rant No Comments
Now and then, a seemingly dumb idea flies through my neocortex like a bat at dusk. Bats have Mr. Magoovian eyesight and rely on radar technology to catch bugs. They are silent in flight. A few weeks ago, one such metaphorical flying rodent got too close for me to ignore. That bat was carbon dioxide pipelines used to sequester CO2. This could be the dumbest idea I have investigated. The pipeline would carry liquid CO2 from ethanol, fertilizer, and “other agricultural industrial plants” from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, to be sequestered under North Dakota or Illinois. Developers…
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Petroleum Fascinations and Price Drivers

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week, we explored ethanol carbon content, carbon caps and markets, and refiner profits on gasoline and diesel fuel. Wasn’t it fantastic stuff? This week, we describe precisely how the fluids you use to fuel and lubricate your vehicle are manufactured, what drives their costs, and how they impact efficiency. Feeling tingly? Let’s go! Diverging Gasoline and Diesel Costs – Why? Referring back to the article I mentioned last week from The Wall Street Journal: Gas Prices are Falling, but Refiners Keep Making More, believe me when I say, you are getting more analysis and insight from this blog than…
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GHG and NG

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff One Comment
E Source reported last week that green house gas (GHG) emissions are falling fast in this country, as shown in the chart nearby.  Emissions tanked with the economy in 2009, and as I recall, the summer of 2009 was also cool, resulting in lower electricity sales.  Even so, when adjusted for economic output, GHGs are falling fast. The reason for this is rather obvious if one follows the electricity market.  It is much easier to get a natural gas power plant approved for construction as compared to a coal-fired plant.  I have not done the analysis myself, but it is reported…
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Evil V Clueless

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Stimulus, Sustainability, Tax Stuff 2 Comments
This week I have an I-can’t-take-it-anymore topic: gasoline prices.  It is not the gasoline prices that chap me, but the pouting, mud throwing, food fights, whining and probably worst of all the stupid solutions to the so-called problems. Gasoline is like any other product or service that is a must-have in society and therefore, like electricity and natural gas, consumers feel entitled to all they want at a negligible price.  And by the way, why all the hype right now?  It’s around $3.50 per gallon.  Being an election year obviously feeds the flames and I guess there just isn’t enough…
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Machete to Sustainability

By Sustainability No Comments
This Geography guy really needs to get out of the classroom and the city for that matter once in a while.  Modern agriculture is probably demagogued and more poorly understood than energy efficiency, and since this opinion piece addresses both I will dispense with its shredding. I grew up on the farm 30 years ago in southern MN and northern IA, and I stay in touch spending a week each year reliving my childhood farming days.  My elder brothers still run the place.  They grow maybe 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans and raise and market maybe 25,000 hogs per…
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