Re: Black gold and mileage

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

I have to assume that when writing her articles Geology Professor Peters has absolutely no vested research support or financial sponsorship from oil/gas/shale/tar-sand or other mining/extraction/manufacturing interests. If she does, they should be made known to his readers.

Her message insists that stinky, smelly old oil is with us and the only way to go into the foreseeable future.  To back this up she quotes some misleading statistics about bio-fuels. It is true to say that it does not seem feasible to generate the quantities of these fuels to replace the current imported oil supplies at the moment.

Sadly, one thing the human race is going to have to get used to is that with an ever-growing world population its energy demands, wants, are going to have to be adapted to what is actually available, needs. This is unavoidable if we and our other global eco-components are going to flourish in the foreseeable future. The poor mileages she quotes when using E85, ethanol based Flex Fuel in his Jeep Cherokee have not been my experience with my 1999 Mazda, V6, B300 truck. When using regular gas, my mileage was about 24 mpg. When I started using E85 exclusively, just over two years ago, my average mileage has been just over 20 mpg. I do try to keep my driving speeds at 70 mph or lower.

Her next issue knocking American-sourced bio-fuels is that it takes coal/oil generated energy to manufacture it. True! At the moment. However we are only in Phase 1 in our nation’s efforts to wean itself off unsustainable imported energy/fuel dependence. The next phase will be when the energy for manufacture is provided by sustainable energy sources (solar/wind/tidal etc.) also. In fact that’s the underlying message for a build-up of a whole new US manufacturing base.

In the next phase’s farming and transportation of the bio-fuel sources will also be accomplished by bio-fuel/solar powered vehicles. Fertilizers for the bio-fuel crops will also be manufactured by capturing atmospheric nitrogen with solar powered electricity (Harber) Process, Germany WWI). Interestingly Continental Airlines has also just flown its very first commercial flight using algae derived bio-fuel. Exciting new research in the algae area is currently underway at both LANL and labs right there in Santa Fe.

So, let’s think about getting rid of stinky, smelly, expensive old foreign oil supplies and dirty coal ASAP. Instead, let’s get on with American engineered and researched Phases 2 …. 50 and develop the solar-based electricity/energy supplies and the necessary storage, delivery sources, more materials recycling and move towards solar-electricity powered and some bio-fueled manufacturing and transportation.

 Gerald B. Ansell