The was a minor kerfuffle last week as one blogger did the math and determined that the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry would fail CAFE fuel economy standards…
The vehicles owned by the Obama administration’s auto team were released in a list today by The Detroit News. While Detroit is focusing on the fact that the “Big Three” are underrepresented amongst the auto-owners on the federal task force, I just did some back-of-the-envelope math and made a shocking discovery…The federal task force fails CAFE standards.
I’d like to mention that both the CAFE and EPA ratings have very little to do with _actual_ fuel mileage (fleet or personal), and can be exceeded in nearly any car by anyone taking the initiative to practice simple “eco-driving” techniques.
Obama’s task force could track their actual fuel mileage using their existing cars on a website like FuelClinic [www.fuelclinic.com] and use the eco-driving techniques to show the nation the easily repeatable efficiency improvements _anyone_ can make – and it wouldn’t cost a dime.
Today’s economic doom-and-gloom pallet cleanser; a start-up biodiesel manufacturing company in El Paso Texas who just bought additional equipment to triple their biodiesel output, because they have more demand than they can currently meet.
Global Alternative Fuels, LLC of El Paso, Tex. has purchased an additional 10 million gallons of [biodiesel] capacity. Added to the existing 5 million gallon plant, Global Alternative Fuels is working to meet regional demand for sustainably produced biodiesel.
“El Paso is in a desert area, so we chose Greenline’s waterless biodiesel platform for our initial 5 million gallon plant,” said Carlos Guzman, Co-founder, President & COO of Global Alternative Fuels, LLC. “Once we discovered that 5 million gallons would not be enough to meet demand in our area, we asked Greenline to add another 10 million gallons of capacity…”
Global Alternative Fuels started producing biodiesel on January 3rd of this year and already has a need to increase capacity. “We have a buyer for every drop of fuel we make,” said Guzman. So, Greenline has begun work on increasing plant capacity to 15 million gallons and adding a feedstock blending unit. “The Greenline feedstock blending unit allows us to utilize multiple sustainable feedstocks including locally sourced animal tallow and Iowa soybean oil,” said Guzman.
Wow. That’s refreshing. :)
Fuelishness! Feed: Plug-In Tax Credits; Reducing Travel Intensity; Chu Doesn’t Know What to Do; The Electric Car Re-Thought
- Stimulus Bill Provides Major Increase in Plug-in Vehicle Purchase Credit Program : Under current law, a credit is available for each new qualified fuel cell vehicle, hybrid vehicle, advanced lean burn technology vehicle, and alternative fuel vehicle placed in service by a taxpayer during the taxable year. In general, the credit amount varies based on technology, weight, fuel efficiency, and other factors. The credit generally is available for vehicles purchased after 2005. The credit terminates after 2009, 2010, or 2014, depending on the type of vehicle. The alternative motor vehicle credit is not allowed against the alternative minimum tax.
- Two Studies on Regional Options for Reducing GHG Highlight Need for Reduction in Travel Intensity : Achieving targeted regional reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector will require concentrated efforts to change travel behavior and reduce vehicle miles travelled in addition to advances in vehicle technology and fuels, according to two recent studies.
- As OPEC Prepares to Meet, Chu Focuses on U.S. Energy : Energy Secretary Steven Chu — whose agency has long taken the lead on global oil-market policy — said Thursday he doesn’t know what the Obama administration would urge the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to do at its meeting next month.
- Better Place – Electric Recharge Grid Operator : Instead of gas stations on every corner, the ERGO would blanket a country with a network of “smart” charge spots. Drivers could plug in anywhere, anytime, and would subscribe to a specific plan—unlimited miles, a maximum number of miles each month, or pay as you go—all for less than the equivalent cost for gas. They’d buy their car from the operator, who would offer steep discounts, perhaps even give the cars away. The profit would come from selling electricity—the minutes. [ Video : 33min ]
The EU has a plan know as 20/20/20 – binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions reductions (-20%) and increasing share of renewable energies (+20%) to be accomplished by 2020.
There is a new publication available from IEA Energy Efficiency Indicators Workshop describing, in general terms, the EU’s 20/20/20 energy efficiency targets, the importance of improving energy efficiency in reaching those goals, and the difficulties they face collecting reliable energy efficiency metrics.
Energy efficiency is a top policy priority in EU. They have binding targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (-20%), increasing share of renewable energies (+20%) and a politically endorsed target to save 20% primary energy in 2020 compared to projections.
Document available at Energy Savings Indicators for Policy Development in EU, more information about the European Commission involved is available at Directorate-General Energy and Transport.
Check out this recent Pew Research Center poll data:
Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009
“Going green” must be economical in order to be widely embraced. We need to be able to be greener and save money at the same time. “Green” must also mean jobs, economic recovery, and strength – not “going without”.
The poll indicates “global warming” is losing ground in the public’s attention span. Judging by the Pew poll, and my own little poll at FuelClinic, it’s simply not a strong motivator right now – it’s in dead last place.
I suggest that any persuasive new argument/marketing approach regarding developing “green” initiatives should not be based solely around global warming (or it’s new name “climate change”).
Instead a strong argument would focus on immediate and mid-term cost-savings, creation of jobs, benefit to national economy, and improvements to energy security. The long-term payoff being plentiful clean energy for the future and improving the environment.
But, it all boils down to money. In the end, the tipping point is the same as always – the wallet. It must be cheaper.
POLL: What’s more important to you: Saving Money on Fuel, Reducing Carbon Emissions, or Cutting Foreign Oil Dependence?
There’s a new poll on the homepage of FuelClinic.com – half-way down on the left, asking users and visitors what’s more important to them – saving money on fuel, reducing foreign oil dependence, or reducing carbon emissions and pollution…
The results so far are very interesting. Visit and have your vote.