What California can do to kick start real Oil Independence
By Alan Anderson
The answer is staring us right in the face; Sugar based Biofuels made from Sugar (Energy) Beets that can be grown in 50% or more of the United States. With the use of Biodiesel for the transportation and use on farms we can cut the energy usage in half.
Biofuels is a high octane fuel that is most commonly used as a gasoline additive and or extender. Ever since the late 1970’s, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) has been used to replace lead, and is the primary gasoline additive in the United States.
More recently, several states have banned the use of MTBE as a gasoline additive, due to problems with the environment, such as groundwater contamination. With both the banning of MTBE in some states, and the surging prices for petroleum based fuels, the need for Biofuels production in the United States is dramatically increasing. Sugar Beet Biofuels is now part of the answer!
Sugar Beet is very high in sugar.
Sugar Beet Biofuels may be produced from carbohydrates, such as sugar, starch and cellulose by fermentation, most often using yeast.
Most of the production of Biofuels comes from two primary sources, grain crops, most often corn and wheat, and also sugar crops, including sugarcane, sugar beets, or molasses.
Sugar Beet Biofuels and how it will save you on gas.
Approximately 60 percent of the world’s Biofuels production comes from sugar crops. The remaining 40 percent uses grain crops. Obviously the choice way to produce Biofuels is based on the least expensive crop available to Biofuels producers in a particular country.
Currently in the United States, corn is the dominant feedstock being used to produce Biofuels. Corn based Biofuels accounts for about 97 percent of the total Biofuels produced in the United States.
The majority of Biofuels produced by countries other than the United States uses sugar crops as the primary feedstock. Sugarcane is used the most, although several countries use sugar beets as the main ingredient in Biofuels production. Seeing as how feedstock costs are the number one cost item in the production of Biofuels, there is a low market price for the sugar crops in these countries, compared to the United States, which means that it is the most economical way to produce Biofuels.
Sugar beets are grown and harvested in many states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, and Idaho. These states account for about 80 percent of total U.S. production. Crops are processed to produce the final product which is white, refined sugar. Sugar beets process directly into refined sugar, while sugarcane must first be processed into raw sugar, then later, refined into white sugar. Again, making the process of sugar beet Biofuels much more economical.
Oil has been the one major factor for war in the past 60 years across the world. America has honored the brave soldiers that have volunteered to serve and protect our great nation. Just think if we never had started using OIL. The Middle East would never have meant more to us other than just that dirty desert place. If it wasn’t for corporate monopoly of the Standard Oil in the early 1900’s pushing the U.S. government to ban alcohol and making it illegal to produce ethanol which was our first mainstream fuel of the 20th Century. Think if we learned our lesson during the Oil crisis of the 1970’s. Imagine if Osama Bin Laden hadn’t started his campaign to keep America out of the Middle East oil rich nations. Oil has been the factor for all these points of history and has snowballed into the first Iraq War, then Afghanistan and last but not least the second Iraq War. What has Oil gotten us for over a hundred years of loyal use? DEAD brave Americans whose only wish were to serve our country and protect it. It’s sad to think how many lives we’ve sent to war for this dirty fluid we call oil.
Now here we are in 2012, gas prices higher than ever and no end in sight. Who do we have to blame for all the dead Americans that died for OIL? Me! Blame me. I pumped gas in my car since I was old enough to drive. Now I drive a Big Rig and pump 200 gallons of diesel fuel in it every 2 days. Why you ask? Because, that is the only thing we have available as a fuel source. But I’m taking all the blame. The rest of you can take some of the blame too. Every dead and living American for the past 100 plus years has caused this. But you know what? I’m tired of killing our young Americans for this crap we call oil.
America has to start changing now! Cars need to run on fuels other than gasoline; trucks need to use other than diesel fuel. The Open Fuel Standard facilitates this change and then we need to expand the availability of cost effective fuels like Advanced Biofuels like ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel and stop using fossil fuel. We have the knowhow and we have the land to grow it and don’t let oil companies tell us different. Get with is America and don’t let more of our babies die for Big Oil Company’s profits.
The U.S. has spent billions of dollars for decades to research biofuels, paid subsidies to oil companies for their services and to farmers to produce or not to produce inefficient crops for ethanol. Research and development has been done for us for years and the results show that ethanol is the #1 option for replacing gasoline and biodiesel for replacing petrol diesel. We know that ethanol has been used here in the U.S. for years as a supplement in gasoline, and starting in the last 10yrs the Flex Fuel Vehicle has come to the market using either E85 or gasoline. These are not solutions to oil, these are band-aids used to piece together the lack of Fuel Policy. We demand better than 30yrs of wishy washy inaction, mandated policy needs to be set now. We all know politics and oil go together like milk and cookies.
There is only a few main subject to address Fuel Policy; engines, the fuels, the crops to make them.
1. Vehicles with need to be capable of running on E100 pure ethanol, or pure biodiesel.
2. Fuels to be renewable in large quantity and efficient, E100 made from sugar based crops and not starch, and Biodiesel from crop oils.
3. Crops that are the most suitable for E100 production are #1 Energy Sugar Beets #2 Sugarcane #3 Sweet Sorghum #4 Switch Grass, then Soybeans for biodiesel.
4. Unnamed fuel sources are algae and other Biomass still in research.
Besides the obvious, here are the few main reasons why this change in needed NOW!
a. American National Security: environmental and economic
b. Climate Change caused by GHG emissions
c. Fluctuating gasoline price manipulation
d. Meeting government requirements for renewable fuel by providing
large, stable market for ethanol.
e. Because we are well behind the rest of the world in Oil Independence
The west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington can be the leaders in weaning America off of oil. With strict Standards of fuels standards for cars and biofuels as a start. But most of all we can be the real job creators by implementing biofuel regions using BLM lands and building plants to produce massive amounts of Biofuels to keep up with the demand we will create with fuel and cars standards. I empower the Governors of all three states to take these ideas serious and do what needs done immediately.