Fuel Shortage

by

“The London Transit Commission found it’s supply of diesel fuel suddenly in jeopardy.” 1

With the price of gas back to around a dollar a litre and, worse still, some stations running out of their supply altogether, the public’s attention has finally returned for a moment to the increasingly tenuous supply of petroleum-based fuel. How even a small hiccup in the supply chain can have a crippling effect on our economy and our lifestyle.

And I say, that’s a good thing.

“Truckers should be allowed to fall back on illegal, polluting fuel during a fuel shortage.” 2

No they shouldn’t. And the legislation which restricts how dirty trucker’s fuel can be, should be expanded to include trains, agricultural machinery, and everything else.

Burning fossil fuels is the major contributor in the increase of atmospheric CO2. 3 A geologically unprecedented build-up which only began with the advent of the industrial revolution. 4

What needs to be done, is to get serious about biomass.

Biomass is plant matter such as trees, grasses, agricultural crops or other biological material. It can be used as a solid fuel, or converted into liquid or gaseous forms, for the production of electric power, heat, chemicals, or fuels. 5

The LTC would be wise to get interested in biodiesel, a biomass-derived diesel fuel substitute, and to lobby all levels of government to do the same. With prices of fossil-based fuels at these more realistic levels, necessary research into fuel production from biomass becomes much more economically viable.

Just imagine. A fleet of buses running on 100% biodiesel from microalgae, produced locally in algae “farms” utilizing effluent from our wastewater plants.

Sources:
1. London Transit Faces Fuel Shortage
2. Ontario truckers want to use dirtier fuel during shortage
3. A Look Back at the U.S. Department of Energy’s…
4. Revelle, R.; 1957.
5. U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Other Links:
2007/11/28 – National Post: What’s slimy, green, and makes…

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