Originally Posted by RangerRover
Just a side note on this: if we were to convert 100% of every bit of grain this country produces right now to bio-desel, we would have about 20% of the oil we need.
As I said, going to bio fuels will require some major changes to the agricultural business. We simply don't have enough farmers right this moment and we keep taking farm land to pave it over for suburbia. That would have to change, but it will take time and some hardship.
Actually, I was thinking of some of the non-grain options...there'* one, the name escapes me (wiregrass?) that produces a fair amount of vegetable oil with little effort of cultivation...in other words, a grass that can be grown on marginal soil, and still produce a yield worth the effort. (I think it is currently used as a soil stabilizing grass in landscaping, embankments, etc.)
We (my employers) would love to try some Bio Diesel just to see how it performs. As an organization that burns 20,000 gallons of diesel per week, all options need to be explored. Problem is, nobody is selling it in our area...the distribution network for any of it needs growing.
I'm not suggesting burning coal as a end solution. (Hey, I'm from Pittsburgh, PA..I remember what passed for "air" in the Mon Valley at the height of steel production.)
Using it buys us time to figure something else out. Even before we can build enough other types of power plants, we can be using the coal we have a century supply of.