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Phil
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I can agree with your numbers, unfortunately as much as I would like to see us get off opec oil, as long as we are buying oil on the open market, I'm not sure that it would reduce our risk in the region. I also am not convinced that we could produce that much synthetic oil. What would be the feed stock?
SJC "One year of what we spent in Iraq would build 100 synthetic fuel plants producing 100 million gallons per day. That would be enough to eliminate middle eastern and OPEC oil imports to the U.S." I think you might want to clean up your numbers a little. We import 10 million barrels a day or 420 million gallons so its going to take more than that to get us off foreign oil. That said, it would be a good start.
If you want to motivate people to use less, then a tax might work, but I think it should be a carbon tax, not a direct gas tax. Then both the electric utilities and the consumers would be profit motivated to both find higher efficiency and alternate fuels. I am not a fan of cap and trade because it seems to award those with existing inefficient coal and oil power plants to continue to use them. A carbon tax would do more to move the coal plant power pricing in line with its impact which is supposed to lead to their moving to alternate energy choices without deciding which choices are right.
I don't think we should be discouraging the use of higher gas mileage or electric vehicles. These vehicles, especially electric vehicles need all the incentives they can get. Government should be finding ways to encourage moves to these technologies, not penalizing people. Maybe someday far into the future, when electric or alternate fuel vehicles make up a larger portion of the population then it should be considered. Also part of the design of these vehicles calls for them to be lighter, thus causing less impact on the roads, although I don't think that’s the best argument for not taxing them at the same rate. If we move to alternate power generating options, such as solar, wind, etc. then the total impact of the environment will be less and they should be awarded for their contribution to this effort. Its just way too far off to start increasing taxes yet.
It may be the right thing to do, but by now you should face the reality that people are profit motivated and that finding a way for them to turn a profit from this waste will prove the quicker solution to this huge waste. And I should think, that adding even a small percentage of this fuel to the world's energy mix should help the supply side of the equation.
The point is that if they are trying to reduce CO2 emissions and they really aren't and are actually increasing CO2 emissions at the power plant, then their claim of savings is bogus and should be exposed as such. It should also be noted that recharging forklift batteries is and has been a part of their process. It is done by having spare forklifts or batteries and swapping them out as needed. So, unless the fuel cell forklifts are cheaper than an equivalent number of battery forklifts(note it might take a few extra battery models) its still not a good deal. Finally, if they said they were testing the technology in hopes that one day hydrogen will be produced in an efficient manner or maybe through solar energy, that I could believe. It the meantime, their claims are an insult to any energy engineer.
Its my understanding that the Air Products company uses a very large electric compressor motor to separate the hydrogen from other gases. That means that although United Foods has other benefits from hydrogen forklifts, I really have to question their CO2 reductions. Best I can tell all they have done is move the CO2 production to another location. In fact, since every time energy is changed from one form to another there are significant losses,(second law of thermodynamics) and since this proposed hydrogen production requires one more energy form change,that is from electric to hydrogen and then to work, I believe it would naturally have a lot lower overall efficiency making it a far worse choice than the electric forklifts being replaced.
I guess you guys have never parked a car in Europe. Economy is important but if you can't park it, its not much good. I recently took a trip to Rome and saw first hand how popular the Smart Car has become. Reason being that it can back into a parallel parking space, so 3 can fit where one could before. Prius is actually a large car in Rome and is very hard to park. Auris would provide hybrid economy benefits without the parking problems.
Their report doesn't do any research into spillover affects of the program, that is customers that went down to get cash for clunkers and found their trade was worth more, so they ended up making a car purchase that they might have postponed. It also fails to address the economic stimulus affect of injecting that much money into a part of the economy hit hard by the banking debacle. Additionally they fail to address the stimulus benefits of that money, previously being used to pay for gas, now being available for other spending. And the last thing they failed to calculate is whether the weighted average of improved MPG is better than the average. For example, if the average is a 10 MPG improvement, but the people that purchased the better mileage cars also drive more than the average, then the economic impact might be higher. I’d also like to know where they got their number saying that these people would have traded in 3 years anyway. Most of the cars were very old, how do they know if they would have dumped them so soon.
Other technologies may cut through steel, but the key point to this technology was that it could send the reaction to the drill point at depths of 30000 feet. Water drills I have seen are usually very close to the surface and the presures are extremely high so its not likely the presures could be reached at well point depth.