TBD America, Inc.

Commentaries 

Perspectives and opinions
TBD America Commentaries

from our team about technical
and environmental events, political and
socioeconomic directions and investing ideas for
the O&G, renewable energy and sustainability markets.




 
   
Where Are the Videos of Birds Combusting Inflight Over CSP Plants - Streamers? 
In
“'Streamers': Birds Fried in Midair by Solar Plant, Feds Say,” NBC News reported on Aug 18, 2014, “Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year reported an average of one "streamer" every two minutes. It is not a question of shutting down operating CSP plants and stopping their development, should a real problem exist, but how to reasonably manage the risk.
September 1, 2014   more »»
 
A Week’s Worth of Horror Stories
Did someone say anthropogenic climate change is made-up science? Dream on your shift not mind. It’s not when anymore. It’s here and only getting worse.

Draft Of Upcoming IPCC Report Presents Stark View Of The Future As Climate Change Rages On
“Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.” Huffington Post, AP, by Seth Borenstein: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/un-panel-global-warming-_n_5717139.html , and

As Louisiana Sinks And Sea Levels Rise, The State Is Drowning. Fast
“In just 80 years, some 2,000 square miles of its coastal landscape have turned to open water, wiping places off maps, bringing the Gulf of Mexico to the back door of New Orleans and posing a lethal threat to an energy and shipping corridor vital to the nation’s economy. Scientists now say one of the greatest environmental and economic disasters in the nation’s history is rushing toward a catastrophic conclusion over the next 50 years, so far unabated and largely unnoticed.” Huffington Post, ProPublica:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/28/louisiana-sea-level-rise_n_5731916.html
August 29, 2014   more »»

 
Are We Practically Corn Chips on Legs?

This discussion compliments of Healthcare Administration and MS in Healthcare Management is an entire reproduction of Top Master’s in Health Care publication “Children of the Corn.” Americans love corn! In fact, we consume one third of the world’s corn supply. As a result, scientists have determined that over half of the American human biomass can be traced back to the consumption of corn. We took a look at the corn industry to see just how big it is, and here’s what we found.

August 26, 2014   more »»

 
Did the US DOE win the debate over Biofuel Crops vs. Food Crops?
The brouhaha over fueling vehicles with crops is hardly over. Thankfully, the fight will be fought in the economic arena rather than on the public soapbox. The social response will reflect the realities of supply and demand. At this time, both sectors – agriculture produces and ethanol produces – seem satisfied how the resources are currently shared between the two. This however may be eclipsed by changes in demographics, productivity, weather patterns, and price of the king of the road, petroleum. Oh, almost forgot to thank the DoE for addressing the issue in clear and uncertain terms.
August 24, 2014    more »»
 
Can it be True Frac Wastewater Injection Well Seismicity is a Miscue?
Seth Borenstein in “Less shake from artificial quakes, fed study says,” announced the results of a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough - “Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude……..”
August 19, 2014   more »»
 
Can Tesla Ever Break Even?
Not to belittle Tesla’s role and fortitude in the EV industry. It is a simple question of when the money-well will stop and sprout into a money-tree. Different circumstances yes, but the industry cannot afford another Solyndra.
August 1, 2014  
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“NUTS” -  One Word to Anthropogenic Climate Change Disbelieves
World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction, Species Disappearing Faster Than Ever Before, by Seth Borenstein, AP.  This report on the Sixth Great Extinction comes on the heels of “President Obama’s upcoming announcement of EPA’s proposed rules on carbon reductions......
May 30, 2014  
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Climate Warming Disbelievers Beware - "What Me Worry?"
You’re a spitting image of Alfred E Newman. Stop gambling with our future! Part Of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Starting Slow, Unstoppable Collapse, Studies Indicate. Compliments of Huffington Post and AP.
May 13, 2014  
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Are Hydrogen Fuel Cells Vehicles Dead On Arrival?
In the final analysis, BEVs are an inadequate technology push indifferent to consumer needs and driving patterns. As a technology solution, FCEVs are arising from the dead because the industry believes further Lithium-ion battery advances will not substantially improve the range and performance impediments of electric cars. Will FCEVs and BEVs prosecute a war of attrition? My money is on FCEVs.  March 24, 2014   more »»
What Does the Closing of the Big Hole Tell Us!
As the world struggles to control climate change, a ray of hope surfaced with the announcement that the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is shrinking and may make a full recovery in the near future.  December 17, 2013   more »»
A
Is China an Environmental Steward, Demon or Magician?
China’s growing role as the world’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is undisputed. China is the epicenter of building out environmental markets as it struggles to balance the need for economic growth and climate protection.  But is China’s leadership sincere and capable to stem the tide of environmental doom?  December 10, 2013    more »»
 
Is There a Difference between Making Promises and Keeping Promises?
As a follow-up to “Is Keeping Promises a Thing of the Past?” my new piece” Is There a Difference between Making Promises and Keeping Promises?” shows the problem is neither making and keeping promises but leadership quality.  December 9, 2013   more »»
 
Is Keeping Promises a Thing of the Past?
There seems to be alarming trend in the business world today with the ever increasing number of people who make commitments and fail to do what they say. In the past, one's word was golden; today it's dust in the wind. It’s my perception that these people never intend to do what they say in the first place. Their word is cheap; their talk is cheap.   December 9, 2013   more »»
 
Are Hydrogen Cars Finally a Reality?
The lack of fueling infrastructure to generate, store, transport and pump hydrogen rises again as one of the major impediments to broad market acceptance of FCEVs. Yet, nothing in the energy landscape comes even close to hydrogen’s elegance as a source of energy. Solar and wind too give thanks to their creator, hydrogen, the stuff that our sun is made of.
November 24, 2013  
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Climate Change: The Earth Shall Win, People Shall Lose!
From world wars to weapons of mass destruction, the 20th and 21st centuries have events of major worldwide concern. Yet, the news this week about “Arctic Temperatures Reaching the Highest Levels in 44,000 Years” makes all other events pale in comparison. World policy on climate change is in a state of universal decrepitude? Despite all the agreements and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in green technologies, CO2 emissions climbed 57 percent since 1990. Could the issue be just too complex to do anything about it on the world stage? The interest in doing something is certainly there. Is humanity truly capable of banding together to do the right thing?  That is the question.  November 20, 2013  more »»
 
Unconventional Oil and Gas Regulations and Policy Relating to Local Environmental Impacts and Climate Change
This piece provides a basic insight into the way climate change in conjunction with environmental and public health concerns have triggered a regulatory response by National, State and Local Governments. It will focus on shale gas regulations and not those pertaining to tight sandstones or coal bed methane.  September 1, 2013   more »»
 
GAO report finds no evidence that fracing contaminates groundwater!
If you are a steadfast anti-fracker, this report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will do little to sway your opinion. Another bogus report from industry backed insiders. If you are aware of the facts, this report will only substantiate what has been known for many years. 
June 14, 2013
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What Drives Water and Energy Improvements?
If one considers, federal investments of $20 billion will achieve a few percentage point increase in renewable energy resources, then possibly funded research, development and demonstration programs are the way to go. Water remediation is a much more difficult subject in terms of scope, measures and its immediacy. This is obvious by the countless billions of dollars spent and needed to .....    June 9, 2013  
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How America Became a Third World Country
Could it be the beginning of the end? The picture painted by Mattea Kramer and Jo Comerford in an article that appeared in Huffington Post on May 21, may be too true for action or inaction. 
May 20, 2013  
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Why is Fisker Automotive's Karma both a Failed EV and a Negative Fate?
In closing, it’s easy to blame the government, the company and the technology. Failure then falls on one simple entity – People. People’s belief in a government can fix all mentality. People’s belief they can run a company.....  May 1, 2013  
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The Good and Bad News of the FY 2014 DOE and Renewable Energy Budget Requests to Congress
It is uncertain what Congress will approve for the DOE in 2014, but if history is an indicator, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs will suffer disproportionate cuts from the Congressional knife. 
April 24, 2013   more »»
 

Financing Advanced Biofuels, Biochemicals and Biopower in Integrated Biorefineries
PowerPoint presentation posted with permission by Mark J. Riedy, Partner Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C as presented at Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference April 15-17, 2013, Gaylord Hotel, Washington, DC  April 20, 2013   more »»

 
Follow Up Report: "Hydrogen Production Breakthrough"
Whether the technology is the Holy Grail of cheap hydrogen remains unanswered. The lack of a hydrogen infrastructure and reliable low-cost fuel cells presents additional challenges to broad market acceptance. Running the transportation sector on hydrogen in lieu of environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels is a great vision but somewhat impractical today. 
April 18, 2013   
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Hydrogen Production Breakthrough?
T
he Phillips Company will sponsor a private demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell using catalytic carbon for producing hydrogen-for-fuel. This is the world’s first scalable Hydrogen-On-Demand process requiring minimum power input.   April 5, 2013   more »»
           
 
Was Senator Matsunaga Right About Hydrogen After All?
U.S. interest in a hydrogen economy has seen its ups and downs since the 1970’s when programs were first funded to develop advanced propulsion alternatives to internal combustion engines. It’s no surprise that.....    April 4, 2013  
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The Good and Bad News of DoE Fiscal Year Budget Request!
The good news is the Department of Energy (DoE) FY 2013 budget request of $2,337 million for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs shows a 29 percent increase from the enacted FY 2012 budget. The bad news is.....  March 24, 2013   
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Anyone for Chinese Pork Soup?
China can no longer hide behind a vale of a developing country and assume responsibility for its impact on its people and our planet. Time is fading and the fix gets tougher. The question is whether China has the interest and the resolve.....  March 20, 2013  
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Is there a Breath of Fresh Air in China Today?
How can one tame a raging elephant? Training possibly, but so slowly will its effects be seen? Why not place an export tax on goods based on the annual change in greenhouse gas emissions for anyone country.  March 9, 2013  
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Have NGVs Finally Reached the Point of No Return?
This sudden spike in demand (NGV - natural gas vehicles) does not an industry make. Even with cheap, clean and plentiful natural gas, growth may be hampered by issues somewhat similar to EVs — higher priced vehicles, lack of convenient fueling stations.....  March 7, 2013  
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Proof - Can Gravity Exist Without Matter? 
Newtonian and Galilean gravitational equations showing gravity is dependent on the 2nd derivative of the components of position with respect to time and not on mass?   
February 19, 2013   
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Can Perception Sell Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy’s penetration of the residential and commercial markets requires new thinking. Sales cannot be generated on dollars and cents alone. It’s value perception not value.
February 16, 2013  
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Can Gravity Exist Without Matter?
Gravity is understood to depend on and emanate from matter, both visible and dark. Simply stated where there is matter there is gravity and where there is no matter there is no gravity. At the moment matter is created so is gravity. When matter is destroyed so is gravity. Matter takes the leading edge. The two are inextricably bound. However, can gravity pre-exist matter for any given period of time?  February 15, 2013  
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How Many Earths Does It Take to Reach the Dream Sun?
Using the distance of about 150 million km between the Earth and the Sun and 12,756 km as the diameter of the Earth at the equator, gives.....   January 31, 2013  
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Are EVs Dreamliners or Dream Cars? 
EVs are safe and not prone to fire damage and explosions at any (rated) speed. Facts rather than supposition have to rule. In this regard, when budget and life style allows, EV’s make sense.
January 17, 2013  
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Does Intelligent Life Exists in the Cosmos? 
Like sand throughout Earth, so is intelligent life beyond our sky.  January 6, 2013  
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Do EVs Make Good Cents or Sense? 
A comparative Life Cycle Cost analysis of EVs and gasoline powered passenger vehicles was conducted to determine the comparative Life Time Cost of these. This analysis included 30 vehicles (2013) ranging from a Mini Cooper to a Ferrari F12...... December 28, 2012   more »»
 
Are We and the Cosmos a Computer Simulation?
No doubt most have already heard about Martin Savage’s, a physicist at the University of Washington, paper exploring the possibility
......  December 25, 2012    more »»
 
EV To Be, or Not To Be--That is the Question?
Talk of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and all-electric vehicles (EV) have given society both hope and confusion.  December 23, 2012 
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Fossil Fuels’ Encore
Two profound questions loom over all other energy concerns: will there be enough affordable energy in the near future to sustain the world’s economies? And, if not, what are the long term solutions?
December 18, 2012  
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Should the Earth be a Sun?
The purpose of the sun is to give life; the purpose of the earth is to sustain life. It would be more pragmatic to light up the future with a healthy environment than a sign flashing at night “Free Ice Water at Wall Drug, 457 Miles.”  December 17, 2012   
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Fracking and Genesis 1:28
A day does not go by without something in the news blaming fracking for everything evil. Now comes from the extreme right a refreshing view of fracking but nevertheless as dangerous as Gasland by Josh Fox.
  October 10, 2012  
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Is Hydraulic Fracturing Any Worse Than Turning on the Electricity?
The risk of not developing natural gas supplies from unconventional shale gas and coal bed reserves far outweighs any environmental risks when such risks have been shown though tens of thousands of hydraulically fractured wells to be minimal, when done right.  October 8, 2012   more »»
 
Seismic Activity and Earthquakes: Is Hydraulic Fracturing Only to Blame?
It’s time to think out-of-the-box in regards to the influence of hydraulic fracturing and deep injection wells to seismicity. The relationship of these activities to seismic activity is strong and most likely correct to some degree. But could there be other influencing factors?   October 5, 2012  
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Natural Gas: The Logical Alternative
Like it or not, renewable energy has a long way to go to make an impact on U.S.’s energy inventory. Natural gas, being the least disruptive fossil fuel, could serve as a 'bridge' to a low-carbon future. Natural gas will buy time to further develop, cleaner fuels. Hopefully there will be something at the other end of the rainbow. Then why is our country sleeping at the switch?   July 18, 2012   more »»
 
New Technology: Disbelief to Belief!
Would Galileo agree that new technology goes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed by those ignorant of its potential; next, it is subverted by those threatened by its potential; and finally, it is considered self-evident? July 9, 2012   more »»
 
Will Shale Gas Casing and Cementation Last Forever?
My reply to a professor’s question: “the cement and steel casings in the Karoo would inevitably deteriorate and fail over time, resulting in the upward migration of fracking fluids to ground water zones. Is this true?” June 12, 2012   more »»
 
Natural Gas Storage Is Not As Boring As You Think!
When you take a look at the natural gas industry,you find an invisible link that keeps it running efficiently. This connection lies buried in sites, for every country, that relies on natural gas as a source of energy. This unseen link is natural gas storage. Storage underpins the gas industry from production to pipelines to consumers. June 10, 2012  
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Where Has Energy Independence Gone?
The good news, the U.S. is reducing its consumption of foreign oil. The bad news, the Titanic may make it to port before the U.S. becomes truly energy independent. May 29, 2012   more »»
 
Fracking Fluid, Disposal, Pennsylvania and the Facts!
It’s convenient and easy to point at hydraulic fracturing as another human activity that if not curtailed will destroy humanity. The ascent of man is one of risk management and ultimately doing the right thing. Sure controls, oversight and improvements are necessary when our future is at stake. But let’s deal in facts ......... Time to put it in proper perspective! May 20, 2012   more »»
 
GHG on the Rise!
Bottom line! All the brouhaha heard around the world about clean energy hasn’t amounted to a hill of beams.  The trend is obviously going the wrong way. Much more must be done. But what!  
April 17, 2012  
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Where Has Energy Independence Gone?
The good news, the U.S. is reducing its consumption of foreign oil. The bad news, the Titanic may make it to port before the U.S. becomes truly energy independent. April 15, 2012    more »»
 
Fracking Gets a Fair Shake!
It’s acknowledged that EPA’s change of position, will not detract the greedy, sensationalists and uninformed from its anecdotal attack on the shale gas industry.  Our litigious society supports such actions. Sooner or later the beneficial economic and environmental impact will out way false claims of “fracking fire in the sink. Done right, shale gas production is a low risk proposition. April 10, 2012   more »»
 
Fracking Toothpaste!
The witch hunt over hydraulic fracturing can be surmised in one word “HYPROCRACY.” This is another great example of the imbalance of the balance of justice.  Every day society holds back the shale gas industry is another day more dollars are exported for foreign oil, the environment is further harmed with dirty coal, and the hole gets deeper and darker. April 1, 2012   more »»
 
Two Households, Both Alike in Dignity!
Trying to rationalize irrational behavior is difficult at best. War, hatred, fear and misunderstanding share a common bound in a long history of senseless death, both soldiers and civilians alike.  At the end of the day, what happens to Hasan and Bales makes little difference on society’s obsession with war, hate and fear. Just hope the balance of justice swings equally both ways.  March 17, 2012   more »»
 
Is Shale Gas Production or People’s Perceptions Seismically Active?
This commentary puts seismic activity in natural gas development into proper context.  Minor and imperceptible seismic activity is extremely common around the world. March 11, 2012
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COP17: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
This discussion takes a look at The Conference of the Parties (COP) the governing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) and its ability to meet the objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and thereby mitigate anthropogenic induced climate change. March 4, 2012   more »»
 
Can the Elusive Neutrino Disrupt All That We Know?
What does 60 nanoseconds (60 billionths of a second) make and how can that disrupt the basis for modern day physics? Not much unless you’re a neutrino. So what is a neutrino? If you answered a new snack food, eeehhhhh! Try again.  Your right, if you said “neutrino,” an “ethereal particle, which hails from deep within the sun and violent cosmic events such as supervovae and passes through your body.
February 26, 2012  
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What is Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)?
Waste-to-Energy, and in particular MSW, are hot topics throughout the global landscape. The conversion process, which consists of a number of physical and complex chemical steps, serves a much needed civic function and environmental benefit.  But the question is what is “Solid Waste?” January 25, 2010   more »»
 
What is Clean, Abundant, Afforbable and the Best Alternative Energy Source We Have?
More than any other fuel source today and for the near future, natural gas is the only fuel that can be utilized across major fossil fuel hungry sectors. As a sustaniablitst would say, it supports the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Renewable fuels fail to satisfy these criteria.   
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What is both sustainable and renewable that makes financial sense today?
The answer is: Municipal solid waste (“MSW”) and its conversion into energy!  There are few, if any, energy technologies that can claim to be both renewable and sustainable but also reliable and financially attractive. Why is this so?    more »»
 
Shale Gas is Not a Fracking Mess 
Fracking is a current societal hot a button. Almost as pervasive as the subject of Climate Change! Both topics give rise to highly polarized groups with strong unwavering sentiments. These groups are mirrored by disbelievers basing opinions on perception and anecdotal information rather than facts. But, as will be seen in this discussion, there are some reputable, independent and impartial studies that can be used to understand the truth. more »»
 
Natural Gas: The Clean Alternative
It has been common knowledge for quite sometime now that natural gas is a suitable clean alternative to all fossil fuels. Natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its reserves are abundant.   more »» 
 
Can Renewables Survive in the U.S.?
Growth of the renewable energy market will only be achieved, in the U.S., if America’s law makers adopt an energy policy that reflects the long-term interests of our country.    more
 
America Where Are You – From Birth Rates to the Renewable Energy Race?
From birth rate to the space race America has lost its edge. While our policymakers create walls and swirl in a sea of inefficient, wasteful, slow, and ineffective theatrics, the bridge that made America great seems is burning fast.   more
 
Climate Change - Fact or Fiction?
Results from the survey were split between believers and disbelievers in anthropogenic induced climate change. The simple fact remains - "why gamble on the future."  
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Compressed Natural Gas as an Alternative Fuel for Vehicles Fleets Makes Sense
The compass points towards a tremendous opportunity for broad market adoption of natural as a vehicular fuel.  
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What is the true cost of petroleum?
On the surface this question seems readily answerable, rather simplistic and naive. However, a more in-depth look reveals many hidden costs not included in the daily commodity price quotes.  
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Is Sustainably a Healthy Choice?
At a forward thinking energy meeting, an attendee spoke of sustainability in terms of a “Healthy Choice.” Knowing it was not lunch time, it was somewhat elusive how sustainability equated to a frozen food that stands for “nutritious foods that can give you energy.”  
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The Garbage Rush Is On! – There is Gold (Energy) in Them There Dumps?
Garbage finally achieves recognition on a global scale. More so, garbage, the formidable stuff few care to talk about at a cocktail party, unites for the common good the renewable energy and the sustainability camps.
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Oil Subsidies 101!
It has been said that the “oil industry is the most heavily subsidized industry in the U.S. In an attempt to dill down on the subject, no pun intended, this discussion takes a brief look at the tax codes in hopes of shedding some light on this claim.  
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Petroleum Savings if all Passenger Vehicles in U.S. were Hybrids or EVs!
"What would be the impact on petroleum usage if all cars (passenger vehicles) in the U.S. energy efficient, such as Toyota's Prius?" This discussion is all about how to derive a sound answer to this question.  
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Uncle Sam’s” Natural Gas Fueling Station
As part of the ARRA of 2009 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), the U.S. Government should have set aside let’s say, $15 billion for the design, build, financing and operations of Natural Gas Fueling Stations for vehicles.  
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U.S. Energy Policy or Congressional Folly
To demonstrate that the U.S. lacks a cohesive long-term energy policy, a google search of “U.S. Energy Policy” resulted in 42,800,000 hits in 0.18 second. With this many hits either there is a well formulated strategy or it’s so convoluted that not even 40 million hits can adequately cover the turf.  
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We the People – When Government No Longer Works!
As potentially catastrophic as the global impact of climate change are, they pale in significance to the crisis in our government.  
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Office of the Biomass Program and DOE Response to the Lester Brown Article

May 8, 2008: The Lester Brown article takes a short-term snapshot of U.S. agriculture and ethanol production.  It is probable that we will see significant fluctuations in corn prices over the next three years as an unprecedented expansion in ethanol production takes place.  Eventually, the growth in ethanol production will be mediated by corn prices and other construction and operating costs.  A longer term more rational view suggests that corn production will be able to keep pace with ethanol production through 2015.  For example, the National Corn Growers Association is estimating that the average per acre corn production in 2015 will be 180 bushels based on historic yield increases.  This increase over 2006 would allow the production of 6.7 billion gallons of ethanol without taking any additional corn out the current system.  In addition, there are currently 35 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program.  If 50% if this acreage was brought back into corn production, this would produce enough corn to supply an additional 9 billion gallons of ethanol.  All of these decisions will be driven by the marketplace supply and demand.  Figure 1 shows historical data on corn prices and ethanol production.

To read DoE's detailed response to Lester Brown Article click on:
DOE Response to the Lester Brown Article