Reforming Industrial Practice From Pariah to an Energy Star

Efficiency is not merely a private virtue. It is also a hard-nosed business proposition. In the 1960s, Dow Chemical Corporation was widely reviled for its role in producing Agent Orange, which defoliated the environmentally devastated country ofVietnam. In 1984, Dow was involved in the Bhopal tragedy in India. It was an environmental pariah. But by 2006, the 46 billion company, with offices in nearly every country on the planet, was awarded the Galaxy Star of Energy Efficiency, marking the most...

New Cars New Fuels New Batteries

Two major advances that can revolutionize our transportation system will mature simultaneously cellulosic ethanol and the plug-in hybrid. About 2011, plug-in hybrids will start to hit the roads just at the same time that meaningful amounts of cellulosic ethanol are becoming available at service stations across the country. This will be a happy tie in the race between battery technology progress and biofuel progress. This synchronous combination will allow drivers to plug in their cars at night,...

Seattle Biodiesel Homegrown Fuel Takes Root

Just as the PC has the Mac, and the Yankees have the Red Sox, ethanol has a competitor in biodiesel, diesel fuel refined from plant seeds. Two titans of Silicon Valley who have done battle in the Google versus Microsoft wars have now moved over to the competition in biofuels. Vinod Khosla, as discussed previously, is banking on cellulosic ethanol Martin Tobias is backing biodiesel. They both ended up being right in software. The extent to which each will be right in the competition for the...

From Green Timber to Green Fuels

A clean-energy revolution promises not just to renew big cities clean energy is having a big impact on small-town American as well. Grays Harbor, a small hamlet on the coast of Washington State, was a dying timber town twenty years ago. Built on the abundant riches of the massive timber on the Olympic Peninsula, it enjoyed a century of harvesting, sawing, processing, and shipping lumber all over the world. For six generations of families, choker setters had gone into the woods, green chain...

Policy Matters

Policy drives investment. Policy equalizes distorted markets misshapen by information failures, inadequate environmental or labor protections, and historic subsidies. Often there is no substitute for public action. The evidence is everywhere. We have seen policies that reduce the risk and cost of nuclear power create a market for new plants, and subsidies for oil companies drive new exploration. Today we have the experience of wind turbines springing up in the twenty-three...

Stories from the Field

In writing this book, we learned that there are more Americans committed to changing our energy economy than we could ever acknowledge, and that each in his or her own way is making a difference. In April 2007, we asked visitors to our Web site (www.apollosfire.net) to tell us their stories. The response was gratifying. We received hundreds of stories in just a matter of days. We all have a story, and we each will play a part in this transition. Here are a few that we thought were among the...

Index

A123 Systems, 49, 57, 272 Adofo-Wilson, Baye, 125-29 Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy ARPA-E , 282-83 AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, 264 Agriculture as base for biofuels, 17273 food production issues, 159-60, 163-64 sugarcane in Brazil, 160, 163 and 25x'25 coalition, 20, 24650 U.S. exports of, 158-60, 303-4. See also Biomass crops Alcoa, 212 Algae, 125, 170-71 Allen, Charles, 314-15 Allen, Paul, 148 Alliance to Save Energy, 101, 268, 271 Alternative energy. See Biofuels Energy...

The Grapes of Global Warmings Wrath

Americans far to the south are also feeling the ominous brush of global warming. Cattle and sheep rancher Ogden Driskill is owner of the Camp Stool Ranch near the Devil's Tower in northeastern Wyoming and as plainspoken and tough minded as any dirt rancher in America. He says, Something is way out of whack in our climate right now. I've got hundred-year-old oak trees that are dying, maybe because of the drought or maybe because the seasons are all fouled up. Some are in bud right now when it's...

Chapter

Calculation of Microsoft share value based on data from Dan Becraft, Citigroup Smith Barney, June 2007 1,000 invested in Microsoft Corporation in March 1986 first possible purchase time would be valued today at 344,382.02 midday price June 1, 2007 . That would be equal to 11,235.955 shares with all splits taken into consideration. 2. Joel Makower, Ron Pernick, and Clint Wilder, Clean Energy Trends 2007, Clean Edge, March 2007, p. 2, http www.cleanedge.com reports Trends2007.pdf....

Biodigesters Using the Southern End of a Northbound

The biofuels revolution cannot be just an intellectual discourse. There is the actual matter of building with bricks and mortar, of making an innovative commercial enterprise pay. In that enterprise, few have come further than Dennis Langley, a Nebraska cattle farmer, ethanol producer, and one of the founders of an innovative energy start-up firm called E3 BioSolution. When Langley steps onto his Nebraska feedlot, he is confronted by the same problem vexing other farmers namely, a pile of cow...

The New Edisons From Dot Com Millionaires to Biofuel Pioneers

Fortunes built on the foundations of chips consisting of strings of silicon atoms are now building businesses based on creating chains of carbon atoms. Silicon makes a dandy medium for computer chips, but if you put a match to it, it melts with virtually no flame and leaves an ugly black residue. Carbon atoms, in contrast, burn with a vengeance when hooked together in long chains. We have built our economy on the energy contained in those chains, in the form of coal and oil. But now we are...

Brazil Energy Star in the Southern Cross

Brazil has the world's longest river and its grandest rain forest. Its greatest distinction now, however, may be its latest becoming energy independent, a feat it achieved in 2006. Brazil is now totally energy independent, in large part because 40 percent of its transportation energy is from ethanol grown and processed right in Brazil.29 Brazil is the world's first biofuels economy. America could be the second. When a Brazilian driver pulls up to a local fuel station, he or she chooses what...

Acknowledgments

Jay Inslee would like to send his thanks and acknowledgments to the talented and delightful Trudi Inslee for her wisdom, editing, and serenity in the eye of the storm to Al and Tipper Gore for dedicating themselves to this generation's greatest challenge to K. C. Golden, Patrick Mazza, and Blair Henry, comrades in arms whose ten years of toil is now paying off to Todd Baldwin, whose patience and discipline guided a collection of ideas into a book to Robin Simmons and Eric Lieu, whose ideas...

An American Energy Policy

In 1713 the coal mines in England were flooding. Finding a pumping solution was a national imperative. So a young Englishman took on the challenge of developing a steam engine that could power the pumps on which England's industrial future depended. His name was Thomas Newcomen, and he could be credited for designing what became the first practical steam engine, a contraption using a boiler piping and a long, fulcrum-mounted beam. By 1725 his engine was in common use throughout the collieries...

Co2 Carbon Capture Sequestration

World Resources Institute, CO2 Emissions CO2 Emissions per Capita, EarthTrends, 2005, 2. The information in this section draws from the landmark piece by Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, Stabilization Wedges Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies, Science 305, no. 5686 August 13, 2004 968-72. 3. James Katzer et al., The Future of Coal Options for a Carbon-Constrained World, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, March 2007, 4. Energy Information...

Affordable Green Efficiency for the People

Green and efficient energy strategies are not just for well-heeled companies. At the Green Institute, an eco-industrial park that is redeveloping an old area of Phillips, one of the poorest and most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Minneapolis, there is no furnace. Nonetheless, this state-of-the-art green office park and light manufacturing facility is comfortable through the long, cold Minnesota winters. Instead of turning to a conventional boiler, when executive director Michael Krause was...