Fueling America

Cindy Zimmerman

CNN Special ReportCNN.com has an interactive special report called “Fueling America” that features information on a variety of alternative fuel and energy source with a relatively objective viewpoint – simply putting it out there and pointing out some pros and cons.

There is also a good article on CNN about the lack of ethanol production outside of the Midwest.

Outside the country’s corn-producing leaders, efforts to produce biofuels vary widely. In the Northeast, Pennsylvania has moved forward with several measures outlined in Gov. Ed Rendell’s Penn Security Fuels Initiative. Conversely, New York and New Jersey produce no ethanol, though two plants are expected to come on line in New York in the next few years.

There is a focus in the article on Florida’s efforts to move into biofuels production, quoting Dana Weber, executive director of the Florida Biofuels Association.

Take Florida. While it does produce corn, it is without an existing ethanol plant and has none under construction.

The state government, though, has begun an aggressive funding program aimed at developing alternative energy sources, including the types of biofuels that will be needed to reach Gov. Charlie Crist’s goals that the state’s energy sources be 20 percent renewable by 2020.

“One of the challenges we have is this is all very new territory. There’s a lot of technologies out there,” Weber said. “Everybody’s trying to figure out what is going to be the best thing not only for their state but also globally.”

And it also talks about state efforts to develop cellulosic ethanol.

Several states are moving aggressively in developing cellulosic ethanol, which uses various materials from the biomass including switchgrass, corn stalks, wood chips, municipal waste and other substances. Among the cellulosic leaders have been Tennesee and Georgia, where dot.com billionaire Vinod Khosla has financed the construction of a plant that will use the state’s abundant long-leaf pines to create ethanol.

Worth checking out.

Cellulosic, Energy, Ethanol, News