Sebastian Indacochea

Current Status of Alternative Energy

Oil fuels the modern world. Over the past 200 years, it has changed the economies and lifestyles of most people on this planet. I consider the use of oil to have had the greatest impact. Not only has it affected so many, but rapidly and in different ways. But oil is a finite resource. We must look to alternatives for an answer to our energy problems.

First article:

-Thermal conversion process plant in Carthage, Missouri

-turns 270 tons of turkey guts, 20 tons of pig fat into 500 barrels of oil

-also can process slaughterhouse waste, municipal sewage, old tires, mixed plastics

-first commercial biorefinery in the world that can make oil from a variety of waste streams

-oil comes out better than crude

Is this a good long term option? We are still relying on oil and burning fossil fuels.

-was not subsidized when biodiesel received $1 a gallon

-study by the International Center for Technology Assessment shows that unsubsidized gasoline would cost $15 a gallon, I am a bit skeptical

If we can afford and are willing to pay for it, should we continue to rely on oil?

Why are so resistant to this change?

Why has the US been so slow, compared to Europe, in developing alternative energy?

Second article:

-written in 1999, but along with first article provides good contrast

-evidence suggests that a growing number of people may pay extra to go green

-most consumers will let their wallets do the choosing

-federal handouts are the only way renewable energies can compete with fossil fuels           

What’s next?

Nuclear power- safety, disposal issues

Wind- only viable in certain areas

Solar- only viable in certain areas

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last updated 1/25/06