The Future of "Green" Fuels
Appears in Print as: '"Live Green Go Yellow"'
If you think back to the 2009-2010 timeframe, it seemed as though the future of energy in automobiles was going to come from a farm near you.
Biofuels were going to change the world.
In fact, that headline was a phrase used by General Motors back in 2006 when it was urging people to put E85 in their tanks.
Before the decade was out, GM was supporting companies like Coskata, which was developing the ways and means to transform things like wood biomass and agricultural waste into fuel.
And GM was far from being the only company that was supporting the biofuels revolution in a public way.
Things were so heated that there was some concern that the price of popcorn at movie theaters was going to skyrocket because farmers would sell their crops to fuel-makers at the expense of movie goers.
Turns out that hasn’t been the case. Well, yes, the price of popcorn has gone up. But not because of ethanol.
Biodiesel is a different take on green fuel. It is made out of things like recycled cooking oil, animal fats, and plant oils.
When the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) slammed the Obama Administration and Congress for insufficient support of biodiesel a few years ago, CEO Joe Jobe blamed “the consequences of policy inaction.”
It seems that (1) the Obama administration failed to finalize biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (which goes back to 2005 and 2007, when it was thought important to have a percentage of renewables in transportation fuels for purposes of energy independence) and (2) Congress permitted the $1-per gallon biodiesel tax incentive to lapse at the beginning of 2014.
Jobe said that biofuel plants are closing and others are having a difficult time planning production. He stated, “The most frustrating aspect is that this is completely unnecessary. This is an industry that should be growing, and that has proven it can expand with smart policies in place. Yet we have this paralysis in Washington. Biodiesel companies simply can’t plan for growth or hire new people with the kind of uncertainty we have now.”
Washington notwithstanding, we know someone who is a big supporter of biodiesel:
The Mazda CX-5 first appeared on the scene in 2012, and for 2017, the vehicle has undergone some major transformations, to enhance what was already a notable small crossover.
Honda is an engine company.
Making improvements to existing engines, as well as working toward something entirely different.