A prominent state lawmaker is calling for construction of a biodiesel fuel refinery in Eastern Washington, fed by local crops and paid for partly with millions of dollars in state money.
“There’s benefit for everybody if we get this thing going,” said Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, who chairs the House construction- budget committee. So far, he said, groups in Lincoln County, Columbia County and Spokane Valley are interested. The Spokane-area proposal comes from several local farm cooperatives and the county conservation district.
This sounds like an excellent idea. To be able to produce our own fuel, locally, and with out extensive harm to the enviroment is a great thing. Spokane currently uses about 10,000 gallons of B20 blend a month. It is shipped into town from plants back east.
If we could localize the production of this resource, and start to offer it at more and more retail outlets, the Diesel community would embrace it. Especially since it should be cheaper then Dino-Diesel once we have the production up and running here.
I think the solutions will lay in the details. If we can get a refinery and mash plant constructed and operational here, that will cut the prices of Biofuel. If the State would cut taxes on it (as it is better on the enviroment and will help with the Federal Clean Air act responsiblities), it would be a win/win scenerio.
With the call for a Light Rail system in Spokane, and with many of the trains running on Diesel – B100 would be a perfect fuel. Personally, I would not support any light rail system that was not B100 powered, or at least as clean in totality. Electric might not be the awnser either – where is that power generated, and using what methods?
Much of the energy producted in the Spokane area is hydropower. Hydropower is a good solution, however there is a significant portion that is produced by Gas powerplants. With the current spike in natural gas prices, we can see why we might want to look towards local, clean, power production.
Honestly (and I know that I am not going to win any awards for thinking this), I would support a new Nuclear power plant in Eastern Washington. Nuke Plants are not what they used to be.
One of the major requirements for sustaining human progress is an adequate source of energy. The current largest sources of energy are the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas … They will last quite a while but will probably run out or become harmful in tens to hundreds of years. Solar energy will also work but is not much developed yet except for special applications because of its high cost. This high cost as a main source, e.g. for central station electricity, is likely to continue, and nuclear energy is likely to remain cheaper. A major advantage of nuclear energy (and also of solar energy) is that it doesn’t put carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. How much of an advantage depends on how bad the CO2 problem turns out to be.
If we as a species are to survive for the long term, we need to start thinking in the long term. We must find ways to sustain ourselves, and not impact the environment too greatly. Our current use of dirty fossil fuels has got to stop.