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Alternative Fuel News

Indy 500 begins running E100 at 91st annual race.

May 2007
The Indianapolis 500 launches a new era in racing - All IndyCars now run 100 percent Ethanol Racing Fuel having changed from Methanol 100 in 2005. The racing fuel will be produced by a Renova Energy biodiesel refinery in Wyoming.

Vehicles Purchased or Placed in Service in 2006

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 replaced the clean-fuel burning deduction with a tax credit. A tax credit is subtracted directly from the total amount of federal tax owed, thus reducing or even eliminating the taxpayer's tax obligation. The tax credit for hybrid vehicles applies to vehicles purchased or placed in service on or after January 1, 2006.

The price of Oil

Oil prices have fallen some 25 percent since mid-July's record high of $78.40 which is a welcome trend for consumers but, OPEC apparently wants to keep the price as high as possible. The cost per barrel of oil had dropped to around $56 per barrel and OPEC began curbing production in order to get the price going back up. OPEC wasn't scheduled to have another meeting until December of 2006 but, the recent low in prices spurred them into more immediate action and they scheduled an emergency meeting on October 19, 2006. The main agenda for the meeting. cuts in daily production of 1 million barrels per day, the first cutback in production since April, 2004. This action was left as open ended statement, meaning that further cuts in production could be incurred by the end of the year 2006.

Plastic Car Parts on the rise

December 2007: Recent changes in fuel mileage standards signed into law by George W. Bush will likely result in more plastic parts in order to reduce vehicle weight. Southeast Texas Chemical Plants which produce over 30% of the nations plastic resin requriments are expected to benefit. What does this mean to the cost of these new cars, and vehicular safety concerns?

Fossil Fuel Pollution

The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story stating that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was going to relax pollution rules for new ethanol production plants in the US. This action by way of changing the way those plants are permitted to operate under the Clean Air Act. Existing rules quantify plants such as ethanol production facilities as major source of pollution if they emit more than 100 tons of toxic chemicals per year. Once determined to be a 'major polluter', these plants are subject to certain restrictions which include being forced to install pollution elimination equipment and, and an intensive permit process. The pollution elimination equipment is required to remove nearly 95% of the polluting emissions.

Ethanol blended diesel fuel is a mixture of ethanol and diesel fuel. The ratio of these two fuel components varies with the manufacturer. In addition, a co-solvent is added to allow for the diesel to mix with the ethanol. The fuel E-Diesel that is currently being used in a pilot project of Husky Energy Ltd., Octel-Starreon/AAE, and Winnipeg Transit combines 91.5 percent diesel fuel, 7.5 percent ethanol, and 1 percent co-solvent. Currently ethanol blended diesel fuel is used by a variety of users in the United States and Europe. This alternative fuel is not the same as BioDiesel.

The benefits of using this fuel include a 3 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and reduced emissions of some air pollutants (notably particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides). At the moment there are no gas stations that sell ethanol blended diesel fuel. In a few years we may see it marketed to large fleet users such as transit systems and highway transport trucks.

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 Texas Gas Tax Relief

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