Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Schwarzenegger and Fuel Economy Plus NJ and CFLs

In a move sure to tick off most of the Republican party: Next Schwarzenegger target: fuel emissions
A white paper by Schwarzenegger advisors and obtained by The Times said, "To protect our jobs and wages, clean our air, cool our Earth and maintain our way of life, we must diversify our fuel sources and reduce our reliance on oil."

Such an order would be the first major step in implementing the state's landmark law approved last fall that requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. Greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere, are considered a major cause of global warming.

Meanwhile Atlantic County in New Jersey is getting together with Lowes in order to give away CFLs.
Atlantic County government and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, in cooperation with Lowe’s, will promote the importance of energy efficiency in protecting the environment during National Cut Your Energy Cost Day by holding workshops and giving away 1,000 Energy Star compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs at four locations to those who participate in the Energy Star Change a Light Pledge.

Also see this blog post that I made in May of 2006:
What Good Will It Do?

Yesterday I updated two more light fixtures to using CFLs. I picked up a two pack of some really small, but very bright (60W), CFLs for ~$8. They fit into the fixtures perfectly. I need 9 globes for the bathrooms and four more of the small CFLs and my entire house will have only fluorescent lighting.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Iran and OPEC Threaten the World

Gee, just a couple of days ago I mentioned that the current falling gas prices would prompt OPEC to say that they will cut production (but they probably will not or not as much as they state) and that Iran will threaten to nuke someone, probably Israel.

Oil is around $55 a barrel, which is what I predicted for the end of 2006, I was off by a couple of days.

OPEC threatens to cut production. Surprise. I still say that $60 a barrel is 1) not realistic due to the fact that it will be hundreds of years before oil supply is really threatened, plenty to go around and 2) not sustainable on the world market for too long.

They are building a top heavy house with their policies. Now it is good in some ways because we do not want the prices to just crash. Give the market a little time to diversify their investments and gently ease the prices down to about $35 a barrel, which would be a reasonable price.

Unfortunately we know that would be bad for alternative energy. Why? because the general public will be able to drive their vehicles rather cheaply again and will use the extra money to buy fast food rather than pay off their bills. Due to that, not as many politicians will continue to push for a more expensive in the short term solution to the problem of dependence on oil imports.

In other news, it is going to be almost 80 degrees in NC this Saturday. Time to dust off the Carolina Rollergirls tight tank top and my soccer short.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Alternative Energy Spending Going Bye Bye?

Alternative-Energy Spending Fizzles Out

Although Bush proposed a fiscal-year 2007 budget that would have increased funding for some renewable-energy resources, including solar and biomass, as well as for research into hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, the budget was not passed. Instead, Congress passed a stop-gap continuing resolution that will keep the budget at 2006 levels, which, because of inflation, amounts to a cut in funding, and it specifically decreases funding in some cases.
Romm says the budget "for all energy efficiency and all renewable energy is something like a billion. Given [that] the scale of the problem with global warming and our oil imports is so humongous, we're hardly addressing the issue at all."

Perhaps the private sector will pick up the slack, even if some of the incentives go away? Or even if there may be a slowing down of research due to a lack of federal funding?

Wal-Mart has had a few experimental stores that used green energy. This link here shows a row of their solar panels at one store. The text states that Wal-Mart may start pushing green solutions to other stores. With how many stores they have, the impact could be quite impressive.

Farm Futures ran the article, Firms Double Investments in Energy Ventures, today and in it they state that:
Venture capital firms more than doubled their investments in biofuels and other energy ventures in 2006, and even more is expected in 2007.

Maybe we might have a better idea after the Wall Street Green Trading Summit VI which has been announced for April 16th and 17th of 2007.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oil drops due to warm US weather

So possible global warming is good for the economy! ;p

Now that oil is below $59 (at this instant, may not be by the time I hit publish) I am wondering when Iran will threaten to nuke Israel or to use oil as a weapon in order to up the price again. Of course if Iran's usual assortment of threats do not impact the price then their real leader (OPEC) will step in and say that they may make cuts or that there may be a supply issue in order to raise the price back up to $60+, which I still think is unsustainable for the global market.

Fortunately the DoE is looking into diversifying US oil imports with more non-OPEC countries being thrown into the mix. Saudi Arabia was still our top OPEC source in October and Canada our largest non-OPEC source. Imports were also a bit lower than they were in September.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Watch your wallet

I have noticed an increasing trend in the posting and pushing of little gadgets that are advertised as improving the performance of your vehicle. Many of these note (and usually with large and bold text) that these little contraptions will improve gas mileage. A great pitch during these times.

However, most of the time the claims do not live up to what is advertised and some gadgets can have a negative impact on your vehicle. Be sure to research any and all claims before trying anything out.

Good ways to save a few $$$$:

Drive within the posted speed limits
Do not step on the gas pedal to quickly accelerate
Purchase a hybrid vehicle
Clean out the car (reduce some of that extra weight you are carrying around)
Check the air filter
Make sure to use the recommended oil and gas grades for your vehicle.
Be sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and if you are unsure whether or not the car is still in alignment, have it checked out.

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