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CBO says: "Drill, baby, drill!" isn't the answer...
Today, CBO released a report, Energy Security in the United States, which describes the current situation and evaluates a variety of options to increase US energy security. A significant conclusion of the report is that increasing domestic oil supply won't do much to shield the country from shocks in the international market. They say:
"Policies that promoted greater production of oil in the United States would probably not protect U.S. consumers from sudden worldwide increases in oil prices stemming from supply disruptions elsewhere in the world, even if increased production lowered the world price of oil on an ongoing basis. In fact, such lower prices would encourage greater use of oil, thus making consumers more vulnerable to increases in oil prices. Even if the United States increased production and became a net exporter of oil, U.S. consumers would still be exposed to gasoline prices that rose and fell in response to disruptions around the world."

The report implicitly supports passage of the Open Fuel Standard Act (HR1687) when it says that: Policies that promote flexibility in the fuels that households and businesses use for transportation would reduce their vulnerability to changes in oil prices. Thus, more drilling isn't the answer. The answer lies in creating a competitive market for transportation fuels.
Energy use is pervasive throughout the U.S. economy. Households and businesses use energy from oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, and renewable sources (such as wind and the sun) to generate elect...
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Bob Wyman's profile photoJames Salsman's profile photoAlexander Howard's profile photo
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For transportation fuel synthesis, see page 28 of ceramics.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/mcare12-rath.pdf multiplied by the figures in bloomberg.com/energy (less than $1/gallon) -- note that this also works for dispatchable storage to level demand for wind power on the grid, too. For wind power capacity, see www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/19/0904101106 and +Makani Power, which is making high altitude turbines which will produce twice as much wind power per land area, be viable in the deep ocean which the PNAS study doesn't contemplate, and cost half as much per area, too. For carbon sequestration and reforestation, see e.g. www.american-plasticlumber.com/structural.html using pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2012/EE/c2ee03393c as a feedstock source.
 
+James Salsman Thanks for the intriguing suggestion of using plastic wood as a carbon sink. To make things more interesting, consider that since plastic wood is primarily polyethylene, then once its lifetime is finished, you could convert it into fuel (or new plastic wood) rather than disposing of it in a waste dump.
See this interesting article and video on a Japanese inventor who has created very simple systems for converting plastics, like polyethylene into fuel: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/02/14/award-winning-inventor-makes-fuel-from-plastic-bags/
Larger scale plastics-to-fuel systems are being developed by a variety of folk including Envion: http://www.envion.com/technology/advantage.php
 
+Bob Wyman Matt Eisaman and his team from PARC (who just wanted the short-term proof of concept and a patent) are looking for someone to sponsor the continuation and commercialization of their process of carbon extraction from seawater, which is much more efficient than the Navy's. He says he needs $600,000/year for his team and equipment. Please ask around if you can. He's in the Brookhaven National Lab email directory.
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