“Methanol Mania” hits the Gulf Coast ­

Lane Kelley of ICIS Chemical Business calls it “methanol mania” and he probably wasn’t exaggerating. Last week Texas and Louisiana underwent an explosion of activity, promising to turn the region into a world center for methanol. Earlier this month, Louisiana… Continue Reading →

Life becomes tough for oil companies and oil nations — what to do?

Wow. Over the last few days, the nation has seen the possibilities inherent in a transportation-related energy and environmental policy. No, Washington has not become more functional. It’s still a mess! Happily, Congress is out! (They weren’t doing much.) While… Continue Reading →

Europe says yes to alternative vehicles

Things have always been a little easier in Europe when it comes to saving gas and adopting different kinds of vehicles. The distances are shorter, the roads narrower, and the cities built more for the 19th century than the 21st.… Continue Reading →

Natural gas, corn stover and the restricted ethanol market

The nation is lucky to have Gina McCarthy as the head of the EPA. Her background is exquisite, her intellect is superior and her sensitivity to and understanding of the environmental issues facing America is second to none. She has… Continue Reading →

What do religious patents and Pope Francis have to with reducing oil dependency?

Israel has more patents per capita than any other nation in the world. Despite wars and tension at its borders, international investor interest remains high, particularly in high-tech industries. Indeed, high-tech industries continue to grow faster than any other industrial… Continue Reading →

Pete Seeger and building consensus for transitional fuels

I have a love for folk music. I recently heard the cantor sing “Where have all the Flowers Gone?” at a service for the Jewish High Holidays. It brought back a lot of memories concerning the ‘60s: a period of… Continue Reading →

What are flex-fuel vehicles?

At the beginning of the long, winding road away from complete dependence on gasoline lies the holy grail of the flex-fuel vehicle. This would be a car that runs on any fuel at any time. That would include gasoline, ethanol,… Continue Reading →

API and ethanol — A musical match made from memory

Every time I get depressed about the world — and there is plenty to get depressed about — API (American Petroleum Institute) issues a silly press release that, in its confusing presentation and content, brings back a romantic song from… Continue Reading →

“Pump” makes the case for Fuel Freedom

Fuel Freedom opened up a new front in making the case for alternatives to gasoline with an 88-minute documentary called “Pump,” which was released in New York, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City on Sept. 19 and will continue to… Continue Reading →

Budweiser trades Clydesdales for natural gas

The famous Clydesdales that have hauled Budweiser’s barrels of beer since the 19th century are finally being replaced by up-to-date 21st century, compressed natural gas-driven vehicles. Well, it isn’t quite that simple. There’s been a long, 80-year interval between the… Continue Reading →