Entries by Arctic Leaf

Maritime industry turns to alternative fuels

One giant cargo ship emits nearly as much pollution as 50 million cars. That was the jaw-dropping nugget in a Guardian story way back in 2009. For years, there has been a movement to introduce alternative fuels to the world’s maritime industry. Almost all ocean-borne shipping now runs on heavy oil or diesel fuel and […]

United hopes third try with biofuels is the charm

United Airlines took a giant step toward cutting its reliance on foreign fuels last week when it made $30 million investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy, one of the leading manufacturers of aviation biofuels made from municipal waste. The move is being touted as a step toward reducing carbon emissions, although there are some doubts about its […]

Tesla continues to walk the tightrope

One simple slide in a PowerPoint presentation by a Tesla official at an auto convention in Washington this month did almost as much damage as Elon Musk’s rocket blowing up soon after liftoff. JB Straubel, chief technological officer and co-founder of Tesla Motors, put up a slide on June 15 indicating that Tesla’s Model 3 […]

Is Elon Musk a welfare king?

Elon Musk is a darling of libertarians and free-market advocates because he is proposing to change the way Americans drive their cars through purely private effort. But he is now coming under fire for accepting gobs of government assistance in the process. Critics charge that he has already accepted $4.9 billion in federal and state […]

Audi tries synthesizing fuel

Tesla is trying to convert the world to the electric car. The Japanese are pushing hydrogen. But Audi, the German carmaker, has a different idea. It’s trying to synthesize fuel from the simplest of elements – water, carbon dioxide and solar energy. Audi’s research facility in Dresden has produced what the company calls an e-diesel […]

EPA’s ethanol ruling pleases no one

Nobody is happy with the EPA’s ruling on ethanol’s Renewable Fuel Standard made last week. The agency finally published its numbers after dodging the issue for two years and falling far behind on its legal obligations. “It’s Christmas in May for Big Oil,” said Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. “President Obama’s EPA continues to […]

Propane gains as an alternative for vehicles

School bus drivers in Macon, Georgia, have noticed one advantage to their new propane-driven school buses. “The children are much quieter,” says bus driver Esther Muhammad. “That’s because the engines don’t make as much noise. The kids can actually hear themselves talk.” Quieter engines are only one of the advantages school districts around the country […]

Ethanol industry eagerly awaits EPA ruling

June 1 will mark the day when the Environmental Protection Agency finally gets around to issuing its new requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standards Act, after a delay of more than two years. The EPA found itself between a rock and a hard place in 2013, when declining gasoline consumption pushed the ethanol production value […]