06/26/2009 - Member eNewsletter
Greetings from David Blume
and the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture (IIEA) Team.
June 26, 2009
Last week we reminded you that David had predicted gas prices would be right back up following the election and, sure enough, welcome 4th of July and $3.00 a gallon gas!
This week marked another significant “DIDN’T WE JUST SAY THAT?” moment when U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu stated, “The nation’s car manufacturers ought to make all new automobiles able to run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel.”
Have you seen David’s letter to President Obama about becoming the new president of GM? Check it out below; we thank Energy Secretary Chu for matching David’s automaker policy encouragement (albeit a bit late). Also in this week’s eNewsletter, we tell you how to make an official comment to the Environmental Protection Agency to show your support for 15% alcohol fuel at the pump.
The Alcohol Fuel Revival is ON!
This week's issue of the IIEA eNewsletter offers valuable rewards to readers who find their ACBAG-related info hidden in the newsletter. Look for your partial email name (dBlume@, as an example), your affiliate ID number, or the four- to six-digit coupon code from the upper right-hand box of the Alcoholics Unanimous mailer found between pages 548 and 549 of your copy of Alcohol Can Be A Gas.
This week, prizes will be $100 discounts on registration for workshops. You could win, friends, so know your ACBAG email, affiliate ID, and coupon code—and please read carefully!
Alcohol Can Be a Gas! News
3) Editorial by David Blume: As CEO of GeneralChrysFordCo, President Obama Can Use the Bailout to Spearhead Renewable Energy and Rebuild America
4) David Blume and Wisconsin Farmers Union Release: Nestle Toxic Cookie Dough
Ideal for Alcohol Fuel not Land Fill!
IIEA, working with the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the State Office of Energy Independence, has opted to combine its upcoming Wisconsin workshops. Registrants for the Osseo workshop will be welcomed to the July 6–7 program in Madison. (jackjuly9@)
David Blume will be joined by aquaponics specialist Myles Harston and Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence Director Maria Redmond. Collectively, the team will be providing detailed insight on special-interest issues, including the addition of fish-farming to your permaculturally designed food and fuel plan, and an update on state tax incentive programs for alcohol fuel production.
The two-day workshop will be held Monday and Tuesday, July 6 and 7, at the Madison Area Technical College (Truax Campus).
Register online today at: http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/book_menu/360/364
If you are planning to join David, members of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Maria Redmond of the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence, and our other alcohol fuel revivalists—we have a special surprise.
Blues recording artist Jeff Child will be playing a benefit concert at a special “Networking Mixer” for workshop participants, Monday July 6, at the Madison Doubletree Hotel from 5:30 to 8:00 PM (CD115).
The DoubleTree Madison Hotel (www.doubletreemadison.com) is offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT RATE. This offer is set to expire, so act fast. Rooms regularly run $159–169 a night, but are available to us for $119 per night, for up to 4 in a room!
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS VIA PHONE: Call 1-800-222-TREE (or 608-251-5511). Give the agent your dates of stay and the following group code: "NEW."
3) Editorial by David Blume: As CEO of GeneralChrysFordCo, President Obama Can Use the Bailout to Spearhead Renewable Energy and Rebuild America
In my book, Alcohol Can Be a Gas!, I predicted the recent auto industry collapse. It's all but a foregone conclusion that a government bailout of the auto industry will happen, to save the millions of direct and indirect jobs generated by the Big Three. But unlike his predecessor who bailed out the banks, the new President ought to make sure that those receiving tax dollars use them in a responsible way to power a viable industry.
Buried in this debacle are possibly the seeds of a powerful wave that can regenerate not just the auto industry but also the entire nation, from cities to farms. We can learn from, and follow, the example of how another major country saved its economy by transforming its automobile industry.
In the early 1980s, Brazil, like all other developing countries of the day, was having its economy destroyed by skyrocketing oil prices. Most countries chose to borrow money to buy the oil they needed, but Brazil took a different tack. Its government mandated that General Motors and other companies making cars in Brazil produce vehicles that were to be powered by alcohol-fuel engines. The government's thinking was that alcohol fuel could be produced domestically and inexpensively, avoiding the crushing payments for foreign oil.
The auto companies resisted, saying that they would never retool their factories for a pipsqueak developing nation. They were global companies and didn't make "boutique" engines for anyone. So the Brazilian leaders said, "Read our lips. It's alcohol engines or leave the country." Miracle of miracle, six months later, high-compression, high-performance alcohol-only vehicles began rolling off every car company's assembly line. After all, the changes from gasoline to alcohol engines were simple: longer pistons, a modified carburetor, and different tuning, plus a cheap device to start the cars on cold mornings.
So while the rest of the developing world went into deep depression and debt, Brazil quietly avoided enslaving itself to U.S. banks and the World Bank, while simultaneously stemming the hemorrhage of capital out of the country to OPEC. Today, due to retaining its capital, Brazil is a powerhouse economy, no longer a developing country, with 85% of its vehicles running on alcohol. Alcohol is half the price of gasoline there. New gasoline-only vehicles are a thing of the past; older gas vehicles have to be converted to flex-fuel to have any resale value, and Brazil imports not one single barrel of foreign oil. In other words, they ate our lunch.
When Sweden mandated that most fuel stations in that country carry alcohol at the pump, GM's Saab division quickly engineered the model 9-5 to be an advanced flexible-fuel vehicle which essentially gets the same mileage on alcohol or gas; implementation involved little more than adding a smart turbocharger, and virtually overnight alcohol fueling became a reality.
Now, GM Sweden is about to manufacture the first post-petroleum production vehicle, the Aeon sports car, which only runs on alcohol and gets something like 400 horsepower from a tiny engine (thanks to alcohol's 105-octane characteristics). The Swedish company Scania has been building heavy-duty bus engines that run exclusively on alcohol for nearly 30 years, powering city mass transit all over Scandinavia.
Additionally, China announced this year that it is now building advanced high-compression alcohol engines similar to the Scania engines, so as to bypass high-priced diesel altogether; China recognizes that the U.S. is not going to let it anywhere near Central Asian oil or even much of the Mideast oil.
The engineering for these engines originated in work done by our own Environmental Protection Agency, which attained 22% better mileage than diesel engines using straight alcohol. So now China is eating our lunch too, using our own bologna. (Coupon Code 8285)
If the new CEO of General ChrysFordCo, President Obama, were to mandate, as part of the bailout, that all U.S. vehicles beginning in July 2009 are required to be flexible-fuel, i.e., able to run on both alcohol and gasoline, all it would take is the reprogramming of vehicle computers. There would be no capital investment costs at all.
President Obama should demand that by 2010 all cars sold in the U.S., no matter who makes them, should be advanced flex-fuel vehicles able to run not just on E85 (85% alcohol) but on E100 (straight alcohol) as well, with coldstart devices installed.
Overall this could add a few hundred dollars to the cost of building a car, but it has huge implications for the nation's economy. Chrysler is sitting on a patent using a semiconductor to heat fuel injectors instantly; this would be an elegant and inexpensive way to coldstart an alcohol vehicle down to 50 degrees below zero. It would eliminate the current flawed approach of including 15% gasoline in E85 to permit coldstarting without devices.
There is no reason that by 2011, all US vehicles shouldn’t be at least as efficient as the current GM-Saab and get equal mileage on either fuel. By 2012, we should be implementing the same diesel-like alcohol engines the Chinese are now building, and they should be available for all our car lines, increasing mileage dramatically virtually overnight. None of this requires any new breakthroughs, and all of it can be implemented in short order.
Since the Big Oil propaganda about food versus fuel has now been proven to be demonstrably false, alcohol fuel production is exploding all around the world. By joining up, the U.S. would not only be saving itself nearly a trillion dollars a year in oil imports but would reestablish itself as an exporter of vehicles rather than a major importer, but that's the tip of the iceberg. By having such a huge new market for alcohol fuel, entrepreneurs in the U.S. would rise to the occasion by producing lower-cost alcohol fuel from all sorts of non-corn sources. In Alcohol Can Be A Gas, I cite Department of Energy studies which conclude that such a conversion would generate at least 26 million new, permanent, non-exportable American jobs. That's a lot more than all the jobs Bush destroyed during the disastrous last eight years.
The cost to do all this, including building enough alcohol fuel production plants to power the entire country, would be less than $200 billion. This figure even includes building alcohol-fueling stations independent of the current oil-company-owned stations. A year ago, that might have seemed like a lot of money, but compared with the recent bank bailouts and the $700 billion we have militarily spent to secure Iraq's oil for U.S. companies, it would be the bargain of the century. Properly leveraged, a couple of dozen billions to bail out the auto industry could end our dependence on foreign oil (saving trillions over time), end unemployment in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, and reverse global warming by eliminating fossil fuels from transportation.
All CEO Obama has to do is to make the bailout contingent on GeneralChrysFordCo committing to be the spearhead of his renewable energy program. Requiring this simple, currently available alcohol-fuel technology to be part of all American vehicles would generate a cascade of commerce that would rebuild both urban and rural America, permanently, sustainably, and economically.
4) David Blume and Wisconsin Farmers Union Release: Nestle Toxic Cookie Dough Ideal for Alcohol Fuel not Landfill!
For immediate release: June 19, 2009
Adrienne Joseph or Sue Beitlich
715-723-5561/715-379-2712 or 608-769-7625
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
E. coli Alert: Nestle Recalls Toll House Cookie Dough Products!
David Blume says: Dough is Perfect for Making Clean Alcohol Fuel
Chippewa Falls, Wis. (June 19, 2009) – Permaculture and BioFuels Expert and author David Blume, who will be appearing at the Wisconsin Farmers Union Summer Conference on June 25, 2009, and will be holding his two-day workshop on June 27-28, 2009, in Osseo, Wis., and July 6-7, 2009 in Madison, Wis., made the following statement today:
"Nestle's recall of its Toll House refrigerated cookie dough products followed the FDA's statement that there have been 66 reports of illness across 28 states since March '09, involving people who ate the dough raw."
Blume continued saying that, "The current cookie dough health scare is triggering nationwide recalls that include Nestle's refrigerated cookie bar dough, cookie dough tub, cookie dough tubes, limited edition cookie dough items, seasonal cookie dough, Ultimates cookie bar dough and it extends to chocolate chip dough and other varieties, including gingerbread, sugar and peanut butter cookie dough. These are now waste products, but all of these sources can be readily repurposed as an environmentally friendly and economically beneficial Alcohol Fuel source."
Contaminated and waste food crises such as the recent toxic pistachio and poison peanut recall demonstrate once again why America needs a thriving small-scale alcohol fuel system. As Blume has written articles on and stated in interviews over the last several months, "Foods such as Nestle's Toll House Cookie Dough, are carbohydrate-ladened products that though toxic now, but can be safely repurposed and are ideally suited to be fodder for alcohol fuel."
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. Small-scale alcohol distillery plants are able to extract the starches and sugars from these contaminated food products, feed them to yeast (the same yeast used to make bread), which converts them to an end product alcohol fuel suited to replacing gasoline, ethanol, biodiesel and heating oil. The distillation process would render any bacteria or germs harmless and the by-products would be safe for repurposing or disposal.
Massive food system failures happen with surprising frequency.
- California-based Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., the nation's second-largest pistachio processor, was voluntarily recalling a portion of the roasted nuts it has been shipping since last fall that a Setton spokeswoman said amounts to more than 2 million pounds of nuts.
- We just went through the Toxic Peanut recall affecting millions of tons of food products.
- In the 80's there was an outbreak of aflatoxin in the nation's corn supply, which made most of a full year's crop carcinogenic.
- During the California medfly crisis, and Florida freezes much of the citrus crops go to the dump.
Poison crops can be repurposed to help replace toxic fossil fuel and here's how:
According to Blume, "Turning waste into valuable fuel, works best in smaller local alcohol plants. These plants are more nimble than the behemoth Ethanol plants that rely exclusively on corn. By having flexible material handling at the start of the distillation process, they are able to use smaller lots of different materials. The fermentation, distillation and Alcohol Fuel produced are the same regardless of whether we use corn, beets, cellulose, old bread or poison nuts."
As demonstrated in Blume's Amazon.com best-selling book Alcohol Can Be a Gas!, and taught in IIEA's Two Days to Energy Independence Workshops, a wide variety of waste foods including: donuts, broken pretzels, candy and all sorts of food processing waste can be used to produce clean, "green" alcohol fuel for about 30 cents per gallon.
According to the Governors' Biofuels Coalition, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in Des Moines the nation’s car manufacturers ought to make all new automobiles able to run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel. But Chu said the government could face resistance should it insist on the new standard, despite two of the nation’s three main automakers having recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
Chu, in Iowa awarding the state a share of its federal stimulus money, later said all pumps ought to offer at least a blend of 15 percent ethanol. “We should think about doing the following. I’ve been told it costs about $100 in gaskets and fuel lines to turn a car so that it can go all the way to E85,” Chu said, addressing public officials and news media at the Des Moines Botanical Center. “But in a new car it would only cost $100 out of $15,000. Wouldn’t it be nice to put in those fuel lines and gaskets so that we can use any ratio we wanted,” Chu added. “It’s just a thought, I don’t think you’re going to get any objections in this audience.”
Chu stopped short of saying the Obama administration would require the companies to build all vehicles as flex-fuel-ready. “It’s beginning to be discussed,” Chu said. “But, again, it’s one of those things where I think with virtually anything, once the government steps in the natural tendency is to resist government intervention.”
There is legislation pending in Congress that would require all domestic automobiles to eventually make all vehicles capable of running on E85.
IIEA and groups including Growth Energy are asking Americans everywhere to take a moment to let the Environmental Protection Agency know how we feel about the possibility of increasing the allowable percentage of alcohol fuel available at our gas pumps. Though it is only a minor gain, we must help push for the inclusion of 15% alcohol fuel at our gas pumps, and the EPA has extended its comment period on this important issue, to allow us to do just that.
Let the EPA know that you believe in alcohol fuel benefits; here are some discussion points to help you focus your comments:
I strongly support increasing the blend of alcohol fuel/ethanol in our gasoline to 15 percent because it will help our nation in these ways:
- We can grow our economy and create American jobs, according to the Department of Energy, the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, and a recent study by North Dakota State University researchers.
- By increasing blend levels from 10 to 15 percent, the U.S. will generate $24.4 billion and will displace seven billion gallons of imported gasoline each year.
- We know alcohol fuel is clean, renewable, and safe. There has been more testing of E15 than there has been of any other fuel additive in the history of the EPA waiver process.
- Research conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the DOE studied the effects of E15 on motor vehicles and small non-road engines, concluding that, when compared to traditional gasoline, E15 caused no significant changes in vehicle tailpipe emissions or drivability.
- A recent Minnesota drivability study supports the point that using E15 results in no difference in drivability compared to gasoline.
Submit your comments to the EPA by email at the link below, or send a fax to 1-202-566-1741, or send a letter (please include two copies) to:
Air and Radiation Docket
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
This link will take you right to the comment submission page in order to let the EPA know you support increasing gasoline's ethanol content to at least the E15 level. Log on today and show your support!
We are driving the Alcohol Fuel Revival. The time is now, and we are the people that can help ensure this change happens.
On to a "Green" tomorrow.
David Blume and the IIEA team.
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