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Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? - Printable Version
ConCen
Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? (/thread-44786.html)



Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? - MasterChiefa - 02-25-2012

There seems to be an awful lot of talk about a carbon tax, to the point where I think the majority of people concerned with protecting the environment are completely focused on it, and possibly losing sight of alternatives. Could a tax be effective at lowering our use of petroleum? Sure; but would it be the most effective way? If it does happen, who will be "paying" for the majority of the tax; the consumers or the extractors?

The crux of the issue, to me, is the combustion of petroleum, not necessarily carbon; so, what alternatives are there to the use of petroleum? Maybe the first thing we should do is examine where we're using the most petroleum:

[Image: Usesofpetroleum.png]

Obviously alternative fuels should be a priority; why are so many people focusing on taxing petroleum, as opposed to discovery and promotion of alternatives? Who benefits from our continued reliance on petroleum?

Biofuels have been criticized for allegedly rising the cost of "food", which could very well be true; so
fuels from algae seem like a great idea, as we don't eat algae.

Quote:Harvested algae, like fossil fuel, release CO2 when burnt but unlike fossil fuel the CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere by the growing algae.

Quote:The United States Department of Energy estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (39,000 km2) which is only 0.42% of the U.S. map, or about half of the land area of Maine. This is less than 1⁄7 the area of corn harvested in the United States in 2000. However, these claims remain unrealized, commercially. According to the head of the Algal Biomass Organization algae fuel can reach price parity with oil in 2018 if granted production tax credits.

I guess the question I keep asking myself is this: which seems more productive, putting our finite time and energy into producing algae fuel on a mass scale, or putting that same time and energy into getting carbon taxed?

I dedicated the majority of this post to algae fuel, but there are plenty of other alternatives as well; I just happen to think algae fuel seems like our best bet at the moment. There are claims that cannabis could be a viable alternative, but these claims don't seem to be as well supported.

There are alternatives to petrochemical based pesticides (PDF), and alternatives to plastics made from petroleum; but I think the picture I included above explains exactly why I focused so much on the alternative fuel aspect.

There are even solutions to cleaning up the mess we've already made using petroleum, such as mycoremediation.

Quote:In an experiment conducted in conjunction with Dr. S. A. Thomas, a major contributor in the bioremediation industry, a plot of soil contaminated with diesel was inoculated with mycelia of oyster mushrooms; traditional bioremediation techniques (bacteria) were used on control plots. After four weeks, more than 95% of many of the PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) had been reduced to non-toxic components in the mycelial-inoculated plots.

http://www.fungi.com/mycotech/petroleum_problem.html

Quote:Here is, perhaps, one path to a solution in response to the BP oil spill disaster. This is experimental and not yet proven, but I think this approach merits serious testing, and may be especially applicable inside of the containment booms, and along marshlands.

We are currently testing "MycoBooms™"; straw colonized with oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) mycelium encased in hemp-tubes.



RE: Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? - MasterChiefa - 02-25-2012

I fully admit the terminology I used is fairly bad in some places, which is why I decided to fix it:
http://db.tt/nOvrg349


RE: Petroleum extractors and/or refiners pushing for carbon tax? - FastTadpole - 02-26-2012

CO2 is poison!





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