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View Diary: Sunday Train: Unleashing the Political Power of Bio-Coal (128 comments)

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  •  The ethanol example suggests that ... (1+ / 0-)
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    DocGonzo

    ... the hard part is getting it going, which is why the premise for this whole thing is Democrats in some relevant taking advantage of a political breakthrough to get this started.

    Since we could see the first biocoal produced within two years of a program passed, if the program is started, it will be possible to run on it actually producing "energy in our state, for our state" in the very next election.

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    by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:44:48 PM PDT

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    •  Ethanol Makes It Harder (1+ / 0-)
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      BruceMcF

      Ethanol for fuel in the US is a well-known debacle. It was a subsidy programme for Upper Midwest farmers that cost more in imported energy than it produced domestically. It was premature to deploy before the bulk of the crops (cellulose) could be made into fuel, and while the ethanol wore out engines quicker.

      That scam makes it politically harder to do it right, now that the reputation is well known.

      I think it's going to take a lot to get over all the accumulated boondoggles on the landscape.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 07:22:53 PM PDT

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      •  Is that an issue ... (1+ / 0-)
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        DocGonzo

        ... for keeping the system in place once the ball has started rolling, or is that an issue in getting the ball rolling?

        The focus of this essay is on political sustainability and momentum, it hasn't looked at how to get the premised political breakthrough. If what you are talking about is headwinds to getting it going, you're helping me draft a future essay.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:00:13 PM PDT

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        •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

          I posted some stuff about tech in this diary discussion, including the post about coal fuel cells that started the subthread with you. But in the subthread I've been trying to stick to your diary point about how we actually get people to do what must be done before it's too late, which requires politics.

          So yeah, I'm talking about the problem the ethanol fuels legacy presents in getting really sustainable biofuels rolling. I don't see what political breakthru will get past all that's already in place keeping us unsustainable.

          Except $150 oil barrels, or maybe a natgas bubble bust. By then it'll be too late. In 10 years the only hope will be large scale fusion powering direct atmospheric CO2 cracking, but all the energy already stored in the oceans (along with acidic carbon) will mean it's too late to do anything but slow and lessen the inevitable. Which will likely overwhelm already stressed places with WMD. Too late.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 09:12:40 PM PDT

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          •  So, what is the big hurdle created by the ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... ethanol policy? And how broad a shadow does it cast?

            How does it hurt:
            (1) Windpower
            (2) Photovoltaic Solar Power
            (3) Consumer Thermal Solar Power
            (4) Electric Rapid Rail
            (5) Electric light rail and trolley buses
            (6) Electric bikes & Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

            (7) Indeed, I don't actually see what the actual problem that it poses for getting the policy in this essay.

            I can see how it can tangle up developing actually ecologically sustainable, renewable liquid biofuels, but don't really see any major problem that follows from those not being in a position to take a leading role.

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            by BruceMcF on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:02:10 AM PDT

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