The case for American Alternative Energy:
Patriotic: At last count the USA currently imports fifty percent (50%) of our petroleum energy from countries that in some ways are our POLITICAL ENEMIES! This cost USA jobs, USA dollars, and could jeopardize our National Security!
Jobs: An analysis completed by Future Metrics, Inc, determined that if the six million homes the the rural areas of the Northeast that currently use fuel oil or propane as heating fuel converted to biofuel pellets, the resulting economic impact would create approximately 1.34 million USA jobs!
In the report, titled “How the norther states can Heat with Renewable Energy and Create Jobs and Economic Grown while Significantly Lowering Carbon Emissions,” author William Strauss points out that only 19% of the heating oil refined in the USA for Northeast markets is made from oil extracted in the USA. As a result, much of the money spent on heating oil leaves the country.
Locally produced biofuel pellets, however, keeps almost 100% of every dollar spent circulating locally. The report also stresses that pellet fuel is about half the price of heating oil for the same heating energy. Also, the supply chain for harvesting sustainable biomass and manufacturing and distributing pellets creates jobs in the Good Ole USA.
Money: How much petroleum does the United States import and export?
In 2015, the United States imported approximately 9.4 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of petroleum from about 88 countries. Petroleum includes crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, liquefied refinery gases, refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel, and biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel. About 78% of gross petroleum imports were crude oil. At a price of $48/barrel (in 2015) that would be about $353 million per day for cude oil.
In 2015, the United States exported about 4.7 MMb/d of petroleum to 147 countries. Most of the exports were petroleum products. The resulting net imports (imports minus exports) of petroleum were about 4.7 MMb/d.
At a price of $48/barrel (in 2015) that would be about $353 million per day for crude oil, or OVER $126 Billion per year! Try to think what that would do to our LOCAL – USA – economy if that money stayed here in the USA! How many jobs would be created here in the USA to replace that much crude oil with biomass, solar, wind, or hydro derived renewable energy?
Let’s start with small family farms. Small farms could be come economically viable by growing 20 – 30 acres of renewable biomass. Local, multi-county coops could be started to process this biomass into liquid or pelletized fuel that would be consumed locally! That same coop could convert vehicles to flex-fuel, creating more local jobs. That same coop could process and market food crops grown by these local family farms.
Ineos Bio recently (2013) built an approximate 8 million gallon/yr ethanol plant for about $130 million. At $1.80/ gal that will bring in about $14.4 million per year for renewable, liquid, alcohol fuel. Biomass cost about $50/ton of dry mass.