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Gulf Oil Spill Could Shape Biodiesel’s Future

Gulf Oil Spill Could Shape Biodiesel’s Future

While the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has had no measurable effect on the petroleum markets, it could end up having an impact on the biodiesel industry in this country.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is pouring thousands of gallons of oil into coastal ecosystems and has been designated as an event “of national significance” by President Obama. Heatingoil.com reports it could also be a turning point in our energy policy:

The environmental and economic devastation of the spill could have major political fallout that shapes future US energy policy. A shift in public opinion away for supporting offshore drilling could put the brakes on a federal plan to expand drilling allowances and build support for the development on biodiesel and other green energy sources.

It was just about a month ago that Obama was calling for more offshore drilling. Maybe this will get him to push Congress to finish work on the federal biodiesel tax incentive and save the biodiesel industry before it’s too late.

U.S. and Canadian locations that sell biodiesel today:

U.S. & Canada Biodiesel Plant Map

Biodiesel can be recovered from a variety of feedstocks including:

Algae Oil

Algae has great promise in terms of the abundant yields, but it costs a lot to refine.

AFAIK, most biodiesel in the U.S. currently comes from soybeans.

Wikipedia on Biodiesel production

Robust investment in biodiesel, could allow the U.S. to reduce the production of gasoline, heating oil, and petrochemical products. The decentralization of production and refinement could be terrific news for agricultural states, but it does raise red flags. Having the food supply and energy supply in such close proximity, is a VERY serious concern. If produced organically (without fertilizers and pesticides) biodiesel could do significantly less environmental damage.

Vertical farms, which allow year-round harvests of organics, might warrant serious investigation.

I am the furthest thing from an expert on any of this, so apologies if any of the information is false or otherwise misleading.

Big Agriculture might be an important ally in the fight to increase the market share of Biodiesel.

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