The Associated Press is reporting that a new research study claims that widespread ethanol production will lead to more global warming, due to an increased amount of land converted from forests and grassland into crop production. Researchers from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs estimated that using corn to produce ethanol will lead to an increase in greenhouse gases of 93%. The impact of using switchgrass to produce ethanol is less, but still significant. A spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association called the study “simplistic.”
The Montana Electric Cooperatives Association, which represents 29 coops and 250,000 customers, has a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions back to 1990 levels using alternate energy, increased efficiency, carbon capture, clean coal plants, and light-water nuclear reactors.
The U.S. Air Force proposes to spend between $1 to 4 billion to build a synthetic fuel plant at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls Montana. The Air Force has a goal of using 50% synthetic jet fuel within 8 years. Assistant Air Force Sec. William Anderson said that whoever builds the plant would need to be able to capture the CO2 given off. Companies interested in building the plant include Chevron, Shell, Rentech, ConocoPhilips and Sasol, a South African company. Only 3 synthetic fuels plants are in operation worldwide, and all are in South Africa, although a plant is under construction in China.