What Cost Climate Change?
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 5, 2006
A group in Washington State is "part of a $200,000 investigation into the economics of curbing the pollution that causes global warming and into how to respond to its effects, including less water for drinking, irrigation and power production, higher sea levels and less snow in the passes," writes author Lisa Stiffler. The group, made up of scientists, economists, government leaders, and business people, hopes this fall to create a report that will serve as a guide for planning for a warmer Northwest. The anticipated warmer temperature can create challenges, such as warmer water harming salmon, increase risk of forest fires, shorter ski seasons, etc., and opportunities, such as better bass and catfish fishing, more summer activities, and a longer growing season. "The group also is educating its customers about the cause and effect of global warming, reducing the industry's climate-altering pollution emissions and influencing public policy," writes Stiffler.
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GM Sees Ethanol Rising to 10% of U.S. Auto Fuel
Bloomberg News, May 19, 2006
Of the approximately 140 billion gallons of vehicle fuel used in the U.S. each year, about 3.9 billion gallons (3%) is ethanol. GM is anticipating that this may increase to 10 percent within five years. However, automakers say that government subsidies are necessary to lower the cost, and mandates are needed to require its use in order to make it economically viable. Since the mid-1990s, U.S. automakers have built about 5 million vehicles that can run on 85 percent ethanol (E85), with 900,000 of the flexible-fuel vehicles planned for production next year. E85 is touted as being less polluting than gasoline and gives better performance. However, it is 25 percent less fuel-efficient and more corrosive than gasoline requiring more expensive fuel lines and fuel tanks. A major drawback is finding service stations that carry the fuel. Only 600 of the 180,000 service stations in the U.S. currently carry it.
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