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Zubrin ()

01/21/2009 |
The summits luncheon keynote speaker,
Robert Zubrin, author of the book,

Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil,

received considerable attention.

Zubrin illustrated how money spent on fuel, which is now being sent to countries with ties to terrorism, can instead be used to help farmers in North America and abroad. He believes that switching to alcohol-based fuels will help safeguard homeland security and provide solutions for global warming and Third World development. Using a card game, trump suit analogy, Zubrin described the energy industry as a kind of strategy. There are four suitsoil, coal, natural gas and biomassand right now oil is the trump suit, he says.

Zubrin made it clear that it is imperative we find a new energy trump card, and indicated that biofuels could be the answer in our effort to displace our dependence on oil.


Many other suggestions such as implementing a cap-and-trade system were also discussed as options, which speaker Dave McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy believes is the key to the long-term reduction of emissions in North America. Implementing a carbon policy however is still a few years away, and is fully dependent on the Canadian federal government. Currently, the Conservative government supports the development of a cap-and-trade system, which it proposes to implement between 2010 and 2015.


The promise of new technologies and the production of second-generation biofuels shed light on the expansion of the industry. Enerkems waste-to-fuel facility in Edmonton, Alberta, is set to revolutionize the industry and urban centers across Canada by creating a link between waste management and renewable fuels. On the economic side, developing the industry from a financial perspective was also discussed to encourage advancements in the renewable fuels sector. Many people thought that with all the bad press, there was no money available for first-generation technologies, but that is not the case, says Vicky Sharpe, president and chief executive officer of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a federal initiative whose mission is to build a sustainable development technology industry in Canada. According to SDTC, $1.2 billion in public funding has been invested in next-generation technology in the areas of enzymatic hydrolysis, gasification, algae and biobutanol. This is a significant amount of money as next-generation fuels will account for 3.4 percent to 5.5 percent of the market share or global biofuels production by 2014. More than $200 million in venture capital has been invested in 16 Canadian companies [so far], Sharpe says.

http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=3159&q=&page=2


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