[Vwdiesel] lowering gasoline prices

James Hansen jhsg at sk.sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 19 09:36:09 EDT 2002

Okay, sorry to belabor this but I found some numbers this morning that might be
of interest.  The National Biodiesel Board gave some numbers to one of the
papers I get- Grainews.... anyway, their numbers for fuel used are:
"If 1%biodiesel was blended into regular diesel fuel in the US, the industry
would need almost 200 million bushels of soybeans per year."

Man that's a lot of beans...  Okay now before you come looking for my head
because I used the words soybeans and oil in the same sentence, for Canola, the
bushel figure would be roughly half that.  Let's use that for a moment assuming
no further advancements in technology are used to increase oil content in
canola that is at a rough 40% by weight.

If we assume that the biodiesel institute was giving out good numbers, that
translates into 10 billion bushels of Canola needed to replace all of the USA's
need for diesel fuel.  I believe the original statement was....
"All our fuel needs can easily be met by agriculture, and without
chemicals. "

  Production of ten billion bushels of canola would require 285.7 million acres
of landmass assuming 35bu/a consistent yields without quibbling about how we
produce it, chemicals or not. Yield numbers are my numbers from the real world
I live on the farm.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing AGAINST biodiesel. I want to make the stuff
myself from available waste veg oil resources, and think it's a really
excellent product.  I do however think that reality must be faced, and no
matter how much we dislike it, less fuel must be used.  Period.
  I'm afraid the resources do not exist to accomplish what you say Harmon,
unless HUGE tax dollars are invested, which tend to sit well with no-one.

The same article mentioned taxes- the American soybean association is asking
for a tax break of one cent per 1% of biodiesel.    Adding the 1% biodiesel was
projected to raise the cost of fuel by 2-3 cents per gallon. Incidentally John
Deere is "backing biodiesel " as well. Now maybe they'll be more inclined to
give me a straight answer whether or not I can use it in my tractor...
Been nice discussing this with you.

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