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Iowa Governor Orders State Agencies to Improve Energy Efficiency; Mandates Hybrids, Alt- and Biofuels

23 April 2005

Iowa_wind

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack issued a wide-ranging executive order (#41) Friday directing state agencies to improve upon their current practices of conserving energy. Among the directives stipulated in the order:

  • To reduce energy consumption in all conditioned facilities owned by the State by an average of 15% by 2010, relative to a 2000 baseline. Financial savings are to be applied to re-invest in infrastructure.

  • Where calculations can be made, to purchase the lowest life-cycle cost equipment. All agencies responsible for new construction or renovation of a public facility are to implement the recommendations of a life cycle cost analysis.

  • To ensure that on average at least 10% of electric consumption for all buildings where the state directly pays the bills comes from an alternate energy production facility (either self-generated or through their utility’s green power purchase programs

  • To ensure that 100% of light-duty, non-law enforcement vehicles procured by 2010 are alternative fuel vehicles or hybrids (when an equivalent alt fuel or hybrid model is available). Agencies must also ensure that their flex fuel vehicles operate on E85 whenever E85 (85% ethanol) fueling is available.

  • To ensure that all bulk diesel purchase is at least ASTM D6751 B5 biodiesel (5% biodiesel) by 2007, B10 by 2008, and B20 by 2010. All agencies are to ensure that diesel vehicles operate on biodiesel whenever the blends are available.

Iowa is potentially a strong producer of renewable energy and biofuels. The state currently has wind energy capacity of 636 MW and potentially could produce nine times in 2003 electrical consumption from wind power. It also has the capacity to produce more than 900 million gallons of ethanol and 20 million gallons of biodiesel per year.

In an instance of policy irony, the Governor just three days earlier had approved an increase in the speed limit on Iowa highways to 70 mph.

The original adjustment to 55 mph occurred three decades ago in response to the oil crisis of the time (and not just in the US—other countries, such as the UK, ratcheted down their speed limits to 55 mph or equivalent).

Studies have estimated that on the highway, some 50% percent of the energy required to keep rolling is aimed at overcoming aerodynamic drag. As speed increases, the aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. Cut the speed, conserve fuel.

Congress repealed the national 55 mph limit in 1995, allowing states to set their own policies.

In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation strongly recommended against an increase in speed limit, based on fuel consumption and safety arguments after commissioning a report by the Iowa Safety Management System. (Governor Vilsack endorsed the conclusions of the report at the time. “This latest report is further proof that higher speed limits threaten the safety of Iowa citizens.”)

Although every vehicle has different aerodynamic and rolling resistance characteristics, the “rules of thumb” related to fuel consumption and speed highlighted in the Iowa report are:

  • An increase in passenger car speed from 65 mph to 70 mph typically results in a 10% decrease in fuel economy. The 10% decrease is not a linear relationship—there is an increasingly greater increase in fuel consumption as speed increases.

  • SUVs, as a class, experience approximately a 20% decrease in fuel economy in that increase from 65 mph to 70 mph.

      

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April 23, 2005 in Biodiesel, Fleets, Hybrids, Policy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

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From Green Car Congress, news that Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa has signed Executive Order #41 (in PDF), which directs "state agencies to improve upon their current practices of conserving energy." [Read More]

Comments

Dear Madam/sir
Re: Earth warming

A study on earth warming using information provided on the WEB has recently been completed. Several factors mentioned therein, not usually noted in the popular media, have been identified. Moisture in the air affects heat retention the greatest but is not mentioned because man is thought not to have control over this. Nothing was found on how moisture levels can be made to increase through man made debris (see 5 below). Large methane

These factors are:

1. Rising living standards in the Far East will mean that the number of cars in China alone will be equal to that in the United States in the next few years. The volume of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere will increase dramatically. To date carbon dioxide is considered to be the main gas that is causing earth warming over which man has control.

2. The heat released from hydrocarbon fuel must add considerably to that received from the sun. Consideration of this was not found.

3. Methane has a much greater capability to trap heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. "Molecule for molecule, Methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas," taken from http://www.physorg.com/news5258.html. The following is published by a university and shows the effects of the other gases http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/ctec/newsletter/01_22_03.htm .

4. Presently the major source of methane is from plant and animal decay and animal metabolism. Earth warming will release large quantities of plant material stored in the arctic tundra to decay and therefore production of methane. The greatest potential source of methane however is the ocean. This latter source may erupt if the oceans warm sufficiently. See*** http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaResources/Methane/methane_hydrate_map.jpg for a map showing the deposits.

5. Heat from the atmosphere may be transferred to the oceans by several means:

a. Heat transferred from the atmosphere by conduction.

b. The ocean acts as a sink for carbon dioxide and absorbs a large percentage of it. Heat transfer in this case may be considerable. References to this were not found.

c. Absorbtion of radiant heat from the sun,is increased by floating debris or plankton as described below.

d. An example of this would be any material that would display some opacity. Plastic products, which float, have been found to break into granules with time. Large mats of plastic granules have been found in the Pacific. See http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Ocean/Moore-Trashed-PacificNov03.htm for a description of the plastic waste in the Pacific. The same happens in the Antlantic see http://nederland.seashepherd.org/essays/ocean_realm_aut01.html . These plastic mats would help
increase the formation of moisture in the air due to a higher rate of evaporation found with higher temperature. Warm surface

e. With high pressure and low temperature methane will turn into an ice. Large deposits of methane ice have been found in the oceans. Fishermen have snared large blocks of methane ice with nets. This has been shown in news broadcasts.

6 Temperature increases down to a depth of 300 ft have increased .56 degrees Fahrenheit on average and the information is shown at http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/warmsea32300.htm. There is a trade off between the rate of increase in water pressure as the ocean depth increases from melting ice at the poles and glaciers and the rate of increase in ocean temperature. Suffice to say if the temperature increases fast enough the methane ice will turn to a gas in a catastrophic manner. If the water pressure increases at a sufficient rate the ice will remain. This has already happened, a boil of methane gas has been shown on TV in the Black Sea.
Discovery channel, in a program showed that the "mystery" of the Bermuda triangle was probably caused by methane. Seeps of methane gas were found and large vertical holes were shown. It was assumed that once the gas started bubbling fast enough the weight of the water above the methane ice decreased rapidly triggering a very rapid eruption large enough to sink ships. (Shown in a test tank)

This is most serious, as geological evidence has shown that methane caused periods of high temperature on earth lasting for millennia. See http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/climate_globalwarming_991029.html .

By keeping an energy balance between the energy received from the sun and that given off by radiation, that is not releasing antique solar energy from hydro carbons, and eliminating and controlling heat trapping gases the problem of earth warming can be eliminated. Stopping use of hydrocarbons as fuel can solve both problems. Harvesting waste plastic in the oceans may prove to be a necessity.

The alternative energy resource is the sun through photovoltaics and development of such devices is worth the attention the A-bomb received during the Second World War. Use of hydrocarbons as fuel can then be stopped and be used as a chemical resource. If past and present reviews of photovoltaic devices by Dr. Alvin Marks, with an unheard of efficiency of 80%, prove to be correct it is imperative that development be increased. Dr. Marks certainly has the qualifications for backing his product; he has 120 patents to his name and was a science adviser to John Kennedy.

Dr. Marks company can be located at:

Advanced Research Development Inc.,
359 R Main St.,
Atholl,
MA 01331
Phone No. 1 978 249 3283
The most beneficial effect of a non-polluting, economical energy resource will to propel us to the realization of the most elusive goal of a civilized world, peace.

Sincerely,

W. L. Miskolzie
PS: All governors are being contacted on this issue.

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