A new era of domestic energy

January 27, 2012 |

By Mary Rosenthal,
Executive Director, Algal Biomass Organization

As we move into 2012, I think everyone is in agreement the world needs more fuel – of any type. Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the leading analyst group for the petroleum industry, estimates that by 2030, the world will demand 35 million barrels per day of liquids from unidentified sources—an “oil gap” that must be filled.

And we know this gap can’t be filled by fossil fuels, even if you factor in increased use of electric vehicles, hybrids and other efficiency gains in drive trains and engines. The gap must be filled by new sources of oil.

I believe that biofuels can fill that gap. But not if we keep doing business as usual. We need to change our approach. Below are three things the biofuels industry in general, and the algae industry in particular can do in 2012 to help accelerate our role in “filling the gap.”

Speaking with one voice

First, let’s all come together and realize we’re all in the fuel business.  While I understand, and likely am guilty of this transgression myself, we need to stop arguing about whose feedstock is best. There’s plenty of room for all of us. You don’t see the oil industry saying that one source of crude is better than the other (i.e. Bakken Shale Oil vs. Canadian Tar Sands). The fossil oil industry speaks with one voice – so should we.

All of the above

Second, let’s spend our time in 2012 educating policymakers that, frankly, oil is oil. That if vehicle and aircraft engines don’t care (or can’t tell) that the fuel inside was made from algae or sweet light crude, than neither should anyone else.  It’s in our best economic and security interests to be producing as much of it as we can.

The goal is energy security, and exports too

Third, let us once and for all understand that it is possible in our lifetime to make America once again a net exporter of fuels if we leverage all the resources we have, whether its oil wells, shale rocks or algae ponds. If the government sees that vision and is willing to accelerate it for the benefit of all Americans, we can get there sooner.

The Algal Biomass Organization will continue to educate anyone and everyone who will listen on the potential of algae to be a long term, sustainable and renewable source of domestic fuel.

Stand and be heard

But ours is just one voice. I am calling on all the members in our organization, as well as the entire biofuels ecosystem, to stand up and be heard. Call or write yourelected official. Invite your delegation to your lab or your plant. Tell them – or show them — what’s possible, and what’s needed to get there. Do it fast and often.

Tell them we’re all on the same team. That we’re striking oil all over America, and our wells don’t need digging and never run dry.

Here’s to a great 2012.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.