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Drivers look to alternative fuels

READ MORE: Drivers look to alternative fuels
WILMINGTON -- Some drivers are looking at alternatives to filling their tanks. One local alternative is bio-diesel, made from bio-degradeable fats and oils. But the eco friendly alternative costs more than its crude oil counter-part. There are two bio-diesel pumps available to the local public. The average price of diesel fuel in our area is $4.12 per gallon. Bio-diesel costs about $4.28 a gallon. One local gas station sells B20 -- 20 percent bio-diesel and 80 percent petrol diesel fuel. Bio-diesel is different from ethanol. While they're both gas alternatives, ethanol is made from corn. Bio-diesel is made from fats and oils, like vegetable oil. Bio-diesel doesn't decrease our food supply like ethanol could and at the same time decreases our dependency on foreign oil. Ben Silvester with Cape Fear Bio-fuels said, "There is a steady stream of people coming to this pump, even with prices as high as they are a lot of folks feel first of all, they are helping the local economy and they are helping the environment, they are making a difference." There is no conversion process required to use bio-diesel. If your car was made before 2007 and has a diesel engine, you can use it. Newer diesel cars can't use the B20 bio-diesel because of a change in the emissions laws. Right now the bio-diesel in Wilmington is made in Raleigh and brought to the area. Cape Fear Bio-fuels, the co-op that distributes the bio-diesel, says the plan is to build a plant in Winnabow in the next few years.

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Need to harness

If only we could harness all the hot air johnnyred, osama err I mean obama and hildbeast have spewed.


Please tell me why all the oil wells in Texas and Oklahoma etc.. can't be reopened and started back up? (most have been capped off) This would at least help us to be more dependent on ourselves as American's and create more jobs.

If they can still produce, they're pumping

If you drive through the Permian or Anadarko basins, or East Texas, you will see tens of thousands of jack-pumps working 24x7. Many can be remotely controlled, switched on and off, based upon the price of oil. (Needless to say, they haven't been switched off for a long time.) Sadly, few produce any large quantities of oil, which is why they have to be switched off when prices fall below a set mark. The daily oil output won't pay the electric bill for the pump. In the late Nineties, you saw almost every pump sitting idle, because oil was so cheap. It's actually pretty interesting because owners or management companies have to keep track of both the well output and price of oil. When prices were sane, the number of wells pumping or shut down in a fairly small area would vary on a daily basis. Very few wells are capped. Old wells with no hope of economical production are plugged with cement, and you basically have to re-drill. That's cost-prohibitive unless you believe you can recover the cost through production, in which case the well likely would not have been plugged. However, technology produces new and better recovery techniques every day, so a lot of old, tapped out areas are being looked at again. Most of that technology is extremely expensive, but as long as oil is as valuable as it is, companies are willing to pay more to recover more. If the price of oil rolls back to a point where the numbers don't add up, everything grinds to a screeching halt again. Right now, Exxon Mobil pays an average of about $8.00 to bring one barrel of oil up to the wellhead. (They then turn around and sell or transfer that for around $116 as of yesterday.) But remember, that production cost is an AVERAGE. When you're dealing with an old, tired well that requires gas injection or even pressurized hot water to free up the oil, the production cost per barrel is very high. As the price of oil rolls back, the high cost wells are shut down. As with any business, when it costs more to produce an item than it can be sold for, you either raise prices or that item goes away. Since oil companies don't set the price of oil, all they can do is reduce cost by turning off the expensive wells.

what is the bottom line

We all need to be concern. The prices of stuff are really going up. Gas and oil, this new fuel isn't all it is crack up to be. It is putting people out of work and farmers out. If everything is going over seas. what is next we go over seas to live that is where the jobs, food, oil will. People think about the issue when you go to the poles and vote.... it effect all of us one way or another.

Another difference - biodiesel makes sense....

Bio-diesel has a good chance to become a common fuel in its own right. Ethanol is still energy negative (you expend more BTUs making it than you recover while burning it)and will likely never amount to anything more than an octane booster to replace MBTE. Without the ridiculous subsidies and current import ban, ethanol couldn't survive on its own. Plus, the PC Police have removed ethanol from their list of "All Things Wonderful" and now rank it right up there with Haliburton, simply because all those bags of extra corn we used to ship overseas to feed the indigent are now being made into fuel. It seems that our quest for energy independence isn't all that important, after all. (Not that ethanol alone was going to do that!) Ethanol may be an joke, but if it made economic sense, I'd be far more concerned with Americans driving than non-Americans eating.