Coal, Oil, and Ethanol: Articles of Interest June 14 – 16

Cleaner China Coal May Still Feed Global Warming
NY Times 6/14/2011
An increase in electricity use in China has caused an increase of coal consumption, which contradicts the global struggle against carbon-emissions. In an effort to reduce carbon-emissions, China has decided to install silos that would use the method of coal blending to create efficiency in coal plants. This reduces the quantity of coal used to generate electricity, therefore reduces greenhouse gas and pollutants emissions from coal-fired plants. Coal blending would make coal cost-effective. However, it would also enable China to burn more coal instead of using alternative energy.

International Energy Agency Says World Will Increasingly Turn To Americas for Oil
NY Times 6/16/2011
The rising global demand of crude oil will eventually be satisfied through North and South American oil production. Countries such as Canada, Brazil, the U.S. and Colombia will become a large producer of crude oil, a change from the dependency of Middle East oil. There are concerns over Canada’s oil production because the oil is extracted from oil sands, a process that emits more greenhouse gases than other oil production processes. Lastly, a projection for 2030 foresees Canada, Brazil and former Soviet Union countries supplying the growing demands of liquid fuel alongside OPEC.

Oil Executive Turns His Attention to Ethanol
NY Times 6/15/2011
A Swiss commodities trader is starting ethanol development in Sierra Leone. The $366 million project will convert sugar cane into bioethanol for Europe and domestic markets. However, the controversy surrounding this project is based on rising food prices and the push for industrial farming projects that would drive farmers off their lands. These concerns are prevalent in agricultural development.