Energy Independence

Fuel

Below is an except from President Obama’s announcement regarding federal leases for US off-shore drilling:

“Some of the press may be wondering why we are announcing offshore drilling in a hangar at Andrews Air Force Base.  Well, if there’s any doubt about the leadership that our military is showing, you just need to look at this F-18 fighter and the light-armored vehicle behind me.  The Army and Marine Corps have been testing this vehicle on a mixture of biofuels.  And this Navy fighter jet — appropriately called the Green Hornet — will be flown for the first time in just a few days, on Earth Day.  If tests go as planned, it will be the first plane ever to fly faster than the speed of sound on a fuel mix that is half biomass.  The Air Force is also testing jet engines using biofuels and had the first successful biofuel-powered test flight just last week. I don’t want to drum up any kind of rivalry here, but — (laughter.)

“Now, the Pentagon isn’t seeking these alternative fuels just to protect our environment; they’re pursuing these homegrown energy sources to protect our national security.  Our military leaders recognize the security imperative of increasing the use of alternative fuels, decreasing energy use, reducing our reliance on imported oil, making ourselves more energy-efficient. That’s why the Navy, led by Secretary Mabus, who’s here today, has set a goal of using 50-percent alternative fuels in all planes, vehicles, and ships in the next 10 years.  That’s why the Defense Department has invested $2.7 billion this year alone to improve energy efficiency.”

Photos from the Road

We were in Austin and Houston last week. Here are some shots …

Electric Automobile Charging Stations

The City of Houston has built infrastructure to install 15 Coulomb charging stations. The costs varied depending on location, availability of power, conduit size, and labor. Below is their infrastructure cost exclusive of the manufactured charging station module.

Location Type Number of Stations Total Installation Price Unit Price
Street Side 1 $2300 $2300
Underground Garage 2 $4100 $2050
Street Side 2 $2800 $1400
Parking Garage 5 $4300 $860
Parking Lot 3 $3200 $1066
Parking Lot 1 $7400 $7400
15 $24100
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