Selasa, 06 November 2007

Biofuel for Home Heating

Massachusetts may become the first state in the nation to require that home heating oil and diesel fuel contain at least 5% biofuel, if the governor has his way. He and other legislative leaders introduced a bill in the Massachusetts state legislature this week that would require the addition of biofuel to home heating oil and diesel fuel by 2013.

Biofuels could become an important potential source of renewable energy for our long-term future, right up there with solar and wind energy. Although the technologies for making it are still new and in the development stage, a variety of biofuels can be made from wood chips, grasses, waste cooking oil, and other renewable plant material. The bill in Massachusetts is an attempt to support the fledgling biofuels industry, while at the same time creating jobs in the state and (ultimately) driving down the costs of energy. Already, several companies are making plans to build biofuel plants in Massachusetts, according to an article online in the New York Times ( “Massachusettts Looks at Using Biofuel in Home Heating Oil”, Nov. 6, 2007).

You could engage your students in a debate (or assign a writing task) centered on what they think will be the primary sources of energy in their lifetimes, 50 years from now. You could also ask them to look into what your state is doing, if anything, to encourage the use of renewable fuels.

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