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Apr 30

Kicking the Oil Habit

Bush’s energy bill seems pretty fairly useless–the most novel thing to
come of
it is to put new refineries on old military bases. I fail to see how
that’ll make
us more self-reliant for energy needs. Fortunately, this is America, and
so people
can get off their butts and do cool things without Uncle Sam’s
babysitting them.
Here are some:

The Post Gazette has a nice article on homeowners who
are using alternative fuels and the organizations that support them
.
On the
government front, state
and federal funding gave Allegheny County’s Port Authority four
diesel-hybrid buses.

(Okay, we don’t need Uncle Sam to always do the work for us, but he can
be handy
from time to guess. So much for anarchy.)

Wired has also written on the debut
of diesel hybrid locomotives
. This locomotive is a “goat”,
which is
the railroad slang for a small engine that pushes around cars in
railyards or ports.
This is ideal for hybrid technology, as it’ll involve lots of stops and
restarting
the engine. Since ports and railyards tend to be in urban areas, the
reduction in
emissions will be welcome! I hope they can use this technology for
commuter railroads
like Chicago’s
Metra
system,
which runs on Amtrak/freight lines; like the goats, they are often
running at low
speeds and need to stop all the time for their passengers.

What will the future bring? I’m optimistic that we’ll see more good
stuff, and this
Economist article on new
allies in the war on oil dependence
makes me even more so.

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