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Peak Oil is You


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Page added on April 29, 2006

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Efforts aim to grow new energy

All across Asia, governments are searching for crops that can help them offset a dependence on imported oil that can only skyrocket as their economies soar. Palm oil and sugar cane are the dominant crops in the region, but everything from coconuts to castor oil to cow dung is being tested for fossil-fuel alternatives such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Most experts also believe that, using current technologies, there isn’t enough land to make a serious dent in oil consumption. Some scientists say production will consume more conventional energy than it will save, and environmentalists came out this month against plans by Indonesia to convert millions of acres of rain forest on the island of Borneo into palm oil plantations.

Georgia Tech Professor Arthur Ragauskas, who co-authored a study of biofuels published in Science magazine, sees other potential pitfalls.


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