Tag: alternative energy

West Baltimore Gas Station Pumps New Ethanol-Based Fuel, E85

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E85 has arrived in Baltimore. (via U.S. Department of Energy)
E85 has arrived in Baltimore. (via U.S. Department of Energy)

There are laws against humans drinking and driving, but for cars it’s another story. According to CBS Baltimore, one Baltimore gas station is selling a new alcohol-laced fuel. Instead of getting your car drunk, however, the fuel provides an alternative to gasoline that will be a little easier on the air.

According to the report, A-1 Auto Repair at 3041 Frederick Ave. in West Baltimore is the first gas station in the city to sell the new fuel E85. The fuel’s composition is 85 percent ethanol, which is an alcohol distilled from corn through a process that’s similar to making moonshine. The other 15 percent of the product is made up of that old sober, oil-based gasoline.

O’Malley Likely to Get Everything He Wants This Year, Too

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At the annual Business Journal summit, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said, “Wind energy” — meaning Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to install wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City — “will pass the General Assembly this session.” The Baltimore Sun reports that the governor himself feels great about his chances with an assault weapons ban. And Miller thinks O’Malley’s “persuasive techniques, of which he has many,” will be enough for the governor to secure the votes to repeal the death penalty.

O’Malley Resurrects Offshore Wind, Recruits Obama

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For the fourth legislative session in a row, Gov. Martin O’Malley will be introducing a bill to establish offshore wind farms off the coast of Ocean City. And this time, the governor is enlisting the help of the president. He’s written a letter to Obama asking that he ensure that the national tax incentives currently awarded to investors in wind energy are renewed despite the politically treacherous fiscal cliff negotiations.

Who’s Baltimore’s Most-Solar Company?

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Yesterday we brought you news of Baltimore neighborhoods are reducing energy consumption through a few simple steps. But it’s not just the homeowners who are committed to reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015. Johns Hopkins, the largest employer in the city, is taking steps to save money by reducing its own energy consumption. And it’s not the only one.

In an Earth Day press release, the school announced the installation of 2,908 solar panels on seven buildings. Panels on the school’s gym, the Mattin Center, and the Bloomberg School of Public health’s main building (among others) are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million pounds each year, and produce 34 households-worth of electricity. As of this morning, the panels have already saved 15,744 gallons of gas, according to this cool live-streaming control panel.

O’Malley Unlikely to Get His Offshore Wind Farm

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Things have gone from bad to worse for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind farm initiative.

Last year, O’Malley introduced a plan to subsidize the devlopment of an offshore wind farm that would have signed up Marylanders to pay more on their utility bills for the next twenty years in exchange for the governor’s projection of 2,000 new jobs and securing a position for Maryland in the nascent alternative energies market.

The Democrat-controlled legislature rejected the measure during their 2011 session, which closed last spring. Since then, California saw a federally backed solar company tank in a big way, and Congress has cut off its own green energy subsidies. If anything, it will only be harder now to approve an expensive subsidy for an uncertain market.

Nevertheless, O’Malley is trying again with a restructured plan. The cost to consumers would be nearly the same, but instead of appearing as a separate cost in their monthly utility bills (as it would have under the original plan), it would be hidden.

It’s hard to believe that this would be enough to make the multi-billion dollar measure politically palatable, but who knows?

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