Rubbish

Senator Hoyle (Gaston County) has produced a biodiesel bill, which can only be classified as: "Rubbish." Senate Bill 1149 would do nothing but hinder the biofuels industry in North Carolina. The bill attempts to remove one of the largest buyers of diesel from the Biofuels market, schools. If his plan were to go through, $5 million would be appropriated to schools in North Carolina to begin the production of their own biodiesel. What type of insanity is this? Why should taxpayer money be allocated for further pie-in-the-sky works that would add nothing to the economy of the North Carolina. We are trying to establish a biofuels industry in North Carolina and Senator Hoyle wants the State to run it. Let the market determine which companies to support. This may sound like a novel idea to Senator Hoyle, but let's have the companies who are skilled at producing biodiesel produce biodiesel and let's let the schools do their job, Teach. Before we can afford to turn school campuses throughout North Carolina into industrial plants, I suggest we improve the academic output. Luckily this ill-conceived plan is not in the budget, yet. Senator Hoyle, Good day, sir.

Comments

He's a developer.

There's something rotten in here somewhere.

How Many Times Do We

Have to reinvent the wheel?

What's next? The written language?

Give it a pass; next.

think about this

Let the market determine which companies to support.

I actually snorted when I read this. How....free market fundy of you. Ew.

Think about it. Given the amount of money proposed - $5 million, the number of school districts in the state - 117, and the number of buses - 13,519 as of the 2004-2005 school year, the chances of the grants dipping into your pocket is very slim. In fact, figuring the cost of biodiesel at $3.00 (cheep!!!), and estimating that the average school bus holds 50 gallons, $5 million would only fill all of those buses about two and a half times.

But that's irrelevant. If this is approached correctly, it could be an enormous opportunity for schools AND for the biodiesel industry.

let's let the schools do their job, Teach

You betcha - that is their job. Why? Because as a society, we've decided that we need to be educated. As a burgeoning industry, biodiesel needs good public relations AND it will need a work force interested and prepared to show up. The small amounts of the grants - they're capped at $1,000,000 - mean that the larger school districts that might have the capacity to actually take advantage of this would still need to create partnerships with industry to really make it work. Allowing students to actually have laboratory experience in the industry would give hands on educational experience (read that as teaching) to students who would then take a personal interest in the industry. There are students who would be interested in becoming technicians as they leave high school, and there are students who would be interested in pursuing higher educational degrees in the field. A burgeoning industry would be wise to court a young workforce.

Before we can afford to turn school campuses throughout North Carolina into industrial plants, I suggest we improve the academic output

If you want to improve the academic output and at the same time make gains for your industry, perhaps you shouldn't dismiss this bill out of hand like this. If it does somehow make it into the budget (I doubt it will), then make Howard Lee your best friend, and let's get guidelines on the grant that make them true educational opportunities.
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The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I'm Lost

$5 million would be appropriated to schools in North Carolina to begin the production of their own biodiesel.

Looking at that again and thinking about lcloud's post...

$5 million to each school? Which ones? The colleges producing fuel for the public schools?

Which part of the budget is it coming from? The schools don't have enough money sure, but $5 million seems like a drop in the bucket if you want to be serious about production. What about cost overruns? How would that be handled? What a nightmare that could turn out to be.

Wouldn't it be better for the state to find $5 million (ha ha) and put a grant out for a public/private partnership to invest in our own people and talent that are already here and doing these things?

Which schools - colleges (or vo-tech if such a thing exists here) have any kind of focus on this technology? I can see State. They're already working on hog waste to fuel. UNC? Which one?

I don't know. Investing in our own local talent seems like a better idea. They can hire people on their own payroll, pay taxes, provide jobs, have iternships ...all kinds of things that the state really can't afford to do all by itself.

If the state tried to do all that - well, there goes all your profit. (IMO)

I'm tired. But I promise I'll think about it when I'm not tired.
Is this coming to the floor? soon? eegads.

Not to each school

$5 million to each school? Which ones? The colleges producing fuel for the public schools?

The entire appropriation is $5 million dollars - for the entire state. No one school administration unit (language from the bill) would get more than $1million dollars.

In the grand scheme of things, it's a small amount of money - not enough to hurt the biodiesel industry as jjsmith claimed (in my opinion).

Which schools - colleges (or vo-tech if such a thing exists here) have any kind of focus on this technology? I can see State. They're already working on hog waste to fuel. UNC? Which one?

When they're talking about the State Board of Education, they're talking about the Public Schools, grades K-12 (generally), not the colleges. Public schools are the ones with the buses, after all.

It seems to me that all advocates of renewable energy and of putting NC on the map as a leader in bio-fuels would just at the chance to work with the legislature and the state board of education on an opportunity like this one. The so-called free market by itself will not magically make NC first in biodiesel - or anything else. It's a brave new world, and the winning formula is public/private partnerships. Winners at the game will understand that the only thing that will work is communication and cooperation between all interested sectors.
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The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

This is precisely what is wrong with the plan

The state is already reticent about putting more money into the biofuels industry. Why then, would we want to put $5 million into a black hole? This plan is nothing more than an attempt to take the industry over in the state. In order for the biofuels industry to grow in North Carolina, the producers need an outlet for their product and the school systems are one of the largest purchasers.

Once the industry starts to make money, they can expand and introduce the product into new markets. If a plan like this is allowed to go forward, it will cripple the biofuels industry, which isn't doing too well now.

A better option would be to take that $5 million and create a biofuels incentive fund and allow the experts in the field (those producing) to get the industry running at high speed.

A healthy biofuels industry is more than the environment. It's industry and the health of the economy.

I See - Sort of

When they're talking about the State Board of Education, they're talking about the Public Schools, grades K-12 (generally), not the colleges. Public schools are the ones with the buses, after all.

Really, IMO, what can K-12 do about working in biofuels? Being a "consumer" of them I can see but in development, research, and implementation - I just don't see that. Are they covered under OSHA?

It seems to me that all advocates of renewable energy and of putting NC on the map as a leader in bio-fuels would just at the chance to work with the legislature and the state board of education on an opportunity like this one. The so-called free market by itself will not magically make NC first in biodiesel - or anything else.

Oh, I agree. It would be a great opportunity to develop this.
But done unwisely - it could be a money sucking failure rather than a money generating model - which it very well could be if done properly.

I'm of two minds about that. If we're really good at it - even more people will want to move here. (NO! Please, sob, sob, sob. I moved here because it was rural. Tears of joy, tears of pain) Ahem. Sorry about that.

The so-called free market by itself

Is a dangerous thing when left to its own devices.
History has proven that. At least in this country. Leave them alone to develop and initiate but don't leave them alone to provide accountability. Most industries do a terrible job at that. Fox in the henhouse, much? Gads.

It seems to me

that colleges would be a perfect place to produce biofuels.

They have the time to do inovation and research and if they're good at it, they could just start selling the biofuel they make to the public schools who would no longer have the need to pay for petroleum products.

That seems like a tiddy plan that wouldn't take much more than seed money from the state.

Sounds good on the surface

But once again, it removes job development through industry. We should be encouraging economic development in the State, not stifling it. Sure, do the research in the academic setting, but in reality, biodiesel has been around since the beginning of the diesel engine. Not much more research needs to be done on it, except for new feedstock.

I firmly believe that government should be in charge of naturally inefficient necessities, fire, police, military, roads, etc, but when it comes to industry help it at first then let the market take over. This is about job and economic development.

Sen. Hoyle's bill does not create jobs, nor does it help the economy.

And if this is shown to be a failure as it will inevitably will, it will drag the entire biofuels industry down with it.

Agreed,

I didn't really mean to sound like I was endorsing his bill, just that if colleges making biodiesel is a sound prospect then it should be self sustaining. By all means, let the the state money accelerate the industry so that NC can be a leader in alternative fuels.

and have I mention HEMP lately?

HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP HEMP

Hemp

Whenever someone brings up hemp I cannot help but recall visions of all those stoners at UNC with their booths in the Pit seeking to legalize hemp. I've never met young people more passionate about textiles, paper, and rope as they seemed to be. :-)

If only they realized

that smoking hemp just gives you a headache and not a high.

let the market take over?

But you said yourself that the industry isn't doing too well. How is $5 million dollars going to hurt your industry? (I'm assuming now that it's your industry.) Why hasn't the market worked yet? Why wouldn't encouraging schools to create their own biodiesel be good for the industry for the industry as a whole?

What is your vested interest that makes you speak against schools?

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The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Many reasons

The $5 Million will hurt the industry; because this plan will accomplish nothing in terms of developing biodiesel. The paltry amount of biodiesel the school systems will be able to develop will serve as a black hole for that $5 million. Furthermore, it will cause the State to spend money on a product, which it can make money from.

The market hasn't accepted biodiesel yet; because market saturation is no where near the needed level to bring prices down to demand. There are only 5 major producers of biodiesel in North Carolina, we need more.

Encouraging schools to create biodiesel takes the market away from the consumers. It takes jobs away, it takes taxes away. Schools creating their own biodiesel makes poor sense. Besides, this wouldn't be some sort of educational experience for the students. Biodiesel has to meet rigorous testing standards and the schools are not equipped to handle that. Furthermore, it is not evident that the biodiesel that would be produced on the cheap by the schools would meet the ASTM standard for biodiesel and would consequentially void the warranties on the school buses. This is bad policy. Creating biodiesel is more than just getting some waste oil and filtering it.

My interest in the biofuel industry is purely personal in that I want North Carolina to become a leader in biofuels. I want to be able to buy biofuels at my local gas station. And I'm not against schools. I'm against this bad legislation.

I shouldn't have said

"why are you against the schools?" That's like asking "why are do you hate freedom?" I try not do be like that. You just really hit one of my hot buttons. I am sorry for the tone of my disagreement with you.

Schools creating their own biodiesel makes poor sense. Besides, this wouldn't be some sort of educational experience for the students. Biodiesel has to meet rigorous testing standards and the schools are not equipped to handle that. Furthermore, it is not evident that the biodiesel that would be produced on the cheap by the schools would meet the ASTM standard for biodiesel and would consequentially void the warranties on the school buses. This is bad policy. Creating biodiesel is more than just getting some waste oil and filtering it.

That's why I suggested public/private partnerships. By thinking outside the box, school systems and the industry can work together to educate students as to what those testing standards are - at the industry location. In this way, the school would not have to create the facility, it would only have to create the partnership. How would the industry benefit? Selling the biodiesel to the school, and taking advantage of the incentive offered in SB 1451, which would pay 30 cents on the gallon to biodiesel producers, up to $1 million dollars a year. School buses will probably be required to use biodiesel any way by July 2008 (SB 1452 - I might have the bill numbers backwards). By thinking outside the box, and creating partnerships like the one I suggest, the industry will do more than promote itself. It will show that NC is a leader not only in biofuels, but in education as well. If we want to really move ahead, we've got to be willing to do that.

I don't think this is bad legislation, in and of itself. It depends on what the State Board of Education does with it - if it passes. I don't think that Clean Energy advocates should dismiss it out of hand.

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Are there any RURAL Ag Stations left?

The one on 70 outside of Clayton isn't rural anymore.
Or the one in Raleigh ...
or the one where the cows hung out on the way to Knightdale ...

How much space would one of those take to operate efficiently?

The Ag Stations

Should help educate the farmers on what feedstock to grow. Rapeseed is far better environmentally than soy, but the farmers are unaware that they can get a bigger bang for the buck with rapeseed, with only minor modifications to their equipment. The ag stations should be educating the farmers in these terms.

Yes, You are RIGHT

I was kind of thinking about facilities construction.
If the state does this w/o public/private partnership - is the state going to have to buy the land, too?

That's where that train was heading.

Have I derailed myself again? Ya'll make me think too much. It's giving me a headache. And I say that in the nicest possible way. LOL.

I need more info,

but I don't (so far) see much of a downside to this. With the schools and the private sector both working on ways to innovate production, they should (theoretically) develop more efficient methods.

Schools being the biggest market should be a flag in itself that the industry is having trouble promoting the technology, and it also means there's already a massive amount of taxpayer's money going into this anyway. I'm not really sure this five million is wasteful spending, if it introduces a more "energetic" approach to the research.

There is no research under this plan

There is none. This piece of legislation would not add to the research going on in the biofuels industry in this state. It would give money to the local school districts to have someone at the motorpool to create biodiesel. We're not talking about colleges and universities with this legislation. We're talking about K-12. Once the equipment is purchased, feedstock purchased, testing completed and you've extinguished the grant. Causing the local school districts to spend more money to hire someone and to produce the biodiesel. It also doesn't take into account the training necessary to pull this off. This plan would end up costing the State millions of dollars and would do nothing to help the industry grow.

If this plan were enacted, its failings would drag the entire biofuels industry with it. Individuals would point to this idea as why biofuels can never work. It hampers development.

There is nothing good about this.

Hmm.

When someone who has been telling me to "let the market decide, let the market decide" tells me that something will hamper development, I have to think that it might be a good thing.

As for there being a plan, here is the bill:

AN ACT to appropriate funds for a grant program to enable local school administrative units to produce biodiesel fuel for use on school buses.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction five million dollars ($5,000,000) for the 2007‑2008 fiscal year. The State Board of Education shall use these funds to provide grants of up to one million dollars ($1,000,000) each to local school administrative units to enable them to produce biodiesel fuel for use on school buses.

SECTION 2. This act becomes effective July 1, 2007.

That's it - the whole thing.

So there's no plan. Any other "plan" was just me spitballing why this might not be such a bad idea. Personally, I trust the State Board of Education to be smart about this. I'm not going to reiterate anything about public/private partnerships, or being innovative and promoting the industry in a positive way by using the schools and private industry to teach. You've not offered any links to back up why you think this is bad -you've only said "This is bad" and "Let the market decide". Those sound distinctly like republican sound bites. I see no reason why anyone should listen to those ideas. If this bill becomes law, smart school administrators will be looking for industry leaders with whom to collaborate to make the system in place work for the entire community's benefit - not just the school's, and not just the industry. The only responsible way to move North Carolina forward is through collaboration and communication.
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The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I had typed out a long explanation of why this plan won't work..

but i lost my connection. Here is the short answer.

With a $1,000,000 grant, we're looking at 14.5 weeks of fuel produced for the school system like Wake County (one that would take advantage of this). In this calculation, I did not take in the cost of lye, or the cost of housing the materials necessary to make the biodiesel. I also didn't take into account the cost of training, or the inherent dangers associated with mixing lye or methanol. I also didn't account for the disposal of the waste products. What about paying the person to create the biodiesel? That's probably another $35,000. So this 14.5 weeks of biodiesel produced is now looking to be around 9 or so.

That's the money trap I'm talking about. Schools produce biodiesel for one semester from the grant and have to pay another $1,000,000 for the rest of the school year.

The reason why biofuels will not take off accordingly is because of schemes such as this. People will think of it as being a black hole and support from legislatures will diminish.

Instead, why not have companies who know what they are doing create the biodiesel and sell it? why have the schools involved in something they have no business being involved with in the first place? Why not create an industry in the state, instead of having the state run it?

Just because the market decides who has the better product and which company to support doesn't mean there isn't governmental oversight.

You totally don't get what I'm saying.

And I do get what you're saying. I just don't agree.

The state wouldn't be running it, in the model I posit. I realize that there are myriad costs involved - which is why I suggested that that public/private partnerships between school systems and industry would be the best way to approach the grants created by this bill - if it even passes.

Why not create an industry in the state, instead of having the state run it?

SB 1451 will provide 30 cents per gallon to producers of biodiesel, for the first 2,500,000 gallons produced. After that, it will provide 10 cents per gallon, up to $1,000,000 annually. The payments will continue until 2014. That sounds like trying to create an industry to me.

The "ill-conceived" plan that you complain of is not evident anywhere - because no plan has been posited, except for the one I posited last night. I think you've created a straw man and are systematically trying to knock it down.

By SB1452, School buses will be required to use biodiesel by July 1, 2008. Giving them the opportunity to create even a semester's worth of fuel frees up funds for other purposes. If the transportation department actually pays the system for the fuel - one department paying another is not uncommon within large systems - then a small profit could be turned, and while it might not be self-sustaining, it might generate enough to purchase more from private industry in your limited last century model of totally separate public vs. private institutions.
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The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I'm still wondering

how allowing (helping) schools to gear up for biodiesel production would only gve them a finite/limited potential. Once they're up and running, won't the costs per gallon drop considerably, to a fraction of what we (the taxpayers) pay the companies?

If we want to let the schools do what they should be doing, maybe we should consider how this (possible) fuel self-sufficiency would open their budgets up to textbooks and supplies, instead of worrying how much money will be left after buying the tens of thousands of gallons it takes to pick up/drop off kids every month (week?).

schools producing biodiesel...

won't do anything to the cost of biodiesel. The only way to have the prices of biodiesel drop is to expand market saturation.

The bulk of the cost in producing the biodiesel after the initial purchase of equipment is the feedstock. Feedstock prices are not going down anythime soon. the fact of the matter is, there is no self sufficiency when it comes to producing energy. If it weren't for the tax cuts that are currently going to the biofuel producers, biofuels would be far more costly than regular petroleum products.

Get the industry running before we try to re-invent the wheel. Production of biofuel at a school is far too cost prohibitive to run throughout the state or in as little as 5 school districts.

If it's done properly,

I think it could work very well for the school system that is able to take advantage of the opportunity. And yes, it could save the taxpayer money.

If schools are actually able to buy textbooks and supplies - can you imagine? All that teaching and academic performance that gets whined about might improve just a little bit.
_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Okay, Okay -Hold Up

First thought:

But you said yourself that the industry isn't doing too well. How is $5 million dollars going to hurt your industry?

$5 million - in my mind that's not much to get a project of this magnitude producing anything economically by the schools.

Especially not if you're talking about all of them. How many units are we talking there? Divvy it up equally? Facilities for producing in a school yard or county maintenance yard somewhere? That just doesn't square in my mind in how this industry operates.

Schools being the biggest market

I don't see the schools being the biggest market. I see the schools, i.e. their buses, being *a* market but not the only market. Doesn't anyone realize the fuel can be sold to other markets? Your neighbor's SUV; the farmer's tractor; the NCAT buses; heck - think big - sell it to CP&L. Yeah, I know, 'Progress Engergy'.

One big advantage I imagine is taking care of a school's waste stream. Instead of paying Waste Management to haul away their 'squashies' - send them off to be recycled into fuel. Can all their waste be recycled that way? Of course not.

Think of it as composting for the public good.

Frankly, we've never lost any kind of race to SC ...to my knowledge ... I'd hate to lose this one. We could gain a lot in NC from this. We could lose big time and cost the taxpayers a whole lot of money at the same time if it's done half assed and with no forethought.

Another question: How conversant in this technology IS the sponsor of the bill? Or the person who wrote the bill? You can't ask for something that you don't know exists. I'm not an expert on these systems by any means but I know what I know and that is: the possibilities are staggering.

Anecdote time: When I was in Tallahassee, I remember reading in the paper about this man whose house abutted a landfill. This guy was in the paper because the Landfill authority wanted him to stop doing something.

What that something was is this. The man was tapping off their methane vents and using that methane to produce ENERGY for his own use. IIRC, he was running generators or something like that. (This was ~1993; I don't remember all the details.)

My thought was this: Are ya'll crazy? This man took something you're throwing out, something a landfill has to get rid of somehow - you should be asking him how to do it for yourselves and paying him to show you how. DUH.

Legalese makes my eyes bleed. I'll look at this one, too. Where are these existing facilities in NC? Anywhere close to me? I'll look at them, too. (If ya want me to) I'm always willing to listen and learn about something I'm interested in.

In closing, $5 million can make a difference in the right hands; $15 million wouldn't be enough in the wrong hands.

Oh, and did I mention? I don't have to be told to 'think outside the box' because I've never been inside a box. I'm the one who's always been on the outside looking in.

As of right now

Schools would be the biggest market for biodiesel in the State of North Carolina.

And sadly, we are losing to the State of South Carolina when it comes to the biofuel industry.

... as of right now ...

can't anyone in this country think further ahead than next week?

Not you jj. I mean the whole rest of the country of naysayers. The ones that ignore science and industry.

Who was it here a few months ago asking about 'Innovations for NC'. I don't want to say a name because I'm not like a lot of people here - I don't know many other NC'ers personally.
Especially natives. So I don't want to attribute one person's ideas to the wrong person.

Who am I talking about folks?

It couldn't be all of them.

There are 117 school districts in NC. I would expect that only 5 or 6 of them could realistically take advantage of this type of grant. I know that the school district I live in could not realistically do it.

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I'm not talking about

schools lowering the cost of biodiesel on the market as a whole, I'm talking about them (a specific school) lowering the cost of their own fuel usage.

Unless I'm missing something, after the initial start-up costs, biodiesel can be produced for about a dollar a gallon. Meaning they're saving a dollar (at least) a gallon, giving them a fairly quick ROI and subsequently costing taxpayers half as much as before.

And frankly, hoping that expanding the market will lower the price of fuel seems a little naive to me. Especially when I struggle through traffic with the thousands of other drivers and pay $3.00 per gallon.

As a matter of fact...wouldn't taking away the captive market of school buses force biodiesel suppliers to lower their prices and/or vigorously pursue other markets, such as consumers who don't use enough fuel personally to buy their own set-up?

I see where you're coming from

Unless I'm missing something, after the initial start-up costs, biodiesel can be produced for about a dollar a gallon.

That would be nice. I think the point jjsmith was making is:
what do the schools have to use to produce the fuel itself?
Where are they going to get the input, the raw material to begin this process?

Is this a 'combined' process like the one discussed previously (I think you missed that one, sc) like Tyson's chicken guts being mixed with existing hydrocarbon sources?

Or is this a different process without hydrocarbon input (much, at all - ) I don't know that part. That's why I want to go see the places that exist in NC. To see how it works.

There is a project going on RIGHT NOW - to make biodiesel from hog waste. That yucky stuff hanging out in lagoons making themselves a problem. IIRC - legislation has already been passed to make those things go away.

So what do you do with that 'stuff'? You can't bury that much stuff, nor burn it; honestly, I can't think of anything useful to do with it besides turn it into fertilizer or make it into something you can run a vehicle with. Just that part alone is mind blowing to me.Poop to fuel. Wow.

Do schools have access to anything like that? To use as the base material? Would they have to buy 'stuff'. I don't know.
Ask an expert. It isn't me. I'm just a perennial curious >''

They would have to buy

raw feedstock, even if they could use much of their own biowaste. And they would have to hire at least one person to operate the system (like jj said), as they would need to run it several hours a day, because (here's the important part) each medium to large school uses thousands of gallons of fuel each week.

In other words, each school is a big enough consumer to absorb the intial costs of installing its own system, and distribute the annual income of an operator to five or ten cents cost per gallon. The buses need to be retrofitted whether they buy fuel from outside sources or make their own, so that cost doesn't come into play in this comparison.

Even if they do have to buy stuff and hire a person, if they can make their own fuel for half the cost, that leaves a whole lot of money for other (education) things that North Carolina is struggling to accomodate.

It's at least worth a few pilot programs to see what they can do.

Can one person effectively run a system?

Where do you locate the production facility?

I'm still not seeing one of these hanging out on a campus. At least not a K-12 campus.

How much space does one take? One acre? Two, five, fifteen?

I don't know about everywhere in NC but don't most buses belong to a fleet? Sure, they get assigned to a school, but when they're being actively being used, they're at the school. For the summer, they go back to the barn. Isn't that right?

So let's use Johnston for an example. Which school gets the facility? Selma? North Johnston? Clayton? Clayton HS really doesn't have any spare space. West Johnson might. SS might. So they get to make their own fuel and the rest of the county gets buptkiss? Is that how it would work?

I can see a lot of unhappy campers right there. A lot of our schools east of 95 are already missing out. The money is being sucked over to the west side to accommodate growth. Poke 'em in the eye like that again - whew. I wouldn't want to be the one to explain why one got picked and another didn't.

Even at the county level that could get ugly real fast.

I can see a lot of unhappy

I can see a lot of unhappy campers right there. A lot of our schools east of 95 are already missing out. The money is being sucked over to the west side to accommodate growth. Poke 'em in the eye like that again - whew. I wouldn't want to be the one to explain why one got picked and another didn't.

It's not for individual schools. It's for individual school systems. In an (god I've got to say that damn word again) innovative program - the students would go to where the program is. Even [gasp] to an existing production facility where the school system has used its funds to create classroom /laboratory/observation space - where plant engineers can collaborate with science (and business) teachers to help students understand the process. This would give the schools the money to hire the people they need purchase the raw materials they need, hire the extra teachers they need, etc.

And it is a pilot program. They happen all the time. There aren't usually "hard feelings" over them. Honestly.
_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I'm also seeing some references

to "bioheat", which seems to be a very promising avenue for heating classrooms in the winter, which currently also runs into the millions each year.

This area of technology should be vigorously explored by all of us, and not left to the vagaries of industry, where it may succeed or fail depending on the bottom line or conflicting priorities.

Geothermal energy

fascinates me. Unfortunately, I have very little time to do a lot of research about it. I read an article in a magazine at the office a few months ago, meant to bring it home for my husband to read, and unfortunately, someone else scooped it up. It was written in layman's terms. But the gist of it was that all of the energy we need to heat our homes, etc., is already in the earth. It's just heat.
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The Den
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Geothermal

is the way to go. After a ground loop is installed, the amount of energy needed to compress or expand the air temperature is minimal. The only problem with geothermal is the start up costs and the space needed for the ground loop.

one last thing on schools making biodiesel.

Are they now going to make their own paper? Textbooks? Pencils?

Having the schools go into production only increases the strain on the schools. It doesn't lessen it at all.

With commercial biodiesel running 2.89 a gallon

and I were running a fleet of 13,700 buses, I sure as hell would be looking into making my own fuel. Maybe I'd save enough money to actually buy decent textbooks so that the students who wound up running things 20 years from now would make better decisions, and we'd wind up running school buses on something even more friendly to the earth. Like this. Watch it - it's amazing.

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Me, too

OSHA

Reading, writing, arithmetic. Public/Private partnerships - cool. Fire away.

K-12?

I'm a huge fan of biodiesel

and spend lots of time around local operations where they make the stuff on a small scale.

We definitely don't want this going on at school facilities unless you want to see a Mad Max scenario unfolding around our kids and teachers.

I guess you haven't read my posts.

I've read yours - the least you can do is read mine.

But if you're not going to - I'm done with you.

:::shakes off dust:::

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Where do they perform maintenence

on school buses? They don't do it at the schools, they do it at some other site, where (some) probably pump their own fuel also. Which they had to buy from somewhere.

Looks like I'm going to drive around some in the next few days, tracking down the school bus motorpool (or whatever), since Google (Steve shakes his fist) ain't helping much.

They have the bus yards

The State buys the fuel for the school districts. But the problem is, making biodiesel isn't like making homebrew beer. It takes space. Why spend money on something when you can make money on something.

And the School Systems don't do their own maintenance, they farm that out to other firms because that is cheaper.

Moore County does its own maintenance.

So does Hoke.

So much for all your knowledge.

I guess folks in Raleigh don't know so much.

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I'm confused...

who's spending the money and who's making the money?

I'm just an iggerant taxpayer, who apparently doesn't understand the economics of this. :)

2 point penalty

for lying sc.

Good question though, way to cut to the bottom line.

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