100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 10, 1980 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-10
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-w

The Michigan Daily-Sund

Page 2-SundayFebruary 10, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Free space

The Big 3: Are synfi
the energy of the futi

0
i0
_________ .
(:3

By Tom Mirga
"The first thing we have got to
do is to face the facts. There is sim-
ply not enough oil available in the
world to meet all the demands of all
the people in all the nations on ear-
th. Americans are just now begin-
ning to realize with simple common
sense that there are only two ways to
guarantee supply: one is obviously
to control our demand, to cut back
on the waste of energy; and the
other is to develop our own sources
of energy to replace foreign imports
so that we can have control over
our destiny."
-President Carter.
Speech in Kansas City.
7/16/79
O OF ALL THAT is clear today on
America's energy budget, what
seems most noticeable is that
we cannot rely on the oil of others- to
meet our future needs. America has
raw energy inside the confines of the
country waiting to be tapped. Unfor-
tunately, these resources are like the
cheese ensnared in a mousetrap: the
question is, can we snag the riches
without a seemingly assured backlash
wiping us out? Are the economics of the
sun, the nastiness of the nuke, the land
pillage .of coal production, and all the
rest obstacles we can overcome?
Included in all the banter and cross-
signals passing for a national energy
policy today has been an increased in-
terest in the creation of "synfuels."
True, there has been controversy
surrounding them. While the president
has sounded gung-ho on this alternative
to oil since the July speech that kicked
off his energy offensive, many obser-
vers have warned of the dangers syn-
Tom Mirga is the Daily Univer-
sity editor.

fules create for the economy and the
environment, and of their only long-
term benefits.
But there isn't any one specific ob-
stacle blocking synfuels production
right now. Instead, it seems the usual
entanglement of corporate decisions is
the prime reason that alternative is not
under full investigation. To bring syn-
fuels into widespread use, we need a
common approach from those who
will be the prime deployers of
them-the auto companies. All we have
now is a mish-mash of theories on
which syntletic fuels are best, and how
we can economically produce them.
"Itsseemstunanimous that theapublic
wants us to move as fast as the
president does in the alternative fuels
field," remarks Serge Gratch, director
of Ford Motor Company's Chemical
Sciences Laboratory and a recent ap-
pointee to the newly-created National
Alcohol Fuels Commission.
"But the fact remains that his plan is
very big. By the end of 1981 the amount
of alcohol available for transportation in
this country, for example, would
amount to less than one per cent of all
gasoline we consume." Thus, we can
read Ford Motor's hand: they are
shooting, at least tentatively, to explore
the possibilities of mixing alcohol with,
or using it as a substitute for,
automobile fuel.
Do the other automobile companies
pay attention to what Ford is doing with
synfuels? If so, they seem to be reacting
to Ford's actions by backing away, to
some degree or other, from a solid
commitment to "gasohol." Joseph
Bidwell, executive director of the
General Motors Research
Laboratories, says that Carter's
programs are far too optimistic and
simple-minded. "By 1990 he says he
wants us to produce something like 1.75
million barrels of some alternative fuel
per day in this country," he says. "I

1! "4 ", - fi l
:>pA
GPWI SYFVELF~tC 'S Sritr

think we'll be lucky if we even get one-
quarter of that amount by that time."
Bidwell emphasizes that General
Motors is delving into the production of
oil shale-a rock which, when it has un-
dergone a heating process, can be used
to produce oil.
"The biggest roadblock is financing
production. The cost of getting an oil
shale plant on board is going to run
something like four or five billion
dollars," tells Bidwell. "Not only that,
but it takes years to get these plants in
the production stage. This is no little
feat, it's going to take one hell of an in-
vestment," he asserts.
So!, you say, at last an organzied,
convincing approach to the future of.
synfuels. You're sold, right?-oil shale+
is the way. Well, you're wrong. At least,
you are according to Charles Heinen,
director of research and materials
engineering for the Chrysler Corpor-
tion, the last of the holier than holy
trilogy of auto companies. Each synfuel
alternative, he says, is "iffy as hell.
"The fuels we decide to use in the
future will not depend upon straight
engineering questions," he says, "but
on politics and differing philosophies.
There's truly a morass of information
out there. You can't just listen to a
presidential promise in an election year

and
want
level
barr
up th
all of
medi
lot of
We
to M
his r
isn't
How
aren
Ame
story
unre
our
ques
area
abou
beco
like
attra
ener
An
one-1
with
milli
quar
tight
Petr
(OPi
locat
the w
OP
pric(
alme
emb.
high
pric4
Am
weal
situa
An
mea
The
maj(
best
year
tive:
prow
depl
lifet
seve,
cons
as ti
abou
imps
polit

poetry

Faith
I had believed
that every summer night
fireflies would be here;
Here in my black backyard
dotting like lake buoys
the portion of uncolored sky
in children's crayon drawings:
between the heads of their people
and the nebulous blue line
that marks the start of above.

Rake Caught in a Door
Unlike the silent struggle
of the beetle,
his patterned shell
imbedded in the wet paint
like a single mosaic tile,
the quivering metal legs
of the rake caught
by the wind slammed porch door
ring out
the pain of surprise.
-Dave Masello

41' a" jrsokc own }c
- AL4 e- v
\oiv 1,L .r~
f-ea ItAt4
N~n4 ca+(al rarr J -<c odrtP
aL 4fiPs~i~ IC$. i~i ~
. f~Y IIIE ........I Y,'e.?oiSGEsRI(NT TI 6OVt

Senior Dave Masello is majoring in
English at the University. From
Evanston, Illinois, Masello has won
a Hopwood' Award .for.is. poetry,
and has contributed to Rising Star.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan