A few weeks ago, I explored the idea of planting sugar cane here in the Black Belt to produce bioethanol. This is getting some traction in the Montgomery Advertiser.
The potential is exciting to contemplate. Alabama’s chronically impoverished Black Belt region has soil and climate suitable for growing sugar cane. The cane would have to be grown near the facility because processing of cane for fuel has to begin within a few hours of harvesting.
The Black Belt also holds great potential for growing switchgrass, an appealing source for ethanol because it is not a food source. Producing plants for alternative fuels could be a crucial element in the region’s progress out of its widespread poverty and back into the economic mainstream of Alabama.
Riley will be well advised to continue taking alternative fuels proposals seriously. Alabama has ample land and a long growing season, two assets that position it advantageously for the process of moving away from fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, the CEO of BP hints that we have entered the second half of the Age of Oil:
“This is not a speculative bubble”, Mr Hayward added.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs also lent support today to Mr Hayward’s view, arguing in a report “we are not observing anything approaching sustained growth in physical inventories.
Crude rose to $144 per barrel earlier this morning.