– by Jeff Zurschmeide, August 6, 2016, Yahoo Tech
Photo: Car and Driver
Pull up to just about any gas station pump in America and you’ll see a sticker noting that the gas in that pump contains ethanol. It’s all around you, but most people don’t know much about ethanol.
What’s it doing to your car, and why’s it there in the first place. Aah, now that’s a good story.
What is fuel ethanol?
Ethanol is alcohol. It’s the same stuff that’s in vodka and every other alcoholic drink, and it’s made the same way – by fermenting corn or other biomass. But when it’s used for fuel purposes, the refineries put some extra chemicals in it to make it poisonous and unfit for human consumption, then they mix it with gasoline. In case it’s not obvious, you really don’t want to consider fuel ethanol as an alternative to your favorite cocktail. Heck, if you’re bringing cocktails to the gas station, you’ve got bigger issues. Drive responsibly and all that. but we digress.
– by Anna Simet, February 22, 2016, Biomass Magazine
Washington’s last coal-fired power plant may have a new incentive to convert to a cleaner fuel, rather than closing down in less than a decade.
SB 5575, which passed the Senate on Feb. 12 and was scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Technology and Economic Development on Feb. 23, would provide the 1,340-MW Centralia Coal Plant with sales and use tax exemptions, in the form of a remittance of tax paid, to encourage the coal-fired electric generation plant to convert to biomass energy or natural gas.
According to the bill summary, construction of new structures or renovation of existing structures for the purpose of the conversion would be tax exempt, including labor and services to construct the facility and the machinery, as well as equipment required for the conversion. The tax exemptions would be in the form of a remittance that wouldn’t be paid until the conversion of the facility is operationally complete, but not earlier than July 1, 2020.