interview > greene > greene 1
Greene 1 (1:38)
Topic(s): Biofuels / Electric & Hybrid / Future Transport
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I think the first is that our transportation system is
almost entirely fueled by petroleum, more than 95%, and it's been that
way for the past half century. We're now facing a situation where
we're approaching a time when oil production outside of the OPEC
countries is likely to reach a plateau or peak, some people think. And when
that happens, we will have a growing gap between what the world can supply
itself in oil and what the growing mobility demand will be, not just in the
United States and in Europe and South America, but also in Asia, China, India,
very rapidly increasing demand for mobility.
And we will have to find sources of energy for
transportation other than conventional petroleum. We're already beginning
to do that in places like Alberta, Canada, where we're tapping into oil
sands, which a couple of decades ago were not considered to be suitable sources
of petroleum for transportation systems. But now we're producing more
than a million barrels a day of oil from oil sands. And those other sources are there
(things like oil shale, things like coal-to-liquid fuels), but they're
much more damaging to the environment, and especially to the climate. If we
were to produce gasoline from coal, for example, without trying to capture the
carbon emissions, there would be about twice as much greenhouse gas produced
per vehicle mile as we produce now, using gasoline.
So on the one hand we're facing a situation where
petroleum is going to become increasingly scarce. We're going to have to
find other sources of energy. And the most convenient, most easily usable
sources of energy are the ones most damaging to the global climate.