Big Oil Fighting Climate Change

Fighting climate change has not been at the top of some oil industries list. For some, it could be found at the bottom of their list. Exxon Mobil, one of the nation’s largest oil companies, has pushed climate change to the top of their list. This could be a huge step for the oil industry as a whole. Exxon is investing $600 million dollars in the research and development of algae based fuel, sometimes called in oil industry “oilgae.” Exxon has been known and criticized as an oil company that doesn’t care about its impact on the climate. The same people who have criticized them for not caring are questioning whether the company will actually do something with this research. Exxon has admitted that this will be a slow process that could take five to ten years before being implemented. If they do follow through with this program there is no telling where the oil industry will go. This could be one of the greatest steps for alternative energy.

There are many different plants that can be used to create fuel. One of the most common is corn which creates ethanol. Sugar cane and palm trees are also used. These plants are can’t make over 650 gallons of fuel per acre of production, where as algae can make 2,000 gallons per acre. Algae are able to take amble amounts of carbon dioxide and turn it into lipids which can be used to create biofuel. Exxon is partnering with a company that studies the genes of plant life and discovers ways to create alternative fuel. They have found a way to make algae take in more carbon dioxide. This will not only allow the algae to produce more fuel, but it will also be able to help with carbon emissions which is another hope of Exxon. They would like to be able to start algae farms near industries that produce a lot of carbon dioxide so as to reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted into the atmosphere.

These ideas are just formulations caused by the new standards that the Obama administration is putting into play. This is one of the many steps that are being taken to curb the impact of climate change. I believe that algae would be a great alternative fuel. I know from experience that it can grow in almost any water (fresh or salted) and it is not a product that is farmed immensely for other reasons (like food). Corn is such a substantial food in other countries that a mass use of it for biofuels could create a shortage of corn for food, not necessarily in the United States, but in third world countries. By using a plant that can grow quickly, can be grown wherever there is water, and is not used much in any other industries; we may just have ourselves a fine alternative fuel. Do you think so?

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