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  1. #1

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    Lightbulb Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    In light of the looming "Summer of the StayCation" with people cancelling their vacation travel plans because of $4.50+ Gasoline and $5.00+ Diesel, I just thought of a GREAT way for Disney to show their "Environmentality" and drive Resort attendance at the same time...

    Put in an alternative fuel station at or very near the park. On their own, or get an energy company to 'Sponsor' it with them. Advertise it as "No matter what you drive or what it runs on, once you get to The Disneyland Resort you can get a fill-up to get home."

    Several good sites are available - a corner of the 'Third Theme Park' lot. The old "Spaghetti Station" property at Ox Rd. and Ball Rd, or perhaps the Katella and West St./Disneyland Dr. corner of Simba Lot.

    Go do your own check at US Department of Energy - There is NO BioDiesel easily available in the area - Monterey Park is the closest 24/7. And NO E-85 Ethanol nearby - the closest public station is in West Los Angeles near UCLA. The closest public LNG station is in Long Beach.

    CNG is available but you have to go hunt down the stations in industrial areas near the Gas Company service yards. All the Hydrogen stations in the area are "Private Access Only" with only one "Public Call Ahead" - which means limited access.

    Disney needs to cover all the fuels that are used now, and that are in near-term develpopment - CNG, LNG, LPG (Propane), Hydrogen, various "flavors" of BioDiesel from B-20 to B-100 {blending dispenser} depending on what your car or truck uses, and E-85 or E-100 Ethanol.

    Work with BMW to fuel their new H7 Hydrogen there - the closest stations now are in Santa Monica and Oxnard. This will attract the Hollywood Crowd that they are loaning the H-7 test cars to - More work for the Plaids among us.

    And offer slightly discounted rates to visitors with a park ticket. (50 gallon limit per visit for trucks and buses - or offer vouchers to the tour bus companies.) But just having those alternative fuels available at all (even without a discount) will get Disney lots of press coverage, and IMHO a fair amount of extra attendance.

    The station would have to be attended for safety, especially the LNG, LPG and Hydrogen fueling - it's not difficult but you have to do it the right way or things can go VERY wrong in a big hurry...

    Compressed Natural Gas is already widely used throughout the resort - All the Parking Lot Trams, some of the Main Street Vehicles, the "Road Trip" Mercury Woody Wagon and much of the backstage power equipment runs on CNG right now.

    And for the nearby visitors (~50-mile radius) with electric vehicles, parking spaces with charging outlets at Mickey & Friends. There are charging stations at the Hotels, but not in the Resort parking lots.

    For the small number of truck drivers who stop at the resort, electric outlet hitching posts to run their trailer refrigeration, so they can shut off the little diesel engines.

    All I know is I'm going to be driving the 95 Saturn SL2 at 25/36 MPG to the park a LOT more than the 98 Pontiac TransSport at 16/23 MPG. And my 98 Chevy C-3500 Utility Bed is PARKED at 11/15 MPG.

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  2. #2

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    I'm all for alternative fuels, but biofuels are turning out to be a big, BIG problem in relation to world hunger.

  3. #3

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post
    I'm all for alternative fuels, but biofuels are turning out to be a big, BIG problem in relation to world hunger.
    Only because of the fixation with using field corn as the base stock. Even at that, it has minimal effect in real life, but the detractors can make it into a big PR problem.

    And in this case, the detractors don't want us making Ethanol for fuel - they want the US Government to buy up all the "surplus" corn with your tax dollars and mine, and give it free to the entire developing world. THIS IS STUPID!! "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

    I hate to be a downer, but IMHO most of these third-world countries are run by crooks and dictators that shouldn't be there. These countries have to work on developing their own stable governments and economies, and growing the food needed for their own people. We can't feed the rest of the world forever, especially as their populations explode exponentially, then die off even faster. And then we are expected to come in and help them cure the diseases... When does it end?

    Follow The Money: Look at who is saying bad things about a certain technology (like Corn based Ethanol) and you'll usually find someone (like an oil man) who has bet their money on another pony in the race...

    It will take 10 years before we see big payoff results from a multi-pronged attack on the energy problem, sure - but if we drag our feet with endless arguments and wait another 10 years to even get started, then it will be 20 years to see results. That is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Brazil is using sugar cane based ethanol because they have the rainfall to support wide scale cane growing, and it is easier to extract the sugars and brew up fuel grade ethanol.

    The US could do the same thing with Sugar Cane (Hawaii has the climate for it), or Sugar Beets, or other crops as well as Corn, and with cellulosic waste like switchgrass and the corn stalks and wheat straw left over after the harvest - but no matter which works best in the end, we need to get moving on all of them now. Sort it out later, when we have time.

    We need a multi-pronged program to attack from every angle. Some will work better than others, but we need to start seeing those results before we can start cutting things. We are Americans, we can solve darned near any problem that comes up, if we have the will to succeed at the endeavor.

    First, we need to get the oil companies moving on domestic oil exploration and extraction. Drill in ANWR, Drill offshore, drill in the National Parks if we need to. You can hide the wellheads in a valley and slant drill to the big deposits, and still leave the park in pristine condition.

    Bet you didn't know there is a large production oil field underneath Beverly Hills, CA - the wellheads are well hidden, right next to Beverly Hills High School, and there are no leaks or spills. They can hide the wells the same way in ANWR, and anywhere else they choose to.

    Make it cheaper to pump and refine domestic crude oil than buy it overseas. Make it economical to uncap old wells and pump what they can, and start using advanced extraction techniques. We have enough proven domestic oil reserves right now that if we uncapped every older well and pumped full out we could cut off all oil imports RIGHT NOW, but those levels could not be maintained for more than a few years. We would need new exploration and wells to be brough online in the near future to keep up the flow.

    Build or expand domestic oil refineries so we have enough capacity to meet our own needs. Just that alone could drop gasoline and diesel prices in half inside a year, when OPEC discovers we simply don't need them anymore.

    And there still will be a long-term need for oil, we can't eliminate it's use totally - it's far cheaper to refine lubricants from crude oil than synthesize them from scratch.

    Turn all the farm subsidies for not growing crops into subsidies for growing crops for fuel use. Start growing more Soybeans for biodiesel, and perfect the mass proiduction.

    Get started building the building the distilleries and refineries for the fuels, and the national common carrier pipeline networks needed for economical distribution to the end users.

    Get the automakers moving - Dual-Fuel and CNG cars and trucks that can run on it. We have huge reserves of Natural Gas in the USA, and a good pipeline supply network. All we need now are the filling stations, and that is a simple electric powered compressor and a small batch of pressure tanks to store that 3600 PSI gas in. You can move cars through a CNG station just as fast as a gasoline station.

    If the automakers could start mass producing bi-fuel CNG/Gasoline or CNG/E-85/Gasoline cars and light trucks Right Now - Model Year 2009 - we could start seeing a drop in domestic gasoline consumption by the end of the year. No fooling, that alternative is 100% ready to go - but you can't buy a car that runs on it.

    The only real production CNG car is the Honda Civic GX, but they are made in very small numbers. But there are conversions available for cars and trucks from all the US domestic automakers (including Toyota and Nissan) and they could easily be built on the production line - if the EPA would get out of the way.

    Get started on Nuclear - it is safe and clean when the plants are operated conservatively, and we can solve the waste problems if the states will let us. A lot of the legacy nuclear waste problems could be solved through reprocessing the existing wastes into new nuclear fuels and useful isotopes, and less-concentrated residuals that can be buried safely.

    Get started on wind power, and geothermal, and hydroelectric, and large scale solar.

    Silicon solar cells are not very efficient yet, but the experiments they have been running in Twentynine Palms CA for decades, with thousands of solar reflector heliostats focused on a tower with a boiler tank at the top are VERY efficient - they make live steam and run a power generating turbine.

    Hydroelectric is very good for efficient pumped energy storage - use the Solar or Wind excesses during the day to pump water uphill, and at night or when the wind stops you let it run downhill torough a power turbine. Do that on the scale of Hoover Dam, and you have some serious power.

    And when we make a policy decision, it has to be long term and permanent. GM spent a lot of money developing the EV-1 to meet a Federal and California demand that automakers start producing electric and hybrid cars. Then the legal mandate was removed, and they were left holding the bag. Companies have long memories, and they do NOT like getting hit with unrecoverable expenses like that.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  4. #4

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Wow. Very nice DL-unrelated rant there, Bruce!
    In order:
    1. Ethanol-mixed gasoline should be invested in by prvate funds, not Gov't funds. I'd rather eat the corn.
    2. We should start importing Brazil's E85 (or whatever it's called there) if it's that much cheaper. Let it make more than it needs.
    3. Do not stoop to attacking the debater ("follow the money..." tactic). You're better than that.
    4. True about 3rd World country leaders.
    5. Not much of an energy problem yet. Energy price problem, maybe. Amazing how the gas stations still have gasoline to sell. I prefer this to early and late 70's crises.
    6. The worst thing about Hawaii is the raping of its beautiful land with sugar cane.
    7. I'd be surprised if every oil well in the US is not pumping right now, at these prices. I'd be surprised if there were areas of US land that have not been explored for oil and other resources.
    8. Yes, I did know about Beverly Hills high school's oil well. I thought it was common knowledge. And it's pumping oil.
    9. I think it would better for our country to take all the oil from the other countries, leaving them with none. Then, we'd have alll the oil. As soon as the price of oil is high enough to make drilling profitable, we drill for oil. Free market is a lot more efficient than trying to manipulate it.
    10. We could get rid of all farm subsidies, and let the market take care of itself, especially with the assistance of the futures exchange (did you know that onions cannot be traded on the futures market and its prices have been much more volatile than gas orr oil?).
    11. If auto companies see a profit in dual-fuel car sales, they'll make them. If they can't see a profit when one is so obviously there (ten years ago's hybrid market), then they'll fall into hard times. Oh, look, there goes GM stock price down the tubes!
    12. Main problem with the car market and its effect on gas prices is that the market, buy and large (wall-e reference!), wants (wanted, now) large safe-seeming cars, and they don't want them to plug along like a tiny-engined Ford Pinto. So, big cars with big engines, with foot-to-the-floorability. Lucky me I'm not average, too bad for the average.
    13. Please search France Nuclear Accident dated 7/8/2008. Yeah: yesterday. Clean, until there's an accident. If the rest of the world wants nuclear energy, fine. More natural gas and coal for us. Heck, Mexico could line the border (OK, 100 miles from it) with nuclear plants, sell us the energy. Clean energy for us, without the risk of accident to us.
    14. T. Boone Pickens is plnking down 2 billion dollars on wind energy. I'm guessing he's getting some kind of tax break, or he will be selling shares to unsuspecting individuals. Remember those ads for investing in wind power?
    15. That hydroelectric/solar idea sounds pretty cool. Especially since the reservoirs on the Colorado are dangerously lowering. Of course, downstream there are water needs. Meh. Let them dry up. Wait, that's some of us! Oh, choices, choices.
    16. GM made a stupid decision not to put that car out on the market. Made a stupid decision to concentrate on fuel cells instead of hybrids. Now, look at the state it is in. Toyota could sure use some auto plants to make its superior cars that there never seem to be enough of. The free market will make its decision on GM.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Also, OC gas prices were much lower than The Valley's or VC's (10 cents last time I was in the area). Friend went to the area last weekend, though, and found that the prices have leveled with ours. Hmm, free market works to eliminate arbitrage yet again!
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #6

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Bruce,

    You're pretty spot on with everything here, except I do think the point that Retro made is a concern, the production of ethanol through corn grain is incredibly inefficient. All the other options you presented for creating ethanol are far better solutions than corn grain.

    Anyway, we definitely will still need oil for lots of better uses than just fuel, not just lubricants, but also for chemicals, fertilizers, plastics, fabrics and a lot of other things. So we do need to be able to produce a satisfactory supply of our own oil, while also replacing it with alternatives where possible.

    I am also very interested in some of the solar techniques other than PV's, which you refered to. To me those sun towers are such a simple and powerful solution that it's shocking it hasn't been employed more here and that needs to change. Anyway, I agree that American inginuity can solve these problems and I believe that if we did solve them, we would see an unprecedented explosion in our economy as we both became energy independent and began to export our energy related technologies around the world. We need to recognize this as an opportunity rather than a problem.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I am also very interested in some of the solar techniques other than PV's, which you refered to. To me those sun towers are such a simple and powerful solution that it's shocking it hasn't been employed more here and that needs to change.
    They do take up a lot of space. And, for a few years, at least, we still have the whole eastern half of the Mojave Desert.
    Now, if we could build a residential area with these reflectors running over the top of the houses(and who wouldn't want some shade in the Mojave Desert?), we could save lots of space.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    The desert is huge, there's plenty of space. If there's one thing we have plenty of, it's empty desert. There are actually even bigger ideas for giant green houses surrounding a tower where the pressure differential drives the air in the green house area thru turbines and then up through the tower. Now one of those on a grand scale would be huge. It'd make one of these reflector towers look like a toy.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    The desert is huge, there's plenty of space. If there's one thing we have plenty of, it's empty desert. There are actually even bigger ideas for giant green houses surrounding a tower where the pressure differential drives the air in the green house area thru turbines and then up through the tower. Now one of those on a grand scale would be huge. It'd make one of these reflector towers look like a toy.
    And they could make a tiny one in DL.
    (Need to keep this thread here, so need DL references.)
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Sediment:
    I'm not even going to try to intersperse-quote you...

    1: I'd love to see the move to alternate fuels and energy independence done with private investment and private enterprise also, but Government has to set a direction and prime the pump. They do that through tax breaks and deregulation (or easing of regulations) for things they want to encourage, and taxes and heavier regulation for things they want to discourage. Simple carrot and stick.

    2. The third world can always do things like that cheaper, and we could get the ethanol cheap from them - they pay a lot less for labor, and can afford to throw bodies at the problem. But if we do that, then we are dependent again - on their ethanol instead of their oil. We need to solve this ourselves.

    Hugo Chavez already sends a lot of their domestic oil (Citgo and PetroBras) over here for sale. He may smell 'Sulfur and Brimstone" after "The Devil" (President Bush) has left the room, but he sure does love the color of our money...

    3. I'm not attacking this particular person, just the general mindset.

    5. Let the Democrats come in and try instituting price controls instead of attacking the real problems, and it'll be 1971 and the "No Gas" signs and even-day odd-day rationing all over again. We had a "C" sticker for Dad's work car.

    Government can not restrict and regulate our way out of this one, the free market will stop trying. Or we'll end up like Russia and Cuba, with empty store shelves at the "Government Price Controlled" price - but a huge and thriving Black Market at the back door, to get access to as much gasoline as you want if you pay the highly inflated prices.

    6. They already cultivate most of Oahu with pineapples, sugar cane shouldn't be much worse, and potentially just as lucrative. And consider that they could use all the pineapple canning cuttings and wastes to brew up ethanol, too! The only bad thing would be to tear out native rainforest to cultivate crops, because that takes decades to come back.

    7. They are working on re-opening a lot of old wells that still have pump-jacks and power to run them, but some of the really old 2-barrel a day wells where the infrastructure was removed are still capped.

    9. If we buy all the Mideast's oil, they come and buy all our real estate and our US Savings Bonds with that money. What happens if they decide they want all their money back, right now? If we crank up the printing presses, we set off hyper-inflation.

    Better to keep that money on our own shores, or at least be in a far better bargaining position for what we do import - since we would have our own oil sources drilled, proven and available (even if it isn't being pumped right now) we wouldn't really *have* to buy more oil from the Mideast. But since they can't eat or drink their oil, they *do* have to sell it. Put the balance of trade in our favor for a change.

    11. But we need to have a stated national energy policy and stick to it before the car companies will build the alternate fuel cars. Chicken & Egg - If they build the cars, the owners have to have a way to fuel, maintain and register them.

    If you went and bought a horse and buggy for transportation right now in 2008, where are you going to find a public Livery Stable? Feed stores, blacksmiths, veterinarians? Even a hitching post and a shade tree with a water trough at your destination? You can get the vehicle, but the infrastructure to support it is not there. (Well, Amish and Mennonite areas excepted.)

    13. Any nuclear reactor can have problems if it is not operated responsibly. There have been fatal US research reactor incidents, too, but they are almost always caused by the operator ignoring the rules. I seem to recall one operator in the 1950's that was literally nailed to the roof of the reactor building by the control rods being ejected from the core by steam pressure...

    Consider we haven't made many advancements in safety design in the last 30 years, because they haven't been building new nuke plants in the US. That can be changed.

    15. You don't use the main Colorado River for energy storage, you dam off a big side canyon and use that. Or you make two artificial lakes where there is a major elevation change to work with - L.A. DWP has one, but don't ask me to name it right now...

    16. And the ironic thing is, Toyota bought and paid for a lot of their early tech from GM. Their first-generation engines were old GM designs - they still make the F Motor which is the old 235CI GM Stovebolt Six. But while Detroit was ignoring Deming and his push for Quality, Tokyo didn't.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  11. #11

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    And they could make a tiny one in DL.
    (Need to keep this thread here, so need DL references.)
    Ok, here's one for ya. I had been toying with the concept months ago to actually locate a reflector solar tower with a new spinner on top of the PM platform. Unfortunately, I think that actually locating the reflectors around TL would be too difficult, though I have only studied the idea briefly, but I thought it could have been a neat way to green TL.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  12. #12

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Wow... comfy on the sidelines! please let me stay there.
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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Bruce I read your posts with enthusiasm and this one is no exception. Awesome idea! Keep up the good work!!!
    Permanecer sentado por favor...

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Ok, here's one for ya. I had been toying with the concept months ago to actually locate a reflector solar tower with a new spinner on top of the PM platform. Unfortunately, I think that actually locating the reflectors around TL would be too difficult, though I have only studied the idea briefly, but I thought it could have been a neat way to green TL.
    That would be perfect.
    Top of Innoventions could work, too.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Alternative Fuels can drive people to Disneyland

    Bruce, we agree on a lot of things, even in this thread. I just think government is less able to do things than the market, and the gov't uses "my" tax dollars to do it, without your or my expert input.

    A middle-ground approach might be, say, for CNG "stations":
    1. Gov't builds them, in order to get the chicken/egg thing going;
    2. Economies of scale kick in (maybe -- autos would still have to be built, another carrot).
    3. Gov't then sells the stations to highest bidders, or, in the case of the distribution mechanism being built with permission onto an existing station, taxes the CNG at some rate that eventually returns the investment. (Or in some other way, or just gives it up, having taxed the CNG in the meantime enough to cover the) investment.

    Say, I bet Lake Hollywood (?) could be used for that. And, the solar panels could be built on stilts over part of the lake! The green crowd that jogs around there with their dogs and strollers would love it.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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