Reducing America’s Carbon Footprint

In an effort to alleviate its universal carbon impact, over the next 10 years Delta airlines will be investing $1 billion into fuel-efficient aircrafts, replacing single-use plastics with a greener substance and more.   Ed Bastian, the firm’s Chief Executive pointed out that:

“There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution.”

The current situation is that it has been very hard for airlines to help preserve the environment since the development and supply of biofuels is minimal and challenging.  While technology has advanced so greatly in other parts of the transportation industry, the air travel part lags behind and we are not witnessing any futuristic fuel-efficient planes.  Still, Delta is committed to making an impact.

Meanwhile, in California researchers might be closer to a solution.  At the Viterbi School of Engineering in Southern California’s University, work is being undertaken in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. A metal carbide nanoparticle has been discovered as having the capacity to  convert CO2 into fuel.  Should this actualize it would be the first ever time a would be able to produce sustainably at low temperature resulting in the production of particles at a low cost, but industrial scale, while at the same time having a substantially lesser impact on the environment, ultimately diminishing greenhouse emissions throughout the world.

Oil Growth Takes a New Path

With constant and increasing talk of climate change and environmental preservation and moves away from oil and gas related products, major firms are increasing their manufacturing of plastic products.  These firms include ExxonMobil and Shell.

Given that petrochemicals (the chemical materials that derived from petroleum through a process of refining) now makes up to 14 percent of the use of oil, it is anticipated that there will be a doubling of the production of plastic over the next two decades.  Indeed, according to Steven Feit, Staff Attorney on the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for International and Environmental Law (CIEL) said:

 “In the context of a world trying to shift off of fossil fuels as an energy source, this is where [oil and gas companies] see the growth.  [As such these large corporations] are looking for a way to monetize it.  You can think of plastic as a kind of subsidy for fracking.”

in addition, today natural-gas futures dropped to their nadir in almost four years.  plummeting below $2 million British thermal units the drop resulted in a 5.4 percent dive to $1.895 per MMBtu.  This is simultaneous to the explosion in shale which has revolutionized the entire energy industry in America, inundating the market with natural gas and oil.  Predictions by the US Energy Information Administration include an increase of 2.9 percent this year in the production of dry natural gas.