Refueling America

A conference held Sept. 21 on the NC State University Campus in Raleigh, N.C. focused on renewable fuels and advanced technologies to provide Americans with a cleaner, safer future. The NAFTC, Wake Technical College, North Carolina Solar Center, NC Department of Energy, The American Lung Assoc. and the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition worked together to provide a full day of learning, discussion and networking.

The keynote speaker for the conference was noted author Paul Roberts whose book “The End Of Oil” examines the implications surrounding the impending peak of global oil production.

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts, Author of The End of Oil.

Mr. Roberts was introduced to the audience of about 200 attendees by Al Ebron, NAFTC Executive Director. During his talk, Paul Roberts discussed the history of petroleum, some warning signs that the global production peak may be near, or is happening now, and the effects of our need for imported oil on our economy, our national security and our relations with other countries.

During his talk, Paul Roberts related a conversation he had during his visit to mainland China. He was speaking with a mid level bureaucrat in the Chinese trade delegation who was expounding on the massive growth and expansion of the Chinese economy, especially the growth of transportation and vehicle production. Paul asked the gentleman “Where are you going to get all of the oil?” The bureaucrat replied: “That is not the question. The question is where are YOU going to get the oil!”

Al Ebron of the NAFTC helped open the proceedings with a presentation titled “Why Are We Here Today?” which examined the nation’s current energy picture, post Katrina, and introduced the group to the alternative fuels and technologies available as solutions.

Al Ebron intro

Al Ebron, NAFTC Executive Director, introducing Paul Roberts.

Other presenters included Larry Shirley, of the NC State Energy Office, Dr. Richard Nelson of Kansas State University and Terry Levinson, with Argonne National Laboratory.

The conference was a huge success, ending with an outdoor display and ride and drive opportunities for several varieties of hybrid, electric and alternative fueled vehicles.

Mobile biodiesel plant

Mobile biodiesel plant.

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