California Steps up Use Of Ethanol

The call for steps to curb the threat of global warming has led California to take aggressive steps to promote the use of environment-friendly vehicles. Known as the hotbed in the United States of Asian car manufacturers, the state is known for its take on the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and the promotion of environment-friendly and renewable alternative fuels.

Recently, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted in favor of reformulating gasoline that is sold in the state. The event took place at the board’s meeting last June 14 in Fresno. The “clean air agency” voted to increase the amount of bioethanol by ten percent on gasoline sold in California.

The step taken by CARB is widely supported by ethanol as well as petroleum producers. State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is known to strongly support steps taken to promote alternative fuel which in turn reduces the greenhouse gases emitted by road-bound vehicles.

As a result of CARB’s decision, it is expected that the state government as well as environmental organizations are going to push for the implementation of the 10 percent increase in bioethanol content of California gasoline. This step will boost business for alternative fuel producers which ultimately benefits farmers who grow the crops from which bioethanol is made from.

“By incorporating a larger percentage of less expensive, renewable, clean- burning, low carbon ethanol into California’s gasoline blend, consumers, the environment and the economy all benefit,” says Bill Jones, the Chairman and Founder of Pacific Ethanol Inc. “Governor Schwarzenegger has made California a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and today’s action by the California Air Resources Board builds on that record of success. This decision is a testament to the good things that result when the business community, government and environmental stakeholders work together.”

Governor Schwarzenegger, earlier this year, called for steps like this to be taken by the state’s legislative body. And with this new development, it seems that not even a highly efficient brake system assembly like those found at Active Brakes Direct can stop the increasing popularity of bioethanol use in California.

In the past, car manufacturers are being criticized for producing numerous flex-fuel vehicles when there are very few refilling stations in the country which offers bioethanol. In fact, a study found out that 99 percent of flex fuel vehicles in the country are running on pure gasoline.

With the step being undertaken by California, the use of bioethanol can be promoted gradually. When enough installations can provide E85 fuel, it is expected that the state will once again increase the amount of ethanol on California gasoline.

“This new model for gasoline reformulation will allow a blend of up to 10 percent ethanol by volume to be sold in California. Until this landmark decision was made, California’s gasoline blend contained one of the lowest percentages of ethanol in the country,” says Larry Gross, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Alta Biofuels. “This action will increase the market for ethanol by 600 million gallons a year in essence increasing fuel supply by over 4 percent which will have a very positive impact on total fuel supply.”

Aside from benefiting the environment, the increase in the amount of ethanol on California gasoline is expected to lower its price. This is because ethanol is 65 cents cheaper than gasoline.

5 Fun Things to Do on Vacation in the Sonoma Wine Country, California

1. Wash Away Your Worries with an Enzyme Bath

At Osmosis Spa, you can get a private enzyme bath that purifies your body, moisturizes skin, and soothes your soul. Set in a Japanese tea garden, you start with an organic herbal tea that contains enzymes from 25 organic plants, triggering a metabolic process enhanced by the hot bath.

Then, you soak in the warm water. As your body sweats out the toxins, you can relax, listening to meta-music designed to balance brain activity. This is followed by a 75-minute massage and facial.

2. Bond with Family and Friends at Armstrong Redwoods

Bring a picnic basket, a camera, and your loved ones to Armstrong Redwoods, an 805-meter park filled with ancient tree groves, nature trails, and numerous picnic and recreational facilities. Here you’ll find some of the oldest and tallest redwoods in California–over 300 feet high, and dating back to over 1,400 years.

The park is located about two miles north of Santa Rosa, and is accessible from Highway 101. Just turn left on River Road, then drive down to Guerneville. At the second traffic signal, turn right on Armstrong Road. For more Information, call (707) 869-2015.

3. Feel Like a Pioneer on Pt Reyes’ Hiking Trails

Point Reyes offers about 140 miles of hiking trails– and a view that displays Nature at its most pristine and majestic. Escape from the noise and pollution of the city, and imagine how California looked centuries ago.

Visitors will be given a free trail map, which shows both the hiking and the biking trails (however, those who go on foot will be able to explore the wilderness area, for the complete ‘pioneer’ experience). You can also ride horses. The terrain is quite diverse, shifting from pasture lands to chaparral rides and forests and meadowlands. Visitors can customize their hike according to personal preference and experience.

4. Celebrate California’s Creative Spirit

California has a thriving artists; community, and some of the best works of today’s most promising creative minds are on display at the Arts Council of Sonoma Country Gallery.

The Gallery is found in Santa Rosa’s Downtown Area, on 529 Fifth Street. It is open on Wednesday to Friday from 12 – 5 pm, and Saturdays from 12 – 4 pm. However, on October 13, 14, 20 and 21, the Gallery extends its hours from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 707-579-ARTS or visit http://www.artrails.org

5. Drink in Golden California

California’s Sonoma and Napa regions are renowned for their fine wine. Take a tour of the most renowned vineyards and discover how your favorite vintage is made–from how the grapes ripen under the golden California sun, to the centuries-old fermenting process.