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End-user Industries

Offshore Drilling: Changing Views

offshore_rig.jpgThe idea of drilling offshore for oil has never been particularly popular in the U.S. Historically, both Democrats and a fair number of Republicans have been against it, usually citing environmental concerns. But that was before $4 a gallon gasoline.

These days, the American public is so fed up with higher prices at the pump they’re willing to try anything that even remotely resembles a solution. Both John McCain and Barack Obama have opposed offshore drilling in the past, but this is an election year. While both candidates will admit that drilling may or may not have a significant effect on lowering gas prices, the pressure from voters is too great. People want to think that something, anything, is being done in the short term.


Our Deteriorating Water Infrastructure

water_treatment_small.jpgThe water infrastructure of the United States needs upgrading. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; much of the water infrastructure of the nation was installed when the country’s cities were built and the tendency since has been to defer maintenance. Many urban water infrastructures are more than a hundred years old, and they are increasingly strained with population growth and suburban sprawl. Moreover, the infrastructure comprises a great many components: wells, surface water intakes, dams, reservoirs, storage tanks, aqueducts, treatment plants, pipes and, of course, valves.

There’s More to Ethanol than Corn

ethanol.gifWhen the new president takes office, he or she will have many issues to deal with. One that’s sure to be contentious is the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel

Ethanol, used in place of MTBE as an oxygenator in gasoline, has a future as a renewable fuel. The question is which form of ethanol will emerge as the preferred choice.

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