Chemistry professor Mark Eberhart joined Art for a discussion on energy and related issues. With energy use increasing at an exponential rate and current energy (gas) costs so high, Eberhart said we should be encouraging exploration into alternative entries into the market.
Eberhart thinks alternatives like biofuels may not be such a good idea, however, as using corn-based ethanol yields a net energy loss. He also pointed out that use of subsidized corn in biofuels is forcing up the price of grain in general. Eberhart discussed hydrogen, which he said needs to overcome big technological hurdles before it can be a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.
According to Eberhart, one of the best sources of power for the United States is coal. He said it is now possible to burn coal using new technology that sequesters coal's carbon emissions. Eberhart further believes we should be subsidizing the development of our oil shale reserves, as well as building new nuclear power plants. He also spoke about the viability of wind, solar and geothermal power.