Target: Jonathan Male, Director of U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies
Goal: Embrace hemp as a better biofuel alternative to corn and soy.
As our traditional means of extracting fuel and energy ravage the environment, better and sustainable options, such as hemp biofuel, are right in front of us. Hemp is a valuable plant that requires few resources to grow quickly and can provide us with many things like textiles and fuel. This is an underutilized resource that makes no sense to ignore. We need to encourage the U.S. Department of Energy to invest in the research of hemp fuel in order to gain exposure and legislation for this renewable and practical energy resource.
Biodiesel is already gaining attention as a renewable fuel source. The Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, and the Congressional Budget Office have already recognized biodiesel as a low-cost alternative for fuel. Biodiesel is nontoxic and burns clean, and it can be efficiently and domestically produced. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that can run in conventional, unmodified diesel engines, which makes it ready for immediate use. Currently, we grow large amounts of corn and soy for biofuel, which requires a lot of field space used that could be better used for food production.
Hemp is a more efficient method of alternative energy, because it can grow in any climate, requires less farmland, and takes only four months to replenish. It is naturally resistant to weeds and most insects, requiring little to no pesticides and maintenance. Hemp produces significantly more biomass than other biofuel crops, burning cleaner and balancing carbon input and output. It can provide two types of fuel: hemp biodiesel and hemp ethanol. Biodiesel is made from the pressed oil of hemp seeds, and ethanol/methanol is made from the fermented stalk. The hemp grown for biodiesel is domestically produced and way more renewable than other crop sources.
As we rapidly deplete our fossil fuels, we could instead be growing hemp quickly and sustainably. It simply doesn’t make sense to continue denying this plant as a reasonable and legitimate resource for fuel. Sign this petition to encourage the U.S. government to research and invest in hemp production for fuel.
Dear Director Male,
Thank you for your current investment in sustainable energy methods like biofuels. Biofuels really are an incredible way to reduce greenhouse gases and clean up our air. However, hemp is a much better alternative to the crops currently grown for biofuel production.
Growing hemp requires much less farmland than corn or soy and can be grown in as little as four months. It has a much higher biomass and ethanol yields than other plants and can be grown at a much lower cost. Hemp farming conserves the soil better than corn, and because hemp is resistant to many weeds and insects it requires little to no pesticides and herbicides.
If the United States is truly serious about reversing the environmental damage we have caused with our energy practices, then hemp will become our primary resource for biofuel. Please weigh the costs and benefits of growing hemp versus corn or soy for biofuel. With this petition we demand the Department of Energy pay attention to the benefits of hemp for clean energy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: cslp via Flickr