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Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says
Date:6/9/2010

or about two-thirds of U.S. total transportation energy, diesel fuels power most of our goods movement, and most international containerized cargoes are delivered by ships -- the largest vehicles ever built.

"Energy resources offshore are being explored because each of us petroleum consumers is demanding more," Corbett says.

The website also may help us decide how to reduce risks of future oil spills.

"Drilling this exploratory well by the Deepwater Horizon was an extremely high-risk proposition," Corbett says. "At $75 per barrel of crude oil, the oil spilled would have been worth about $90 million in terms of spill oil value if extracted for refining. Some experts are now estimating damages from the spill to exceed $10 billion. That's a potential 100 to 1 loss, given the spill damage-to-value ratio."

Corbett's research collaborations focus on ways to improve the energy performance of transportation systems using ships, trucks, trains, and other vehicles. There are ways to reduce the need for offshore oil drilling, Corbett says:

  • If we improve automobile fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg), as proposed by the current administration, we would offset demand equivalent to the gasoline energy lost by 199 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
  • If we add only 2 mpg to the fuel economy for trucks, as proposed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, we would offset diesel-driven energy demand equivalent to 12 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
  • Rebalancing how we transport goods would achieve substantial energy savings. A shift from truck to rail for specific commodities/routes would require about 20 percent of the energy per ton-mile compared to trucking. Achieving this would require an investment in infrastructure and green logistics to facilitate intermodal combinations of trucking and rail rather than treating the modes as competitors.
  • Shifting passengers from single-occupant cars t
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Contact: Tracey Bryant
tbryant@udel.edu
302-831-8185
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

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Oil from spill could have powered 38,000 cars (and more) for a year, UD researcher says
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