“Fill ‘Er Up” Report Offers Readers a Crash Course on the Facts, the Myths, the History and the Future of This Fast-Growing Alternative Energy Sensation; Including Interviews with Biofuels Evangelists

SEATTLE, WA – Many people think of diesel as a heavy-duty gasoline. But do you know what Rudolf Diesel wanted to use in the engine he invented? Peanut oil. And guess what Henry Ford imagined would power his Model T: ethanol made from corn or hemp.

These visions evaporated when crude oil bubbled to the surface of the world’s consciousness, ushering in an era of cheap, available fuel. But a century later, oil’s sheen has dulled, and fuels made from plant and animal matter look promising once more. They’re called biofuels, and they may be in your tank soon. As biofuels rush in, Grist launches a special series to explore what’s coming down the pike.

Highlights of the series include:

  • How the world got addicted to oil, and where biofuels will take us.
  • Pros and Cons: Are biofuels our destiny or our doom? Three experts weigh in from different sides of the question.
    • Cornell professor emeritus and vocal biofuel critic David Pimentel
    • Former presidential adviser and Institute for Local Self-Reliance VP David Morris
    • Ana Unruh Cohen, director of environmental policy for the Center for American Progress
  • Food vs. Fuel: If thousands of acres of corn and soy get dedicated to fuel, will the world’s poorest go hungry?
  • BioBrazil: South America’s largest country has had enormous success with ethanol—is it a model for other countries, or just another example of industrial excess?
  • Biofuels bills: The U.S. Congress gets positively giddy about the potential of biofuels; we look at the many related bills introduced in the last session.
  • Richard Branson interview: The Virgin mogul explains why he’s investing billions in biofuels, and how he hopes the field will grow.
  • Vinod Khosla interview:  Silicon Valley investor talks about the promise of ethanol.

These and dozens of other stories can be found at www.grist.org

About Grist
The nonprofit, independent, online magazine Grist was founded in April 1999, and over the past seven years has developed the most recognizable voice in environmental journalism: funny, opinionated, and intelligent. Grist offers in-depth reporting, opinions, book reviews, advice, and a popular blog—all tailored to inform, entertain, provoke, and encourage its readers to think creatively about environmental problems and solutions.

Each month, Grist reaches nearly 750,000 unique individuals through its website and emails, and it has enjoyed particular success among readers in their 20s and 30s. Through syndication arrangements with other media outlets like MSNBC.com and Salon.com, Grist is reaching an even broader audience that extends into the millions. Grist has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Newsweek, and dozens of other national publications. Grist earned Webby™ People’s Voice awards in both 2005 and 2006 as the internet’s best magazine.