31 July 2011

No Quick Fix for America's Rising Gas Prices? Think Again.

The comment below, from "Neil" on LinkedIn's Clean Energy Community, makes a good point about the speed with which things could change:

Did President Obama get it wrong when he just said that there is no “quick fix” for America’s problem of rising gasoline prices and vulnerability to spikes in the price of foreign oil?

Sorry, Mr. President, but you are simply wrong. There is a “quick fix” that can massively reduce U.S. oil consumption, and make our vulnerability to price spikes in the foreign oil market a relic of the past. To draw that solution into focus, we need to understand that 70% of the oil the industrialized world uses is needed for transportation and nearly none for generating electrical power. So, shocking as it may seem coal, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal all have nothing to do with our dependence on oil.

What really matters is the amount of gasoline and diesel we use in cars, trucks and buses. We could reduce that amount cleanly and economically by turning natural gas to methanol and by turning non-food crops and cellulosic waste to ethanol or to synthetic gasoline and diesel – and then use these as a substitute to oil-based fuels. But that won’t happen until we put in place THE ONE POLICY THAT COULD CREATE A MARKET FOR THESE ALTERNATIVE FULES AND SPUR THE INVESTMENTS NEEDED TO BRING THEM TO MARKET: an “Open Fuel Standard” for autos.

To learn more about the Open Fuel Standard and how it could change the way in which we fuel transportation, I invite you to visit our website at http://www.ea-21.org. The Open Fuel Standard is the “quick fix” to America’s dependence on foreign oil.

One of the most encouraging things about the Open Fuel Standard is how quickly it could change things. Anne Korin, Gal Luft, and Marc Goldman state in their paper, Energy Independence Myths and Solutions:

The challenge with flex fuel is the difficulty in locating a station that pumps it...

That will change when all cars come flex fuel capable. At 10-12 million new cars per year in the U.S., it will take only about three years for flex fuel to reach the 30 million cars needed to justify most gas stations to invest in flex fuel pumps.

Our presidents have been struggling to make the United States independent from foreign oil for over thirty-five years. But with the passing of this bill, things will begin to change within three years. That's pretty quick.

If you'd like to help make this happen, there are a few simple actions you can take, and they won't even take much of your time. Go here to get started.


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