Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reducing Oil Dependency

With war or sanctions looming in Iran, political unrest in nearly every oil-producing nation, and most importantly, billions of American dollars going to jihad-happy middle eastern countries, It's time to look for alternatives. I was glad to see the President address this last night, Republicans have been lagging on this issue, but now seem willing to acknowledge the obvious; Petrodollars=Terror. This is good news because alternative fuel can finally become a non-partisan issue. Bush referred to our current usage as an "addiction", here are a few ways to break the habit;

  • Hybrid Cars

This is the most talked about method and certainly would reduce consumption significantly. Many models are already in use.

  • BioDiesel

Most current diesel vehicles can run on this clean and renewable vegetable-based fuel,
made of french fry grease. This fuel
is already being produced, check out

  • Solar

Not practical in vehicles, but the potential here is great. If every house in the sunbelt were equipped with solar panels, it would reduce natural gas and electric use significantly. I would like to see this president or the next pass a law instituting solar for all new homes in area's that have 255+ sunny days a year. Tax incentives for solar retrofit should also be put into law.

  • Hydrogen

Hydrogen cars are zero emission at first glance, but is manufactured from natural gas. However advancements in fuel cell technology could revolutionize this field. has detailed information on this subject and the importance of defunding the middle east. is also a valuable source. Critics can easily pick apart each of these ideas, but that would be missing the point. There is no one answer to our energy problems , but a combination of the above technologies that could free this great nation of ours from terrorist regimes.


Blogger scott said...

Solar gets into some nasty issues on conncetions of small private generators to the power grid etc. Essentially the way power is priced in the US you get charged for electric useage but the building and upkeep of the grid gets factored in. If a LOT of houses are going to use less electricity but still want a whole grid and generating capacity as a reserve who pays for it and how is it billed? If you change nothing then the people who don't use solar pick up the whole tab. If you charge for the grid then be preapred for the economics of solar to get real iffy.

February 01, 2006  
Blogger scott said...

Biodisel gets into some equally nasty issues on pollution, carcinogens etc. We as a society allow junk science and fishing expedition lawsuits. I will guarantee that somewhere some tort attorney can find some study that shows someone is allergic to some byproduct of burning anything. To change fuels you need a new tort regime. You also need to muzzle the old 70's envioro laws that can tie everything in court for decades arguing envioro impact.

In reverse you can get almost instant fuel savings by eliminating the endless boutique fuel blends caused by endless attempts to mitigate pollution. We want costless perfect.

Now for the biggie - want to get people to use less gasoline - raise the price. The most regressive tax we have is FICA, a first dollar tax on US labor. Dump FICA and pay for SS and Medicare/Medicaid with gasoline and fuel oil taxes. No more net taxes but with gas at $7-8 / gallon watch people's auto buying and auto useage change. The fact is Americans do not like to drive little rice burner cars and will only do so when forced by economics. You want less of something tax it. Now there is a small hole in this. it will totally screw the 5% of the US population who live in really rural areas. There are several possible offsets that could even it out as for example having the Feds pick up the education costs of deep rural districts or evening out medicare payments so every provider in the US gets the same instead of absurdly low reimbursement ratesa in rural areas.

February 01, 2006  
Blogger kevin said...

You're right about solar, there would still be infrsatructure costs, but it would still be cheaper, cleaner and renewable.
Although I'm in favor of tort reform, I'm not aware of any harmful effects of bio-diesel. perhaps someone with peanut allergy? (The original diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil.) I suppose that's possible. Interesting tax plan as well, you've clearly put in a lot of thought and research.

February 02, 2006  
Blogger scott said...

Oh there doesn't REALLY have to be any danger from biodiesel. Thanks to the Democrats alliance with the trial lawyers junk science and total idiocy are admissible in court - lady in Houston sued after an auto accident for loss of her psychic powers. Courts used to be gatekeepers on frivelous suits and junk experts. Tort lawyers bought the Democratic party in early 70's using Nader as the middleman. Now ANYTHING gets in and you trust juries to sort it out. ROFL. I can find you someone allergic to ANYTHING.

February 02, 2006  
Blogger kevin said...

What if someone is allergic to liberalism?

February 02, 2006  

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