Constantine has some great ideas on how America can get off of foreign oil.
When Constantine was a young man in 1973, the original Arab oil boycott was imposed on Americans by OPEC. The Yom Kippur War was a sneak attack upon Israel by the Egyptians and other Arab countries. By attacking on Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish holidays, the Arabs hoped to gain a surprise advantage. Predictably, Israel decimated the armies of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iran in short order.
The Arabs decided to play the oil card and cut off delivery of petroleum to the United States. Immediately, gas prices skyrocketed from roughly 30 cents per gallon to 80 cents per gallon (Ah, the good ole days!).
In the intervening 38 years every American president (Democrat and Republican) has vowed to do something, anything, to lower oil prices. Then we imported about 30 percent of our oil needs; today after much jawboning we import 70 percent.
Clearly, the talking (endless governmental committee meetings) has accomplished nothing except to raise the price of gasoline and make us even more dependent on the Middle East (the home of the greatest concentration of deadly religious fanatics on the planet).
With gasoline approaching $4 per gallon and predicted by summer to hit $5 a gallon, we need to develop a strategy. We need to make oil obsolete. The technology exists today to do just that. We need to develop flex-fuel autos that are also plug-in electric hybrids. This would allow every consumer to choose the cheapest of three fuels. They could decide which fuel is cheapest; electricity, gasoline or alcohol.
Most plug-in hybrids can drive at least 30 miles on a charge. The average American commutes 22 miles a day to work. So immediately we can reduce our gasoline usage by 80 percent a week. The plug-in can also be charged during the night time hours when electrical rates are low.
What happens on the family vacation when you need to drive 300 miles in one day? When the hybrid battery gets low, the engine seamlessly switches to a liquid fuel, which could be gasoline, ethanol or methanol.
Ethanol in particular has gotten a bum rap. Eco-Liberals complain about how production of ethanol deprives people of food, especially corn. Ethanol production is rapidly reaching the place where it can be distilled from waste agricultural products.
Let’s, however, consider methanol, which can be produced from coal. The United States is literally the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have at least a 500 year supply of coal in the ground that can be easily recovered.
A bonus to alcohol as a fuel is that it does not explode in a crash, but simply burns. Also, one other benefit is in the area of emissions. While using gasoline as fuel produces carbon dioxide, ethanol as a fuel produces water vapor. Thus, the greenhouse effect of CO2 is greatly reduced. And needed water vapor is returned to the atmosphere.
The cost of making every new car a flex-fuel vehicle is only about $150 maximum. The plastic fuel lines simply need to be replaced by stainless steel lines to offset the corrosive effect of alcohol. This can be easily incorporated into every new car at the factory. We now have the ability to make oil obsolete using technology that is over 60 years old.
Let us see who the winners will be in this flex-fuel hybrid era. First of all, entire new technologies will cause a surge of job creation in America. Also, farm prices will stabilize as we use even more crops and crop residue in the production of ethanol. The coal industry will experience explosive growth domestically as we ramp up to produce methanol. And finally, every American motorist will suddenly have four fuel choices. There will be gasoline, electricity, methanol and ethanol. The consumer has the choice of buying the cheapest fuel to power his vehicle. It will literally be, indeed, back to the future in terms of fuel prices.
Oh, I failed to mention there will be one loser economically. In fact, there will be a big loser. The madmen of the Middle East will quickly find no one needs their oil anymore. The price will plummet. The insane imams of Islam will find the funds for jihad and terrorism drying up. We can stop the utter insanity of financing both sides of the War on Terror.
Mr. Saudi, how about a spot of oil in your morning tea?
Make your next car a flex-fuel vehicle and strike a real blow for liberty.
In hoc signo,