Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Oil Vs. CREDIBLE Alternatives ...

"The 12 members of OPEC control roughly 78% of the world's oil reserves yet account for just a third of daily global production. Still, controlling that amount of production enables them to set the global price. How? If nonmembers produce more, OPEC simply produces less. And when governments introduce policies like higher CAFE standards designed to decrease consumption, OPEC members again scale back production to maintain the price of their choice. In short, we can't conserve our way out of this dilemma.
"The only lasting way to overcome a monopoly -- such as oil enjoys in the global transportation sector -- is to introduce competition. Fortunately, there is good news on that front. Over the past two decades, a variety of alternative fuels have become economically viable without subsidies. These include methanol made from natural gas, coal, or biomass; sugarcane ethanol; biodiesel and electricity to drive plug-in hybrid or electric cars. These technologies are proven and scalable, and the liquid fuels operate smoothly in conventional vehicles after about $100 per car modification on the assembly line. What is needed is to ramp up their production so that they are available when you go to the pump.
"Thirty years ago, the government of Brazil decided that it didn't want its people held hostage to OPEC, and it embarked on a program to develop sugar-ethanol as an alternative fuel. Today, 90% of new cars produced in Brazil are flex-fuel --- able to burn gasoline or alcohol or any combination of the two. Most of the flex-fuel cars sold there are produced by Ford, Chrysler and GM. And today, Brazil is self-sufficient with a choice of fuels. Indeed, Brazil exports both oil and ethanol."
-- By Robert McFarlane, former US national security advisor, in The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/11.

1 comment:

  1. Phil, Brazil is definitely ahead of the 'pack' on this issue. The downside is that they're ripping up their forests to plant more sugar cane. Certainly ethanol from corn is a net loser here in the USA. However, other biomass fuels plus coal, natural gas and electricity show promise. I just wish that someone in the USA could safely harness hydrogen... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave