Thursday, February 02, 2006

The alcohol standard?

There has been some criticism of President Bush over his statement that the US is addicted to oil (also see the Wall Street Journal; requires subs.). The American Enterprise, however, has an excellent article (via Instapundit) explaining how Bush's plan is an excellent, realistic idea even in the short term:
To liberate ourselves from the threat of foreign economic domination, undercut the financiers of terror, and give ourselves the free hand necessary to deal with Middle Eastern extremists, we must devalue their resources and increase the value of our own. We can do this by taking the world off the petroleum standard and putting it on an alcohol standard.
This may sound like a huge and impossible task, but with gasoline prices well over $2 per gallon, the means to accomplish it are now at hand. Congress could make an enormous step toward American energy independence within a decade or so if it would simply pass a law stating that all new cars sold in the U.S.A. must be flexible-fuel vehicles capable of burning any combination of gasoline and alcohol. The alcohols so employed could be either methanol or ethanol.
Absolutely read the whole thing, which seems to be meticulously argued, and in which the author explains how easy and cheap this transition would be and why it would not only solve the oil dependence problem, but positively affect various other challenges the West is facing.

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