By Fiat? That’s Not Any American Model We Know

By December 12, 2007Energy

Always appreciated Frank Gaffney’s clear writing and arguments on behalf of a strong national defense, so read his op-ed calling for flex-fuel vehicles as a means toward energy security with some interest. It’s policy ground well-trod by James Woolsey, true, and energy autarky seems far-fetched in a globalized economy, but…well, OK. And if Gaffney is recommending “Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil” by Robert Zubrin, we’ll at least leaf through it at the bookstore.

Again, flex-fuel vehicles as an energy panacea seems far-fetched — especially as long as the environmental movement regards even domestic oil as anathema — but Gaffney lays out the policy argument well. Until…

My guess is that President Bush could make fuel choice his most lasting, and laudable legacy if he were to mandate Flexible Fuel Vehicles via executive order, rather than wait for Congress to legislate it.

What the…? Yeah, issuing an executive order to restructure an entire sector of the economy would certainly be a legacy. Laudable if you’re a fan of dictatorships, but come on now.

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  • Dear Carter;
    The policy laid out in my book “Energy Victory” is not one for energy autarky. Quite the opposite.
    The idea behind mandating that all new cars sold in the USA include flex fuel capability as a standard feature is to break the vertical monopoly of the oil cartel by forcing gasoline to compete at the pump against methanol and ethanol everywhere in the world – since a US requirement would make flex fuel the INTERNATIONAL standard, as all the foreign manufacturers would be forced to switch their lines over as well.

    This would contain OPEC, preventing continued arbitrary price hiking of the type we have seen -such as the 60% increase this year – let alone the $200/barrel price that Hugo Chavez is calling for.

    Furthermore, by insisting that all cars sold in the USA be flex fueled, we would be creating a market for alcohol fuels in the USA that would be much larger than American farmers could fill. This would allow us to drop our trade barriers against Latin American ethanol. Similarly, the Europeans and Japanese would also be able to drop their trade barriers against third world agricultural produce. This would solve the problem that wrecked the Doha trade talks.

    So, not only would OPEC be prevented from indulging in unconstrained looting of the world economy, a substantial fraction of the trillion dollars a year they are now taking could be redirected to farmers and miners (methanol can also be made from coal) around the world.

    Instead of selling our banks and media corporations to Saudi princes, we could be selling tractors to Africa.

    Think about that. It’s all explained in “Energy Victory.” Check it out.

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