Energy Security, Independence, Victory

By December 13, 2007Energy

Robert Zubrin, author of “Energy Victory,” responds to a post questioning the practicality of “energy independence” and objecting to the imposition of flex-fuel vehicles on the country through an unconstitutional executive order.

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.

UPDATE (1:10 p.m.) Cliff May writes a glowing review of the book.

[In] his new book, Energy Victory, Dr. Zubrin does not just complain. He proposes a way to break free of dependence on a resource controlled by those who have declared themselves our mortal enemies. The technology already exists. It’s not expensive. All that is lacking is for voters to make this a priority — and to communicate that to the political class.

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