Net Roots Movement

Lets Make Change.

Alternative Feul: So Close but So… CLOSE!

The Switch to E85 Fuel Could Drastically Reduce US Reliance on Foreign Oil
By Chris Casey

In the most recent State of the Union address, President Bush emphasized the United States’ unsettling dependency on foreign (specifically Middle Eastern) feul to satisfy our energy needs. He has since launched a program to fund scientists in the research of this alternative fuel supply (an initiative that has gone almost completely unreported in the wake of several Whitehouse scandals). The problem with the Bush effort is that it is too little, too late. It is also rather unclear exactly what is left to be studied. Let me explain:

Currently in Brazil, over %40 of all vehicles run on a version of Ethanol derived from sugar cane. Mills that process the cane put out sugar and ethanol and the rest is burned to create energy that powers the mill. Even regular fossil fuel in Brazil is %20 ethanol. What’s more, ethanol is a clean burning fuel that will not result in the same negative repercussions that will petroleum (aka global warming).

Plants in Canada and even some in the US are already processing E85.

So why hasn’t anyone in America even heard of this miracle fuel, and why, if it already is proven to work, doesn’t the US government throw billions behind development and set deadlines for car and gas manufacturers to convert their product line to Ethanol? The answer is that there is no good answer; no good reason why this technology should not become the energy standard on America’s roads.

A switch to Ethanol would, in time, completely wipe out our dependency on foreign oil and reduce the pollution in the environment. It may even lessen the incentive for US war in the Middle East.

We cannot wait until it is too late to incorporate this new technology. Bush should use this issue as an opportunity to regain some points with his public. No body of either persuasion could argue against this kind of initiative. And the ulterior motives of those who did would destroy them before they had an impact on the program’s success.

GM is already manufacturing a line of vehicles that run on both traditional feul and E85 called “flexfeul”. Its a step in the right direction but there’s a lot more to be done, and time is running out.


March 18, 2006 - Posted by | The Progressive Movement

1 Comment »

  1. Chris,If you ever get to Brazil and smell the overpowering odor of ethanol you would wonder if indeed its ok for us to breathe in large quantities.It is stupefying.Much work on that system needs to be done….as it should.In the meantime ALL methods be it huge investment in the science,drilling anywhere outside of the middle east,incenitivizing automobile companies,incentivizing the public,nuclear,wind,hydro…all of it.Sadly both the left and right have used it for their own political purposes.Love your new site and yours and Davids work in Washington all the best uncle tm

    Comment by uncle tony | March 18, 2006 | Reply

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