If you haven’t noticed, although I am sure you (and your wallet) have, gas prices have dipped to a 5 year low. My local gas station hit $1.33 per gallon, which when compared to where it was makes it feel like I am getting it for free, although I know that is not the case.
Suddenly as prices dropped so has the urgency to find alternative fuel sources for our vehicles. With recent events in the Middle East, gas prices have slowly crept back up and a recent news report claimed that we will more than likely see prices above the $2.00 per gallon mark in the not too distant future.
Now is not the time to abandon hope of alternative fuel for our vehicles. In fact we all should be striving to assist in anyway we can. For example if you have a fuel injection vehicle there are companies that make devices that will convert your gasoline powered car to a flex fuel vehicle. Flex fuel is a combination of methanol or ethanol with gasoline, usually up to an 85% methanol/ethanol and 15% gasoline.
This device regulates the amount of fuel that is injected into the engine to it can ignite creating the combustion you need to power the vehicle. Although ethanol/methanol requires more to ignite, since you can make ethanol at home for free (or nearly free) by growing your own crops, you save in the long run.
Obviously not every American is going to build their own ethanol still, grow their own sugar beets and create their own fuel. That is what the oil companies are counting on, which is why we need to keep pursuing a more mainstream method to reducing our need for petroleum based fuels.
My solution is similar to the T. Boon Pickens plan. If you are unfamiliar with his plan, he says we need build a wind farm from the Texas pan handle up through North Dakota which will supply all the electricity we need. That is phase one. Phase two then says to convert our cars from gasoline to natural gas. It is not a bad plan, but it has flaws. For one, oil is not the major contributor to generating electric in America, it is coal. Second very few natural gas powered vehicles are available, and the cost to convert an existing car to natural gas is too expensive given today’s economic conditions.
My solution says lets build the wind farm so we can replace coal as our fuel source for electricity. Then use the coal to create methanol. Currently we have a coal supply that will last us over 300 years. During this 300 year time frame I am sure we can create the means to produce enough clean burning ethanol and methanol from cellulose to supply the energy we need. With this solution we would then be 100% (or near 100%) independent of foreign oil.
I am sure my plan has some flaws and drawbacks that I have not thought of including cost factors, but the safety of our people and the security of our country for future generations is depending on the decision we make today.
The sooner we get to creating our own renewable clean energy sources for fuel, the sooner we will be energy independent.
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