August 15, 2004
by Reb Yudel
During the past year, a pair of new technologies has emerged that, if properly nurtured, could provide the key to a broader effort to wean Americans off foreign oil, drastically reduce pollution, and help slow global warming.Some possible comfort as oil keeps hitting record highs, Global Guerillas take advantage of the Bush War to sabatoge Iraqi oil production, and economic growth in China and India keeps raising demand for energy.
The first is an industrial process that may make ethanol far cheaper to produce than ever before, with the potential of making this much-maligned--and over-subsidized--biofuel economically competitive with gasoline.
The second is a small, inexpensive piece of hardware that could make ethanol the basis for radically transforming our transportation infrastructure. Making these technologies yield a new product at the pump won't be easy. But they're far more promising than much of the research on which we're currently spending federal dollars and intellectual energy.
Don't expect a Bush-Cheney administration to support a scheme that would take value from existing oil reserves, however.