Friday, February 10, 2006

LET'S GET ADDICTED TO........ALCOHOL

American Enterprise has an excellent article by Robert Zubrin on the coming nightmares for Middle Eastern oil barons, ethanol and methanol. You can also see my previous posts on the subject here, here, and here. Zubrin begins:
To liberate ourselves from the threat of foreign economic domination, undercut the financiers of terror, and give ourselves the free hand necessary to deal with Middle Eastern extremists, we must devalue their resources and increase the value of our own. We can do this by taking the world off the petroleum standard and putting it on an alcohol standard.
I am already looking into becoming an ethanol retailer here in Lynchburg, the vehicles are on the street already, not enough to make any money selling ethanol yet, but this thing should escalate rather rapidly, as automakers ramp up production. The flex-fuel option costs only $200 to $400 extra, a far cry from the additional investment to buy a hybrid.

The article in short highlights the feasibility of actually accomplishing not only becoming energy self-sufficient, but America is well-positioned to become an exporter of ethanol and methanol. Ethanol can currently be produced for about $1.50 a gallon, and methanol for about 90 cents per gallon; this makes it competitive with petroleum at a crude price of around $42 per barrel. An entrepreneur in California is already building a plant to make ethanol from discarded rice stalks, one of the many cellulose stocks it can be made from.

Zubrin also makes the point that methanol and ethanol are both water-soluble, and bio-degradable. If the Exxon Valdese had been transporting either one on that fateful day then there would have been comparatively infinitessimal damage to the environment. Trust me, there is a radical faction within the enviro-movement which will find out a way to fight even this effort, because for some, it is not about the environment. But those who truly support valid green concerns will surely embrace this new world we have a chance to enter.

2 Comments:

At 6:17 PM, February 10, 2006, Blogger Joemama said...

Sounds like good stuff. By using your numbers ethanol costs about $63 per barrel to make and methanol will cost $37.80 per barrel. So methanol would make a good alternative already while ethanol still needs a government subsidy.

All you have to do is beat the price of oil ($62 a barrel) with either one to have huge demands and thus huge profits.

 
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