June 27, 2008

And Speaking of Flex-Fuel Vehicles,

PJM's Zubrin has found the pearl in the oyster of McCain's energy policy. And it's a badass mabe pearl, too. Because (1) I'm a selfish asshole, and (2) I don't trust everyone to "go read the whole thing," I'll quote extensively, because this is a pivotal point.

Zubrin begins with the proposed prize for developing a bitchin' battery for use in electric and hybrid vehicles—because of course no one's really working on that project . . .

More to the point, why focus on battery development at all as a major element of energy policy? With or without revolutionary batteries, there is no realistic prospect at all of electric or hybrid cars gaining a sufficient share of the American market — let alone worldwide car sales — on a time scale fast enough to do anything significant to stop the crushing of the United States by the Islamist-led oil cartel.

Let’s stop fooling around. This year the United States will import 5 billion barrels of oil. At $130/barrel, the bill for that will come to $650 billion, or more than five times the cost of the Iraq war. Add to that $400 billion the Americans will pay for domestic oil, and our total fuel bill this year will come to over a trillion dollars, and the world as a whole will pay $4 trillion. These petroleum costs are up a factor of twelve from what they were in 1999, and represent a huge highly-regressive tax on the world economy. For Americans, the $1000 billion oil levy is equivalent to a 40% increase in income taxes across the board - with sixty percent of the sum being paid over in tribute to foreign governments.

Averaged over the US population of 300 million people, the $1000 billion OPEC tax levies a tribute amounting to $3300 per head — for every man, woman, and child in the country, or $13,300 for a family of four. The average American worker makes about $45,000 per year, or $35,000 after taxes paid to Uncle Sam. In 1999, such a worker supporting a family of four had to pay 3% of his disposable income for oil. Now Uncle Saud and Uncle Hugo are taxing him for over 38% of his take-home pay. Is it any wonder that such people are not buying houses? Such a massive drain of cash from the pockets of consumers must perforce collapse the real estate market — as well as that for many other kinds of consumer goods.

So, as a result of this massive tax increase — by far the largest in American history — the United States is being driven into a recession. Subjected to the same tax, Europe and Japan will follow, while poor third world countries who can afford high oil prices even less will be pushed towards starvation. And as the misery spreads, the Saudis and other OPEC potentates are putting together huge Sovereign Wealth Funds to execute takeovers of the western corporations their extortion forces into insolvency. Indeed, OPEC will clear $1.5 trillion in net export profits this year. The entire worth of the US Fortune 500 is $18 trillion. So at their current rate of looting, OPEC will accumulate enough cash to buy majority control of the entire Fortune 500 within 6 years.

This is a 5-alarm emergency. The oil crisis is not a matter of high fill-up prices, or even the loss of economic prosperity. Our independence is at stake. Under such circumstances, McCain’s proposals for battery prizes, enforcing CAFE standards, encouraging “zero-emission vehicles,” and even opening the east and west coast continental shelves to oil exploration, range from silly to, at best, marginally relevant.

Fortunately, however, there was one proposal that McCain put forward that could really make a difference. This was his call to require that all new cars sold in the USA be flex fueled.

Flex fuel cars can run on any combination of alcohol (including methanol and ethanol) or gasoline. The technology is readily available and it only costs about $100 per vehicle.

Making America a flex-fuel vehicle market would effectively make flex-fuel the international standard, as all significant foreign car makers would be impelled to convert their lines over as well. Within three years of such a mandate, there would be 50 million cars on the road in the USA capable of running on alternate fuels, and hundreds of millions more worldwide. Around the globe, gasoline would be forced to compete at the pump against alcohol fuels made from any number of sources, including not only current commercial crops like corn and sugar, but cellulosic ethanol made from crop residues and weeds, as well as methanol, which can be made from any kind of biomass without exception, as well as coal, natural gas, and recycled urban trash. Creating such an open-source fuel market would enormously expand and diversify humanity’s fuel resource base, protecting all nations from continued blackmail, robbery, and in some cases, starvation, induced by the oil cartel.

Methanol is selling today, without any subsidy, for $1.50/gallon on the spot market, equivalent in energy terms to gasoline at $2.80/gallon. Make cars that can choose between methanol and gasoline, and the power of OPEC to set high prices will be broken for good — everywhere in the world.

So break out the champagne. Amidst a pile of campaign nonsense, John McCain just set forth one policy that could save the nation.

Emphasis all mine. And, hey—I called it.

h/t: Reynolds.

Posted by Attila Girl at June 27, 2008 12:34 PM | TrackBack

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Cañada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }

My Amazon.com Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!