Monday, June 23, 2008

I WISH Gas Was ONLY $4 and How I'd Attack Our Energy Challenges

I keep hearing everyone whining about $4 per gallon gasoline. I wish! Here is a photo I just took of the gas station by my house.

Here is my solution for solving our energy problems:

1. Immediate drilling in ANWR and the 48 states and build new refineries.

I don't care that it won't produce anything for ten years. *I* plan on still being around in ten years. There is no way that the US can get off of oil in the near term, but if we wanted, we COULD within 15 years be 100% energy independent, putting us in a good place as we continue to move to oil alternatives. We're in the mess we're in because we didn't do anything the LAST ten years!

Even though we may not be able to use any of this new production for several years, just announcing that we'll be opening the flood gates of domestic production will bring prices down immediately, from both OPEC and the speculators who are trading in oil futures. History has shown that OPEC has ALWAYS LOWERED prices anytime they thought we were getting serious about energy independence. This time we need to not just threaten, but actually do it. If OPEC and the speculators believe we're serious, just watch how quickly gas prices come down.

Unfortunately, as gas prices continue to increase, Congress continues to blame others while ignoring practical steps to stop the pain Americans are feeling at the pump. To lower gasoline prices and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we need real solutions to our energy challenges. I'd encourage everyone to sign this petition to get Congress to stop hampering our efforts to become energy independent.

2. Start building more nuclear power plants.

Given what we know today about all the alternative fuels, nuclear is the only one that can possibly match our consumption of oil long term. Other countries have done this, why can't the US? We can do this safely and in an environmentally friendly way.

3. Start building plug-in hybrid cars (and other cool technology).

The hybrid cars are only one step in the right direction. We need PLUG-IN hybrids. These are basically plug-in electric cars BUT with the back up of gasoline for those rare days you travel more than 60 or so miles. Most commuting in the US is under 20 miles per day. Electric cars and hybrid cars make a lot of sense, but a plug-in electric makes tremendous sense. (I'd recommend everyone watch this documentary.) This is also why we need more nuclear power, to feed the power grid as cars start moving from oil to electricity.

Clean, renewable energy such as wind and solar should be invested in and help us migrate away from burning oil. These won't be able to keep up with all our needs, and why I recommend nuclear so highly, but these are solid options that need to be exploited. Here's an interesting plan for wind.

4. Conservation.

This should come in two forms. The first is from smarter technology (more efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, plug-in hybrid cars, etc.), and the second from just some smart planning on each of our parts, and thinking about how we water, light, heat and cool our homes, consolidating trips to the market, etc.

These four basic things would helps us have a cleaner environment, and aid the security of our country by getting us off our addiction to foreign oil.



Anonymous said...

Interesting about the Linspire stuff.

You do have a good point to start drilling for oil now.

The USA has been dependent on foreign oil for years. We knew it was bad, and did nothing about it. Personally, I would like to see oil prices go higher. This will seed a lot of alternative modes of transportation, like hydrogen fuel. The cars will be smaller, the streets can be narrower, and it will help the green house effect.

I, personally, think you would make a GREAT CEO of a green company. Just my thoughts.

chris said...

Sure, we should be doing a lot more drilling in this country --- on our interstates! Drill a narrow trench (couple inches wide) in the roadway of at least one lane in each direction of each interstate for its whole length. Lay power cables in the trench; cover with fresh concrete. Then maybe we could get some roadway-powered electric vehicles (RPEVs, see UC Davis study) on the road! A nice HUGE new market for our electric utilities (including greatly-expanded nuclear) and a rapid drop in our oil consumption, all with technology that's been around for decades (power transfer through magnetic induction).

This goes towards point #3 above: Check out A sweet little all-season trike with room for two, a hybrid or all-electric powertrain, and a tilting sensation of a ride. It's based on the (much more expensive) Dutch model, the CarverOne.

I second the anonymous "green company CEO" comment. Maybe you could straighten out Venture Vehicles and get their product to market much sooner!