Member since: Dec 28th, 2006
Apr 11th 2011 4:19PM Apple should have been bold like with the original iMac and gone Thunderbolt - ONLY, forcing the standard on the industry and users who don't want to deal with adapters.
Apr 11th 2011 3:45PM Let's hope a Lexus branded version is also released. A lot of people I know are Lexus only drivers.
Apr 11th 2011 3:43PM RB, even enemies of corn ethanol admit you get more energy out of it than you put in 1.3 per 1. The most relevant metric is not "energy" though but petroleum, and the figure there is dramatic - 10 and even 20 units of ethanol per unit of petroleum.
Apr 11th 2011 3:18PM I realize we have all been carefully and expensively told that corn is uncool and to be avoided. As soon as some other ethanol source becomes as big a thorn in the side of the oil cartel as corn is now, THAT source will be subjected to a similar campaign, and the lemmings will be trying to out-do each other in eagerness to show disdain for switchgrass or algae or whatever.Corn ethanol gets a bum rap. Nobody complains about cornstarch being used for footpowder or biodegradable plastic. Nobody worries about flax or cottonseeds being used to plant textile crops instead of being ground up to make edible oil. That's because neither is a major threat to the petroleum cartel. Only with corn ethanol do we hear carefully orchestrated screaming about an edible crop being used for a non food source. Don't get stampeded. Use corn ethanol to stick a thumb in the eye of the opinion manipulators.The fact is that even while ethanol corn production has risen several fold in the past decade, food corn production has gone up 45%. There's huge unused slack capacity in our ag sector; we can expand biofuel production without harming the food supply.And while nothing can top sugarcane, corn has a decent per-acre crop yield too, is better suited for US farmlands, and already enjoys a large installed base of experienced farmers and industrial processors.
Apr 11th 2011 10:35AM This announced policy is better than the status quo. I'm excited to hear that E85 stations are slated to QUINTUPLE in the next few years.But it is not the best and most effective policy that could be adopted, which would be to make full flex fuel a required standard feature in all new cars sold in America.American or foreign, domestic or import, big or small, luxury or entry-level, we require all cars to have seat belts. We should also require them to be able to run on non-petroleum fuel, so each driver, and our economy as a whole, is not stuck with having to pay the OPEC cartel whatever OPEC demands just to move about and live life.The real problem is the cars, not the stations. Any gas station owner can switch a pump to alcohol. Any group of small town entrepeneurs can open a new filling station, or a methanol or ethanol refinery. But they can't make cars, especially highway capable, regulatory-compliant cars on a mass scale at affordable prices. And so the problem is that only a tiny percentage of cars can USE the fuel. With that as the situation, gas station owners will still be reluctant to dedicate a pump (representing a huge portion of their sales) to a tiny percentage of drivers. With that as the situation, little risk capital will flow into alcohol fuel production. Hence the need for government subsidies and other involvement, involvement vulnerable to political counter-attack.But if all cars COULD use alcohol fuel, then stations would fall over each other to offer it to avoid losing customers to their competition. Risk capital would flood into alcohol fuel production. There would need be little or no ongoing government intervention, trying to push a rock uphill. Alternative fuel would not be falsely stigmatized as something politicians are pushing on an unwilling populace.Since it costs only $130 per new car at the factory for automakers to add full flex fuel capability, such a requirement will not be at all burdensome. It's obvious common sense to make this happen, so much so that both Obama and McCain promised this in the 2008 campaign.http://tribstar.com/opinion/x1155771598/BARACK-OBAMA-AND-JOE-BIDEN-NEW-ENERGY-FOR-AMERICA"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work with Congress and auto companies to ensure that all new vehicles have FFV capability – the capability by the end of his first term in office."http://www.cfr.org/energy-security/mccains-speech-energy-security-national-security/p16626http://www.cfr.org/energy-security/mccains-speech-energy-security-national-security/p16626"Instead of playing favorites, our government should level the playing field for all alcohol fuels that break the monopoly of gasoline, lowering both gasoline prices and carbon emissions. And this can be done with a simple federal standard to hasten the conversion of all new vehicles in America to flex-fuel technology -- allowing drivers to use alcohol fuels instead of gas in their cars. Brazil went from about five to over 70 percent of all new vehicles with flex-fuel capacity. It did all that in just three years. Yet those same automakers that helped Brazil make the change say it will take them longer to reach the goal of 50 percent new flex-fuel vehicles for America. But I am confident they can do more, and do it faster, in the interest of our energy security. And if I am elected president, they will. Whether it takes a meeting with automakers during my first month in office, or my signature on an act of Congress, we will meet the goal of a swift conversion of American vehicles away from oil."Why won't Obama honor his campaign promise? Why won't McCain work with him to make it happen?We the people must demand they do so. Visit SetAmericaFree dot org.
Apr 11th 2011 10:19AM EV Nerd misleadingly says, "Let me decide."Except that he opposes making full flex fuel capability a required standard feature in all new cars sold in America.Making flex fuel standard, like seat belts, would give all drivers the choice of using planet-fouling, economy crashing, terrorist funding Enemy Fuel (a/k/a gasoline), or using cleaner-burning, cartel monopoly smashing, terrorist-bankrupting renewable alcohol fuel.Instead, EV Nerd supports continuing the suicidally stupid status quo of passively allowing millions of new cars rolling out of factories and loading docks into our showrooms and highways that are unnecessarily "locked in" to gasoline ONLY as their ONLY fuel, leaving millions of drivers with NO choice.
Apr 11th 2011 10:15AM "Currently, only 2,350 gas stations out of approximately 167,800 nationwide offer E85 and nearly 8.5 million flex-fuel capable vehicles are in use across the U.S."This is true but out of context in such a fashion as to be misleadingly negative. In 2001, only fifty stations nationwide offered E85. That more than 2,350 offer it today is amazing progress, especially considering the weak and ineffective pro ethanol incentives (such as tax breaks for producers and CAFE breaks for automakers).
Apr 11th 2011 10:10AM Your whining about deficits is ignorant or disingenuous. The money has already been appropriated. In fact the law in question, that enabled this to happen, is the 2008 Farm Bill, was passed in May 2008, before the financial collapse. So unless you mindlessly object to ALL federal spending regardless of its purpose, there's no special reason to oppose this program.Furthermore, it's precisely our dependence on oil that has caused the economic collapse, and thus the collapse of federal revenue and explosion of stimulus spending that has ballooned our deficit. There is no long term solution to our deficit problem that does not involve our breaking free of oil.And passively crossing your fingers and hoping for the free market to save you, without actually DOING something, is not an actual solution. It hasn't worked so far because there's a three way standoff. To oversimplify, gas stations don't sell alternative fuel because so few cars can use it. Automakers don't include alternative fuel compatibility because consumers don't demand it. Consumers don't demand it because they're unaware of its existence or benefits, or don't see it for sale near them and thus know it would be futile. This problem is unlikely to solve itself, and will most certainly not solve itself in anything like an acceptable timeframe.
Apr 8th 2011 11:58AM I think "cellolosic ethanol" is over-hyped. It would actually be much cheaper to produce methanol rather than ethanol from random (non starchy or sugary) biomass. And adding methanol compatibility only adds about $30 to the $100 ethanol compatibility requires, while flinging the resource base for vehicle fuel wide open. Methanol from natural gas is especially cheap, and it can also be made affordably from coal.
Apr 8th 2011 11:56AM It's a good idea to require that new cars from now on be no longer "locked in" to only being able to run on oil-derived fuel.In fact it's vitally necessary. The unnecessary "lock in" most cars are stuck on forces their drivers to be a helpless captive market of the oil cartel, forced to pay whatever price OPEC demands just to move about. Unrestricted domestic drilling can't change this; according to the CIA we have less than 2% of world oil reserves (COUNTING Arctic and offshore), while OPEC has 78%.Ending the artificial monopoly oil has on transportation fuel and giving drivers fuel choice will end OPEC's ability to charge us monopoly prices, burdening or even crashing our economy while spending our money on spreading pro-terrorist extremism.My only beef with Harkin's bill is that it pointedly ignores the OTHER major alcohol fuel he'd just as soon you forget about: methanol with an M.The Open Fuel Standards Act would make it a required standard feature like seat belts that all new cars from now on be FULLY flex fuel, able to run not only on gasoline and ethanol but also methanol. Since methanol requires the most changes to accommodate, methanol compatibility means that you're also compatible with all other alcohols too, including propanol and butanol.For more, see SetAmericaFree dot org, EnergyVictory dot net, or watch a talk given by aerospace and nuclear engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin to Google employees - search YouTube for "Zubrin" and "Google".
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