Monday, November 14, 2005

Krauthammer gets gas

The recent spike in gas prices has focused our attention on the problem of constrained supply and increasing competition with emerging markets for that supply, Charles Krauthammer notes in a recent column.

He notes that we should continue to drive down demand -- with an artificial price floor of $3/gallon if nothing else -- and find additional supply.

I agree with his premise, but I think he misses one thing -- the best, most permanent solution to the problem is to develop alternative energy sources. And I think the best one is gasohol (80 percent alcohol, 20 percent gasoline).

While there are technical and infrastructure challenges to adopting gasohol, the long-term benefits are clear -- it burns cleaner, is cheaper (especially at current gas prices) and comes primarily from renewable resources. The alcohol can be made from a variety of crops -- corn, wheat, rice, sugar, etc.

In Brazil, most vehicles can run on either gasoline or gasohol -- if they can do it, we can too.


whit said...

The critics claim that the problems is that ethanol requires too much energy in the mfg process. I have a remedy for that. Build ethanol distilleries next to nuclear power plants and use the nuke heat to cook the ethanol mash. Voila, synergy!

JBlog said...

It takes more energy to produce ethanol than gasoline? I doubt it.

I like the way you think, Whit -- cogeneration, there's a good idea.

whit said...

99.9% of the time I agree with Charles Krauthammer but this is one of those times when "What is he thinking?" I'm never in favor of more taxes and that is what his proposal amounts to. Ethanol would be a much better way to go. It would also be a good way to phase out farm subsidies. We don't pay anyone not to grow anything. We tell them to grow all the ethanol producing products they can.

JBlog said...

Well, I agreed with his central premise -- we have to reduce our reliance on foreign oil -- but I'm with you on his solution. I don't think it will work.