Author says US can solve this problem by breaking free of oil
As oil prices surge to almost $100 a barrel, anxieties are escalating amongst American consumers. From increased transportation costs to higher utility bills, rising expenditures associated with petroleum-based energy production have a significant and direct negative impact on both the US economy and the lives of individual Americans. However, there is another equally, if not more troubling aspect of this situation; namely, much of the money spent on this critical resource—one upon which America is wholly dependant—is flowing overseas to support the nation’s enemies.
The United States currently imports approximately sixty percent of its total oil supply. Nearly thirty percent of this supply comes from the Middle East. In fact, twenty percent comes solely from Saudi Arabia—the nation that is chiefly responsible for spreading Islamism and Islamic terrorism across the globe. In 2005 alone, Saudi Arabia brought in more than $150 billion from oil sales, no small part of which came from the United States. Essentially, America is financing its own demise. What can the nation do to remedy this disastrous situation?
In ENERGY VICTORY: WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR BY BREAKING FREE OF OIL, world-renowned engineer and best-selling author Robert Zubrin lays out a dramatic plan for breaking the economic stranglehold that the OPEC oil cartel has on our country and the world. James Clark, Chairman of the World Technology Network, says, “This is something we’ve really needed for a long time. Washington should sit up and take notice.”
Executive Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security Dr. Gal Luft agrees, “To win the war on terror, we need to remove the yoke of our oil dependence and cut the flow of petrodollars to regimes that spread radical Islam. ENERGY VICTORY is a bold, yet realistic plan to do just that. It is a vitally important book about the most critical issue we face today.”
Zubrin presents persuasive evidence that our decades-long relationship with OPEC has resulted in the looting of our economy, the corruption of our political system, and now the funding and protection of terrorist regimes and movements that are committed to our destruction. Debunking the false solutions and myths that have deterred us from taking necessary action, Zubrin exposes the fakery that has allowed many politicians—including current US president George W. Bush—to posture that they are acting to resolve this problem while actually doing nothing significant toward that goal.
Zubrin’s plan is practical, economical—and most importantly—immediately realizable. We currently possess technology that allows cars to operate on any combination of ethanol, methanol, and gasoline. This is known as flex-fuel technology. For the cost of $100 to $500 per automobile, all new cars could be produced as flex-fuel vehicles. Both alcohol fuels can currently be made cleanly from biomaterials, and methanol can further be derived from coal. Moreover, both alcohol fuels release far less CO2 than gasoline when burned. Thus, Zubrin argues that if congress passed a bill mandating that all cars sold in the US—both domestic and import—be flex-fueled, it would create a competitive fuel market that would dramatically cut our dependence on foreign oil. Because alcohol fuels are cheaper than gasoline at its current price, there would be a natural incentive for consumers to reduce oil consumption. And as production increased, the price would drop even further. In fact, Brazil has aggressively pursued the implementation of this technology and is currently 100-percent energy independent.
Not only would this measure free the US from directly supporting nations that promote worldwide terrorism, it would also significantly reduce pollution—including greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, since alcohol fuels are primarily derived from plant materials, Third World nations could become major producers of energy resources and experience increased economic development and prosperity. Instead of sending money to the Middle East to finance wealthy and corrupt regimes, the US could import the necessary raw materials when our production capacities reached their limits, thereby promoting developing countries in Africa and Latin America. Louis Putnam, Professor of Economics at Brown University, highlights the importance of these benefits and says that they, “should command the attention of advocates, academics, and policy-makers.”
ENERGY VICTORY offers an exciting vision for a dynamic, new energy policy, which will go a long way toward safeguarding homeland security in the future and provide solutions for global warming and Third World development. James Woosley, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, concludes, “Oil and hydrogen take huge hits and alcohol fuels win big. Don’t miss this one.”
Robert Zubrin is president of Pioneer Astronautics and also president of the Mars Society. For many years he worked as a senior engineer for Lockheed Martin. He is the author of the critically acclaimed nonfiction books THE CASE FOR MARS, ENTERING SPACE, MARS ON EARTH; the science fiction novels THE HOLY LAND and FIRST LANDING; and articles in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, THE NEW ATLANTIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, and THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE. He has appeared on major media including CNN, CSPAN, BBC, Discovery Channel, NBC, ABC, and NPR.
Reprinted from “AAAS Eurekalert!”, with permission of the publisher.
Contact: Jill Maxick