Stop the Presses!

Posted by Mike Merritt in Society on

Why?  Because I’m agreeing with Glenn Beck, which means the world must be falling?

Why am I agreeing with Beck today?  Because he’s making a lot of sense on oil and alternative fuels.  I’m a supporter of a range of options for alternative fuels, because I believe one company or the government trying to decide on the next new fuel just isn’t going to happen.  Let the market decide on the next fuel, whether it is ethanol, hydrogen, hybrids, or something else.

Opening ANWR now would be like stopping at the bathroom on your way to the electric chair; you’re only delaying the inevitable.

I’m with Beck on that he says drilling in ANWR would only be a bandage.  The fact is, you can’t stop oil from going away, because it’s going to happen.  I’m not with him on drilling in ANWR no matter what, because I think the focus needs to be more heavily on developing the new fuels, and ANWR would just apply the bandage anyway.

For example, back in 1980, Congress passed the Energy Security Act, which led to the creation of something called the Synthetic Fuels Corp. (SFC). Lawmakers provided SFC with up to $88 billion in loans and incentives to get started (the equivalent of about $230 billion in today’s dollars) with the goal of creating two million barrels a day of synthetic oil within seven years.

That’s something new to me.  I didn’t know about the research done on synthetic oil in the 80s.  Although I don’t think it should be the end goal for us, I do tentatively support renewing funding for the development of synthetic oil.  I think that by doing this now, it would provide us the time we new to develop a more environmentally friendly fuel.

However, any bill authorizing the development of synthetic oil needs to have strings that also dictate that research needs to be done on ethanol, hydrogen/fuel cells, and the like.  Synthetic oil is like drilling in ANWR in some ways.  It’d be a bandage that might help us for a bit, but we need a better solution.

So, I call on Congress to renew funding for the development of synthetic oil, but not at the expense of research for more environmentally friendly fuels.

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