Unbelievable isn’t it? The Washington Post ran the article about Iran’s mandate to its “domestic automakers to make ‘dual-fuel’ cars that can run on both gasoline and natural gas, a crash program to convert used vehicles to run on natural gas, and a program to convert Iranian gas stations to serve both kinds of fuel. According to the International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles, more than 100 conversion centers have been built throughout the country: Iranians can drive in with their gasoline-only cars, pay a subsidized fee equivalent to $50 and collect their newly dual-fuelled cars several hours later.”
What a novel idea to switch the cars over AND create the filling stations, AND conversion centers at the SAME TIME.
Then there is Brazil who was no better off than we are now, importing 80 percent of its oil supply in the 70’s. Since then, Brazil has switched to its own oil, which is used to “insulate” the country’s economy from the pain of spiking oil prices. Even so, this year more sugar-based ethanol will be sold in the country than gasoline, which is the goal, to get off of gasoline altogether.
Meanwhile, China is moving toward methanol, which is made from wood grain alcohol. There are many methanol plants currently under construction. And China is set to produce flex fuel cars for that methanol. The nice thing about methanol as the article stated is that: “it can be made from natural gas, coal, industrial garbage and even recycled carbon dioxide captured from power stations’ smokestacks — an elegant way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
It looks like China whose smoggy environment is a source of concern for the Olympics has got plans to use up all that filth and fuel their cars with it. That’s really one up on us, and pretty much everyone else.
Finally, Israel is going to electric cars with “hundreds of thousands of recharging points planned to be erected throughout the country. Israeli motorists, the government hopes, will be able to swap their batteries in a matter of minutes at dedicated stations or recharge them at home or at work.” Hmm, stop at a station and swap out a battery—never thought of that.
The Washington Post went on to say that: “Policies such as ‘drill more’ and ‘drive smaller cars’ all keep us running on petroleum. At best, they buy us a few more years of complacency, while ensuring a much worse dependence down the road when America’s conventional oil reserves are even more depleted — whether or not we drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
Looks like Al Gore’s challenge to change within a decade isn’t ridiculous. We’ve just been fed another fat lie by political forces working with the oil industry about what we can and cannot do, and we fell for it again. We need a big dose of street smarts in this country, or a kick in the pants.