As people began to quickly realize ethanol from corn was not a good solution, we heard oops on that one, but now I have it right with cellulosic methanol. So the same people who sold you a bill of good on ethanol, ending up charging you more than the gas it was supposed to replace, and dramatically hurt your gas mileage. Pure ethanol gets about 30% or worse mileage than gas, so why would you think mixing it could help?
The answer is supposed to start with cheaper fuel stocks now that corn, bread tortillas etc are through the roof. The new idea is to use cellulose available in the grasses on the plains. This stuff is nearly free. Of course it is sparse, unlike the density of "crops" so harvesting is out of the question. Now they propose to farm this stuff? To make what? Methanol. Remember in my previous post, methanol has much lower energy density (BTU/pound) than gas. Basically, you have to carry more than twice the volume/weight to go the same distance. I promise you this simple problem not being recognized will result in hundreds of millions of dollars being spent, and no impact on our dependency on oil. Who pays? You!
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of alternative energies. I am not a fan of subsidies to try to make something work, because it cannot stand on its own economically. I believe economical solutions are always the answer. I hate farm subsidies as well. Already some solar solutions are succeeding on their own merits WITHOUT intervention by government. Imagine if oil were $200 per barrel instead of $95. I believe this would be the price if we stopped drilling our own oil and choose to save it for the future. This would give us $6.00 gas. Sure you would scream, but the rate at which free enterprise would develop alternative solutions would sure accelerate. Of one thing I am sure is the free market will be faster and cheaper than any form of government subsidy or development program.
What I am suggesting is much different than a gas tax. A gas tax means billions of dollars pass through politicians hands. If you look at any government program, the overhead is always 35-40%. Meaning that is the cost of bureaucratic administration. For evidence look at social security, medicare, DMV etc. I am suggesting a big version of Bush’s filling up the strategic reserve. That is to stop pumping our oil, but instead buy everyone else’s first! I cannot help but note that he has made a 100% profit on that move and nobody ever gives him credit for making a profit! Even a broken clock is right twice a day!