Archive for June, 2006

They better have a good hedge on

Friday, June 30th, 2006

We wonder what GM will do should gasoline go to $5/gallon. This $1.99 price protection for gas guzzlers (as Tom Friedman noted they aren’t offering it for their most efficient models) doesn’t seem like a smart move to us.


Thursday, June 29th, 2006

to Reps Phil English [PA-3], Steve Israel [NY-2], Daniel Lipinski [IL-3], C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger [MD-2], and Janice Schakowsky [IL-9] for becoming cosponsors of HR4409, The Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Is your Representative on board yet?

What price has to do with it

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Many oil producers keep domestic oil product prices artificially low as a way to keep their populations from storming the palaces. That results in an enormous amount of waste and lost revenue. Case in point: Iran.
“Iran said Friday that it would stop importing gasoline in September and begin rationing it, ironic for a country that is OPEC’s number-two exporter of crude oil [...] Gasoline is extremely cheap in Iran thanks to massive subsidies. A liter of regular gasoline costs just 800 rials ($0.09). Super costs 1,100 rials ( $0.12). An explosion in car ownership and gasoline smuggling to Iran’s neighbors, where prices are far higher, has caused an explosion in demand. Iran loses more than $1 billion a year because of the smuggling. The shortfall has up to now been met by spending billions of dollars each year on imported gasoline.”

Ending Oil?s Stranglehold on Transportation and the Economy

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

A major study by AllianceBernstein embraces hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles as a game changer:

“The world is on the cusp of a major transition to hybridpower vehicles, which use highly efficient electric motors to boost the fuel efficiency of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. This is a game-changing technology that promises to increase energy efficiency substantially, make a broad range of fuels available for powering vehicles, and meaningfully reduce demand for oil from the transportation sector.

“Over the last 30 years, many industries have either dramatically improved their energy efficiency or shifted to alternative fuel sources; transportation has been an exception. As a result, the composition of oil consumption has shifted dramatically toward transportation, from 33% of total oil demand in 1971 to about 50% today [...]

“The shift to transportation systems largely powered by electricity will be the next phase in the broad transition away from relatively inefficient mechanical systems [...]

“Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are likely to arrive as an extension of the hybrids available today. Like the latter, plug-ins are powered by both liquid fuel (gasoline or diesel) and batteries. But in addition to being charged by the gasoline engine and regenerative braking, plugin hybrids may be recharged by plugging into standard electric outlets [...]

“If most consumers recharge the batteries in their plug-in vehicles from the electrical grid, the fuel ultimately powering their vehicle is likely to be coal, natural gas or uranium, rather than oil. Such fl exibility would be truly gamechanging. Economic growth, which is inextricably linked to transportation, could be almost entirely decoupled from oil. This could reshape the foreign policies of such oil-importing countries and regions as the US, Japan, Western Europe, China and India. The economic and political implications for the few oil-rich exporting nations, by contrast, are likely to be grim. Indeed, the transition to hybrid power could change the world!”

Read the whole thing.

According to recent news reports GM appears to have seen the light:

“General Motors Corp., losing sales to fuel-efficient cars from Toyota Motor Corp., is developing a hybrid-electric vehicle with a battery that recharges at any outlet, said GM officials familiar with the plan.

“The so-called plug-in hybrid would travel more than 60 miles on a gallon of gasoline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the research is secret. GM, which had the first modern electric car in 1996, lags behind Toyota in hybrids, which combine electric motors and gasoline engines.”

The War for the Free World

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Frank Gaffney:
“When the history of this era is written, it will be clearer than it is now what steps made a difference in the course of the present, global conflict ? the War for the Free World [...]
The House of Representatives this week has an opportunity to make another, very positive contribution to the history of this conflict, of which the Iraqi front is but a part. It is scheduled to debate legislation that would begin greatly to diversify the energy resources used to power America?s transportation sector. Today, that sector is almost entirely dependent on products (gasoline and diesel) derived from oil.

“Since much of that oil comes from places that are, at best, unstable and, at worst, downright hostile to us, our continued dependence on that single commodity ? President Bush has famously called it an ?addiction? ? is not just foolish. It is strategically perilous to pay hundreds of billions of dollars each year to, among others, people who are trying to kill us. ”


Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

to Senators Kennedy and Leahy for becoming the 27th and 28th co-sponsors of S.2025, The Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Are your Senators on board yet?


Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

We were rather surprised to read this statement at a recent Dept of Energy presentation:
“Hydrogen remains the ultimate opportunity, and worth pursuing even if it takes some time.”

Particularly surprised given this, this and this. And let’s not forget this.

It reminded us of a little ditty.

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.


Friday, June 16th, 2006

To Rep Sherrod Brown [OH-13], Rep Michael R. McNulty [NY-21], and Rep Anna Eshoo [CA-14] for becoming cosponsors of HR4409, The Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Is your Representative on board yet?

The Rise of the Aerotropolis

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

This is quite an interesting article about how “how major airports are beginning to drive business siting and urban development in the 21st century, much as highways did in the 20th, railroads in the 19th, and seaports in the 18th.” Bottom line conclusion: “To date, Aerotropoli have evolved largely spontaneously, with existing nearby development often creating arterial bottlenecks. In the future, strategic infrastructure planning could reduce this congestion. Dedicated expressway links (aerolanes) and high-speed rail (aerotrains) could efficiently connect airports to business and residential clusters near and far. Special truck-only lanes could be added to airport expressways, as could improved highway interchanges to reduce congestion [...] Constructing ground transit and locating commercial facilities consistent with the form and function of the Aerotropolis will contribute substantially to the emerging needs of business and to the future competitiveness of urban areas. ”

Welcome Aboard!

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Americans for Energy Independence has joined the Set America Free Coalition.