Three Way News

Your Source. For everything. Really.


Current Poll

Best comic strip?

  • Bloom County
  • Boondocks
  • Calvin and Hobbes
  • Dilbert
  • Doonesbury
  • Far Side
  • Foxtrot
  • Get Fuzzy
  • Life in Hell
  • Peanuts
  • Pearls Before Swine
  • Pogo
  • Zippy the Pinhead
Free polls from

Recurring features

Hammer's Favorites

Jambo's Favories

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Quibbles with Molly

Posted by: Hammer / 9:12 AM

AP analyzes energy issues:
Running for president five years ago, George W. Bush pledged to jawbone energy-exporting nations to keep oil prices low and to win passage of legislation to spur more domestic energy production. ...

At a meeting Monday at his Texas ranch, Bush is promising to press Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Abdullah, to do more to help ease global oil prices.

Still, the president acknowledges that there is little that he or Congress can do to quickly lower gasoline prices, which have climbed past $2.20 a gallon nationwide.

Critics also claim that Bush's energy bill does little to promote conservation or alternate energy approaches, and that he has done little of the lobbying of oil-country leaders that he promised during in his first presidential campaign. ...

Crude oil prices have risen 40 percent in the past year. But finding ways to curb them pose a particular dilemma for Bush — complicated by his own actions.

The war in Iraq, for instance, limited Bush's influence among Persian Gulf oil-producing nations.

The president recently ruled out releasing oil from the nation's emergency stockpile, saying he would only tap the 700 million barrel reserve in a national crisis.

Molly Ivins looks at the same issue:
As a general rule about Bush & Co., the more closely a policy is associated with Dick Cheney, the worse it is. Which brings us to energy policy - remember his secret task force? In the long history of monumentally bad ideas, the Cheney policy is a standout for reasons of both omission and commission. Dumb, dumb- er and dumbest.

Ponder this: Next year, the administration will phase out the $2,000 tax credit for buying a hybrid vehicle, which gets over 50 miles per gallon, but will leave in place the $25,000 tax write-off for a Hummer, which gets 10-12 mpg. That's truly crazy, and that's truly what the whole Cheney energy policy is.

According to the Energy Information Administration in the Department of Energy, last year's energy bill (same as this one) would cost taxpayers at least $31 billion, do nothing about the projected over-80 percent increase in America's imports of foreign oil by 2025 and increase gasoline prices. (Since every bureaucrat who tells the truth in this administration - about the cost of the drug bill or the safety of Vioxx - seems to get the ax, I'm probably getting those folks in trouble.) ...

Nor are the major oil companies spending their mammoth profits on exploration or field development - they're doing mega-mergers and stock buybacks. ExxonMobil spent $9.95 billion to buy back its own stock in 2004. The Chinese and the Indians are now buying cars like mad, and the result is going to be an enormous supply crunch, sooner rather than later.

It is possible with existing technology to build a car that gets 500 miles per gallon, but the Bushies won't even raise the CAF[E] (fuel efficiency) standards for cars coming out now. The trouble with the Bush plan to develop hydrogen cars is that while you can get hydrogen out of water, you have to put energy in to get it out, so there's a net energy loss.

I support the Apollo Alliance. They've got a much more sensible and productive energy policy than Dick Cheney. But this 500 miles per gallon nonsense has got to stop. Very few people believe it's possible to drive 500 miles on a gallon of gas. When the believers dig through the numbers, they feel hoodwinked.

Apollo (and Ivins) tiptoe around a magical assumption. It's theoretically possible to travel 500 miles on a gallon of gasoline, but only when gasoline is a very small part of the fuel supply. The bulk of the energy to move your car comes from ethanol.

The 500 mpg figure derives from two propositions -- one, drive more fuel efficient cars, including hybrids. These get upwards of 50 miles per gallon of gasoline. Then, assume you can drive the cars on 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Same car, different fuel mixture. If you assume a few other advances in fuel economy, and you've got a car that goes 500 miles on a gallon of gas -- and 6 or more gallons of ethanol.

Missing, of course, is the cost of producing all that ethanol. Even if the promise of ethanol were completely realized, we would still need a massive national program to produce and distribute E85 fuel and to convert new vehicles to the E85 standard. These are not issues to be assumed away and hidden with the "500 miles per gallon" slogan.

A new national energy policy is of paramount performance. Americans are ready for a little sacrifice for a true revolution in domestic energy production. All we need is bold, clear, and honest leadership. That doesn't mean an absence of marketing, framing, spinning, and sloganeering, but it requires a bit more clarity than the 500 mpg claim.

Oh, and the Bush plan? It really, really sucks.


Regarding Hybrid Cars - Check out the gas savings calculator at to see how

much you can save with a hybrid vehicle. Most people are prety surprised at how quickly you recoup the "extra" cost,

especially with rising gas prices.

If you are interested in Hybrid vehicles there is a lot more information there as well.


By Blogger Father Dan, at 4:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


Special Feeds

Fun with Google

Search Tools




Prior posts

  • Doomed to repeat it
  • Microsoft cures cancer!
  • How iniquitous? Profoundly iniquitous
  • The single most important issue in the history of ...
  • Open Source Friday: Why Does Anyone Do Anything?
  • Empty Suit Thursday: The Straddle
  • Swallowing spin
  • Who wants to try?
  • Style switch
  • Archives

    • Gone for now

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Site Meter Get Firefox!