Will requiring flex-fuel capable cars free us from foreign oil?
Cellulosic ethanol, methanol and butanol do hold a lot of promise, though. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit and his wife, Helen Smith, have an interesting interview with Zubrin on their podcast that's worth a listen. Some of Zubrin's arguments for using alcohol fuels are a bit over simplistic and ignore some of the pitfalls associated with them. That includes draining fields of nutrients if all the leftover material is converted to fuel. Alcohol fuels are unlikely to free us from oil dependence on their own, although they can make a dent. What they can really do is help diversify energy supplies and domestically produced fuels can also help to fund research into other renewable energy sources. What we really need to do, however, is find different ways to reduce our total consumption of energy while maintaining our current lifestyles. Let the flames begin!
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