• Jun 4, 2008

A scientist in the U.S. Department of Energy's science and energy research unit has said "Energy independence is a realistic goal for the United State of America," by 2030. There are, of course, a few caveats to that. First is that by the word "independence," he doesn't mean not using any oil entirely -- he means getting oil consumption down to a point where our usage is "not subject to restraining or directly influenced by others as consequence of the need for oil."

That, Greene says, is an issue of economics, not one of politics or the military (inasmuch as they can be separated). The key is to get the cost of importing oil down to one-percent or less of the U.S. GDP, which, by the way, is where it was during the heady we-can-take-baths-in-oil-there's-so-much-of-it decade of 1990-2000.

Greene thinks the Energy Independence Security Act will be the guide leading the way to this kind of oil independence, due to the CAFE increase, decreased demand for thirsty vehicles, and increased production and demand for biofuels and alternative energy cars. So now that the oil situation is licked, the only thing you'll need to worry about come 2030 is paying $12 for a cob of corn.

[Source: WardsAuto]



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  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK, a member of the Bush Administration endorsing his energy policy; sounds like a real objective analysis to me. Not!

      This guy comes from the school of misdirection, defining "energy independence" in terms of GDP. That is an irrelevant metric; The United States and its economy was built/is dependent upon cheap and accessible supplies of energy for our factories, homes and autos. Any significant increase in the cost of that energy, regardless of where it comes from, is going to have an impact on national security and economic prosperity.

      Until we get real and admit we must go to nuclear power for our future, all this crap about growing corn and grass is only a distraction from the inevitable. Electric powered cars, with energy from an expanded grid of nuclear power plants is the only way to keep the cost of energy down. Otherwise we are going to have to look for other sources of fossil fuels, like oil sands and coal gasification, which are very expensive vs. what we have been used to, i.e. good old sweet crude, which, by the way, is an exhaustible and increasingly expensive resource to find and extract.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i agree with you that Nuclear is the way of the (near) future. It is clean, safe, produces LOTS of energy, and the runoff can be dug into a mountain to be worried about in 5,000 years, or can just be literally put on a spaceship and flown to the sun...

        really, the only problem with nuclear is that the enviro-crazies don't have it on their agenda, so it'll never happen...
      • 6 Years Ago
      $12 cob of corn? That can't happen, we've achieved corn independence. Oh right, the market dictates the price regardless of where it comes from. Oops.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Energy Independence.

      #1. Get rid of the environmental lobby

      #2 Let members of the congress/senate fill their own tanks

      #3 Offer incentives to develope new sources of energy

      #4 Drive less Turn off some lights (remember the 70"s) Buy smaller cars Walk Plan your shopping trips better



      • 6 Years Ago
      I find it funny that there is such a quick and easy pointing of the fingers at the environmental lobby (or greenies in general) for our current energy problems. I'm sure for every environmental lobby, the industry will have it's own lobby to counteract it. I don't imagine the industry sits around & does nothing if the environmental lobby is cutting into their business.

      As for the general point of this article, this guy may have a point. Even if all our cars don't run on oil, there are other products where we need to use oil. And yes the price may remain the same, but if we use a lot less then it shouldn't hurt the country as a whole so easily, esp if driving doesn't depend on it.

      That's not to say this act will work at all and I generally agree Congress doesn't know what it's doing most of the time (Democrat or Republican). That said, what are your ideas to solve this (or is it not even really a problem)? It's either Congress or just sitting around and hoping the market solves it by itself.
      • 6 Years Ago
      America should first reeducate itself, reducing power use

      for example, 80% of north americans dry clothes using the machine, therefore using lots of energy

      instead othey could use nylon strings to dry them in open areas (where possible, of course)

      Then america should invest in sugar cane, to produce ethanol, butanol and biomass energy, Brasil for example will start a 500 MW biomass powerplant next year, this unit uses the dump from cane to produce energy (kind of a "gas")

      sugar cane degrades the soil a lot less, requires less area, and is 8x to 10x more energy efficient when compared to corn, and also does not compete directly with food like corn, corn is vastly used in terms of food, cane is used only to produce sugar, with the benefit of using the dump after in biomass
      • 6 Years Ago
      yes, redefining what dependence means.. Wonderful..

      Has anyone talked about a reliance on foreign cars versus foreign oil? lol..
      • 6 Years Ago
      I saw this story posted and disappear yesterday, where'd it go? :p
      • 6 Years Ago
      The comments on this thread are very heartening. Even if there are a lot of "useful ignoramuses", there are some wise people left in this country.

      Usually the level of discourse when it comes to politics intersecting with the automotive industry and related topics, the comments can get mind-boggling.

      But thankfully the comments here seem to be quite well reasoned for the most part. Thank you for posting. It is quite refreshing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        mk,
        I agree. This seems to have been a fairly civil discussion.

        I usually really like what you have to say in your posts and I appreciate your conscientious use of the English language.

        ~P
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ditto to those that think this entire mess was created by the Enviro lobby and Congress. Left alone the market would solve this problem.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, we're 80% corn already.

      Read The Omnivore's Dilemma. The solution? Population control.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Population control almost instantly begets eugenics. Don't think we want to go down that road... You might be part of the population that gets "controlled".

        And, who do you think plants, fertilizes, harvests and everything else? American farmers, some of my extended family included.

        Most corn production is mechanized, there aren't a whole lot of manual laborers, compared to fruits and vegetables, and other things.

        Plus, paying illegal immigrants sub-minimum wages is tantamount to wage slavery. I thought we had all decided that slavery was bad.

        That isn't even getting into the morality of using a year's worth of corn foodstuffs for a single nuclear family, and making it into ONE gallon of ethanol. Yeah, that's worth it... sure.

        The US government has truly scroood the pooch on energy policy, in the fact that there isn't one, aside from pork barrel spending, and ethanol subsidies that are driving prices up all over the place, from the grocery store to the gas pump, and harming the economy by contributing to inflation.

        Then they block all natural resource recovery from our own sources, and debate MORONIC cap and trade policies that will make this problem many times worse, not better.

        Never mind that CO2 gas can't possibly be a pollutant when all the plant life on this planet requires it to breathe, and all the rest of us exhale it, as well. What is next, water as a pollutant, and we need to get rid of it, too?

        When the morons in washington (both D and R) start considering the needs of the country at large, and the economy, rather than just the fashionable, well-monied environmentalist lobby, they might actually get out of the way. But I don't have that much hope. I think it is going to get much worse before people realize the truth, and force the government out of the way, by electing people who actually have some sense, common or otherwise.

        No poor third world country can afford to clean up their environmental messes, or minimize them in the first place. Environmental advocates would realize that a strong US economy is BETTER for the environment than a drastically hindered one. If the economy suffers, less capital is spent minimizing the environmental effects of necessary economic activity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        whos gonna plant and harvest corn then ? americans ?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, populaion control could start by keeping out illegal immigrants. That's what caused the biggest jump in population in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        machines built by americans.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if the Energy Independence Security Act will be as successful as the Budget Control Act of the mid 1970's. You know that one - it gave us baseline budgeting. Baseline budgeting you say? Yes, the one that allows a baseline budget increase of 10% each year for government agencies, and when it is decided to increase the given agency's budget for the next year by only 5%, it allows our lying S.O.B. politicians to announce they have made a 5% budget cut for the agency in question. Are we having fun or what?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Government policies today want to make me run full steam head first into a brick wall.

      God we need another Teddy Roosevelt. We need to break up almost every energy, bank, and telecom in the USA.

      There used to be hundreds of oil producers and now there are 8, really only 6 since two are partners. In fact it may be down to 4 now.

      The government is supposed to stop abuses and monopolistic practices. It hasn't done so for a long time and now it is too late to break up major corporations because the infrastructure to support many small businesses is gone.

      The big money lobbyists have won the war. The US government has created a 100 million strong welfare dependant sub class that votes without question, that is impossible to overcome. Only about 20% of people born after 1980 have any usefull knowledge of the past. Only 35% of high school seniors knew what the sign "Colored Entrance" meant in an old photo. Only 15% were able to name a Supreme Court Justice. Barely any young people actually know 1 thing about the constitution. I'm afraid the next 20 years are going to be known as the age of social control.
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