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I don't like the wording in Slate's headline for this great story on the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquid process (is it really "one of the world's most exciting new fuel sources"? Is it really even new if it was developed in the 1920s?), but I still encourage you to read the story. The world is a complicated place, and Daniel Gross' investigation of how Fischer-Tropsch moved from Nazi synthfuel to the fuel of choice for South Africa's state run energy company emphasizes this. The company, Sasol,

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It's time to take a serious look at our country's federal gasoline tax. According to the New York Times, it's been set at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. This is FAR lower than any other industrialized nation. The article also points out that according to the International Energy Agency, America's overall gas taxes in August averaged just 40 cents per gallon while Britain and Germany were at $4.24 and $3.99, respectively.

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