Oil Junkies: The Edwin Black interview

Reform Judaism recenlty posted online a lengthy, involved interview with Edwin Black. He's the author of "Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives."
The Q&A format follows the book's chronological expose of the early decline of electric cars in the automobile's infancy up through the demise of electric mass transit and the dependance on oil. There are far too many stories and details to try and condense in blog post but there is no shortage of back-stabbing, manipulation, corporate greed and other nefarious activities to keep any conspiracy theorist happy. Black recalls the National City Lines scandal where GM, Standard Oil, Mack Truck, Firestone and Phillips Petroleum were charged with monopolizing and eventually killing electric trolley lines in favor of busses. Other topics covered included auto-business connections with Germany during the Hitler years, hidden incentives to oil producers and security for Israel.

A major part of the interview involves Black's criticism of ethanol, calling it "America's next big fuel mistake." His main argument is that ethanol production could use more petroleum than it saves. His solution: hydrogen.

"We don't need to reinvent the wheel but to distribute the wheel," he responds to interviewer Aron Hirt-Manheimer. "In other words, we already have the knowledge to harness hydrogen; now we need to ramp it up and apply it. A good analogy is the Manhattan Project, which ramped up and applied existing nuclear knowledge more than it developed new knowledge."

Black also calls for restrictions on gas-guzzling vehicles much the same way the government discourages smoking. He likes the idea of a carbon tax and supports "bridge technologies" such as CNG.

[Source: Reform Judaism]

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