Energy Vehicles of Value!

A roaring economy or a buzzing vehicle? The energy debate continues!

In my , I mentioned how in 1982 there were 301 oil refineries and now in 2012 there are 148. This, of course, affects the price of gasoline. We are a country at war and according to pickensplan.com, the United States is importing 60 percent of its oil from other countries. Since in office, President Barack Obama has infused $5 billion into electric vehicles. This seems counterintuitive given that natural gas vehicles offer a more sustainable and domestically lucrative solution. Now, let us not forget about safety. 

Imagine that you are walking across a street, obeying all of the street signs like a responsible pedestrian. From around the corner comes an electric vehicle and the driver doesn’t see that you're crossing the street. Would the noise of a gasoline car make the difference? I think so! This is one of the current concerns with electric vehicles. They are also made from a lighter composite material to help with mileage. On the surface it may help with the environment, but at what cost? Is your life worth the risk?

Next is the issue of power. One of the biggest concerns with electric vehicles is a limited power capacity. This may not seem like an issue but if you lived in a seasonal area like New England with weather fluctuations wouldn’t that affect the life of the car battery? Electric vehicles also have less power than gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles are a great technology, but it is not going to solve America’s energy needs and still needs development before $5 billion of public money be invested into it. Don’t forget that the vehicle will still need some gasoline and will need household electricity. This electricity would be drawn from an already drained energy grid. Where exactly are the savings coming from? It just cost us $5 billion!

Personally I’d rather the $5 billion not be spent or be spent toward solar energy in the desert, or on wind farms. How can a solar energy company in the desert go bankrupt?

I agree with former Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s statement that the United States should make big vehicles that can go 60 miles on a gallon of gasoline. He said it can be done, and I believe him.

Let us now switch the conversation to natural gas vehicles. The United States currently has over 100 years of worth of proven natural gas reserves. Examples from other countries prove that these vehicles work, have a longer life than traditional gasoline vehicles, and have enough power to do the job. 

In the NY Times, Thomas Friedman wrote an op-ed entitled, “Get it right on gas” where he partly advocated for big natural gas companies and cited safety and environmentalism as a reason against smaller companies. He also talked about exporting the gas and supports strict regulation and punishment for non-compliant companies. I take issue with this for several reasons. 

First, large companies subcontract to the “mom and pop” gas drillers that he mentioned. What safety precautions aren’t already being followed? If a company big or small is drilling in the United States there is knowledge of who is drilling and where. 

From a philosophical standpoint there needs to be room for small startup companies to have the opportunity to produce energy. If only the large companies are allowed in this business, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose of capitalism and prove monopoly? I do agree that there are some things that large corporations do effectively. If safety is a concern, then yes, protocol should be followed, but not at the expense of out-pricing the smaller companies from being allowed to be in this business. The benefit is that smaller companies will do the initially harder, less lucrative work that the larger ones will not.

America didn’t start with a room full of corporations. Corporations started small and in time with success got big. That’s how jobs are created. Thomas Friedman is a self-admitted “jobs killer.”

Just last year in a forum with former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Friedman spoke of his favoring public and private “fusing” and that he is a self-admitted “jobs killer” in favor of outsourcing. Barbour fired back with a priceless one-word response, “Values!”

If Freidman is such an environmentalist then what saves more energy: using Natural Gas for vehicles in America or shipping the resource across the world to sell to other nations? Seems like a waste of energy in the travel. I do understand what business is, but since he is in favor of fusing public and private, I use this guided approach to ask who is right?

Meanwhile, he proposed bureaucracy-building that would slow the process down. I thought that environmentalists want to speed things up to save the planet. In the meantime, the trade deficit soars, the environment suffers, and the American economy isn’t benefiting from its own natural resources with the good-paying jobs and tax income that would go with them. The American economy needs a jump start and our ailing energy grid needs a fix. Natural Gas is a solution and is at least half the pollution than what is currently being emitted. 

The United States is importing 60 percent of its oil from other countries, is at war, has huge trade deficits and a colossal national debt. Why not natural gas vehicles? To me that’s what "getting it right on gas" is!

(Note drought isn't helping the Hoover Dam provide energy for your water systems either.)




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Dan Avery August 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Tim, you have an interesting argument here, but it would benefit greatly if most of your claims had evidence to support them. For example, how much lighter are these vehicles and how does that benefit the environment? How much quieter are they? Can one really not hear this sort of vehicle coming? I've lived in severe weather country, Minnesota, and batteries do just fine up there if you keep your car serviced and they aren't too old. Of course, once they their charge they'll freeze solid. How fast do buses in cities have to go on average? We need you to fill in the blanks. Also when you gripe about the government funding, I wonder why. The government funded NASA at a high amount when I was a kid and there was a lot of "stuff" that came out of that funding that is now in our ever days lives. Why don't you think Government funding of green industries will lead to the same advancements?
Tim Chase August 09, 2012 at 12:26 AM
It's not that I am not for supporting green energy alternatives, it's that I am for a pro economic energy independence solution. Natural gas doesn't need further development to be market ready for heavy and light duty vehicles. According to the wikipedia website electric cars are made from lighter materials and actually weigh about a third more than its gasoline counterparts because of the battery. This effects brake speed and in my opinion makes it a more deadly vehicle. What about battery fires? The lack of noise has already been an issue and recently noise was added to the Nissan Leaf but no other electric vehicle. I'm not sure how electric vehicles really benefit the environment. I personally would have rather seen $5,000,000,000.00 dollars be spent toward installing natural gas filling stations. This would have make the decision for transportation companies to support converting their vehicles to natural gas real while benefitting various sectors of the economy. As a matter of fact former President Bill Clinton supports natural gas for fleet vehicles. In his most recent book "Back to Work - why we need smart government for a strong economy" on his list is natural gas. He spoke of how this resource is abundant, economically smart, better for the environment, and a great bridge fuel for American energy independence and a cleaner fuel future. anga.us/media-room/blog/2011/11/30/former-president-clinton-touts-nat-gas wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car
Tim Chase November 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM
http://www.ngvc.org/about_ngv/index.html The U.S. currently ranks 17th in the world with less than 1% of total NGVs. However, North America is expected to see some of the fastest growth due to abundant proven reserves and the low cost of domestically produced natural gas. According to the Gas Vehicle Report, these are the top ten countries. Country Number of Vehicles % of Total NGVs Worldwide Iran 2,859,386 18.82% Pakistan 2,850,500 18.76% Argentina 1,900,000 12.50% Brazil 1,694,278 11.15% India 1,100,000 7.24% China 1,000,000 6.58% Italy 779,090 5.13% Ukraine 390,000 2.57% Columbia 348,747 2.30% Thailand 300,581 1.98% Iran is the worlds leader in oil production. Why are they also the worlds leader in percentage of Natural gas vehicles? Every time there is tension on the strait of Hormuz what happens? Exactly, oil scare!


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