We don't know nothin' about nothin', but yikes, $200/barrel? Could that happen far sooner than later?
If this happens, what exactly happens? Do local gasoline prices crank higher? If so, what then? Public transportation?* Car pooling? Telecommuting? What happens when unemployed folks can't even afford to drive to job interviews?
Anyway, we don't actually know (and we don't even know if oil will hit that high... this soon). We guess our real question is, "How high does oil have to go before the United States gets serious about alternative energy?"
Edmunds reports: Iceland hoping to become world's first oil-free nation. We're not sure this is totally car related since... Well, look, Iceland is clearly on its way to becoming an oil-free nation by creating "a hydrogen-based transportation system" but the reason we're not sure if it's car related because we don't know what they're going to drive once they go all hydrogen-like.
But more power to 'em if they can get off the black gold.
1. You must wear a suit to refill a hydrogen tank
2. There's no hydrogen around for us to use (currently)
3. We, as a people, have learned nothing.
Oh, everyone is talking hydrogen: We must have hydrogen. Gotta have hydrogen. But where is the hydrogen? We don't see any hydrogen! It's time for low finance man to the rescue!
President Bush has been talking up hydrogen for four years; the Energy Department has set a goal for hydrogen to provide 10 percent of the nation’s energy needs by 2030; and Samuel W. Bodman, the secretary of energy, recently doled out research grants worth $8.2 million aimed at expanding hydrogen storage capacity.
Ah, 8.2 million clams. BFD. Are you telling us that something as important as getting off of oil and being a cleaner nation is only worth $8.2 million? Didn't we lose a crapload more of that? Don't the tissues from Halliburton cost more than $8.2 million? Yes, we understand that the weak-ass amount of moolah is slated only for hydrogen storage, but based on what this country does with money (lose it, pay big kids to play games) it seems insane that we'd not spend more on research.
Anyway, one of the ways hydrogen is made ends up producing a lot of carbon dioxide. Which is bad. So, should we forget that process and focus our energy (ha!) on a new, cleaner method of making hydrogen? No!:
One possible way to offset that undesirable addition to the atmosphere is sequestration, collecting the carbon dioxide and storing it in the ocean or the ground. This plan shows some promise, but not on the scale required to support a hydrogen-powered future.
Oh that's a fucking great idea! Nothing you bury ever, ever comes back to haunt you. Hello? Michael Jackson video? He comes back to do the touchin' and the gropin' and does the movin' to the Middle Eastin'. For the record, burying the CO2 is a bad idea. Also for the record, Alison.
How about other ways to make power?
The Energy Department estimates that meeting the country’s needs would require more than 160,000 two-megawatt wind turbines. Advanced nuclear energy may be a more attractive option.
What? Who the fuck got to answer this survey?
Were the question like this? What would you prefer:
1. A wonderful life, without any possible consequences thanks to nuclear energy
2. Instant death from wind power
CNN reports: Greenest cars. CNN done listed the cars that the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says are the greenest. Here's the list:
Honda Civic GX
Honda Civic Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Where're the GMs and Fords? Where are the V8s? Where are the... oh, right. V8s = bad. Except in the Dodge Charger. That thing is so friggin' sweet!
Kudos to Honda and Toyota for making the greenest dealies around. Funny that the Civic made the list three times, yet Toyota got four different models up there (and the Corolla is sorta old at this point -- wait until they update it).
That's a snap of the 2007 Dodge Charger with the V8. Yeah, baby. Alison's riding along with us while me mow down some hippies! Should Alison Krauss turn out to be a hippie, we would like it known that we are open to be reformed. A long, hard, sweaty reformation process.
The Detroit Free Press reports: Cheaper gas cause for worry. Fina-fucking-lly! Finally someone is thinkin' smart. Of course lower gas prices will lead to higher sales in big-ass, fuel-guzzlin' vehicles. And it will help save Detroit's bacon. And it will cause this country no small amount of worry down the road. Why?
So why worry?
Worry because whenever the Iraq war ends, it looks likely to end badly.
Worry because Iran, Venezuela and other oil-exporting countries are led by tyrants who openly spew hatred of the United States.
Worry because the United States has no energy policy, unless you consider "we use all the energy we want and have a Defense Department to ensure that we can get it" an energy policy.
We can't help but wonder if there's a connection between lower fuel prices around election time and around the time when Detroit needs the help like never before. Lower fuel prices helps Detroit sell vehicles that use a lot of fuel and the more fuel we use means that the U.S. has to ensure we have an unending supply of that fuel (and that means big bucks to contractors who make the equipment needed to ensure that we have that unending supply of fuel).
Why yes it does my inbred friend! The Detroit News reports: Chrysler throws in free Hemi. Wow, free engine upgrade action! We wonder if Chrysler keeps crapping itself if they'll throw in a Caliber if you buy a Magnum. That'd be sweet.
Or maybe the oil companies are lowering prices in order to slow the major development of hybrids and fuel cell vehicles so that we'll all go back to bigger engines and then, blammo!, back to high fuel prices once we're stuck with these fuel guzzlers! Ah ha!
-- Conspiracy machine off* --
*It's never really off because, you know, what fun would that be?
The Detroit News reports: 2018 could be year of the fuel cell for Honda. Fuel cells are cooler than hell. And the waste product from a fuel cell car can be used to make coffee (that by itself makes it a winner). But pardon us from getting too excited since we still don't see any way of making hydrogen on a scale that makes any sense. Now, 11 years is indeed a long time away, but we're pretty pessemistic when it comes to this kind of thing.
Now, if Honda comes out and says, "Hey, check it, smackie. We gots here some techmology that can make hydrogen like nobody's bidness!" Well, then, maybe we'll come 'round.