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Gasoline is still cheaper than....

 
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jbartas
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 133
Location: Cupertino, California, U.S. of A!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject: Gasoline is still cheaper than.... Reply with quote

My favorite Republican "Free Market" Economist told me a few months ago that Gasoline was still the cheapest way to power Americans love affair with cars - that any environmentally friendly fuel would cost more. His challenge to me: how much extra are you willing to pay for clean air?

I had not really dug into the facts in years, but with with the recent interest in alternative fuels I figured it was time to crunch the current numbers. I had heard about hydrogen cars, and was aware of Ethanol being added to gas to help meet EPA requirements. But what was the cost of these fuels, and how would it change with economies of scale?

Well, the news is all good, at least for us car-addicted air breathers.

First, pretty compelling proof of economic viability comes from Brazil. Brazil has actual adopted Ethanol on a national level, modified their cars, and built some infrastructure to support it. It's now cheaper for them than Gasoline. And easier on their lungs.

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=6817
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0417-23.htm

The story is even beginning to leak into MSM:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2006-03-28-brazil-ethanol-cover_x.htm

And they don't have to send troops to Iraq every decade or so. If you factor in the cost of our oil wars and government subsidies, gas really costs us Americans well over $15 a gallon. Here the numbers as of 1998:

http://www.icta.org/press/release.cfm?news_id=12

Hydrogen is looking good too. witness this announced hydrogen car from Honda (h/t to Kim for the link). It even offers a "Home Energy Station", which will let you make your own Hydrogen from natural gas. No word yet on how much per mile this fuel will cost, but Hydrogen can also be made from water and solar power - which is free.


And if the price of Ethanol at the pump goes up too much, you can always make your own and sell it to your neighbors. Any medium sized farm could become a fairly efficient fuel producer, thus preventing today's fuel company Oligopoly and it's inevitable price gouging.

Of course that's ethanol's biggest problem - Exxon and BushCo are going to fight it tooth and nail. The Oil companies that finance so many Republicans (and a few Democrats) are not going to quietly watch their gravy train die, and I have no doubt this is where the "Gas is still cheapest" meme is coming from.

So the next time someone tries to tell you gas is still cheaper, point them to this page. Lets stop this BS in it's tracks. Cheap, clean energy for homes and cars is practical today - the only obstacle is the Energy companies. Nothing a good angry mob can't cure. You get the tar, I'll get the feathers.....


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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this.

There actually has been a small hydrogen producer available for some time -- you hook it up to electricity (preferably from a renewable source like wind or solar) and it makes hydrogen and oxygen from water. It's about 2 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet so you can easily put it in your garage and hook it to a wind generator or solar panel on the roof. We tried to get more info from them and they never answered our email, but we did see one in the museum exhibit called, I think it was called, Massive Change. [I would add a link, but I don't have it anymore since my computer ate everything....] It was about $2500. Once the early adopters start buying them, the price should start going down, and the technology will continue to improve. Right now, the biggest problem with the price of fuel cells is that they use [a very little] platinum. Last I heard they had found a promising natural nickel compound that might work as a substitute.


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jbartas
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 133
Location: Cupertino, California, U.S. of A!

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems LOTS of things are cheaper and better than gasoline. My local newspaper monopoly ran an interesting related article:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/columnists/14562149.htm

The thing that jumped out at me was that this girl could get 30 MPG pouring $2.40/gallon cooking oil in an old car with a $700 converter kit. Now for decades I've avoided diesels because A) they smelled bad, B) they were slow, and C) I learned that even biodiesel cost more than gas.

Turns out I'm wrong on all counts.

With gas prices over $3/Gal., biodiesel now looks like a bargain. The article mentioned the car actually smells good. And for a speed lover like me it was great to learn that a modern diesel can be a performance machine. I also was unaware that I could pour supermarket cooking oil straight into the gas, uh, FUEL tank.

The amount of trouble the gal in the article goes to scrounging oil from restaurants would not appeal to a lot of Motorists, however even paying $2.40 a gallon bottle it's an appealing alternative to gas. And both cars and fuel are available today. If the agriculture business can scale up production of any one of the vegetable oils mentioned then there's no reason to keep burning petroleum based fuels of any kind.


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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Honda has a hydrogen car coming out in three or four years. For the general public. A hydrogen maker available too (though it makes it from natural gas instead of water and solar).

http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/


and it's cute too.


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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: power from water Reply with quote

We just watched a couple of videos about cars that run on water. Two people, separately, have invented a way to extract hydrogen from water using a very very small amount of current. It has to do with vibrations at a particular frequency -- 44Khz.
The first one tried to get lots of patents, American and European. (He did get them supposedly). and he was probably murdered. Was poisoned while toasting a deal to use the technology. he said some car manufacturers had offered him a billion dollars to just sit on the invention.
The first guy's name was Stanley Meyer, and he's been "discredited". The question is who to believe? I can believe oil people would want to suppress this technology, but if it works, why wouldn't car makers jump at it? I would think it would sell more cars.... I can see them wanting to steal it, but I don't know why they would just hide it?
So, does that fact that we don't see it out there prove it didn't really work?
The other guy is in the Phillipines, and he wants to have it benefit his people (not his government. He specified that difference.) He says he has converted 100 cars and trucks to run on water.

Here's some links:


http://waterpoweredcar.com/archieblue.html



http://www.waterfuelcell.org/index.html



http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3333992194168790800


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