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Defending Cheaper, Cleaner | Oil Watchdog

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Defending Cheaper, Cleaner

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Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Defending Cheaper, Cleaner

    3-19-08 by dugan

     

     

    There’s no single path to an affordable and clean energy future, and
    that’s a good thing. After all, the monoculture of petroleum dependence
    has brought us $4.00 a gallon gasoline, disappearing polar bears and a
    nasty web of dictators supported by oil. The imperfections of single
    alternatives, from electric cars to ethanol, don’t add up to a
    reason not to try them all, and perfect what works to achieve
    ample energy that is both cheaper and cleaner. A commentary today
    in Forbes Magazine by alt-energy funder and guru Vinod Khosla makes the
    point elegantly, and indirectly, about transportation fuels. Here’s his
    analysis on the cost side:

    "What is the cheapest way in dollars per ton to reduce carbon emissions
    from automobiles? For new, cleaner technologies to make a material
    penetration of the market, they must make up their higher up-front
    costs with reduced fuel costs, so that the monthly payments (car plus
    fuel) are comparable with that of current market options."

    He
    notes that hybrids are good, but not yet really cost-efficient, and
    that technologies well along in development may drastically
    increase both the power and MPG of internal combustion engines, running
    on either gasoline or biofuels. Khosla is sunny about their possibility
    for large-scale production. But an independent documentary, "GasHole,"
    that’s making the rounds in a rough cut reminds us that promising
    engine technologies have been discovered–and buried–many times over.

    It’s
    up to investors like Khosla, and oil skeptics everywhere, to make sure
    that government is on the side of variety and that Big Oil’s attacks on
    all things new don’t succeed. 

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