Monday, March 17, 2008

The Most Radical Idea This Century?

I was poking around MSN and came across the latest article on the price of gas. So I got thinking, other than everyone doing the obvious things such as drive less, trade in the pig for the hybrid (a horse and buggy would be cheaper), all the little things that will not help, what could be done on a grand scale to end our dependency on foreign oil?

Outlaw the internal combustion engine for private transportation.

Want to reduce green house gases? The U.S. Congress should pass legislation that would require all private conveyance to use an alternative energy by say 2030? OK, call me crazy. I like my gas guzzler as much as the next guy. But viable alternatives are just not available, and what is available is cost prohibitive on most budgets.

A mandated prohibition date would force the industry to stop building fossil fuel burning vehicles, and force them to concentrate on alternatives now. Cities, towns, states, local and federal transportation money would be diverted to support public transportation. Think train tracks along every major road. If you've been to Germany then you know that trains and buses go almost everywhere. Gasoline stations would become hydrogen and natural gas stations, and also have available electric charging bays.

Of course, the oil companies and the auto makers will not let this happen without a huge fight. And their lobbying power may be too much for a buyable congress to deal with even if such legislation came to the floor. We all know if we don't do something, something drastic to break only dependency on OPEC, that gasoline will reach a point that we will not be able to afford to drive at all.

As we have seen, and continue to see, the cost of oil (now over $110 a barrel), have a ripple effect on everything else in our economy. And if necessity is the mother of invention, then I say we need a drastic change.

John Crawford

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