Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Energy And Terrorists

Everything you ever wanted to know about energy, albeit from a BBC perspective, is up for grabs at, where else?, BBC. And before we jump too far into exotics, look at the chart above.

Coal, oil gas ... coal, oil, gas ... coal, oil, gas. The red bar -- everything else -- goes from smidge to two smidges between now and 2030.

The increase in coal use is fine. Coal fires power plants, and as electricity replaces oil in transportation applications, we'll need more coal. The increase projected in oil and natural gas is troubling, because that means at its core that we will continue to put money in the hands of terror-supporting regimes.

War Footing, Frank Gaffney's team effort to lay out a 10-point plan to whup the forces of darkness, should they raise up to take our liberty away from us, moves energy independence to near the top. As much as I love my lusty, powerful German V8, I agree.

Gaffney and crew don't mess with exotics like fuel cells and fusion because we can't mess around; every petrodollar spent is pennies for terrorists. They also keep it simple because any quick solution to dependency on Middle Eastern oil will require using existing delivery infrastructure.

Not BBC, though. They go for the flawed logic of gadgets like the Honda FCX, left, an example of the fuel cell cars automakers are putting bunches of bucks into. Expensive and tricky, fiddling around with entirely new fuel systems, they're not where we should be putting our attention.

Gaffney's crew made me aware of plug-in hybrids, cars that unlike the Prius, are plugged into recharge the batteries that drive the electric motor that's tandem with the gas engine. For people who commute 20 miles or so to work, they're perfect and highly energy efficient.

Better still, they're possible today -- if it weren't for Toyota and Honda doing all they can to keep the technology at bay.

There's much more in the book at the "energy independence" link above. The chapter ends with a sense of urgency, which is all the more reason why the president's lame discussion of energy policy in the State of the Union was so upsetting.

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