To take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by technology, some political foresight and will are required. Presently, natural gas is undergoing a politically induced demand problem. This demand problem could be solved if Congress added methanol to the list of acceptable fuels and mandated that all new vehicles sold in our markets be fitted for fuel competition.
Unlike the 2016 CAFE target of 38.5 miles per gallon, such ends can be achieved with existing technologies for a minimal cost of $100 per vehicle. Ford is selling cars in Brazil already equipped to use the full range of competitive fuels.
With such a minor policy tweak starting at the gas tank, investors would provide the billions needed to build natural-gas-to-methanol conversion plants, and gas stations looking to serve price-conscious consumers could justify giving methanol a place on their pumps.
It sounds like an idea that a democracy facing a fiscal cliff might want to give a fair shake as part of the effort to save itself from itself. Until Ms. Korin and Mr. Luft are summoned to be co-czars, we have the wisdom of “Petropoly” and the ideas coming forth from the American Alcohol Association, which they have founded to engage and counter America’s abundant “can’t do” forces.
David DesRosiers is president of Revere Advisors.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America