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Lv 7

The President says we need more alternative energy to reduce gas prices?

President Barack Obama says one answer to high gasoline prices is to spend money developing renewable energy sources.

"That's the key to helping families at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil" in the long term, he said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Is it Electric cars? - no one wants them. Even with subsidies using our tax dollars they don't sell well.

Is it more Ethanol? -I thought it just drives up food cost and uses to much conventional energy to produce.

Is it H2 fuel? - I understand it takes to much energy to produce also.

Is it Diesel cars like they have in Europe? - I thought our regulations would not allow them.

What is it? What is this Alternative energy source that will drive down the cost of oil and gasoline?


From my knowledge (I am very interested in this subject and have tried to study the subject) and the answers, it seems to me the President either is just talking like a typical politician from a speech on a teleprompter, knows little to nothing about the subject, or is an outright liar just trying to fool the people.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Electric cars are not ZEV's, Zero Emission Vehicles. Their "tailpipe" is the Central Power Station somewhere else. Factually, they run on coal. There will not be enough solar / wind in our lifetime (maybe someday) to run them.

    Currently, Ethanol takes more energy input to produce and deliver than it yields. It also is not a gallon for gallon replacement as it has 76100 Btu / gallon vs. 114000 Btu/ gallon of unleaded regular. About 67% as much. Add to that it's net effect on food prices as you mentioned. You would need to FORCE farmers to sell grains for food, or the price would have to reflect what is being paid for fuel grain.

    You are correct about Hydrogen fuel

    The world wide yield of Diesel / gallon of crude is diminishing, as much of the production is of the lighter variety. Diesel was less expensive than regular in 1990 when I purchased my first one, now it is 26% higher than regular in my market. It just became less economically viable despite the increased economy. The engines themselves have morphed as well thanks to EPA Tier IV regulations.

    Drilling makes sense, but so does conservation. I lived through the Carter rationing years, and sold all my big block 383 & 440 cu-in. V8 engines with dual 4 bbl. carbs, etc. and got into efficient vehicles for daily drivers 20 years ago. My bike gets 60 mpg. I am amazed that when the prices went down last year that people began buying the big stuff just like it was never going to happen again. There are also some technologies like ultra high compression supercharged gasoline engines with hp and torque approaching that of diesel for HD truck applications. These vehicles get 4 or so mpg so any savings is BIG with 100K miles / year driving habits.

    The answer will be a mix of technology, and conservation. There is no magic bullet.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have been wondering who is behind all those "The president says" advertisements on Yahoo. It has been some time since "the president" is much more than a charismatic figurehead to a rather large organization. To think otherwise may be a rather simplistic view of the world, but it is not clear if that is your view or how you view others. Taken in one way some may feel your question is offensive.

    You seem to have all the answers. Your question is an argumentative challenge to prove otherwise. I am not entirely sure it is possible to prove anything to someone who has already made up their minds. Are you familiar with the zen story of the teacup?1

    Do electric cars not sell well? What is selling "well?" Is it lots of big numbers? Or is it selling every car that is made?2 Would you condemn a baby because it does not speak well or does not walk well? Would you ask how can a baby do anything useful in this world? A simplistic view might.

    It is doubtful that any "alternative fuel" source will drive down the cost of oil and gas through competition. Demand for these products will continue to rise, overseas if not in the US. Supplies are marginal now. If we have reached the point of peak oil (3) then supplies will be ever shorter. Alternatives will only decrease demand if like electricity in an EV they are not able to be placed in the petrol engine.

    Some alternatives like tar sands or oil shale require a high price for oil to be profitable. Petrochemical companies want fuel to fill their filling stations for the public. It is in their interests to keep prices high. There are not enough players in the oil business to create the competition to drive prices down.

    Source(s): 1 2 " was reported that year-over-year sales for advanced-technology vehicles increased in the first quarter by nearly two-to-one compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles. To be more precise, electric and hybrid vehicle sales increased 37.2 percent from January through March compared to the same period in 2010. In contrast, sales for internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and trucks rose 20.2 percent." 3 as announce by the US military: see also :
  • 1 decade ago

    What he SAYS and what he DOES are, like most politicians, two different things.

    1. Reduced drilling in the US, (not issuing permits.)

    2. Supplied Brazil with 2 BILLION subsidy, to drill in OUR waters, (where US companies are NOT allowed to drill.)

    3. Agrees to the BUYING of MORE foreign oil over increasing US based supplies.

    Electric cars are, as yet, NOT practical outside of urban areas.

    IF/WHEN they can get ethanol from OTHER THAN food sources, AND lower production costs, it could prove useful.

    H2 ALSO requires different engines.

    Diesels DO have some problems with PETROLEUM based fuels. Note that the diesel was originally developed to run on PEANUT OIL since Germany had, and still has, a petroleum shortage.

  • 1 decade ago

    The previous President, George W. Bush, asked us to develop alternatives to gasoline to reduce our need on foreign oil long before he left office. So don't pretend like this is the 1st time a president has asked this.

    Diesel powered cars were tried in the 1980's. Once again, GM spearheaded the effort but they failed by converting gas engines to diesel instead of starting from scratch.

    Those years put a stigma on Diesel. Plus the noise and the one simple fact that you can't just buy diesel anywhere.

    The new diesels are superior but most manufactuers are afraid to bring it back to America, Ford and GM are now bringing there 49 mpg small foreign diesel engines to America but only in selected markets. So there still not mainstream.

    Diesel prices topped Gasoline for the 1st time 5 years ago and I blame it on oil company greed. But I am sold on diesel as a 1 ton dually diesel pick-up truck get's better city mileage than a V6 Camry now!

    You can't force technology. The technology you have, you have to sell/market to the general public.

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  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The one thing that will reduce our dependency on foreign oil is domestic drilling. There is more oil in the US than in the middle east. We just won't let the oil companies go after it. It might increase the supply and reduce the price if we do...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    what obama was talking about is fuel like bio diesel made from algae and there are cars they came out with fifteen years ago that r too expensive for must of us still yet at 4.2 million dollars a piece but he also wants to find more ways to make water powered cars cheaper for the general public and it can even recycle the water when it comes out as vaper it has a special thing to catch most of it so that it can use the same water time and time again before it needs to be refueled with more water that u can find almost anywhere for free

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    He has said many thing that are not correct, like saying that he only visited 57 states while he was campaigning for President. He is an idiot so I would not pay much attention to what he says.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There is no set in stone answer. Perhaps a combination as it would reduce our dependence on

    foreign fossil fuel imports.

  • paul h
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The problem is that no one puts the right information on the teleprompter..

    "Is Garbage The Solution To Tackling Climate Change?

    ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2009) — Converting the rubbish that fills the world’s landfills into biofuel may be the answer to both the growing energy crisis and to tackling carbon emissions, claim scientists in Singapore and Switzerland. New research published in Global Change Biology: Bioenergy, reveals how replacing gasoline with biofuel from processed waste could cut global carbon emissions by 80%"

    Biofuels from algae, CO2 are renewable, sequester carbon and reduce oil imports...

    "Requiring only sunlight and waste CO2, this system can produce renewable diesel fuel in virtually unlimited quantities at costs as low as $30/barrel equivalent, overcoming the challenges of oil exploration and production"

    "Process in Big-Screen Plasma TVs Can Produce Ultra-Clean Fuel

    "It described a small, low-tech, inexpensive device called a GlidArc reactor that uses electrically-charged clouds of gas called "plasmas" to produce in three steps super-clean fuels from waste materials. One is a diesel fuel that releases 10 times less air pollution than its notoriously sooty, smelly conventional counterpart."

    Diesel vehicles like the VW Passat BlueMotion or Mini Cooper D get around 70-80 mpg peak...Opel Eco-speedster concept race car around 130 mpg...

    Hydrogen nanopellets flow like liquid... less storage issues.

    "Synthetic Gasoline For $1.50/Gallon and No Emissions"

    Hydrogen from urea (urine)...urea has two extra molecules of H than water and is easier to disassociate...less energy required.

    "Forget gas, batteries — pee is new power source

    Scientists can create cheap hydrogen from urine for use in fuel cells "

    Hydrogen from saltwater using radiowaves...

    Salt-water crops could open up a half-million miles of extra land to produce renewable biofuels like ethanol.....alleviating issues with food crops

    EV's have limited range and widespread use would require much investment in updating the reactors can be seup closer to where the power is needed and are safer less, expensive than other nuclear sites, cheaper and cleaner than coal, cheaper and more reliable than wind or solar, etc.. Rare earth minerals and lithium required to make motors and batteries for EV's or hybrids are in short supply and demand/price would skyrocket if EV's become more prevalent...China is already hoarding rare earths and Bolivia has 50 percent of world reserves of lithium.

    Source(s): ..Development of Tiny Thorium Reactors Could Wean the World Off Oil In Just Five Years" "Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes £13m shed-size reactors will be delivered by lorry" Bio-butanol is another renewable alternative energy source and is compatible with gas engines and infrastructures , closer to gasoline than ethanol in energy content.... Saltwater crops... A good site with lots of info on green various issues/technologies...
  • 1 decade ago

    Well what I say is drill drill drill for more oil!!!

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