Pickens: “the largest transfer of wealth in human history.”
In recent weeks, America’s airwaves have been deluged by messages placed by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, warning that the country is being taken for $700 billion for foreign oil this year, with still more to follow, a devastating loss amounting to
While very shocking, the Pickens ads are in fact understated, because the OPEC oil cartel is not just looting the United States, but the whole world, and will accumulate over $1.5 trillion in net profits this year. The entire U.S. Fortune 500 is worth $18 trillion. At their current rate of take, OPEC will acquire enough cash to buy majority control of every leading company in the United States within six years. This is a direct threat to American independence. “It’s wrecking our economy,” Pickens says. He’s right about that too.
[..] So the Pickens plan, as written, won’t work. Fortunately, however, there is a way to modify it so that it can. The key is for Congress to pass a bill, such as the current Open Fuel Standards Act (S.3303, HR.6559) requiring that all new cars sold in the U.S. be fully flex-fueled — that is, capable of running equally well on gasoline, ethanol, and methanol. Such technology is currently available and only adds about $100 to the cost of a car (in contrast to CNG capability, which adds about $2,000). The reason why establishing a full flex-fuel standard is the answer is that methanol — a very safe and practical liquid vehicle fuel — can be made from a vast array of feedstocks, including not only natural gas, but also coal, recycled urban trash, and any kind of biomass without exception.
So if a bold wind or nuclear energy initiative can in fact free up enough natural gas to make a difference to the vehicle fuel market, flex-fuel cars can readily make use of it in a much safer and more practical form as methanol. But if not, then we — and the rest of the world (since an American flex-fuel requirement would effectively make flex-fuel the international standard, as all foreign car makers would need to switch their lines over to conform to it) — would also be able to make our fuel from a wide array of alternative resources. Indeed, we have enough known coal reserves for hundreds of years’ worth of supply, and enough crop residues available globally that, converted into methanol, could replace all the oil of OPEC. The key is not to pick one particular fuel resource, but to open the fuel market to all comers. Setting a flex-fuel vehicle standard is the quickest and most efficient way to achieve that goal.
By creating such a true free open-source fuel market, we can make it possible for every nation to contribute to the world’s fuel supply, breaking the monopoly power of the oil cartel, everywhere and forever.