Cutting to the Core

Energy crisis easy to fix

I'm no expert, but this current energy crisis the world is experiencing just doesn't make sense to me.

The oil companies say it's not their fault gasoline prices are at record highs. OPEC claims the same. Who's telling the truth?

It doesn't seem that hard to fix in my eyes. I believe the answer is to stop using so much oil. How do we do that?

Well we use wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power. I guess the key would be nuclear and hydro power. I don't see the harm in building more nuclear facilities with today's technologies. I think it can be done in a safe manner.

The same can be said for dams. Why can't an environmentally friendly dam be built? The initial cost might be higher but wouldn't the returns be worth it. And by returns I mean cheap power.

As for weaning ourselves from oil that's the easiest. Besides our need for petroleum based products we could drastically limit our use of oil to fuel vehicles by using hydrogen fuel cell technology.

It already exists and Honda is already leasing these cars in three cities in Southern California. Why only in California? Because that's where the fueling stations for these vehicles currently are. According to Honda's website, when the hydrogen supply infrastructure expands, Honda will make a greater number of these vehicles available.

The FCX Clarity, as Honda calls it, runs on electricity generated by water. No gasoline is required and the vehicle runs with zero emissions. The Clarity has a top speed of 100 mph and can travel approximately 280 miles before refueling is needed.

Sounds pretty cool doesn't it? Who wouldn't want one of these. Not only does it run on hydrogen (water) fuel, but it releases zero emissions.

So why aren't there hydrogen fueling stations in every town across America? Good question. I was talking with a mechanic that works for Honda the other day and he said the folks in Washington D.C. are dragging their heels on it.

How he knows this I don't know, but I do know I hear from a lot of politicians how we need to drill for more oil. Why? Doesn't this new technology make oil-based vehicles obsolete?

Sure, until a semi-truck is made that runs on hydrogen fuel cell technology there will always be a place for diesel fueled vehicles but there would be a lot less diesel and gasoline vehicles on the streets if everyone had the opportunity to drive a Clarity.

With our demand for oil limited to only semi-trucks or buses, we ourselves could probably pump enough oil in America's existing wells to meet the limited demand. If we could decrease our demand for oil by 60 percent this would increase supply on the world oil scene, causing the price to plummet, which would make me happy.

I don't like paying $4 for a gallon of gas but I absolutely loathe the fact that my fuel dollars are making America's enemies rich. Do we really have one friend in OPEC?

So for the Democrats who think we don't need to do anything I say pull your heads out. And for the Republicans who think drilling new oil wells in Alaska is the solution, I say stop being so greedy.

If we let oil companies drill in ANWAR each barrel of oil will be sold for the world price, which is currently hovering around $140. Relief at the pump won't be found.

I don't have a problem with drilling in Alaska but if it's not going to help why do it?

The only way out of this problem is to cut our oil use and the easiest way to do that as I see it, is hydrogen fuel cell technology.

It's available now, so why aren't we taking advantage of it? Why are we still suffering? And why isn't Washington D.C. buzzing about this?

It makes me wonder who the politicians are really trying to help, us or OPEC.


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