Robert Zubrin, the author of the book, Energy Victory, published an article in The American Oil and Gas Reporter. In the article, Zubrin makes many excellent points, a few of which I highlight below.
Zubrin points out that the U.S. is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production, but it's not translating into lower prices for fuel.
When drilling for oil, natural gas comes up too, but the price for oil
is so high compared to natural gas that the gas is often flared — that
is, simply burned on site just to get rid of it.
If we had vehicles warranted to burn methanol, gasoline would have to compete with methanol fuel at the pump, which would bring the price of gasoline down to compete, making natural gas more valuable and worth capturing and selling (rather than wasting it by simply flaring it).
With fuel prices lower, the price of almost everything else would be lower (transportation costs are factored into the price of almost everything). Most Americans would have significantly more spending money. The economic consequences would be tremendous.
And the consequences to Americans' health might be equally tremendous. Zubrin writes, "Methanol burns cleaner than gasoline with much lower particulate pollution." In Zubrin's famous methanol experiment, he measured the difference between gasoline and methanol. "The Cobalt (a non-flex-fuel car) running on methanol was super clean, outperforming by orders of magnitude both the strict Colorado emissions standards and the national EPA averages. Carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by 35 percent." Carbon monoxide emissions were eliminated altogether when using methanol.
What did Zubrin have to do to his non-flex-fuel car to make it capable of burning methanol? He had to enable the flex fuel software already installed on his car's computer (it was installed but disabled) and he had to replace a fuel pump seal. That's it. The new seal cost him 41 cents.
This all sounds almost too good to be true, and it almost is. Because of outdated EPA regulations, methanol cannot compete with gasoline in a fair and open market — yet. But this could be changed very quickly, says Zubrin, by passing the Open Fuel Standard in Congress.
Robert Zubrin has immense credentials. He's the president of Pioneer Energy, a fellow with the Center for Security Policy, and a former engineer with Lockheed. He holds Master's degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and a PhD in nuclear engineering. He's done the experiments and the verdict is undeniable: Robust fuel competition in America is now a very real possibility. And you can help make it happen. If enough people knew about it, things could change very quickly. Let's get the word out. Let's get people fired up on this imminently achievable possibility that could literally change the world.