The Renewable is Doable Challenge

I agree that gas prices are ridiculously priced?ridiculously priced low. Whether we want to accept it or not, fossil fuels are not eternal. They are mortal. Whether we want to accept it or not, consumption is increasing. It is not stabilizing. Whether we want to accept it or not, oil production in a few years, probably during the next lucky President's term, will peak as consumption continues to climb.

When that occurs, watch out. Prices will soar and the United States 'addiction' will be fully felt as we scramble for a fix, shaking and sweating while waiting on long lines from short supply.The sad truth has been and continues to be American gasoline and other fossil fuel products have been under priced.

If it were priced correctly, we'd have a greater understanding of the true urgency. Instead, like everything else, it has been politicized. Instead, the President wants to increase production, decrease anti-pollutant constraints, tap into Alaskan reserves, and investigate the big oil executives. Oh yeah, and put a human on Mars. And except for the Mars challenge, "Washington's Worstest" are in campaign lockstep with lowering prices and blaming every non-constituent in sight.I don't know.

I hate the $3.00 a gallon as much as the next guy but when I step back and look at the facts, we have been living in a dream world. There is a reason why people in Amsterdam ride bicycles to work and the grocery store. Gasoline costs $7.00 a gallon in the Netherlands.

And we wonder why the Europeans think we are a bunch of whiners.We are spoiled little gas brats. And rather than accept this fact, we want mommy and daddy to make it go away. So just like the fiscal deficit and the trade deficit, the oil deficit will be pushed to our kids and grandchildren to figure out.

You know folks, we are selfishly really setting them up for a big surprise, one they may not be able to recover from.Look, I'm in favor of trying to hold prices down just as they have been held down artificially for ever. I'm not suggesting we suddenly knock the price up to $4-$5 overnight. I'll even go along with this lunacy but only if we are serious about the "addiction" our President has so correctly pointed out in the "intervention" he arranged for us.The funny thing is though, you don't end an addiction by creating more of the dependency and selling it cheaper.

Can you imagine the success rate if that were the approach to cigarettes or alcohol or drug abuse? You end an addiction by stopping. It bears repeating. You end an addiction by stopping.I keep getting back to the same simple solution. It is the Man on the Moon challenge all over again, except there is so much more at stake if we fail.

I'll call it the "Renewable is Doable" challenge. By the year 2012 (to coincide with the end of the next President's first term), we must have a commercially ready engine using renewable fuels that emits zero pollutants and greenhouse gases. It will be a federally funded and controlled project, no different than the Apollo project.

This is where we, the addicts and dealers, all put some skin in the game, the funding will come from us. The addicts will pay a per gallon federal surcharge on all fossil fuels consumed (e.g. ten cents) and the dealers will pay a tax on energy producing profits exceeding some modest percentage of some moderate quarterly profit gain. By the way dealers, the cost of the profit tax may not be passed along to the addicts.

And here is where we get our illustrious politicians to ante up. The "Renewable is Doable" challenge must be a part of any 2008 Presidential Candidate's promise. It also must be a part of any Senator's or Congressperson's promise too, starting in 2006. If it's not part of the campaign, they will feel the pain?no votes.There really is so much at stake with this one issue: wars, economies, environmental problems. We need to make a stand now! Challenge our ingenuity! Challenge or leaders! Challenge ourselves!.

I'm beggin' ya. Please email this article to your elected officials.If you have any other ideas, I'm all ears. We do not have that much time.


This article was written by the normally subdued Robert Crane. Rather than plug my webpage, I'm asking you to email the article to your representatives asap.To locate your congressional leaders by zipcode: http://www. email is

By: Robert Crane


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