Energy Solution Today - Improved version
Do you agree that the Nation’s objectives are:
1. Reduce our dependency on foreign oil, by using less
2. Improve World climate concerns through reduction in fossil fuel consumption
3. Encourage and promote the development of alternative fuel solutions in both the transportation sector and the energy sector.
4. Keep America growing, moving forward, and secure.
If the Congress can agree these are the objectives, then I propose some ideas to think about that will bring the 4 key groups to the table and participate in solving this problem. Congress is Group 1, the key and influential representatives in Congress. Group 2 are the energy companies. Group 3 is business/industry and Group 4 is the public consumer.
Here are ideas we need to talk about, discuss, & act upon. I welcome your thoughts & advise.
1.) First and most difficult, but extremely effective is to reduce the National speed limit back to 55 mph. 80% of Americans speed; which wastes more gasoline. Reducing speed limits from 70 mph to 55 mph saves about 17% in fuel (EIA and DOE). This is a real test for the environmentalist in Congress. 55 mph speed limit is easy to do and has major powerful benefits to solving all the objectives above. First it affects all 250,000,000 registered vehicles in the US, which no other alternative does. Second, it saves consumers money...17% or more in lower fuel bills. Third, it is safer for the driving public resulting in less deaths and injury. Lastly, it creates a much needed awareness that we, the public, have a very important role in this solution and conservation of energy. The situation today is far more serious than in the 70’s. Doing this will result in a very significant reduction in gasoline consumed...which is what everyone in Congress wants. But something must change, so change the speed limit.
2.) Michigan's Senator Levin proposed to move car CAFE to 36 mpg by 2025 and truck CAFE to 30 mpg by 2022, is good but mild compared to taking today’s cars and trucks and reducing max speed limits to 55 mph which results in an effective 34.3 mpg for today’s cars and 27 mpg for today’s trucks (based on 20% reduction in fuel). But instead of effecting just the 17M new cars and trucks, the new speed limit affects all 250,000,000 registered cars and trucks on the highway. WOW!
3.) Move towards making E20 the standard fuel for automobiles. Montana is pushing for EPA’s help on this. This would take a number of years to accomplish and hopefully researchers may be able to find an additive that would allow all cars past, present and future to use E20. (this is more correct than the blog entry below) E10 or gasohol is pretty much the standard fuel at gas stations and every auto manufacturer in the world approves use of E10 in their vehicles. E20 would by its composition eliminate 20% of the oil we are consuming. E20 is higher in octane and could eliminate the need to have regular, mid-grade and premium at the pumps. Economies of scale will help drive the cost down too. The energy companies need to take this on and get moving away from only oil solutions.
4.) a.) Auto companies need to work with making E20 the universal fuel. E85 can still be blended from E20. Now the “chicken and egg” problem with ethanol is gone and the OEM’s can improve their fuel economies for real to avoid the Federal penalties for not meeting current CAFE. Fuel economy will have to increase to make up the loss from using 20% ethanol. The AMFA 2005 is no longer necessary.
b.) Fleets, according to EPAct 1992 need to be held accountable for using “real” alternative fuel vehicles. Flex fuel vehicles should get AFV credits only to the percentage of E85 they use. Currently less than 1% of the time do they actually use E85. This is not the intent Congress wanted, so let’s fix it. Similarly, the OEM’s get a huge break on their CAFE (AMFA of 2005) by using FFV that are not burning E85. Fix this too, and fuel economy improves for real reasons.
5.) Restore the income tax credit incentive for electric vehicles, this expired last year and needs to be extended. Electric vehicles offer a natural environmental transportation solution that does not require anything to be burned. EV’s could be available soon; they need your help. Electric Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) where used as a replacement for a gas car or truck, should be allowed to count as an alternative fuel vehicle for fleets; EPA does not allow this. This must be fixed. We are a company in Michigan that will soon be building a LSV in Detroit and employing 200 workers plus another 600 in support of our plant! Fleets are the first market and they should get credit for using these in their fleets for city operations.
I believe we need to be proactive in our Country’s quest for reduced oil and energy consumption. Please consider and talk about these changes. It is another approach. We know the problems are serious and in order for change, something new must happen. This is a solid solution which is powerful in terms of accomplishing the objectives. I urge your support of this!