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Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil

4.6 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1591025917
ISBN-10: 1591025915
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Editorial Reviews


"Energy Victory is one of the best books written on our oil dependence problem. The solutions it offers are economically, technologically, and politically feasible. They should be heeded as an insurance policy against the next energy crisis that is already looming on the horizon." -- Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2009 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

As prices at the pump ratchet up, the international oil cartel will continue to reap record profits. For the average American, this may simply seem to be simply a blow to the family budget. But what if much of the hundreds of billions of dollars consumers exchange for filling up their tanks went to funding terrorist organizations, terror-state nuclear weapons programs, and the indoctrination of legions of children to fanatical hatred? What if politicians, diplomats, and business leaders knowingly allowed these shocking relations to continue, all the while accepting stock options and partying it up with superrich foreign oil potentates? As long as America keeps running on gas, we will be paying for our own destruction.

In Energy Victory, world-renowned engineer and best-selling author Robert Zubrin exposes the scandalous state of energy affairs in America, and the political fakers and scientific charlatans who have for decades done little except to distract the public from truly practical alternatives to petroleum with shams and delusions: Hydrogen cars? They'd be impossible to fuel cost effectively. Conservation? It's a failing strategy so long as the enemy controls the only fuel. Zubrin's plan for energy victory is straightforward and practical. He argues that if Congress passed a law requiring that all new cars sold in the USA be flex-fueled--that is, able to run on any combination of gasoline or alcohol fuels--this one action would destroy the vertical monopoly that the oil cartel has maintained on the globe's transportation fuel supply. Within three years of enactment, such a regulation would put 50 million cars on the road in the USA capable of running on high-alcohol fuels, and at least an equal number overseas, stopping future petroleum price extortion by opening the fuel market up to competition from ethanol and methanol produced by farmers worldwide.

Instead of sending our fuel dollars as tribute to counties with ties to terrorism, we could be using them to help agriculture here and abroad, boosting our own economy and funding world development. Furthermore, by switching to alcohol fuels, which pollute less than gasoline and are made from plants that draw carbon dioxide from the air, this plan would facilitate the worldwide economic growth required to eliminate global poverty without the fear of greenhouse warming.

Energy Victory offers an exciting vision for a dynamic new energy policy, which will safeguard our liberties by truly winning the war on terror.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (November 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025917
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William J. Wolski on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Zubrin forcefully postulates that a complete switch to ethanol and methanol fuel, replacing Mideast Oil, particularly from the Saudis, is America's answer to true Energy Independence.

Starting with forced conversions to flex fuel for all new vehicles sold in the U.S.--doubly more ambitious than the Administration's exhortations to the Big Three Automakers that half their annual production be flex-fuel- capable by 2012--alcohol fuels based on flex-ubiquity, Zubrin contends, would quickly supplant petroleum as the dominant fuel source.

Using a methodical historical narrative, Zubrin traces the flow of petrodollars from the U.S. to Osama Bin Laden. A petro-feed to hatred of the West, the route carries us through the Saudi Royal Family's support of radical Islam, its strict fundamentalist teachings and zealotry traced to Ibn Abdul Wahhab and Bin Laden.

7.5 million barrels a day of alcohol fuels, a tough but attainable goal, is the counter balance that leads us to Zubrin's Energy Victory.

Laced with facts and figures and some easy math, it's sure to devolve to the policy points of some presidential candidate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Zubrin's book could not be more relevant to the current political scene. The compromise energy bill is moving toward a vote in both the House and Senate. A simple majority is assured, but will it be filibustered to death or vetoed by the President? A few more Republican votes would assure passage over against such resistance, and Zubrin's book just might produce that effect.

Zubrin is quite hawkish in his views about the current world-wide struggle by the democratic West against "Islamofascism." His critique of Wahhabism (the puritanical version of Islam widely affirmed within the ruling elite of Saudi Arabia) seems well grounded. (He draws heavily for his historical interpretation of Islam on the writing of Ibn Waqrraq, whom I believe to be quite reliable.) He then draws an analogy between the vulnerability of the Nazis and the Japanese to the American attacks on their sources of oil in World War II, to our vulnerability to "Islamofascism" in the current war on terrorism. (He opines, for example, that the reason the first President Bush did not provide air support for the Kurds and Shiites who rose against Saddam Hussein after the First Gulf War, was because the Saudi's were able to enforce their desires on us through back channel threats of oil disruptions.)

What is his solution to this threat by the Saudis to our political autonomy? Simply develop bio-fuels in the form of methanol and/or ethanol as a substitute for petroleum as a transportation fuel.

This solution has been on the table since the Carter admisistration. But it has been negated every time it has gotten close to implementation by two countervailing forces.
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Format: Hardcover
Zubrin's idea is to foster the use of METHANOL ... [ which is NOT the same as ethanol ].

Methanol is cheaper than gasoline, uses less energy to make than ethanol, it is less toxic than gasoline, easier to make than gasoline, ... and IT HAS BEEN USED AS RACING FUEL for many years!!!

The technology for making methanol has been around for maybe a hundred years.

What we really need are some catchy bumber stickers about Methanol.

If each state governor would mandate that every car sold in his or her state had to be able to burn Flex Fuel, the problem of dependence on Middle East oil would be solved almost immediately. It would take only weeks to start rolling Flex Fuel cars off the assembly lines. And it would take six months to a couple of years for the production of methanol to ramp up. In fact, you wouldn't even need EVERY state governor to mandate cars be equipped with Flex Fuel-friendly fuel systems. Perhaps the Governors of California, New York and Massachusetts could start the ball rolling.

The cost of modifying the cars would be minimal. And the free market system would automatically start providing the methanol as soon as enough Flex Fuel cars arrived on the scene.

And if the other countries of the world were to similarly mandate that cars sold in their countries be equipped for Flex Fuel, they would then have the option of enjoying the virtues and benefits of competition between oil producers and methanol producers. Every country can produce methanol using waste agricultural products ... wood chips from fast growing hybrid poplars, for example. Or using waste streams from garbage. Or from coal. The technology is there.

Everyone with an interest in Energy independence should buy and read this book.
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As a chemical engineer, the unqualified cabal of lawyers, economists, and journalist who seem to be directing the nation's energy policy continually shocks me. With no understanding of engineering problem solving or the path of progress of technology, they are not able to visualize a prioritized path of solvable steps. Zubrin accomplishes this for them and creates a clear path of action.

Our energy problems break down into three areas
1. The disastrous effects of the bleeding of our economy and strategic positioning due to the reliance upon petroleum from unstable sources for transportation fuels
2. The adverse environmental effects of a coal based electrical system
3. A longer-term possibility of severe global climate change.

A massive disinformation campaign against any solution that would reduce the power of the global petroleum industry has added to the confusion. Zubrin also clearly addresses this problem.

Zubrin breaks these issues into a prioritized plan directed at all three areas in order of urgency and our ability to solve. It is essential that (1) be immediately solved to establish the strength to attack (2) and (3). He states that this can be largely accomplished by shifting a significant portion of our transportation fuels to an alcohol mix of methanol and ethanol, using existing technology. One simple but far reaching requirement for this is to mandate that all new vehicles sold in the US immediately be flex fuel capable. Add in some price protection for biofuels in the case that OPEC would drop prices drastically to try to kill the industry and US enterprise and competition will take over.
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