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Turning Oil Into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice Paperback – September 8, 2009
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"A small masterpiece -- right on the money both strategically and technically, witty, far-sighted, and barbeques a number of sacred cows. Absolutely do not miss this." --R. James Woolsey, Former CIA Director
"The book is going to become the Bible for everyone who is serious about energy and national security." --Robert C. McFarlane, Former U.S. National Security Advisor
About the Author
Gal Luft and Anne Korin are two of America’s leading energy independence advocates. They are co-directors of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and founders of the Set America Free Coalition, a bipartisan alliance of national security, religious, business and environmental groups promoting U.S. energy independence. They have published numerous articles and studies on energy security, appeared before committees of the U.S. Congress and have advised members of congress, presidential candidates, media outlets and think tanks worldwide. They are co-authors of Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century.
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Top customer reviews
Most everything we buy involves a choice. This is not so at the gas station. Gasoline is currently an oil product, the raw material of which is mostly imported. The plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) could increase the MPG per gallon gasoline equivalent (mpgg) to over 100 mpgg. But the real difference will be made with the flex-fuel PHEV, which can run on many power sources, and with gasoline and several kinds of alcohols, which in turn can be made from many biological sources. These sources, also, need not compete in any heavy way with food production. The key to all this necessarily will be making the combustion and exhaust systems in the automobile sturdy enough to burn alcohols. The author estimates this improvement would only cost about $100 per car. Even at $200, this is a superior solution.
The necessary law that must be passed by Congress is the Open Fuel Standard, which has both House and Senate bills already considered. As above, this move would be "lightly borne by industry," as libertarian economists state it, and open the way to reducing the importance of oil trade. This in turn causes the largest benefit of making "oil into salt": vastly improved national security, and increased world economic prosperity. Until about 15% of our cars are flex-fuel, though, station owners will not be able to economically convert part of their facility to alcohols. Automakers have very often stated that they could indeed make half of their autos flex-fueled, say the authors. Get this most interesting and informative book, and a be treated to the last part where Luft and Korin opine that lithium may become the new strategic material, once electric-capable autos make their heavy debut!
There are however only two that really stand out: "Turning Oil Into Salt" by Luft & Korin and "Energy Victory" by Zubrin.
The title of this book, "Turning Oil Into Salt" takes a few minutes of thinking to appreciate what it really means.
Salt is an essential commodity for life. Once upon a time, it was so valuable that it was controlled by governments to allow them to collect high taxes. However, this book, "Turning Oil Into Salt" describes how free market forces made salt cheap, still essential, but very inexpensive.
The same thing applies to oil ... essential ... but we can use free market forces to make it cheap ... essential, but very inexpensive ... and at the same time, get out from under unstable regimes and bureaucracies around the world.
There are alternatives to becoming dependent on unstable governments for our oil and our energy ... and the authors describe them in detail.
Besides ethanol, there is also methanol. [Yes, you can't drink methanol, but you can't drink gasoline, either.]
For DETAILED descriptions of Flex-Fuel vehicles and how they work, read Zubrin's book "Energy Victory" and also visit his Web site of the same name. [You can build a Flex-Fuel car for about $100 more than a regular car.]
You also need to read Robert Bryce's book, "Power Hungry".
Read these three and you will have a very positive approach to energy in general and oil in particular.
We are not addicted to oil or to energy ... not any more than we are addicted to air. We need air to live, but we are not addicted to it.
Similarly, we need energy ... to grow food ... to provide transportation ... to light up our homes and to wash our clothes ... to bring water from where it occurs to where we live. So it is in our best interests to develop inexpensive energy, not controlled by unstable or micromanaging governments and bureaucracies ...
[Bureaucracy? Explain why all over the world, converting cars to CNG is a DIY project ... but in the USA, the EPA levies gargantuan fines if you try it. Kids demonstrate how easy it is on YouTube; but not under the EPA!]
And these two ... three ... books best describe how it can be done ... easily ... with free market forces.
This book offers one "game changing" strategy to break dependence upon foreign oil by substituting liquid fuels produced domestically and by friendly nations , at a cost of less than $100 per car utilizing existing and scalable technology. Concisely written in laymen's terms, history, politics, economic and scientific fact are presented along with a hopeful plan for Democracies to safeguard their future.
This should be mandatory reading for every member of Congress with a follow up quiz, the results of which should be published in all local newspapers around the country. Shame on Congress, for having failed to resolve this issue, apparent since the 1973 Oil Embargo and for hiding behind diversionary mumbo jumbo including such as "the Hydrogen Economy" and "Climate Change Legislation".