The Automakers, Congress, and other unfortunately relevant 3rd parties

Another article appeared today in USA TODAY discussing congresses efforts to reach the "25% of the nation’s energy needs me with renewable fuels by 2025".  It’s the kind of article that appears about 10X daily now, mixing quotes from industry, politicos, and other talking heads.

Bill Ford even chimed in with, "If we want to be a game changer, and a game changer in very short term and in big numbers, then ethanol is a very good play for this country."  Great update Bill.  I wish Ford was in a better position to affect change.  How about putting the $200 in parts into most vehicles you make and simply charging a $300 surcharge on EVERY car called the "E85 Flex Fuel Option"?  Great margin, great idea, great execution. 

Lets face it, the key factors preventing widespread instant adoption of E85 are 1) supply 2) transportation of ethanol and 2) the availability of pumps.

We’re handling #1 with Venture Capital so done deal.  #2 is something that I’m addressing with a new start-up.  If we added the "government incentives" to #3 meaning,

"If we reallocate the money that we take from everyone in the US (taxes) and give it to another set of businesses that we like (incentive), then we could achieve widespread adoption as quickly as people can manufacture the equipment and install the new tank/pump assemblies."

Really, look at the pork that flies in the US or the spending bills that get through with very little effort.  I don’t even flinch anymore when I hear "Congress or the President has introduced a $286 million bill designed to blah blah blah."  So, just cook up one of those bills and fund the installation of E85 pumps nationwide.  Yes, I’m advocating an incentive to a business segment.  I’d even accept a new tax to achieve this and that’s REALLY different for me.

I’m actually starting to let the "Lobbying and Big Oil are preventing this from happening behind the scenes through dinner meetings over Silver Oak Cab and a 24oz bone in rib eye at the Capitol Grill," argument creep into my head.    You know, how much is it worth to the oil companies to spend $XXX million to keep this transition put off for even 1 extra day at current market conditions?  Someone has done the math. I would. 

This is a wonderful time.  Coming from CA, I never uttered the word Ethanol until President Bush’s State of Union Address in Feb.  Now, I’m deeply involved and the nation, both left and right leaning, are finding common ground.  We can overcome the political wrangling and back door deals with venture capital, ideas, and the juice that makes America the most amazing place.  Could we not achieve total energy independence in 10 years, sparking incredible technology growth and economic prosperity?  Of course we could. 

We need today’s equivalent of the  "Put a man on the moon" speech to spark this fire. 

Change is in the air…and it smells like sweet corn and moonshine.



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