Oil-Free Transportation Looms Large On The Horizon

Date: 11 Mar 2008 | posted in: Energy, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For Immediate Release



New Report Proposes Key Policies That Can Ensure Energy Independence

Minneapolis, Minn.– (March 11, 2008).  Congress has paved the way to an oil-free transportation system, says a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The Energy Independence and Security Act, passed by Congress in December 2007, contains two far-reaching mandates, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence contends. “The Act’s vehicle efficiency mandate will force car companies to hybridize most of their new vehicles which makes it possible for plug-in hybrids to use electricity as their primary fuel,” claims David Morris, ILSR’s Vice President. “The biofuels mandate will result in the production of sufficient biofuels to meet nearly 100 percent of the fuel needed to run the backup engine.”

Driving Our Way to Energy Independence envisions a 75-25 split between electric miles driven on electricity and biofueled miles, noting, “Once drivers have the ability to fill up with electricity, they will, because an electric powered mile costs only 3 cents, while a gasoline powered mile costs over 15 cents.”

“An electric-biofuel transportation system is nearly oil free,” says Morris, “since only 2 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated with oil, and oil only a fraction of the energy needed to grow crops and covert them into biofuels.”

The report stresses that electric-biofuel vehicles and policies that support them can transform not only our transportation system, but make our agricultural and electric systems more democratic. “Energy consumers can become energy producers,” Morris observes. “Millions of electric vehicles will have sufficient storage capacity to overcome the intermittency problem of renewable energy. When the wind blows and the sun shines, the electricity generated by household solar arrays and locally owned wind turbines will be stored in these batteries for later use.”

“The future is now,” Morris insists. “Congress is currently designing new incentives for energy and agriculture. They should do so with an eye toward achieving not only energy and environmental goals, but economic and social goals as well. Ironically, the car, the driving force behind our current energy and environmental crises, may well become the vehicle for a more democratic and environmentally benign energy system.”

The full report, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, is available online

About ILSR: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to advance sustainable, equitable, and community-centered economic development through research and educational activities and technical assistance. More at http://www.ilsr.org

Avatar photo
Follow David Morris:
David Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR's distinguished fellow. His five non-fiction books range from an analysis of Chilean development to the future of electric power to the transformation of cities and neighborhoods.  For 14 years he was a regular columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. His essays on public policy have appeared in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington PostSalonAlternetCommon Dreams, and the Huffington Post.