From James Woosley, former head of America’s Central Intelligence Agency, in today’s Wall Street Journal
Bet on major progress toward independence, spurred by market forces and a portfolio of rapidly developing oil-replacing technologies
Subsidizing expensive substitutes for petroleum, ignoring the massive infrastructure costs needed to fuel family cars with hydrogen, searching for a single elegant solution–none of this has worked, nor will it. Instead we should encourage a portfolio of inexpensive fuels, including electricity, that requires very little infrastructure change and let its components work together: A 50 mpg hybrid, once it becomes a plug-in, will likely get solidly over 100 mpg of gasoline (call it “mpgg”); if it is also a flexible fuel vehicle using 85% ethanol, E-85, its mpgg rises to around 500.
The market will likely operate to expand sharply the use of these technologies that are already in pilot plants and prototypes and heavily reduce oil use in the foreseeable future. And given the array of Wahhabis, terrorists and Ahmadinejad-like fanatics who sit atop the Persian Gulf’s two-thirds of the world’s conventional oil, such reduction will not be a disservice to the nation.