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Citing President-Elect Obama’s plan to put one million, American-made, 150-mpg electric vehicles on the road by 2015, the University of Michigan’s taxpayer-funded Phoenix Energy Institute has announced a new $365,000 program to “tell the difference between inspired and misguided” technologies that will “break our addiction to fossil fuels.”

“Too many proposed solutions to the energy crisis have crumbled because of unintended consequences,” says Gary Was, director of the institute.“We need to find a way to transform innovations in energy into reality with an unprecedented level of speed and efficiency.”

Was says the money will go to build a robust, ultimately Web-based, interactive tool that enables people to answer real-world questions about how, and if, technologies can succeed and where the bear traps are. “We need to build a tool that will answer big questions for us quickly and accurately,” says Was.

But a tool already exists that will save us $365,000: It’s called the free market.



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