Just three years ago, Robert Zubrin was chief carnival barker for Big Ethanol, which he said would save America from Big OPEC — if only by making America more dependent on Big Government mandates and subsidies. Now that ethanol has lost its luster (even The Goracle runs from its name), Zubrin is hawking . . . methanol.
Trouble is, methanol is soooo 47 years ago.
Indeed, the difference between methanol and ethanol is largely feedstock and the letter “m.” Both are inferior in energy content (a gallon of gas goes 30 percent further), need massive subsidies to survive, and would need a federal mandate to goose the national infrastructure that alcohol-fuel advocates desperately want.
But even Indy’s high profile did nothing to convert America to the methanol alternative. So, seeking greener PR pastures, the Indy Racing League converted to E100 during the Iraq War, hoping to get a new boost from patriotic Midwesterners (as well as huzzahs from Indiana farmers).
It’s out of fashion.
Zubrin is nothing if not persistent. But he would better spend his time writing to the White House for an appointment as Alcohol Fuels Czar. Then he could just mandate the stuff.