Magazine November 2, 2009, Issue

Pond-Scum Power

(Reuters)
Going really green

Since the days of Richard Nixon, the United States has sought a replacement for oil, for reasons economic, political, and environmental.

Our reliance on oil makes our economy vulnerable to oil-price spikes. Each oil-price shock since the 1970s has been followed by an economic recession, and as our oil imports have risen, that impact has become more severe. Some economists credit the most recent oil-price spike with contributing to, or even kicking off, the global recession.

Also, keeping military equipment moving uses a lot of oil. The U.S. military uses 130 million barrels of oil each year, which is about how much …

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