Planet Gore

Zubrin and Huber

A reader writes in who is intrigued by Robert Zubrin’s flex-fuel proposal – and suggests that it be paired with my former Manhattan Institute colleague Peter Huber’s idea for plug-in hybrids.

Mandating flex-fueled vehicles will allow the possibility of a competitive market for fuels other than petroleum. Promoting plug-in hybrids to that adds another fuel source to the competition, at least for short distance drives. We like competition, no? A final reason to take Zubrin’s tack and add plug-in hybrids to it as rapidly as possible is emergency preparedness. What if your car could provide emergency power to your house? Maybe not enough to run your central A/C, but it would be nice to keep the fridge cool, lights on and the fan running in your natural gas central heating system.  
Take the best of Zubrin and add the best of Peter Huber’s The Bottomless Well, what is the downside?

The Bottomless Well (co-written by Mark P. Mills) is an excellent book and I’d recommend it (as well as Huber’s Hard Green) to all Planet Gore denizens. Huber supports plug-ins because electricity is the most democratic of all power options — so many very different fuels can produce it. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers among fuel sources, because they have a lousy track record at picking technologies wisely. Like Henry Payne, Huber says we should leave that to the market. Here’s his take on the idea for a flex-fuel-vehicle mandate (sarcasm alert!):

Why not also mandate that all cars sold in the U.S. have plug-in rechargeable batteries, and also a hydrogen powered fuel cell, and also a flywheel for energy-recovery during deceleration and braking? For good measure, throw in an external-combustion steam engine too, that can be lit with wood chips, bacon grease, or coal – it can be done, it was in 1900, so why not again today?

Most Popular

White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More