The President of the United States has proposed $10 per barrel fee on oil used in the United States. Mr. Obama made the announcement on February 4. I agree there should be a fee on oil and that $10 per barrel is not as large a fee as I would have proposed but is a correct policy. The proposed fee is only approximately 24 cents a gallon as there are 42 gallons in a barrel.
What always worries me is that the revenue collected from the fee will simply be wasted. The US Department of Energy is notorious for funding bad projects and wasting money. The waste goes back through 40 years and has happened whether the Republicans or the Democrats held the presidency. This is why I refer to the Department of Energy as the Department of Entropy.
Using the $10 per barrel fee, I estimate that $60 billion a year of revenues could flow to the US government. The Green Machine could make good science happen with this type of funding. No silly projects like Solyndra, Ivanpah or Bloom Energy would get a cent from a department of energy that I would run.
I would give any new buyer of a standard hybrid a tax credit equal to the difference in the price of the hybrid versus the price of a similar sized non hybrid vehicle. I would give folks who carpool, vanpool, or take public transport a subsidy of $50 a month. For those taking public transport the $50 would be used to lower the cost of a monthly pass on any registered transit or bus agency. Even if 20 million people became capoooligans , vanpooligans, or public transitooligans this would only cost $12 billion of the $60 billion the fee would raise.
With regard to alternate energy technologies not a cent would be given to Cellulosic Ethanol. This technology simply does not work. The US Department of Energy promised us 4.25 billion gallons of Cellulosic Ethanol for the year 2016. After billions dollars of waste we will be lucky to produce 15 million gallons. The best alternate fuel for vehicles is Ethane, a technology I have successfully shown to lower CO2 emissions per mile by over 30% compared with gasoline using the same vehicle, on the same route, at the same speed, with the same driver, in the same traffic. No other fuel comes anywhere close.
We can convert a standard car or light truck to run on ethane for less than $5,000. If I was the secretary of energy I would convert 5 million vehicles to run on ethane and spend $25 billion of the fee on this. The US now flares (burns) and wastes so much ethane that 10 million vehicles could be powered by this low carbon fuel. Petrochemical companies in Europe and Asia want our ethane to make more plastics. Sending them our ethane borders on eco criminality as the Ethane is such a wonder low cost vehicle fuel with high octane (107), good range, low carbon, low oxides of nitrogen, low carbon monoxide, and negligible hydrocarbons out of the tailpipe. Yes the Green Machine is gung ho for ethane. BY comparison the US DOE has wasted several billion dollars to get only 400,000 plugin vehicles on the road in six years. If I had this money I promise to have 5 million vehicles using ethane on road within five years of launch.
It will be interesting to watch where the POTUS’s proposed fee on oil winds up? Sadly it will most likely become a football in the 2016 election, and I probably won’t get $25 billion to make a real dent in the CO2 emissions of vehicles using real science and the laws of thermodynamics. Had I won the big Powerball lottery I could have self-funded the Ethane business. Instead I have a worthless ticket stub and just a good idea of how to use C2H6. Yes Ethane has six hydrogen atoms and only two carbon atoms. Add an oxygen atom to ethane and voila you have ethanol. Ethane is Vodka without the O. The Green Machine is a Billionaire without a Billion green backs.