Americans love choice. Whether it’s deciding what kind of car we drive, what type of food we eat for dinner, or which smartphone we use, there’s an abundance of choices. In fact, our country was even built on the premise of being able to choose what religion you practiced.
Yet in one major aspect of our lives, we have very little choice: When we pull into a fuel station, our only real option is gasoline.
It’s time to face facts: Our fuel infrastructure is dominated by a monopoly, and that’s bad news for Americans. It means that when oil prices go up, the price of everything goes up, and our economy crashes. Case in point, 10 of the last 11 recessions have been preceded by an oil-price spike. It means that we’ve accepted the fact that 58,000 people are being killed each year by vehicle emissions. It means our government spends trillions of dollars defending oil trade routes. It means we’ve relinquished control over what we pay at the pump.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we could break the monopoly oil holds on our transportation system by letting Americans choose the fuel they use, many of those negative effects would be mitigated. It would mean a reduction in overall transport costs, and ultimately, a reduction in the cost of goods. It would mean less Americans would be killed each year by air pollution or defending oil resources overseas. It would mean that when the price of oil goes up, Americans could choose another fuel instead of being forced to pay an arm and a leg at the pump.
It’s not as though we don’t have the technology. As early as 1907, cars such as the Model T were able to run on three different fuels — ethanol, gasoline, and kerosene. And today, there are even more available vehicles that can run on alternatives to gasoline:
In the vein of the Model T, there are more than 19 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road that can run any mixture of ethanol — a fuel that can be produced from biomass, natural gas, and even municipal waste — or gasoline. There are bi-fuel electric vehicles like the Volt and the C-Max Energi that can run on both electricity and gasoline (and ethanol too, with some software tinkering, making it a tri-fuel vehicle). There are bi-fuel Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/gasoline vehicles as well.
However, the big problem is not with the vehicles themselves, but with our fueling stations. Few of them carry anything other than gasoline, discouraging people from buying vehicles that can run on multiple fuels. To break the monopoly on our fuel infrastructure, we’re going to need to demand more alternative fuels to be available at more places.
Only then will Americans finally get the fuel choice we deserve. Join Fuel Freedom Foundation in our fight to bring fuel choice to Americans by signing up here or donating here, and become a Fuel Freedom Fighter today.
Together, we can make fuel choice a reality.
- Trailblazing Kansas company fights for fuel choice
- John Brackett made a Chevy Volt run on E85, and it was easy
- I test-drove 5 new alt-fuel vehicles in L.A., and here’s what I learned
- Let’s Bring Competition to the Fuel Pump (The Wall Street Journal)
- Big Oil monopoly fuels the film ‘Pump’ (Clark University)