In 1970 a barrel of crude oil cost a dollar and eighty cents. This week it hit a new high — above 70 dollars. The result — gas at three dollars a gallon and climbing coming to a filling station near you, not to mention fears of inflation and economic slow-down. All this because of jitters over a nuclear showdown with Iran, political unrest in Nigeria and unquenchable thirst for foreign oil.
Some say to get America on the road to energy independence it's time to embrace the so-called carbohydrate economy — fuels derived from corn and other bio-mass. Imagine driving a car without consuming petroleum, or generating pollution, or making noise...or going to war for oil. Skeptics say they're dreaming, but with oil at 70 dollars a barrel maybe it's time to dream.
Hear about the carbohydrate economy as an alternative to America's addiction to oil.
Amy Jaffe, Energy Fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy
David Morris, Vice President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of "A Better Way: Driving Without Oil" and "The Carbohydrate Economy" (1992)
Tadeusz Patzek, Professor of Geo-engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.
This program aired on April 19, 2006.