Flex Fuel Freedom Now

Friday, July 15, 2011

The following was written by Lilly Sherman, biofuels advocate and co-founder of OpenFuelStandard.org.

I recently put $40 dollars in my tank and only got ten gallons. Paying $4 a gallon was bad enough, but then I started thinking. Given we import more than half of what we need and half of that comes from OPEC nations, that means I just gave ten dollars to OPEC! It freaked me out. I felt helpless. I felt trapped. What else can I do? I have to have gas, but when I buy gas I’m giving my good money to bad men who do really bad things.

But that’s the way it is. We now live in a world where the fuel we need to power our engines is controlled by the most corrupt men on the planet. While home prices fall and businesses fail, OPEC raised the price of oil a dollar a gallon in one year alone. Then they did it again the next year. During the last two years of the worst worldwide recession in memory, OPEC has doubled the price of oil! How do we ever get out of this recession when any gain we make is eaten up by ever increasing fuel costs?

The greatest threat to our national security, and the security of democracies everywhere, is our dependence on foreign oil. Oil has a monopoly on 97% of all the engines in our transportation sector. That means nearly all our cars, trucks, ships, planes, trains, motorcycles, lawnmowers, tractors, and military tanks can only run on petroleum products.

If our engines don’t have fuel, nothing can move. Without oil, our economies die. We know it and OPEC knows it. So you and I continue to buy the only fuel our cars can use. And we continue to pay 25% of every fuel dollar to OPEC every time we fill our tanks. All because we have no choice.

But we can get out of this and we can get out of it today. I have beside me a little black box about the size of a long pack of cigarettes. It has four three-foot-long black wires coming out of it with funny looking little receptors on the ends. With this little gadget, I’m going to upgrade my fuel injection system so I can burn American made alcohol fuels and boycott OPEC oil.

The next time I fill up I can buy American-made E85 instead of OPEC oil. My money will stay here to boost our economy, create jobs in our country, and help us grow strong again.

Every engine that can only burn gas is a threat to our national security. Every engine we upgrade to handle many fuels makes our country that much stronger. It cost me less than a hundred dollars per cylinder to stop the flow of money out of my pocket and into OPEC. It is worth every penny.

I bought myself the power of choice at the pump. That has major benefit to all of us. If only half the gas-only engines were upgraded to flex fuel and capable of using American fuels, we would no longer be dependent on foreign oil (because we import about half our oil). Then those billions we spend on imported oil stay here in the free world and we will recover and start to grow strong again. Our wealth and our health would both improve because alcohol is a far superior fuel. It’s not only better for our economy and our national security, but it’s better for car engines, for the environment, and even for public health.

If you've already contacted your representative about the Open Fuel Standard Act and already urged your family and friends to do so, and if you're already sharing information on Facebook and via email and you want to do more, here's a very practical action you can take: Convert your car to a flex fuel vehicle.

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