American public out on the roads to consume more gas. It worked. Eisenhower built the interstate system and Americans discovered a new phrase - vacation! By the early 1970's it had all worked so well that the demand for fuel finally outpaced production...oops. Slowly, gas stations began to be closed by the oil companies since they no longer had a need to provide such advantageous arrangements for the station operators.
Gas prices began to ratchet upwards and pumps had to be replaced with new ones which would be able to display and calculate fuel cost of over one dollar per gallon. America entered the convenience store era - pump your own fuel and save 3 cents per gallon. Most of the population in any metropolitan city lived in the suburbs and beyond, so daily car travel was and is today a necessity. Unwilling to accept or even face the reality that it never works, to counter this demand for fuel the government stepped in. A multi-headed Frankenstein created by the Nixon administration named the EPA introduced fuel efficiency mandates, called CAFE, which tried to force the American public to drive smaller fuel efficient cars by forcing American automakers to produce smaller cars.
In reality, all it really did was ring in the era of such legendary nameplates as the Ford Festiva, Dodge Omni and Chevy Chevette (also available equipped with a diesel engine). The second reality was that the public, not to be outwitted by dimwits, quickly discovered pickup trucks and SUV's as comfortable modes of transportation which placed an even greater demand on the gas pumps.
So how does Methanol fit in this picture? Or perhaps the hydrogen fuel cell? Neither of them would address the problem of oil, since, as we know, oil's real value is in the plastics made from it. I submit to you, the reader, that no alternative is a viable alternative at present. If you want to cut your fuel expenditure and "send the oil companies a message," for whatever good that would do, then you will have to buy less fuel.
JB Griffin owns and operates JB's Auto Sales and Service in Evensville, Tennessee. You may see him weekly on the WDEF-TV News 12 Morning Show every Tuesday at 7:10 a.m. where he will answer your car care questions live and on air. Visit him on the web at: www.500overcost.com