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Unformatted text preview: s vast oil resources off its coasts, but there have been federal government bans on drilling because these are environmentally sensitive areas Obama’s Oil Drilling Proposal Obama’s In 2008, Congress authorized the Interior Department to draw­up plans for new offshore oil and gas leases After revising the Bush plan, Obama announced his oil drilling proposal in March 2010 Drilling will be allowed off the East Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore in Alaska No drilling will be allowed offshore of California and other offshore parts of Alaska Oil Consumption in America Most oil is consumed in the transportation sector of the US economy To reduce oil dependency, we would need to find new ways to power cars, trucks, and planes Ethanol (Corn- or Soy-Based Fuel) Ethanol The US is focusing on ethanol as an alternative to gasoline, and ethanol production is rapidly increasing The downside is that corn­based food products have soared in price. For instance, the price of tortillas in Mexico increased by 400% in 2008 Demand for Hybrids Demand Automakers are now seriously marketing hybrid (electric battery­combustion engine) vehicles Toyota has led the effort with the Prius Honda’s Civic Hybrid has a maintenance record comparable to its gasoline equivalent (Honda makes low­cost, low­maintenance cars) GM marketed the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, which can run on electric batteries for 40 miles (76% of all trips in the US are less than 40 miles)—it has not sold well City buses are being outfitted with diesel­ electric motors, which drive for 2 city blocks on electric power (reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions) Alternative Energy for Vehicles Alternative What other options are there for powering our vehicles? – Hydrogen Power – Hydrogen power holds the promise of producing only water vapor as a tailpipe pollutant Honda plans to market the first hydrogen­powered car in 2010 – Sugar Alcohol – Brazil has converted its automobiles to run on sugar alcohol; Brazil is now energy independent Subsidies to sugar farmers in the US raises the price of sugar, making the production of alcohol very expensive The U...
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