How many Cars/Trucks/Other Vehicles than run on Gasoline in America today?
How many American Jobs and Businesses tied directly into Gasoline production, shipment, sales and more in America today?
The economic cost of a wholesale shift, even done in stages, from Gasoline to Methanol would be titanic.[/quote]
Sure. The question is "would it be worth it"?
The burden then, to justify the costs in dollars, jobs and more is on those who wish to convert, not those who are fine with teh existing status quo.
Whats the gain by conversion?[/QUOTE]
Well, for one thing, the conversion effort itself would be a boon to the economy; it would basically be a massive infrastructure project here in the US, requiring significant injections of capital into the US market that would not otherwise be made.
For another, once the conversion was done, the use of a resource found in abundance in the US to power cars would both dramatically reduce the costs of transportation (by eliminating much of the transportation costs built into current gas prices as necessitated by the fact that oil is, for the most part, shipped from overseas) and would ensure that a decent portion of the money that today is heading to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and other oil exporting states would instead shift to the US economy. That second point would have both an economic impact on the US and a national security impact; as oil revenues drop, the ability of Middle East states to support terrorist groups and prop up dictatorial regimes will decrease.
Their are major gains to be had, IMO, from turning the US into a net energy exporter rather than importer - or at least shifting the balance significantly in that direction.
Domestic supply, for now? Cleaner (but still dirty) Fuels? Less need for involvement in the Middle East (assuems we wouldn't stay involved anyway)?[/QUOTE]
All of the above. More fundamentally, requiring cars to be flex-fuel capable would allow transportation costs to stay lower, since cars could shift from natural gas to oil based gasoline if the price situation ever reversed.