Palaver from Persimmon Crossingwith Warren Faulk
An Alternative Fuel Marketing Ploy
Most anyone who is interested knows that there are alternative/renewable motor fuel formulas sitting on the shelf waiting to be used. Some workable formulas are more than three decades old.
The USA took one swipe at introducing renewable motorfuels in the form of "gasohol," what, 30 years ago? The attempt failed. It was a good first step, but it failed. Perhaps it is just wishful thinking on my part, but I think the fuel was equal in quality to the totally petroleum based gasolines of the day and, yes, I am aware that gasohol was only 10% alcohol. If we had stayed with it and not done another thing we would be better off, renewable fuel wise, than we are now. And that much further from dependence on mideast oil, that much closer to long term peace, etc.
It is usually difficult to introduce a new product or idea even if it has merit. Even if it offers unique large scale benefits as gasohol did. Very often a new product is pushed with a marketing strategy ... advertising, samples, price incentives, and so on. I remember gasohol arriving with little fanfare and at the same or a higher price than other pump gas.
The oil companies had no apparent incentive to promote the stuff. Bad press was easy to come by ... all mouth and no science as far as I could tell. (My VW and my Olds ran fine on it.) Since then, much improved formulas with greater reliance on renewables in the blends have been gathering dust.
WELL ... WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?
Offer significant incentives to those who will sell renewable fuels. Condition these incentives on companies offering their best formulas of alternative fuels or blends to the public at prices comparable to prices for conventional motorfuels. Make it worth their while. Give stations a grant. Pay them for this service. (the US Patent Office knows who has what formulas)
CHARGE NO TAXES ON THE ALTERNATIVE FUELS FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR AT THE RETAIL PUMPS. (This will allow Little Joe to fill his tank for $ 6.00 less than it usually costs him.) IF NO DEMAND IS GENERATED, TAX REVENUES WILL NOT DIMINISH. IF DEMAND IS GENERATED, TAXES CAN BE PHASED IN AS APPROPRIATE AFTER THE FIRST YEAR. THE IDEA IS TO MAKE US AN OFFER THAT WE CANNOT REFUSE.
///CLEAN AIR///CLEAN SPARK PLUGS///FEWER WARS///NO MAS EXXON VALDES///FARMERS GET AN ASSURED MARKET///GET THIS THING STARTED!!
At present the retail price of a gallon of regular gas is about $.85 a gallon in my home town. The taxes I'm suggesting be temporarily eliminated run about $.33. I am taking it on faith that alcohol and alcohol blend fuels can be produced and distributed for about the same costs as gasoline once someone starts mass production.
I think the reason we are not already on renewable motor fuel is just that it represents change. We aren't so we aren't. We need this new habit. It can be approached in such a way that the consumer feels good, saves money and doesn't have to do a thing but keep on truckin'.
-- Warren Faulk
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