Our elaborate infrastructures and military that support the prosperity of growing populations are all based on the chemicals, by-products, and fuels manufactured from crude oil. When refined, oil can be turned into an array of products, from cosmetics to shoelaces and bowling balls to milk jugs. In short, oil may be the single most flexible substance ever discovered.

The two prime movers that have done more for the cause of globalization than any other: the diesel engine and the jet turbine, both get their fuels from oil.  Without transportation – there is no commerce. 

Today, diesel fuel consumption is astoundingly more than 600 million gallons of diesel fuels worldwide EVERY Day, and we have an airline industry that can take us anywhere in the world consuming more than 225 million gallons of aviation fuels EVERY DAY to move almost 10 million passengers and other things EVERY DAY. Consumption of both diesel and aviation fuels are increasing every year.

The fuels that drive those machines cannot be effectively replaced. Ethanol cannot replace diesel or jet fuel, the liquids that propel the vast majority of our commercial transportation machines.

We also have a cruise line industry that takes us to all parts of the world consuming 30 to 50 gallons of fuel for EVERY MILE, and a leisure industry of hotels, resorts, theme parks, and a transportation industry of rail, trucks and automobiles that can deliver products from around the world and take us to virtually any destination.

Ethanol as a substitute for gasoline is doing little, if anything, to reduce overall U.S. oil consumption or imports, because refiners are having to buy the same amount of crude (or more) in order to meet the demand for products other than gasoline – that is, diesel fuel, aviation fuel, and asphalt as well as other chemicals and by-products that all infrastructures are dependent upon.

There’s no question that electric vehicles have many positive attributes: low refueling costs, no air pollutants at point of use, and quiet operation. But despite their promise, all-electric cars continue to be hampered by the same drawbacks that have haunted them for a century: limited range, slow recharge rates, lack of recharging stations, and high costs, particularly when compared to conventional cars.

Although modern lithium-ion batteries provide a fourfold improvement in energy density when compared with their older lead-acid cousins, they cannot hold a candle to gasoline as gasoline holds eighty times as much energy density than the lithium-ion battery.  For today’s EV’s, the battery pack weight is about 20 percent of the curb weight of the vehicle!

In California, the Global Warming Initiative AB32 that was signed into law in 2006 was done at a time that the State was contributing approximately one percent to the world’s GHG’s.  Today, the California Energy Commission (CEC), shows that California fuel consumption is at the highest level since 2007. According to the CEC, more than a decade after AB32 went into effect, we have yet to lower our one percent contribution to the world’s GHG’s. The numerous goals to reduce the States’ emissions are very expensive and the costs are being born by the rich and poor, but those ambitious efforts have had a miniscule effect on lowering California’s one percent contributions to the world’s GHG’s.

Obviously, the environmental and societal ills caused by petroleum cannot be denied. Oil is not a perfect fuel. There is no such thing. However, the number of uses of oil are essentially limitless to support all the infrastructures that did not exist prior to the 1900’s.

For the world to attain any growth to the prosperity that developed countries enjoy, the world isn’t using too much oil, it’s not using enough. More consumption of everything manufactured from crude oil among the world’s energy poor would help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of impoverished people every year who die premature deaths because of indoor air pollution caused by burning low energy density biomass such as straw, dung, twigs, wood, and leaves to cook their food and heat their homes!

High-energy societies enjoy a much higher standard of living than their traditional predecessors, and these gains have led to expectations of continued improvements.