Well, the Superbowl has come and gone and all we’re left with is some faint remembrance of who won. It was New England again, wasn’t it? Just kidding, I know it was Pittsburgh.
Anyway, thoughts of the Superbowl lead me to almost everyone’s favorite part of the festivities: the commercials! It was one commercial in particular that kind of raised my hackles, so to speak: the Ford commercial with Kermit the Frog.
As anyone who grew up in the late `70s – early `80s can attest, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” was one of Kermit’s oft-repeated mantras on Sesame Street. The very notion that Ford is taking that phrase and applying it to their new-and-improved Flex-Fuel vehicles is disingenuous at best. See, the reason why is that these types of vehicles are designed to run on E85 (85% ethanol – which comes from corn, thereby renewable) as well as good old Unleaded gas. However, what the commercial, and therefore Kermit, fail to tell the audience is that E85 as a passenger car fuel is not readily available. According to an article at Land Development Today, as of July/August last year there were only approximately 300 gas stations throughout the US that offered E85 as an alternative fuel. With the thousands of flexible fuel vehicles on the road now, the prospect of cleaner air gets better everyday–but only if more stations installed E85 pumps.
President Bush, in his State of the Union address last month, stated that America is addicted to oil. Well, like any addict, you need to remove the source of the addiction if you want to truly eliminate the addiction (I know, an addict is an addict for life whether on “the juice” or not). If we as a nation want to truly reduce our dependence on oil, it stands to reason that we will need to expand funding for renewable resources. The downside is that with the ties the Bush Administration has to Big Oil, that isn’t going to happen in as timely a fashion as is needed. The whole prospect of renewable resources could be a boon to the oil companies if they diversified a bit from traditional fossil fuels and expanded into renewable fuels. A similar situation is the one the Recording Industry found itself in the wake of Napster. Now, the RIAA is slowly learning to embrace downloadable music on their own terms, but not before they tried like hell to buck the technology. In the same way, by embracing these alternative fuels as the automakers seems to have done, Big Oil can and will continue to be successful. To do so will ultimately lead to cleaner air, cleaner water, a cleaner environment and better health due to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information on E85 and E85 vehicles click here
National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition