Although CO2 is considered a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to climate change, if the Energy Department (DOE) finds partners to capitalize on the research of one of its laboratories, someday cars might run on sunshine. Technically, cars would run on the product of sunlight, CO2, and water using a "two-step solar thermochemical cycle" developed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico government lab. The DOE posted the special notice seeking interested companies on the Federal Business Opportunities website on Tuesday:
Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is conducting ongoing research and development into solar fuels, the conversion of sunlight, CO2, and H2O into high energy density, gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel pre-cursors...
Sandia is seeking a company or companies interested in this unique opportunity which will lead to the demonstration and deployment of this technology.
Researchers have been working on this idea for some time, according to a 2007 press release from the Sandia lab. At that time, one of the researchers speculated that although a prototype of a device to carry out the chemical process was already under development, it was "a good 15 to 20 years away from being on the market."
The special notice released this week did not contain a timetable, but did note that companies interested in the project "must have a significant interest in developing this technology to the demonstration and deployment stage."
Late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, my wife Jill and I were driving through Vienna, Virginia, toward Tysons Corner when we found ourselves in front of, and then beside, and then right behind an old gray Volvo wagon. The car caught our eyes, and quickly we realized why, for it wasn’t just another car on the road but a car we’d once owned—from 1987, to be precise, when we bought it new, until December 2011. That’s not a misprint: The car was ours for more than 24 years.
The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Obama's request, as detailed in a letter sent to Capitol Hill by the director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, includes these requests:
Earlier today at an Obama rally in Chesapeake, Virginia, former President Bill Clinton said that American can't export Jeeps to China:
"They used to produce Jeeps in China and they were about to go broke so they had to quit," Clinton said. "You can’t make a Jeep in America and send it to China – it weighs too much, it costs too much to send over there. All they are going to do is reopen their operations there and try to sell Jeeps there too. We’re doing fine here."
Just as America proved to be such a safe haven for immigrants in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, it is now seen as a safe haven for wealth attempting to escape Europe’s tax collectors and financial chaos and recession in Europe, and for foreign central banks newly enamored of the dollar.
Mitt Romney maintains that "President Barack Obama is holding on to the government's stake in General Motors to avoid an embarrassing financial loss before the election, and says he'd sell the stock quickly if he wins the White House," according to the Detroit News, which recently interviewed the Republican presidential candidate.
Paul Ingrassia, former Detroit bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, is probably the best broadsheet reporter ever to cover the car business. He and Joseph B. White won a Pulitzer Prize for their articles about how General Motors got busted to corporal by its fool management and union. Ingrassia wrote the book on “The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster,” that being the subtitle of his Crash Course (2010). Now he’s broached yet a larger subject, the car’s whole effect on our entire nation.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has been considered America’s fastest growing sport, quickly becoming a national phenomenon. But a new economic study shows even NASCAR’s powerful engines haven’t been able to keep up with the Obama-era economy.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, “Here’s one good way to consider the vote in 2012: It’s about whether to re-elect President Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which these days runs most the U.S. economy.” The Journal observes that the Obama EPA has now decreed that “America’s fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today’s average of about 27 mpg.”