Speaking during the Danish Climate Consortium in Copenhagen, Growth Energy Co-Chairman General Wesley Clark warned that continuing dependence on petroleum for automotive fuel is not only a carbon risk, but is a security risk for both developed and developing nations. He called continuing dependence on imported petroleum a dangerous course.
"We suffer the inefficiencies of cartel pricing and oil shocks. Then there is the military cost to ensure steady access to foreign oil from parts of the world that are volatile, or outright hostile to Western values and policies," Clark said. "Taxpayers fund the defense of oil shipping routes with an estimated annual cost of more than $50 billion. A January 2008 study by the Center for Forensic Economic Studies estimated this "import premium" at an additional $24 in cost to consumers for every barrel of imported oil."
Clark also noted that ethanol is a low-carbon fuel with as much as 59% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the production of gasoline. He said the most advanced technology, with closed loop biorefineries, offers us even cleaner alternatives, as much as 67% fewer GHGs compared to gasoline. With cellulosic ethanol, we could produce 86% fewer greenhouse gasses.