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Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR): New Report Offers a Silver Bullet for High Gas Prices

June 11, 2008
3:46 PM

CONTACT: Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)
Deni Baldwin, 416-916-5202 Brooke Gullikson

New Report Offers a Silver Bullet for High Gas Prices
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - June 11 - Virtually every energy report begins by insisting, “There is no silver bullet, but….” So, it is refreshing that a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance proposes what could indeed be a silver bullet to kill our oil addiction.

Driving Our Way to Energy Independence envisions a near term, dual-fueled transportation system, 75 percent powered by electricity and 25 percent by biofuels. “An electric-biofuel transportation system is nearly oil free,” says David Morris,, ILSR’s Vice President and the report’s author, “since only 2 percent of the nation's electricity is generated with oil, while oil supplies less than 10 percent of the energy needed to grow crops and covert them into fuels.”

Notwithstanding the widespread frustration about government inaction, the report applauds federal and state governments for recent actions that could pave the way to an oil-free transportation system, The Energy Act passed by Congress in December 2007 sets a high vehicle efficiency mandate “that will force car companies to hybridize most of their new vehicles, laying the groundwork for plug-in hybrids that use electricity as their primary fuel,” claims Morris, who has served as an energy consultant or advisor to the energy agencies of Presidents Ford, Carter, Clinton and George W. Bush. “The 36 billion gallon biofuels mandate is sufficient to provide nearly 100 percent of the fuel needed to run the backup engine.”

In April, California effectively mandated the sale of 60,000 plug-in vehicles. In early June, a Google-affiliated company, Hymotion, began the rollout of a nation wide network of certified converters of existing hybrids into plug-ins. In mid June, Toyota announced it would offer a plug-in hybrid in 2010. Meanwhile, Denmark and Israel have launched an historic initiative to make all-electric vehicles the mainstay of their transportation system.

"With rooftop solar cells and nearby wind turbines, households and communities can become the primary energy producers for our transportation system," Morris observes. On the biofuels side, the report envisions thousands of locally owned biorefineries that use local crops or agricultural residues to satisfy local and regional demand for engine fuel.

“The future is now,” Morris insists. “Ironically, the car, the driving force behind our current energy and environmental crises, may well become the vehicle for a more democratic and environmentally benign energy system.”

The full report, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, is available online at For more information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Morris, please contact Brooke Gullikson.

Since 1974, ILSR has worked with citizen groups, governments and private businesses in developing practices that extract the maximum value from local resources.


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