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  • Security and the Energy Crisis

    Real and implied security implications are enormous but little has been done to change automobile or truck power plants. Consider this:

    In 1930, a law was passed that mandated only petroleum products could be used in engines of automobiles and trucks manufactured after that date. The bill was sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Up until that law was passed vehicles were powered by both alcohol and distillates. Electric cars and faded early in the last century because of bulky batteries, speed and short distances driven between recharge. The steam powered cars and trucks faded into history due to the lack of immediate mobility offered by the internal combustion engine. Alcohol as a fuel faded because of a power struggle within that industry as well as enormous pressure brought to bear by API. The situation remains much the same today, many powerful interests have derived their power from oil and they will not relinquish that power anytime soon.

    Oil, the money and power associated with it, economics, work force displacement, political clout and international politics would prevent the rapid introduction of a vehicle powered solely by an alternate fuel or electricity. The fact is that so many jobs are directly and indirectly dependent on gasoline powered vehicles: Filtering systems, electrical systems and emission systems not to mention those involved in fuel production, transportation and sales. Many of those jobs would go away with the advent of either alcohol or steam. There are at least five designs for vehicle steam engines and several for alcohol. Buried deep within the last energy passed was the prohibition against the import of American named automobiles manufactured in Brazil which must run on alcohol.

    We are faced with inflation and a financial hardship to many sectors of the US economy. One TV and in newspapers the drastic affects of high fuel prices are having on persons with fixed incomes, people faced with choices of paying fuel bills or eating or restricting the use of necessary medicines. High ticket items may not be purchased and layoffs may result. Desperate people do desperate things and those things pose problems for those of us in the security industry. The majority of oil is used for transportation as we well know from the traffic jams we face on a daily basis.

    Were the President and/or powerful members of Congress to recommend a ?Manhattan? like project to develop and field alcohol or steam powered vehicles, retrofitting existing vehicles, their very political and personal lives and/or livelihoods would be placed in serious danger. The national economy as we know it would be threatened; the Middle East and other oil producing countries, already racked with internal strife would explode into civil war and such discontent would threaten the entire civilized world.

    It would appear we are faced with high fuel prices, slow to adopt substitutes and eventual political unrest on a worldwide scale. Just what will oil producing countries do when oil finally runs out? And from a selfish point of view, what would that do to this Country? We might have massive migration on a scale never before seen. This indeed is a horror filled trip into unknown and untried areas. The serious implications for security are, in my judgment, incalculable.

    The only thing one can hope for is the people will demand Congress provide meaningful leadership and move along in the transition from fossil fuel to another means. The 1930 law will have to be rescinded or seriously reworked. Tax structures will be a thorny issue for both the federal government and the states. As it stands now, the oil industry holds all the cards, and security is not even considered.

    Enjoy the day,

    Bill

  • #2
    security and fuel prices

    Bill, while the security effects of increased fuel costs are enormous (just think about what extra cost is to put a guard in a vehicle all night with the engine running) and certainly financial problems resulting from higher fuel prices can/will lead to much more serious concerns (way beyond simple retail loss prevention issues of station "drive-offs"), I do want to point out that a lot has happened in terms of advanced fuels. I report on the security industry and not the energy industry, but I know that ethanol (an alcohol formed from corn production) is beginning to be used fairly regularly and that there are a number of ethanol plants being created. Look up "flex fuel" vehicles and you'll find out about the ethanol/gas mixture option that many cars can use. Just my $.02. Anyone else seeing different/new security concerns with the increase in fuel prices?

    Geoff

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    • #3
      Security and the Energy Crisis

      Geoff:

      I have 2003 Buick and the use of ethanol is not mentioned. Methanol on the other hand is not to be used and according to the manual, ?It can corrode metal parts in your fuel system and also damage the plastic and rubber parts.? My old Olsmobile limits the use of ethanol to 10% and methanol to 5%. The Chevrolet made in Brazil with an oxygen sensor can run on 100% alcohol made from sugar or 100% gasoline or any ratio in between. These Brazilian manufactured American automobiles may not be imported into this country. If GM can make an automobile engine capable of using any flex fuels, why isn?t that engine available here? That vexes me. The History Channel?s Modern Marvels ?Sugar,? had a segment on Brazil?s conversion of sugar into ethanol. Their dependence on foreign oil is now 10 percent. Those automobiles have a 5 gallon gasoline tank used automatically to mix with the ethanol on cold mornings. Once the automobile is warmed up, the sensor cuts off the gasoline. The corn and sugar producers in this country would be dancing in the streets if that engine were available here.
      The new designs for steam use a closed condenser insulated system, an igniter similar to new natural gas or propane water heaters and have 30-second steam power availability. All come with remote starters to enhance the process. The fuel source for making steam will be varied: alcohol, gasoline or kerosene.
      Geoff, these technologies will not be available until the 1930 law is changed. The proposed new energy bill does not demand greater mileage from automobiles and trucks. It gives tax breaks and incentives to oil companies with an emphasis on discovery of new sources.
      Security concerns are still with me. Sabotage and other disruptions are hurtful to the economy.

      Bill

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      • #4
        steam-electric hybrids

        The manufacture of steam-electric hybrid cars is technologically feasible and solves problems of pollution, noise and ultimately the cost of and dependence on petroleum. They can be made not to freeze in cold weather and the electric part solves the problem of waiting for steam pressure. The electric motor runs immediately. The entire auto industry and everyone involved with IC engines would attempt to stop any company that attempted large-scale production of such vehicles, legally or illegally, and would coerce as many politicians as possible to help suppress that company.
        Steam engines are the ultimate in flex-fuel technology. If it burns you can have steam power. For stationary purposes nuclear or solar heat can run them. For autos the fuel would have to be in a form easily used, liquid or gaseous. The first steam cars made would probably use kerosene or fuel-oil. If some enterprising company came up with cheap ethanol or other liquid fuel that cut into OPEC sales noticably, that company would be a target for terrorism and the bribes to local law enforcement and politicians to ignore the violence would be huge.
        Union members would also be a threat as their violence is ignored on a regular basis already. The political party which is allied with the unions will also work on laws to suppress steam-electric hybrid technology being used in vehicles.
        DeBeers diamond cartel blew up equipment and shot at workers in the only American diamond mine with impunity, until the owners gave up and turned it into a tourist attraction. The same could happen again if the American public is not told about it.
        I would like to hear from anyone who wants to try building one anyway. Perhaps the best way would be to start with kits to convert existing cars which have blown their IC engines to junk. E-mail me at [email protected]

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SIW Editor
          ..... certainly financial problems resulting from higher fuel prices can/will lead to much more serious concerns (way beyond simple retail loss prevention issues of station "drive-offs")....... Anyone else seeing different/new security concerns with the increase in fuel prices?

          Geoff
          At this point, no. However, it's bound to happen either because of cost and/or availability. When prices almost hit $3.00/gallon in my area, I replaced the factory gas cap on my car w/ a locking one because I remember that siphoning gas was a common problem in the 70's when fuel shortages were a major concern.

          Your comment about "drive-offs" reminds me of a newspaper cartoon where the bad guy had the cashier of a gas station at gun-point and said: "Forget about the cash register and fill her up on pump #2," next to his huge SUV.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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          • #6
            Several LE journals have addressed the price of fuel basically raping their budgets.
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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            • #7
              Originally posted by beesidemeusa
              ...... If some enterprising company came up with cheap ethanol or other liquid fuel that cut into OPEC sales noticably, that company would be a target for terrorism and the bribes to local law enforcement and politicians to ignore the violence would be huge.
              Union members would also be a threat as their violence is ignored on a regular basis already. The political party which is allied with the unions will also work on laws to suppress steam-electric hybrid technology being used in vehicles....
              Terrorism, sabotage, and violence may very well happen based on history. For example, when NYC started using snow blowers, the snow shovelers (who belonged to a union) threw spikes and other debris in snowdrifts to damage the machines. We all know who won that battle. When the demand reaches a crisis point, new technology will eventually win no matter how much opposition there is. People are not going to give up their freedom to drive and will do whatever is necessary to put pressure on those individuals or organizations who try to stand in the way of progress.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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              • #8
                Ok guys go easy on me here, first post and all...

                Mr Warnock,

                I agree with you on the issues of security vs energy crisis. Technology is currently at a stage now where engines can be run completely on products other then petroleum. Sure the power and distance issues come into play however, I personally dont think the petroleum industry is willing to use it's billion dollar profits per quarter to enhance these problems. Think of it like a big stakes poker game. Why would the petroleum industry execs. fold their hand when they have all the aces??

                Even if prices were to rise more, people would still drive, they would find the means to keep filling their vehicle. The amount of people actually forced into not driving would be covered by those willing to pay that extra 20 cents just to drive.

                As for the security situation, lets face it, the major oil producing nations (the majority of which are in the middle east and therefore muslim) would be torn apart if suddenly western societies decided one day that they wouldnt want the oil. Its funny, cause I am a private security worker in Iraq, and Ive filled four 120 litre Ford F350's (the armoured trucks we drive in Iraq) for $4.00 US dollars a tank. So 480 litres of fuel for $16.00, not a bad price at all..

                Now ok your going to say but I am working in an oil producing nation, so naturally its cheaper to buy direct from the pipe (so to speak). Ok yeah it is always going to be cheaper that way, however I laugh when oil companies keep raising the prices on oil, justified by the current world situation. Its crazy. These companies have seen an eye to cash in. ie Bombing on an oil platform in Nigeria.....ooops worldwide price per barrel goes up...

                There is going to come a time when either a: Oil runs out or b: the western world gets on the hybrid/alternative fuel bandwagon. When this happens expect conflict in the middle east which will then spread worldwide. The middle east already sees the United States and the rest of the western world as the cause of their problems, and that includes the so called friendly middle eastern nations. They are going to want to lash out at someone, and Im afraid its going to be anyone and everyone. Now dont get me wrong I love the muslim idealogy, it is similar to christianity in many ways, and I have a multitude of muslim friends, however to a muslim, Inshallah (gods will) is their creed, they honestly dont care if they die so long as the cause is justifed according to the Quran. And sorry to say boys and girls when the day comes we be seen as the architects of the conflict and therefore targets for their supposedly justified cause.

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                • #9
                  Hybrids may NOT be the answer

                  One day this past week I read where the hybrid cars are not getting near the MPG stated.
                  Most are only getting about 19MPG City!
                  Also a hybrid used as an over-nighter security WILL idle its gas engine.
                  As in most things what you are promised isn't usually what you get.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ACP01
                    One day this past week I read where the hybrid cars are not getting near the MPG stated.
                    Most are only getting about 19MPG City!
                    Also a hybrid used as an over-nighter security WILL idle its gas engine.
                    As in most things what you are promised isn't usually what you get.
                    We are using a Ford Escape Hybrid, we also have a regular gas Escape. We are getting 18mpg with the regular one and 28mpg with the hybrid. The hybrid cost about $6000. more than the gas one. If we drive 12000 miles a year it would take over 8 years to make up the additional $6000 at $3.00 a gallon. The company did get some kind of tax break for going hybrid, but I don't know how much. I am not sold on them yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Totalpackage, I could not agree with you more. I've seen good in bad having been station in Morocco in the late 1950s for 27 months.
                      I am in agreement when you are sitting there with all aces, why let others take a crack at your rice bowl.
                      Brazil has cars manufactured by Ford and GM that run on 100 percent ethanol. Minor modifications to those engines here, according to the reports on TV, would work here.
                      Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are pouring billions of their money into ethanol.
                      What really grabs me are all the electric cars developed for California anticipating a new law. The API lobbyists, spread out a lot of money and the bill was defeated. What happened to those electric cars? They were taken off the lots and crushed.
                      If the world would suddenly push toward alternative fuels in a big way, unrest would, in my judgement, spread worldwide and sorry to say, be would be in the thick of it.
                      Interesting topic!
                      Enjoy the day,
                      Bill

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