Friday, February 4, 2011
Have Vehicle Fuels Advanced Since "The Dukes of Hazzard"?
The episode, titled High Octane, features the Duke family entering an alternative fuel contest sponsored by the Department of Energy. They submit a batch of Uncle Jesse's moonshine whiskey & the judge not only gives him top prize, but pronounces it the best tasting fuel and/or whiskey he's ever had.
But shortly after the episode aired, oil prices came back down, President Reagan took office and slashed incentives for alternative energy & conservation, and vehicle fuels have puttered in neutral ever since. We're still putting gas or the equally-bad corn ethanol in our vehicles. And our cars & trucks don't get much better gas mileage than they did in the days of the General Lee:
significantly higher fuel efficiency standards. The new rules will save 2 billion barrels of oil.
That 2 billion barrels works out to 40 billion gallons of gas. At $3 a gallon, that's enough to buy Americans 8 billion bottles of whiskey. Seems a much better use of the money, don't you think?
Side note: Now I know why my parents refused to watch the Dukes of Hazzard with me. Felt like they only had enough plot for 15 minutes & the writers did all they could to stretch it to an hour. I've seen dogs being taken to the vet that dragged their feet less. Also, fun to watch the General Lee jumps again. Seemed completely plausible when I was 5.