Did anyone else catch Alan Greenspan's testimony before the foreign relations commitee yesterday? He seems as worried as the rest of us about our nation's dependence on foreign oil.
"We're out of the market essentially as a very critical player with respect to price," Greenspan told the.
He said,"current oil prices over time should lower to some extent our worrisome dependence on petroleum," with the development of alternative fuels and broader use of electric-hybrid cars. This "would help to wean us of our petroleum dependence," Greenspan said.
"We are gradually ... weaning ourselves off petroleum. It is slow and in many ways like watching grass grow," Greenspan said, adding that if the shift "happens smoothly, that is the best of all contingencies. ... But what happens if it doesn't go smoothly."
Greenspan went on to discuss ethanol as an alternative fuel source, but noted its tie to corn, which does not make sense in terms of energy efficiency as it requires so much petroluem-based fertilizer. Cellulosic-based ethonal from switchgrass and other non-food plants is a much better option, according to the former Federal Reserve chairman and other experts.
Is it just me, or am I giving Americans too much credit thinking they can cut down oil dependency through driving less in more fuel-efficient cars, riding public transit, working closer to home and occasionally telecommuting? Is it un-American to expect such behaviors rather than always seeking out the next-generation technology that will act as a magic silver bullet?
Time will tell.