|It's no secret that the United States
faces more rough going in this decade on the energy front. We now import
more than 40 percent of all the oil we burn. The price of that oil has
skyrocketed in the last few years and the smiling ministers of the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) promise only that we'll see more
of the same.
When we pay billions of dollars every year for
imported oil, that's money sent overseas. The strain of that kind of dollar
export spells inflation. It hurts our economy, our country and every American.
That's all a familiar tale. What then, may be
expected for the future?
The future means changes in our energy habits.
To be certain, what our future holds is a healthy dose of transition. I
think we can get through it, probably with a good, strong combination of
alternative energy sources. Rather than relying almost entirely on one
source of energy, as has been the case for so long, I expect we'll end
up using some of a lot of different sources.
Nuclear power will be one source. But it's clear
by now that nuclear won't be the cure-all, solve-all that we believed when
President Eisenhower annonced his "Atoms for Peace" plan back in the 1950s.
I expect we'll find our energy solution in a combination
of solutions. We'll find part of the answer in nuclear, part of it in wind
power, part of it in solar power, part in biomass (the burning of garbage
in generating plants), part in a resurgence of hydroelectric power, and,
to give us the breathing time we need, part of it in gasohol.
Gasohol isn't cheap. The price difference today
between a gallon of gasohol and a gallon of gasoline doesn't amount to
much. But as OPEC continues to increase the price of oil, gasohol may become
But price is not really the most important factor.
Gasohol can be an important conservation tool. Because it's a mixture of
alcohol and gasoline, it will allow us to stretch our existing gasoline
supplies. It can mean that this country can reduce oil imports by thousands
of barrels a day. And it holds the potential
|to help our farmers, like those in
Cochise County. It can offer a new "high-demand" market for grain crops
because they are necessary in the manufacture of alcohol.
Burning less oil means fewer dollars go overseas.
That's good for our economy, and our farmers, an absolutely vital group
of people, can help us -- and be helped -- in a direct, positive and profitable
There really is no question that gasohol will
work, because it already is working. (Brazil, in fact, has taken all of
this a step further: that country is shooting for an all-alcohol vehicle
fuel. The problem that government is facing is not scarcity or lack of
cooperation. Brazil's farmers have discovered that alcohol is so valuable
that it makes a better export product.)
The development of gasohol should rate a high
priority. It's an effort that deserves a solid commitment and all the help
necessary to push it forward.
There have been indications of interest in gasohol
production in Cochise County within the last year, and that's encouraging.
Such interest has my support. Local initiative is the key to the kinds
of demonstration projects we'll be seeing throughout the United States
in the next few years. If the people of Cochise County decide to pursue
that course, they deserve help and support from Washington.
As is the case with any new technology, gasohol
is not without problems. But I'm confident they will be overcome. That
will spell good news for the United States, and for the people of Cochise
Fort Huachuca has a long and distinguished history
in the opening of the American West and in the defense of the United States
in later conflicts.
The post is responsible not only for some important
Army missions, but also for a healthy piece of the economy in the southernmost
part of Southern Arizona.
Just as the Arizona climate has always been a
critical factor for aviation, so it is for Fort Huachuca's Strategic Communications
Command. The clear skies,