How to Turn Oil into Salt

Cindy Zimmerman

The idea of turning oil into salt may sound like something that should be done in a science lab but Dr. Gal Luft says it’s something that Congress can do with a simple piece of legislation.

Luft, who is executive director of the Institute for Analysis of Global Security, explained his analogy between oil and salt at the 6th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Des Moines on Tuesday.

“Salt used to be the most strategic commodity of all because it was the only way to cure food,” said Luft. “That changed with the invention of canning and refrigeration. Those two simple technologies essentially stripped salt of its strategic status.”

“Just like salt dominated food preservation, oil today dominates transportation,” he continued. “And just like salt’s strategic status was diminished through those simple inventions, oil’s strategic status can be diminished through the technology of flexible fuel vehicles.”

That’s why Luft strongly advocates the simplest solution to diminishing the stranglehold oil has on the transportation industry, and that is requiring all new vehicles sold in the United States to be capable of running on a variety of fuels. “Whether it is ethanol or methanol or butanol, whatever it is, let’s give people choices,” he said, noting that there is just such a bill pending in Congress called the Open Fuel Standard Act.

Luft and co-author Anne Korin wrote a book about the analogy between salt and oil and the importance of fuel choice, called “Turning Oil into Salt”, which was reviewed here on Domestic Fuel in 2009.

Listen to Luft’s address to the 6th annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit here: Gal Luft address

Listen to a brief interview with Gal Luft here: Gal Luft interview

Photos from 2012 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

Audio, Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government, Iowa RFA, Oil