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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are plug-in electric cars the new ethanol?

In 2006, I wrote that large-scale ethanol use--although it was being promoted as a green fuel--would not be good for the planet. By 2009, that was nearly consensus.

Today, plug-in electric cars are the new miracle cure to our energy worries. My Examiner column today looks at some of the problems that could arise from widespread adoption of electric cars:

Back to the lithium: The GAO report warns that “extracting lithium from locations where it is abundant, such as in South America, could pose environmental challenges that would damage the ecosystems in those areas.”

Those more concerned with energy independence than green fuels also have reason to doubt electric cars: About half of the world’s lithium reserves are in Bolivia. A major shift to lithium-powered cars “could substitute reliance on one foreign resource [oil] for another [lithium],” the GAO writes.

Read the whole thing here.

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