Home » Yossie Hollander Discusses Ending Our Oil Addiction at TEDxChapmanU (Transcript)

Yossie Hollander Discusses Ending Our Oil Addiction at TEDxChapmanU (Transcript)

So our problem is how to replace oil? The green energy just does not do it.

Let’s look a little bit about global warming, whether you agree or not, look at the facts.

So what do you want to work on? You want to work on oil which is used in transportation; it’s $500 billion a year or more, and it’s the number one emitter of the greenhouse gases and urban pollution in the United States.

But coal, on the other hand, is used for electricity; it’s $30 billion and it’s really as far as emission is second or third. It’s quite interesting, right?

So why are we focusing so much on coal? The government spends all the money on coal. If you run your business and spend all your money on the $30 billion and not the $500 billion, you’ll be bankrupt. And by the way we are bankrupt.

So if the red corner doesn’t get it and the blue corner doesn’t get it, so what do we do? We need to break oil monopoly in transportation. Let me tell you how.

We need fuels that exist today. You heard about them. Some of them you may have not. Methanol, ethanol, natural gas and electricity. You may not heard about methanol. Methanol is a liquid fuel made from natural gas, any carbon – actually even from garbage and we are the Saudi Arabia of garbage.

So those fuels exist in this country – they are all domestic. They’re cheaper; all of them are cheaper than petroleum without subsidies. All of them are cleaner. All of them meet fuel greenhouse gases. All are domestically produced and all generate American jobs — a dream come true.

There’s only one problem: the market doesn’t accept the price signal, which is sometimes to 1 to 8.

What’s happening? Well there seems to be three interconnected market barriers.

The first one is the car. Your car cannot take another fuel. So it doesn’t matter if the fuel is cheaper, even if you had it available you couldn’t put it in your car.

So – but we have cars that are coal flex-fuel. It’s a technology that has been known for 40-50 years; it’s not like rocket science.

In Brazil, people put fuels in the car which is a combination of ethanol and gasoline; in China methanol and gasoline. This technology exists. Why shouldn’t all our car be like that to allow us a choice?

But that’s not the only thing, because even if we had the car, there’s no station we can buy, for example, ethanol or methanol. There is one new station right here not far from Chapman, the first one in Orange County. Wow! So what’s happening? Why don’t we have more gas station if it’s cheaper somebody would want to sell us? It’s for the same reason why – when you go to McDonald’s — the McDonald’s franchisee cannot buy fries from Burger King. The distribution channel is blocked.

We had that one before. In the ‘80s, AT&T did not allow any competitor to access the local loop. MCI, Sprint, the long distance carrier couldn’t market to anybody because they couldn’t get to the customer. AT&T was only the way.

So what happened – we said, no, no, AT&T, now you have to give access to MCI and to Sprint through your local loop and the customer can choose the long distance carrier.

Within three years, the price of a long distance call went down from $3 to $0.30 a minute. And that’s why we have smartphones. Otherwise you’d still have one black and white telephone owned by AT&T.

So we need to break that monopoly.

Another interesting thing that we found out is that there’s something called emissions regulations. They were all done for a good purpose; the results sometimes is not so good. For example, if you want to convert your car to drive on natural gas, it’s very simple – there are many cars or trucks that run on CNG. The cost of it in Italy, for example, is $2000. The cost in the United States is between $6000 and $16,000; same car. Why? All regulations.

Let’s look in another ridiculous regulation. I own two electric cars. One, a Fisker Henrik is a great car and a Tesla. So you know, the Tesla paid a fine of $275,000 to the EPA because they didn’t have a emission certificate. Apparently you need to test emissions for electric cars as well. The problem is they couldn’t get the certificate because they couldn’t find an exhaust to put something in.

I can go like that for an hour. We need to modernize our regulations to support what we need and change them to allow competition in this market.

What we’re talking about is actually a very new concept.

First of all, you must know your car, the one you’re having right now in that parking lot probably under the stadium there, can probably convert it for a very small amount of money, on any replacement fuel that we discussed. It costs $2 a gallon or less. Can you think about it? $2 a gallon, right now, today.

And your car could be converted probably at $100 or less to almost all those fuels, not to electricity, that’s slightly different but to liquid fuels like methanol, ethanol, et cetera and others.

But it’s not allowed. You can’t change your car. It’s not legal. You can’t improve your car; it’s illegal.

So standing our ways are those outdated regulations and existing distribution system, because the solution exists in the American system. The fuel exists in the American system. The natural gas, ethanol, the methanol, they all exist here.

What we really need is fuel competition. Like in everything else. You can decide which television you buy, what other products that you compete; you can decide which long distance carrier you take in, which cell phone you’re looking at. Why not decide which fuel you want to take?

If we will have competition, the price will be down. We want choice at the palm, so not the government will decide what to do but you will decide what to do.

I can assure you if those fuels and those conversions to the cars were legal, and that could be done, tens of millions of Americans will do them right away and the Walmarts of the world and the Safeway and et cetera will put those palms right away and you’ll go there to foot for $2 a gallon. And soon enough all the gasoline station will.

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