Tuesday, July 10, 2007



At some point in the future Japanese cars might be running on sake, rice wine, rather than on straight gasoline. A project in Shinanomachi, Japan, is experimenting with rice-based ethanol to burn in their automobiles. The experiments involve waste materials such as rice husks being converted into material that can be used along with gasoline to power their cars. We think this is a good idea—as long as they keep it in Japan.

If the Japanese want to get a gallon of rice wine and then decide whether they want to drink it or put it in the tank, that’s fine, but if we move that venue to the U. S. and imagine ourselves with a keg of beer, that’s a different story. Are we going to use the beer to get to work this week, or are we going to have a keg party? You can see the problem.

First they came and took all the sake to use for automobile fuel, and I didn’t protest because I don’t really like sake. Then they came and took all the tequila for fuel, and I didn’t protest because of an unfortunate incident some years ago. Eventually it’s going to come to beer, and it will be too late to protest. We want to stop this thing in its tracks before someone throws all the beer into the gas tank.

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