The 'next oil' to pursue is . . . oil! That is, solar and fermentation based, carbon-neutral, sulfur-free, oil-from-algae (OFA).
In an OFA-fueled world, a '57 Chevy pollutes no more than a Prius. OFA fixes the true culprit, the fuel source, rather than all that uses fuel. OFA produces many pure oil types with little refining, has eight times the output of the next closest biofuel, and is the only energy solution that can deliver "more energy than is needed," for Earth and all time.
OFA is manufactured, not ravaged from the Earth, and utilizes more existing infrastructure -- cars, fuel-distribution -- than any other green solution.
Add up all the "hidden costs" spent on digging-in-the-dirt energy, global warming and storms, nuclear construction, mining, maintenance, rod storage, oil refining, drilling, oil, plus fracking pollution, oil-water-lithium supply wars, coal mining, scenic devastation, pollution, adverse health effects from all of those, money wasted on alternative vehicles, wind, solar, precious materials in catalytic converters, ethanol corn subsidies, windmills tilted toward killing birds, views, ROI and then you will find OFA becomes a bargain! OFA makes smokestack emissions a commodity.
An OFA area the size of Maine, using wastelands, oceans, or your backyard, can make enough energy for the U.S.
Local power generation and consumption recoups the 40 percent of energy lost to long transmission lines, and de-centralizes monopolies.
Home-based OFA generation can remove many homes from the grid, minimizing line maintenance, unsightly power lines, massive blackouts, etc.
An OFA site the size of a two-car garage can produce 2.5 barrels of oil per day -- more than enough for all energy needs for a large family.
Our failure to implement OFA as a moonshot or interstate highway-like priority now may mean runaway greenhouse effect or running out of "conventional" fuel, before we have time to cut over.
Ross Garside, Sunbury