MORTON - A Colorado author of a book criticizing America's reliance on foreign oil promoted a flex-fuel mandate and the Open Fuel Standards Act Thursday at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association Ag Expo at Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel.
Robert Zubrin, perhaps best known for his advocacy of manned Mars exploration, wrote "Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil," published in 2007.
"Whoever controls the world's fuel supply will control the future of humanity," said Zubrin. "Can we afford to leave this power to totalitarian cultists?"
Zubrin said Congress should pass a law requiring all new cars sold in the United States be flex-fueled (able to run on gasoline, alcohol or a mixture of them and other fuels.
He said the result would be 50 million cars on U.S. roads within three years not running on foreign oil and an equal number of flex-fuel cars overseas.
Entrepreneurs would create a variety of alternative fuels, breaking the oil monopoly commandeered by Middle East oil leaders, Zurbrin said.
He blamed the U.S. and world's economic downturn on spiking oil prices manipulated by people who follow a violent, intolerant type of Islam that supports terrorism and seeks to enslave or kill everyone who doesn't follow their religion or doesn't follow any religion.
"Foreign oil is bigger than Uncle Sam (the U.S. military) and 80 foreign countries. They rig oil prices by changing production levels that create wild price fluctuations so they can extort money," said Zubrin. "It's like a dog owner putting a collar on a puppy and leaving it on as it grows, choking it to death. If we don't stop them, they'll take over American and European corporations."
Zubrin said a flex-fuel mandate would open a global market and cut terrorist funding, air pollution and trade barriers.
He urged supporters to visit www.citizensforenergyfreedom.org for more information.
Earlier in the day, former U.S. House Ag Committee Chairman Larry Combast of Texas, who helped create the 2008 Farm Bill, said blaming high food prices on ethanol is a myth.
He was optimistic the O'Bama Administration would be more friendly to agriculture than the George W. Bush Administration.
He warned of too much agriculture regulation.
"Some over-zealous groups get caught up in emotion and want to make major changes in the way the world looks at the environment," said Combast. "Some of it is beyond the pale of reason."
Dan Lemke, Communications Director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), said renewable energy projects include community digesters that create methane gas from ag processing facilities plus locating algae production facilities next to ethanol plants to use carbon dioxide and heat energy.
Dr. Satish Gupta of the University of Minnesota Soil, Water & Climate Department said Minnesota River sediment pollution was largely created by artificial (tile) drainage and heavier rainfall in recent decades.
Those factors increased river bank erosion particularly in the Blue Earth River, which he said created 55 percent of sediment in the Minnesota River at Mankato and higher sediment levels in Lake Pepin.
Corn Growers delegates will hold a resolution session, from 9-10:30 a.m. today in the Crossed Arrows Ballroom. The annual meeting begins at 10:45 p.m.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).