A Fuel-Efficiency Wager

On July 27, I published an article on National Review Online in which I claimed that methanol could provide the United States with an alternative liquid fuel that is substantially cheaper than gasoline. This claim was greeted with skepticism by some, who countered that, if methanol were a more economic fuel, the free market would have already implemented it.

Talk is cheap, so — in the tradition of Julian Simon’s famous 1980 wager with Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren that five crucial natural resources would not become dangerously scarce by 1990 — I am willing to back up my assertion with hard cash. I am willing to wager up to ten people $10,000 each that I can make my 2007 Chevy Cobalt run with substantially superior fuel economy on methanol than it does on gasoline. The Cobalt is not a flex-fuel car, but, like all other recent GM cars, it includes all the hardware necessary for flex-fuel operation.

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