Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Journal Editorial Report
Features
Front Page
Lead Story
Briefing & Opinion
Tony & Tacky
TV Schedule
For Teachers
About the Series
Archive



Briefing and Opinion
January 7, 2005

Energy Independence
Gerhard Schmidt, Vice President, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Gerhard Schmidt, Vice President, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company sits in a hydrogen powered Focus at a news conference in Taylor, Michigan, April 2004. The Energy Department announced $350 million in grants to more than 130 research institutions and companies, including the Big Three automakers, to develop hydrogen-fueled cars. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

One of the many good pieces of economic news these days is that oil prices, which hit record highs near 56 dollars a barrel two months ago, have fallen back into the low 40s. Even at that level, figuring in inflation, oil prices are lower than they were 25 years ago. The bad news is that the high demand for oil will continue to increase, while the supply becomes more insecure -- threatened by terrorism and instability in places like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. That means America will become less and less secure, unless it can reduce its thirst for oil.
hydrogen graphic
Oil Alternatives

Barry Serafin reports on research into alternative energy options such as hydrogen and biomass that could eventually end U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Alternative Oil Sources

Our panel suggests that alternative supplies of oil and nuclear power offer two possible means to reduce dependence on Middle Eastern sources.