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The Final Word by Jim Thompson
The world seems abuzz with energy talk these days. From running out of stuff to burn to greenhouse gases, you can find articles in the popular press every day.

Of course, this is not new. From the first oil crisis of 1973 to now, the cycle is always the same. Each time it happens, we get a little better at conservation and a little better at emissions controls.

The interesting part to me, however is the unspoken constant: the price we pay for energy as consumers. That is the real driver to conservation, new sources, and new kinds of sources.

Take corn ethanol, for instance. I remember driving through St. Louis, Missouri, in the summer of 1977 and hearing the famous radio commentator, Paul Harvey, talking on his program about how great corn ethanol was and what it was going to do for our economy in the next few years (say, by 1980).

The old is new again.

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