PLUG OK license plate
Senator Bennet endorses plug-in hybrids
Sep 5, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Utah Senator Bob Bennett is speaking publicly about PHEVs and clearly understanding the subtleties. (He joins his fellow Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is playing an important role in the new Advanced Hybrid Vehicle Development Consortium -- see op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=63536

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D1.
Date: Saturday, September 03 @ 00:00:30
Topic Our Towns

Bennett speaks to Utah County businesspeople

The government shouldn't be involved in setting gasoline prices, despite the recent spikes that some have characterized as profiteering, U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett said Friday.

"We cannot repeal the law of supply and demand," Bennett said in remarks during the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Forum.

Hurricane Katrina has disrupted the supply of gasoline in some areas, and demand has driven up the price. Getting the government involved in setting prices only leads to worse trouble, he said.

"The market is much more efficient at setting prices than the government" Bennett said.

He disagreed with one suggestion that the country should divert money from space research to develop hydrogen fuel cells.

It takes as much energy to produce the hydrogen as the cells produce in driving a car, he said. Instead, "we should change the kind of cars we buy and the kind of fuel we produce," Bennett said.

Instead of making ethanol from corn, which is expensive, Bennett suggests making alcohol from prairie grass.

"All we have to do is mow it," he said. The conversion to burn such fuel in a conventional car engine is cheap.

He also suggests combining the technology of hybrid gasoline-electric cars with electric cars.

Drivers can plug in their cars at night, giving them enough juice for 20 miles of driving -- without burning any gasoline -- enough for most driving.

"That would take us up to 100 miles per gallon, and that's better that fuel cells," he said.

On illegal immigration, Bennett said he favors a proposal to issue temporary work permits.

With 10 million illegal immigrants in the country, many of them children who have spent most of their lives in the United States, rounding them up and sending them back is simply not practical, he said.

And sealing the border isn't as easy as it might sound, Bennett said. Hiring and training the manpower would take years.

Most of the illegal immigrants come to the United States to work. They send their paychecks to their families, and go on welfare, Bennett said. Giving them the permits makes it easier for them to go home.

Besides, he said, immigration is the only thing that keeps the population in this country from shrinking.

And he noted that Congress in the past two days has approved $10.5 billion in relief for the Gulf Coast areas demolished by Hurricane Katrina.

"We've never had a disaster like this," Bennett said. Congress wanted the make sure the lack of money isn't one of the problems.

N.S. Nokkentved can be reached at 344-2930 or at nnokkentved@....

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