According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. gasoline consumption in the first quarter of 2012 averaged about 8.5 million barrels a day. And that was down from a peak 9.3 million barrels per day in 2007.
On Friday, AAA reported a gallon of regular unleaded cost an average $3.51 in Tennessee and $3.69 on average across the U.S.
Middle Tennessee State University professor and Mt. Juliet resident Cliff Ricketts set out a week ago on a 2,600 quest to change all that. He arrived in Long Beach, Calif. on Thursday under the power of water and sun.
“After 25 years, I finally reached my goal of going coast-to coast on nothing but sun up above us and water, from the beach right here” he said. “I’ve got a great support team, [including] Terry Young and probably 50 to 60 students over the last 25 years working on many components of it.”
It appears, at least on the surface, that if a self-proclaimed Tennessee farm boy can do it, top researchers in the automotive industry can, as well.
We’re hoping the world will take notice of Rickett’s accomplishment this week. We’re hoping Ricketts can pass the torch of progressive alternative fuel research to those who can and will make a difference.
We’re hoping this week marks the beginning of an offering of truly affordable vehicles fueled by the sun and water that will lead to less or no dependence on foreign – or any – oil and other fossil fuels.
Strides have been made over the past few years in electric car technology, but the result is expensive vehicles. Ricketts’ idea goes far beyond that, and is truly a step in the right direction.
The fact is, the sun’s energy is in abundance, and so is water. Oil and even electricity are not.
It’s our hope Ricketts’ engine can and will be mass produced for all to use, so we can all benefit from it in our wallets, as well as protecting the environment for future generations.
The world owes Ricketts a debt of gratitude, and we will start by saying thanks for what you have shown us this week.