The Instigator
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7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

January Public forum (Topic Too Long to fit, PF Style)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2009 Category: News
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,874 times Debate No: 6596
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




Thanks for all checking this debate out Please note this is PUBLIC FOURM STYLE so Four Rounds, and sense a 4 min speech is usually no more then 5,000 charachters (I checked my longest in four minutes) There is this minimum Good Luck To All

Its time for a change. With President Elect Barack Obama's winning of the election in 2008 shows the people are ready for a change and through this My partner and I affirm the resolved that by 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by Alternative Fuels, Thus we look to 3 contentions to support our stance.
Environmental Impacts
Oil and Dependency

To Our first contention,
Looking to today's debate, the environment can be helped by affirming the resolution. In addition to being credited as the world's largest consumer of oil the United States also emits more Carbon Dioxide than any other nation. We see the transportation sector is becoming more of a problem when it comes to greenhouse gases as the Attorney General in Maryland Roberta James finds in the University of Baltimore Journal of environmental law in the fall of 2007: Twenty pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere for every gallon of gasoline burned by a vehicle. The Energy Information Agency or, EIA follows up finding that the transportation sector accounted for 33 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2005, and of the 33% : 60% or more came from automobiles. With more Americans, on average, driving more miles every year the transportation sector continues to cause a problem with the environment and climate changes. As the European renewable Energy Council finds "It will only be possible to remain within this climate window if energy systems are converted from the present use of fossil fuels to climate neutral energy sources.
To our Second Contention,
Oil has become a staple in our economy and our dependency which has caused not only environmental effect but economic effects as well. As Richard Haas, president of the council on foreign relations, reports, The United States imports roughly 60% percent of the oil it consumes which leaves the U.S. economy vulnerable to economic disruption. Richard Haas continues, This in turn further weakens the dollar and makes the United States more dependent on and vulnerable to the decisions of other governments. We see because of the economy relying to heavily on oil it is detrimentally harmful to our own hegemony and economic standpoint, especially once the oil begins to run out. The EIA projects that the U.S. demand for oil will increase to 269 billion barrels per day by 2030. In 2006, A Study by the petroleum review of the 15 oil rich nations that supply 30% of the world's daily crude oil production is declining by 5% a year which has forced other oil producers to pump extra simply to keep global supplies steady. Although this oil is depleting the price and demand continues to rise. As Mimi Swartz reports in the Texas Monthly that India's energy needs are expected to grow 72% by 2025, China's are expected to roughly double during the same time frame and that in 17 years the worlds demand for oil may be more than 50 percent greater than it is today, with this higher demand, and prices, oil will not last forever practically or economically In the United States.
To our third contention,
A government mandate is necessary the best way to solve these problems. There must be a long term commitment and strict and regulatory oversight with a stiff penalty for violators. We can look to other countries as Joseph Romm Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress finds in March of 2008, No country has ever introduced a mass market consumer alternative fuel vehicle without government mandates. For example the regulation under the Clean Air act helped reduce automobile pollution in the United states by forcing technology with catalysts in 70's and the 80's. As Roberta James finds Regulation requiring a certain technology would force all companies with an industry to develop a product to fulfill the requirement and even lead to better technologies as research continues through time.

Based on these three areas of analysis we look to an affirmative ballot

Good Luck.....


My partner and I stand in strong negation of the resolution for the following 3 contentions:

1. Mandates wont work
2. The 2040 timeline is unreliable
3. The cost and economics involved

Contention one: Mandates wont work
The resolution at hand advocates the use of a mandate in order to achieve the goal of using alternative fuels, however, what we must ask ourselves is if that is truly the best method towards promoting the use of alternative fuels? The answer to that question is no and can be seen in the current alternative energy market. The truth of the matter is that alternative energies and their research and development are being explored in today's market already. Car companies are already trying to compete with one another to produce the most fuel efficient cars. Implementing a mandate could not only disrupt the currently advancing market but it could also have adverse effects. As Jennifer DeTapia states in her special report about alternative fuel suppliers, market forces have proven more effective in generating investment and interest than most government mandates have been. Resources are being funneled into implementing all kinds of alternative fuel projects, from ethanol to natural gas. Today, advanced technologies in the alternative fuel market allow transit agencies to choose from proven solutions, helping them make transportation cleaner without compromising reliability. Furthermore, ideas of a mandate threaten the auto industry. GM spokesman Mike Morrissey explains, saying General Motors did not favor an expanded government mandate because it could have been a burden for some fleet operators, who are GM's customers. Alienating the customer bases of American auto makers through the implementation of a mandate would harm alternative energy advances, not improve them, making mandates counterproductive.

Contention two: The 2040 timeline is unreliable
The resolution calls for this mandate to go into effect in 2040 but how do we know that technology will be ready at that point and time? The answer is that we don't. There is too much fluctuation and unreliability in the development of technology. Advances take time and rushing research could cause dangerous vehicles to enter the market. According to the United States Accountability Office, key alternative technologies currently supply the equivalent of only about 1 percent of U.S. consumption of petroleum products, and the Department of Energy, or DOE, projects that even under optimistic scenarios, by 2015 these technologies could displace only the equivalent of 4 percent of projected U.S. annual consumption and at best 34 percent of petroleum products in the 2025 through 2030 time frame, leaving 66 percent of petroleum products still in play. Furthermore, a thorough survey of past predictions from government, academia, consultants, industry, and financiers by Prof. Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba finds that drunk monkeys might well have been better than energy experts at forecasting future technologies and prices.

Contention Three: The Economics and Costs
By implementing this resolution, you face many monetary problems. The first being the cost of the fuel flex vehicles themselves. Currently, alternate fuels consumed in AFVs substitute for less than one percent of total consumption of gasoline. Dr. Joseph Romm, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy explains this, saying that AFV's typically do not provide cost-effective solutions to major energy and environmental problems, which undermine the policy case for having the government intervene in the marketplace to support them. Furthermore, a high-volume engine can be converted to fuel-flex capability for $300 or less, the alliance says. But alliance president Dave McCurdy says a mandate would increase costs dramatically because the technology cannot be applied easily to some power plants. Alongside these costs are the cost necessary to produce infrastructure to support the alternative fuels. Consider this, there are millions of flexible fuel vehicles already on the road capable of running on E85, however, there have been very few E85 stations built.
With so many things factors working against a mandate for alternative fuels, we find no other solution than to vote for a negative ballot.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, First Im going to go to my opponents case and if time alots I will return to rebuild, and reimpact my own

C1: Mandates Wont Work

Looking to the flow we see direct clash between my opponents first contention and my own third: When we look to my oppents case she says lets look to the current market, well heres the problem, although there may be a very slow almost non existent movement to alternative fuels, we must look to see the best way to solve the environmental harms I have shown, Although competition is happening, the only way to achieve results is through government action, looking back to my own third contention we see the Clean Air Act, which successfully helped reduce carbon emissions and showed new, not complete, technology at the time, the act went into effect and the technology advances happened allowing for the reduction of emmissions.
Then we look to her point about the threatening of the auto industry: However we see this as one of the biggest flaws in her argument There is an obvious problem with the auto industry hence why they got bailed out, and they have no been looked at to try and out perform, With the bailout we see the Auto Industry will not do this themselves and need the government pushing them to actually begin competing and creating alternative fuel vehiles.
Lets look, How many natural gas cars do we have ont he market now, and ethanol is currently only in 3 out of 50 united states, we see that the market is moving too slow and its time to give them the necessary push.

To Her Second Contention: 2040 Timeline unreliable
Ok her own 1st contention contradicts this, if we see cars on the market now, then why is the 2040 timeline unreliable, this mandate simply speeds up the process. Technology develops every minute, ever 3-4 months we see more advances in the entire field of technology and when the mandate goes into effect we see that this technology will have no choice but to evolve. Then she states that by 2030 only 1/3 of technology will be ready, she is correct, ONLY if technology moves at the same rate because im sure the study did not take this resolution in mind with a mandate so this study can not be taken into todays debate

To her Third Contention: The Cost and Economics
This whole contention is about AFV's and E-85 however when we look to E-85 and Ethanol itself we see that according to Bussiness week in February of 2005, Cellulosic Ethanol could cost less then 80 cents a gallon, and looking to the Efficiency as Popular Mechanics Finds in a May 2006 Issue, The Performance of E85 vehicles is potentially higher than that of gasoline vehicles because E85's high octane rating allows a much higher compression ratior which translates into higher thermodynamic efficience. However, Flex Fuel Vehicles that retain the capacity to run on gasoline alone cant take advantage of the high octane boost sense they need to be able to run on pump grade gasoline. From this we see E85 is a perfectly fine fuel and as we cann see can be adapted for 300 dollars or less and the technology can easily come to the plants

Although my opponent has brought up direct costs when we look to the GDP we see this mandate will effectively help our economy,

GDP Is made up of four factors
1)Consumer Spending
3)Government Spending
4)Net Exports

Now look at alternative fuels in reference to these factors:
-Consumer Spending will obviously rise with the new cars consumer spending will go up in the transportation sector as we also see refuel stations change to have these fuels
-Investments will also rise as there will be more investments into alternative fuels
-Government Spending Will increase with helping the upfront costs
-Net Exports will also rise with less importing of oil

Through this we see that when all these rise it thus makes a bigger rise in the GDP and thus a better Economy

Sense I have some Charachters left Im going to Reimpact my own case

Back To My First Contention:
Carbon Dioxide emissions must be fixed and with the use of cellulosic Ethanol and Other Fuels such as Biodiesel, Hydrogen or Even Electric can help stop the major carbon Dioxide problems that have hurt our Climate and Environment

To My Second Contention:
Oil is a big thing in the United States but once it begins to run out, it will be devistating to the United States economy if we dont do something. Not only is this a problem but the money we are spending now is going to Countries that we are not necessarily allies with which hurts our International Standpoint and leaves us up to Them for possible Economic Disruption and a devestating hit to our Economy

To My Third Contention:
The Clean Air Act shows that government action can fix this problem and is the best way to do so, Government action is the only may to make sure these alternative fuels happen

Based on the above I Hope for your vote in affirmation Thank You


kadmarco forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


dkerwi8993 forfeited this round.


kadmarco forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Alright in the end this round flows pro through the following points

Environmental Impacts- Dropped completly by my opponent looking back to my first contention it completly stands
Oil Dependency- Again dropped by con

Economics and cost- This flows pro, we see with the gdp rising by all the factors oyur economy becomes stronger and although there may be an upfront cost we see that it will better in the long run and thus you should vote pro

2040 timeline
I disproved this in my rebuttal and have proven this flawed

And Lastly
Mandates- This flows pro, my opponent has only given quotes from a failin auto industry ceo and has not given an example or proven how markets have worked, Ive showed you mandates succeed with the clean air act which has been dropped

Based on these areas of analysis we look to an affirmative ballot


kadmarco forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dkerwi8993 9 years ago
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Total points awarded:70