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Aired August 30, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


How did we get in this situation? I mean, ask yourself this question: How have we gone decades without one major innovation to help us cut the frickin` oil noose from around our neck? My theory is, it`s because some very powerful people in government and industry do not want that noose cut from our neck.

Edwin Black, he`s the author of an upcoming book, "Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives."

Edwin, who is responsible for keeping us hooked on oil?

EDWIN BLACK, AUTHOR, "INTERNAL COMBUSTION": Well, the main culprit on who is responsible is the public itself, because the public has allowed the government and the corporations to manipulate it and to take away the real energy alternatives that we actually need.

A hundred years ago, this country was crisscrossed with trolleys, electric trolleys, and with automobiles that ran on electricity. That was all subverted by people who realized it was easier to run an automobile on a gallon of gas that they took from the Middle East without paying a royalty than making a lead battery. So what they did is they subverted the electric cars -- and I`m talking about a hundred years ago -- and replaced it with internal combustion gasoline-burning cars. That`s befouled our air. It befouled our lungs. And ultimately it has led to where we are.

BECK: Well, hang on just a second. Edwin, I am -- you know, a look, I am a capitalist. I believe in a capitalist system and supply and demand, but I don`t think that`s what we have going on here. And I think we have such a shadow government of corporations that are really calling the shots. I hate to sound like a complete -- this is going to make me sound nuts. Maybe you know the answer, because you`ve done so much research on this. Do you believe -- hang on, do you believe...

BLACK: I`m a bigger capitalist than you are, and I can tell you that two of the biggest capitalists in the history of the United States, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, both agreed in 1914 to replace every gasoline- burning car in this country with an electric vehicle. It`s been forgotten in history. It was a secret project. And it was subverted by interests who wanted to stick with internal combustion machines, stick with gasoline burners.

And in 1914, we had a chance in this country to continue the electric vehicle trend with home-generated electricity. What happened to that?

BECK: OK. Is the solution sitting in some vault some place? Is it too conspiratorial to think that people have kind of just, oh, all of the sudden fallen into a river that had the solution? Is that too far?

BLACK: Well, it isn`t that we need to reinvent the wheel. We need to excavate it from where it was buried a hundred years ago. The secret weapon that you`re speaking about, the secret invention is the battery or electricity. And that can be produced with hydrogen or an electrical charge.

And all we`ve got to do in this country is to return to where we were a hundred years ago and generate electricity in our homes. There are plans afoot right now -- Honda, BMW want absolutely, within two to three years, to convert us all to hydrogen cars with home refueling.

BECK: The hydrogen car already exists, right? The compressed natural gas car -- Honda has them -- is trying to say, "Help us out. Put them in."

BLACK: Yes, but wait a minute. Wait a minute, Glenn. Do you know why nobody knows about the compressed natural gas car that Honda is making?

BECK: I`ve got 30 seconds. Tell me quickly.

BLACK: Because on the day they were making the announcement, the "Runaway Bride" occurred, and CNN and everybody else decided to cover that instead of a way we could get off of oil. That`s why no one knows about CNG.

BECK: Edwin, thank you very much. I appreciate it. That is "The Real Story" tonight. And if you would like to read more about oil and OPEC and the price manipulation, visit my Web site at, this transcript of this section and a lot more information for you.

Now, if you see something in the news and you`re thinking to yourself, "Just how has the media completely missed the mark on this?" I want you to e-mail it to me, along with what you think the real story is, by writing to

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