If there's one man who could do this, it would have to be Venter. Newsweek has a story on how Venter is working to revolutionize the way we view energy:
In a Maryland lab, he's manipulating chromosomes in the hopes of creating an energy bug—a bacterium that will ingest CO2, sunlight and water, and spew out liquid fuel that can be pumped into American SUVs
Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.
People want to bury that CO2 in the ground or pump it into oil wells or coal beds. We want to use that CO2 and the carbon in it to make new fuels.
We think the first fuels are maybe one to two years away. We're definitely thinking in terms of years, not decades.
Such a breakthrough would create a sudden shift in the geo-political climate to one where the Middle East becomes nearly irrelevant and perhaps the US dollar rebounds to become king (once again).
Venter also brings up a very intriguing point:
Right now oil is being isolated around the globe, and there is a major effort in shipping, trucking and otherwise transporting that oil around to a very finite number of refineries. Biology allows us to make these same fuels in a much more distributed fashion. I envision maybe a million micro-refineries. Companies, cities and potentially even individuals could have a small refinery to make their own fuel. This would eliminate a lot of the distribution problems and associated pollution.
Sounds like the days of $0.99/gallon fuel just might be in our future.