Correct, there is no way around the First Law of Thermodynamics. Depending on the effeciency of the process, though, it could be useful as a storage medium for nuclear or hydroelectric power *IF* it is cheaper than pumping oil from the ground.
You beat me to it. IF the process could be made efficient enough then it could be used as a means of storing excess energy generated from a nuclear power plant. It can never be used to generate power, however, since it will always take far more energy to create fuel than can be recovered from the fuel.
By the way, I learned how to create clean burning pure hydrogen out of water back in my high school chemistry class 40 years ago. This is not new technology.
Sure there is... but you kinda have to be God for that route to work.
Actually, if we re-elect Obama, he plans to repeal this law during his second term. It's far too restrictive on his energy plans for renewables. You might also expect to see him set pi to an even 3.0. It's part of an affirmative action plan to simplify math so that more will get passing grades.