Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Malkin:  Obama’s Algae Racket
GOP USA – Michelle Malkin – 3/21/2012

What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
What a tangled slim we slop when we deceive from the top.

This deserves a close read as Michelle Malkin details what company is connected to who, and those firms that benefit at the expense of American taxpayers.

Obama's promotion of algae as a fuel source at a campaign speech in Miami last month caught the nation's attention. But algae companies have been banking on administration support from Day One. In December 2008, when the White House announced the nomination of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the CEO of Florida-based biofuels startup Algenol, Paul Woods, exulted to Time magazine: "You see this smile on my face? It's not going away. Everyone is really excited by this."

The next year, Woods and Algenol -- dubbed "Obama's favorite algae company" by Forbes magazine -- racked up $25 million in federal stimulus grants from Chu.

This self-sustaining crony ecosystem, powered by administrative fiat and wealth redistribution, gives new meaning to the phrase "green crude."

There’s more in the rest of the article.

READER COMMENT:  As a scientist I am familiar with the concept of using algae as a source of hydrocarbon fuel. There is a lot of work going on in this technology in the private sector and aside from demonstrating a baseline process the technology is in its infancy. Essentially, the process uses solar energy and ambient carbon dioxide to facilitate algae reproduction. The algae is then harvested and processed to yield hydrocarbon polymers which may be used as fuel. There are many technical problems that stand between where we are now and a practical fuel delivery system. For example, a chemical processing plant, similar to modern petroleum refineries, has yet to be designed and it is far from clear what processes such a plant must perform. I suspect that there is no one in government that could be considered competent to evaluate the technical options for a project of this magnitude. Development of algae as a fuel source is best left to private enterprise where risk taking is by people that provide their own funding and not to government spending tax payer dollars.

BLOGGER COMMENT:  But what about the unintended consequences?  If people use algae for fuel, how does this interrupt the food supply for the wet creatures?

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