A World Turning Against Biofuels

from CFACT.org:

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suddenly reversed its support for biofuels. The panel now admits growing crops for fuel “poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity.”

ethanolmakingScientists—and many Green activists—turned against ethanol and biodiesel years ago because it took too much land. However, the United States and EU governments have kept their farmer subsidies. “Environmentalism” had suddenly become political payoff.

The key science for the turnaround was supplied in 2008 by Princeton’s Tim Searchinger in Science (“Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increased Greenhouse Gases Through Land Use Change,” Science 313:1238–1240). The research revealed that plowing up more grassland for renewable energy crops frees massive amounts of soil carbon to gas off into the air. When rainforests are cut in Brazil to grow sugar for ethanol or in Indonesia where peat-lands are drained to grow palm oil for EU biodiesel, the gas-off of soil carbon is far greater. That means tripling our food costs and paying higher costs for auto fuel has achieved no real reduction in greenhouse emission. read more

The Great Green Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

by: the Common Constitutionalist


What will we tell our children and grandchildren? When they look us in the eye and ask how we could’ve let it get this bad and what we did to help prevent it?

Did we just stand by and watch as our governments, local, state and federal frittered away trillions of dollars on giveaways and boondoggle projects?

One such boondoggle project that comes to mind is that of the U.S. Navy’s “Great Green Fleet”.

Having been in the Navy and spent some time aboard a carrier, this is particularly disturbing to me.

Defending the nation is one of a very few things our government is actually constitutionally charged with. So it’s more than just upsetting when in February it was announced that the aircraft carrier Lincoln (CVN 72) would have to indefinitely postpone it’s refueling and overhaul due to budgetary constraints.

Great news! A carrier that is undeployable. Oh wait… make that two. The deployment of the carrier Harry S Truman (CVN 75) will also be delayed for the same reason.

Yet the Marine Corps can spend $350 million on solar panel field communications equipment. As with all dimwitted government programs, they have charming acronyms. The programs are called “GREENS”, Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network System and “SPACES”, Solar Portable Alternative Communication Energy System.

As an aside, you know darn well that some bureaucrat thought up the acronym GREENS first, then just assigned words to each letter.

Col. Bob Charette said: “Solar is the best technology for us.” He explained that the Marines could lay the array on the ground to achieve a low profile.

Well, that all sounds great until the soldiers realize it can take up to 12 hours to recharge their equipment. “Wait, Mr. Insurgent, we are not finished recharging!”

Not to be one-upped, the Navy, or should I say the hacks in the White House that command the military, have been purchasing biofuel to power the “Great Green Fleet”. My goodness, how the Chinese and Russians must be laughing about this one.

In 2009 the Pentagon bought 20,000 gallons of algae oil. It was a bargain at $424 a gallon. They paid a mere $27 a gallon for 450,000 gallons of biofuel. Why pay $3.60 a gallon for diesel? Genius!

The grand theory of the brainiacs in Washington is these purchases will create demand, which will drive the price down to be competitive with petroleum products. But as long as the dolts in Washington are happy to pay 20 some bucks a gallon, the suppliers will happily oblige.

To make things worse, the Navy, Agriculture and Energy departments will “invest” $170 million each in bio refineries. That’s $510 million! Why? Because the private sector knows it’s a waste of time and money.

So when your children ask how this could’ve happened, you can assure them that it wasn’t due to projects like the “Great Green Fleet”. You can tell them, with a straight face, that it was a smashing success, a wise “investment” and we helped save the planet for you, little Johnny.

Biofuel Scam

from: IBD


 In yet another green folly, the lawless Environmental  Protection Agency continues to fine gasoline producers for not using cellulosic biofuels in quantities that don’t exist, making only more pain at the pump.

cellulosic-ethanolLast month, a federal court dealt a serious blow to the Environmental  Protection Agency’s renewable fuels push by ruling that the agency exceeded its authority by mandating refiners use cellulosic biofuels, which aren’t  commercially available. The EPA’s lawless response in a lawless administration was to raise its requirements.

In 2005 and 2007, Congress twice amended the Clean Air Act to establish a renewable fuel standard (RFS) that included a mandate to use cellulosic  biofuels.

If refiners failed to meet the goals, the EPA could fine them. The RFS set ambitious goals for cellulosic biofuels but at least charged the EPA with reducing the requirement if production was lower than the mandate.

This the EPA simply ignored, issuing fines for failing to use this biofuel when it wasn’t even available.

As Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner points out in Politico, 2010, the first year of the mandate, the EPA projected 5 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels would be available.

In fact, there were none. Not a single gallon. In 2011, the EPA increased the mandate to 6.5  million gallons. Again, the actual amount available was zero. Undeterred, in  2012, the EPA increased the required amount to 8.5 million gallons. The actual available amount was 25,000 gallons.

ScamThis absurdity prompted the American Petroleum Institute (API) to file a lawsuit last year challenging the EPA’s rulemaking. The API petitioned the court to review the EPA’s January 2012 RFS.

On Jan. 25, 2013, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the EPA had  exceeded its authority. “(W)e agree with API that EPA’s 2012 projection of  cellulosic biofuel production was in excess of the agency’s statutory authority,” reads the court decision.

The court further told the agency: “The EPA points to no instance in which the term ‘projected’ is used to allow the projector to let its aspiration for a self-fulfilling prophecy divert it from a neutral methodology.”

The agency’s response to the court’s ruling, Sensenbrenner notes, was to  nearly double its 2013 mandate from 8.5 million gallons to 14 million gallons.

Different from corn- or sugar-based ethanol — which have questionable benefits — cellulosic ethanol is made from wood chips, switch grass and  agricultural waste, such as corncobs.

The EPA’s requirement for 14 million gallons of the stuff is about as realistic as that trillion-dollar coin some have proposed to solve our fiscal problems.



Americas Next Great Fuel Source

The United States Navy, the world’s largest single user of marine fuels, burns around 40 million barrels of oil a year. It is busy trying to find a replacement for the dirty, planet killing substance and has pledged to cut 50% of its conventional oil use a year by 2020.

Maybe they should install windmills on every ship, or replace the aircraft carriers flight decks with solar panels.

While both of my suggestions hold merit, the Department of the Navy is instead experimenting with algae oil as a way to wean itself from petroleum.

Drilling for our own oil is evidently out of the question.

It seems our military has not only become a great social experiment but has also become the next laboratory for the green movement.

Industry reports claim that unlike early biofuels, which made transport fuel from food crops, the new “second generation” process uses only plant (crop) waste and does not displace foods which could be fed to people. Nevertheless, immense amounts of feedstock (nutrients) would be needed to produce the algae oil to power the world’s ships.

Maersk, the worlds largest shipping line, estimates it would take the crop waste (feedstock) of an area half the size of Denmark to completely power its ships.

Math time: Half of Denmark is roughly the size of Massachusetts (the whole state), about 16,600 square miles. There are 460 acres in a square mile. That’s 7,636,000 acres for one shipping company. What a deal. The entire proposed ANWR oil drilling site was 1,500,000 acres (3260 sq miles).

Unfortunately crop waste or “residue” is not just waste. It is already being utilized as livestock feed & fertilizer. Thus the name, “feedstock”. So, instead of diverting a primary food source like corn, we deplete a secondary source. Either way, the cost of food goes up. Hooray for more starving people!

Speaking of cost, in October 2010, the US Navy purchased 20 thousand gallons of algae biofuel for a single Naval ship trial.

Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, speaking at the Point Loma Naval Base pier proclaimed, “ This event marks a major milestone in our progress toward a great green fleet”.

How much did they pay for this major milestone, you might ask? Only $424 a gallon. Crack the Champagne!

The cost has apparently come down though. Couldn’t be due to the Navy, the U.S. Energy and Agriculture departments investing $170 million each to fund biofuel development.

By the way, that 20,000 gallons of green crude was supplied by Solazyme, a San Francisco-based biofuel company.

And, just a rumination. San Francisco is in who’s congressional district? Oh, that’s right, Nancy Pelosi. Sheer coincidence. I’m such a cynic.

So, I guess mankind has developed yet another “viable”, cost efficient alternative to the dreaded hydrocarbon.

What’s next, The Matrix?