Algae: Forever the Fuel of the Future

by Chris Horner on February 24, 2012

in Blog

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I’m still thinking about this algae thing, having been on the road when the hilarity ensued. As I understand it, we’re talking about algae because those stupid Republicans keep saying we should produce more oil domestically if we want to lower the price, since we have so darned much of it. And the President responded, that’s stupid because it won’t be here tomorrow.

We instead should “invest in” algae (see, “invest in” Solyndra, “invest in” Beacon Power, “invest in Ener1″…need I continue?). Because algae will be here…um…well, don’t be a cynic.

Because the true engine of… fuels for your engine… will always be energy sources like algae (man, I just wish I was in the room when the consultants worried, “how do we avoid him telling people the real answer is properly inflating their tires,” and the response to this brainchild was “YESSSSSS!,” high fives all around!).

Of course, any insider fool knows that this is a big waste of money because the prez has “invested” a lot of our money in Fisker and the Volt. They don’t need no stinkin’ pond scum to get you where you’re going.

Anyway, flash forward using time travel, which, really, like anti-gravity boots and the rest, has never been more promising (technically, you have to admit he’s right), and enter the world when we pull up to the station and say fill ‘er up with algae! (Free packet of Sea Monkeys with each tank!). It’s just around the corner, as competitive wind and solar electricity have been just around the corner since the ’80s…the 1880s.

The price is 425 dollars and 9 10ths of a cent per gallon. Question for our economist in chief: if we produce more algae, does that bring the price down? Just a window into your thinking.

I sense somehow we’ll be told that we’re really captive to a world algae cartel and that the U.S. is powerless therefore to impact the price. And so stop asking that we produce more. We all know, by now, you can’t produce your way to lower prices.

So that’s stupid. We should instead be investing in…

Durwood M. Dugger February 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Actually, you’re right about being held captive by a cartel to grow algae – and grow anything else like food. The worlds largest phosphate reserves are in N. Africa and the Middle East and China. The price of phosphates of course are determined by the fuels (petroleum) used to mine them. Once again folks – biofuels are petroleum – one way or another.

BobRGeologist February 25, 2012 at 2:42 am

We have plenty of carbon based fuels to last us more than 100 years if the knot-head in the white house would quit listening to the green lobby. If we use it carefully we can stretch it out to more than 200 years. With advanced battery technology we can pick up most of the slack with solar. The “ring of fire” around the Pacific will be very long lived source of geothermal generated electricity. The sooner we can rid ourselves of this stupid fear of CO2 and greenhouse gases and accept the fact climates have always fluctuated and put this wasted money in energy research. A study of the Pleistocene ice ages is clear to me that this fear of our planet getting too warm is not in the cards. Our world is overpopulated by a factor of 4x if we all can expect to live on the scale of western civilization. We are in interglacial stage No. 5. and have iced
polar regions, we are due sooner or later to ice down to the 40 deg N. latitude for a long, long time. If we cannot find how to control the fusion reaction our species could be back to hunter / gathering.

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