When you don't have a bottom line, rather a mish-mash of objectives, massive inefficiencies can be tolerated. Here's a bit on our new green navy:
The USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the "Great Green Fleet," the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels...Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel's $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel.
In addition to the rather large extra expense we have an increase in crony capitalism, those bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle will be cashing in:
The Pentagon paid Solazyme Inc $8.5 million in 2009 for 20,055 gallons of biofuel based on algae oil, or $424 a gallon.
Solazyme's strategic advisers, according to its website, include T.J. Glauthier, who served on Obama's White House Transition team and dealt with energy issues, but also former CIA director R. James Woolsey, a conservative national security official.
The bigger the size and scope of government, the more of such winners, who then pay for candidates who continue their subsidies, why we have had a quota on sugar imports since 1934. But I'm sure the Keynesians will note that a dollar spent by government otherwise would have been destroyed via private thrift, so it's all good.
I liked this blog when it was about finance. Grumpy libertarianism is not exactly hard to come by. ZzzReplyDelete
This is finance and you’re the financier.ReplyDelete
You won’t think it’s Zzz when your crap fiat dollars won’t buy even close to what they did last year, the government slaps capital controls on all obvious points of exit and your "fair share” becomes half of what you own.
The 424$/gal biofuel experiment is perfectly defensible within the framework of the US program of achieving energy independence. The fact that some people involved in algae fuel has government experience and contacts does not prove crony capitalism. On the contrary.ReplyDelete
BTW, the energy independence goal has been achieved (not by algae fuel, but that is irrelevant).
It's nice pf you to share this with us. We won't know what they are doing behind are backs. Thanks for the info.ReplyDelete
I don't think $424/gallon fuel is defensible for any reason, and it's certainly not defensible in the context of an unattainable myth to be independent of foreign imports of a globally traded commodity.ReplyDelete
You probably were too young to feel America's utter dependence on Arab oil in the seventies. Several Presidents declared that "Energy Independence" was a national goal. Like going to the moon.ReplyDelete
America's success was not obvious. Look at Germany, with its thousands of expensive windmills and photoelectric farms.
"The 424$/gal biofuel experiment is perfectly defensible within the framework of the US program of achieving energy independence. The fact that some people involved in algae fuel has government experience and contacts does not prove crony capitalism. On the contrary."ReplyDelete
But the biofuel experiment is doomed to failure because of the basic laws of chemistry and thermodynamics. Biofuels are another version of solar energy, and solar energy just can't compete with hydrocarbon fuels, and we have no shortage of them. It's not about energy independence, it's about price. It was always about price. We could have had energy independence in the 1970s with coal to liquid fuels conversion using the Fischer-Tropsch process. It was just too expensive. The "green navy" is just what it appears on its face: a scam.
"Grumpy libertarianism"? I see, whenever someone points out a monumental waste of taxpayer money, they are instantly categorized as an impractical libertarian or a stooge of the right and their concerns should be stuck in a back room somewhere and not exposed to daylight. True that.ReplyDelete
I assumed the point of the military developing alternative fuels was to assure they could operate if all foreign sources of oil were cut off.ReplyDelete
In other words, if we entered a Max Max kind of world ... we would have alternative sources
I read that an aircraft carrier dumps 100 tons of trash into the ocean every day - that is pretty abhorrent anti-green considering fish, shrimp, crabs and mussels sold in restaurants - u don't shit where u eat.ReplyDelete