Your Tax $ To Study Pond Scum

More of your tax dollars are going to the Greens to study the feasibility of pond scum becoming an energy source.

On Greenish Pond

On Greenish Pond

The federal government is starting to throw money into it. The Department of Energy has invested $2.3 million in algae-to-fuel grants so far this year. It invested $2.2 million in algae research in 2006 and 2007, though it wasn’t specific to fuel production.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research arm of the Defense Department, is launching a new program to study algal feedstock material, said Jan Walker, an agency spokesman.

Not all that much money you say? Take a look at this.

“We can grow algae. It’s been demonstrated,” said Al Darzins, a manager at the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo.

But it costs anywhere from $10 to $100 a gallon now, and “obviously that’s not cost-effective,” he said.

The Colorado lab led a $25 million study of algae from 1978 to 1996, before money dried up and government research shifted to ethanol.

Still no big deal?

“I’m convinced algae will work, but it’ll take a different, out-of-the-box approach,” said Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla, delivering the keynote address at the Algae Biomass Summit in Seattle last month.
The potential for algae to compete with fossil fuels is there, but it will take scientific breakthroughs to bring down costs and solve climate change, said Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, whose Khosla Ventures has invested in renewable energy, though not algae.

There is the problem I have with alternative energy. I don’t want to pay for the research. Look at this Khosla person for instance. He’s a billionaire. He has more money than the government (trillions in debt) yet he doesn’t want to put his own money into the research. Either the idea is not really that good, or he’s just another Algore. These people get up and preach about what a great idea they have but do you see anyone actually spending their own money or living the lifestyle they want you to live? No. They don’t do it. They want the government (you and me) to pay for it, and for everyone but them to sacrifice their lifestyle so they can buy some carbon credits and live guilt free. And some even buy their carbon credits from a company they own. Imagine that! 😉

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