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One of GWB's Solyndras


Cellulosic plant in Georgia. As Shrub moved to bribe the farm lobby in swing upper midwest states with his ethanol program, there had to be a cover story.


The story was, yeah, corn ethanol is so-so at best but it will usher in "new technologies."


So far, 0 qualifying new genertaion biofuels. They had to change the rules to permit Brazilian can ethanol to qualify.


Sho nuff a lot of money got shifted around, though, that is fer sure.


Farm stuff, though. Not any of that lefty solar stuff.



17 Replies

Re: One of GWB's Solyndras

Where's Fox News when you need them?

Senior Advisor

Re: One of GWB's Solyndras

The government has yet to see a black hole it thought couldn't be filled. Starve the beast.

Hawken Cougar
Senior Contributor


Veteran Advisor

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

debt changes under bush obama.jpg

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

As Krugman wrote in tepid defense of Solyndra, so private enterprises don't ever fail?


Same here on that count. 


But Solyndra was a bad bet because it only worked with the expectation that there would be incentives for the product down the road. When it turned out that the major objective of the GOP was to block any move away from oil, they were cooked. The Obama administration got the cart before the horse, thinking they'd have some form of cap and trade or other price equalizer passed down the road.


In the case of Range, it was technologically stupid from the start.  Even WITH subsidies in place it couldn't compete. Heck, it couldn't even produce the product it was built for.


Like I said, where was Fox News on this one?

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

Well Solyndra was 10 times greater hit to the Taxpayer`s pocket than Bush`s ethanol deal. Solyndra was all "blue sky" where ethanol is one of the small answers to energy independence if nothing else,  ethanol is a kick-ass fuel oxygenate.  What is great is the politicans thought they would kill ethanol by taking away the subsidy and here Brazil says "send it down here, we`ll take it!".  Ethanol produces more energy than is required to produce it, about like tar sand oil production so it is a answer.  Solar`s day will come, we just have to tread lightly and let technology catch up before we shovel money on it. 

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

If you support GWB becasue he poured a lot of other people's money into your pocket and your community and state, I toitally get it.


But corn ethanol has minimal net benefit and cellulosic is a loser. Period.


Photovoltaic does yield  decent EROEI if you can get production to scale.


But like the oil companies, refiners (Kochs) etc., your interests are now inextricably tied to poor public policy that you need to have continue.

Senior Advisor

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

To say corn based ethanol has minimal net benefits is a strech. Take away 10% of the nations fuel supply and see what happens to the price. Plus we now add value to raw corn and export to other countries. Before most of the starch was going through the cows and being hauled back onto the fields. Now we turn sunlight into energy creating 10s of 1,000s of high paying American jobs.

Re: Bush was an amateur compared to Obama

With a stretch EROEI of 1.4 it isn't a lot better than doing nothing and there are externalities- primarily higher food costs that just shift costs from one category to another.


The only ironclad argument for ethanol is the environmental one- as an oxygenator following the catastrophic failure of MTBE. The farm lobby should have taken 9 bgy as a bulletproof gift from heaven and shut up, fired all the lobbyists and grower association execs to make sure they didn't screw up a good thing.


It is only a moderately complex issue but it is complex enough that proponents can hire lobbyists to maintain support and produce talking points about the marvelous benefits and few people will question it.


BTW, if you take BTU content and deisel into account, probably closer to 4% of transportation fuel. Less than what we're currently re-exporting as refined fuel.