Obama Wants to Power Your Car With Pond Scum

Russ Steele

When I was growing up in Nevada County, my brothers and I used to use sticks to scoop up algae, really pound scum, and throw it at each other. Now Obama wants to throw it at all of us. There is only one problem?

President Obama has recently offered the American people a truly unique plan for meeting our energy needs in the future. He wants us to begin producing clean energy from algae. That’s right. He wants $14 million to begin research on this.

J. Craig Venter, the first mapper of the human genome and creator of the first synthetic cell said his scientific team and ExxonMobil have failed to find naturally occurring algae strains that can be converted into a commercial-scale biofuel. 

ExxonMobil and Venter’s La Jolla, Ca.-based Synthetic Genomics Inc., or SGI, continue to attempt to manipulate natural algae, but he said he already sees the answer elsewhere — in the creation of a man-made strain. 

Others have thrown in the towel and stopped pursuing pond scum research.

With the promise of 100 times as much fuel per acre than traditional sources like corn and soy, algae biofuel was thought to be the answer to biofuels. Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy even gave out $24 million for research on this new technology, including $9 million to Cellana. Who is Cellana? It’s a joint venture between Shell Oil and HR Biopetroleum.

Now, however, Shell doesn’t see a commercial future in algae biofuel and has ended its partnership with HR BioPetroleum, leaving the company with no other avenues of research in this area.

Someone has failed to send Obama a key memo, pond scum is a looser technology.  Pond Scum will not save the economy from economic disaster, only drilling for our own fossil fuels will bring back the economy.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

5 Responses to Obama Wants to Power Your Car With Pond Scum

  1. Dena says:

    Obama constantly uses as an excuse not to drill for oil the fact that new sources of oil take several years to come on line. This is a true statement because the increased production we see today is the result of the Bush administration.
    However what is not said is the lead time from research to production is often far longer. The best example of this is about 50 years ago I saw a something in the paper that said the power of the sun (fusion) would become a major source of energy in twenty years. Well I am still waiting and the only man made fusion has been on a very small scale and produces far less energy than it takes to produce the reaction. On top of that, they still say it will be twenty years off.
    We are better off to go with a known and then in the background play around with other ideas where of they fail, they don’t impact us.

  2. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    He is banking on the fact that nobody knows they already have been working on it – and it doesn’t work.

    I always laugh at the – the oil won’t come for a few years – well if you started a few years ago we would be good now – its called looking to the future. He will always lead from behind – most peoples

  3. Russ says:

    Alan Caruba writing at Watts Up With That has some thought on The president’s fuel from algae idea – “Lower Than Pond Scum”

    Barack Obama has been lying about so many things for so long I doubt he even knows when he is lying or even cares. It’s not enough to dismiss this saying that all politicians lie because many do not. Some in Congress right now are desperately trying to get the public in general and voters in particular to understand that America has more debt per capita than Greece. We are on the precipice of financial collapse and Barack Obama just wants to spend more and more and more; some of it on pond scum.

    During his UM speech, he derided those who have for decades been saying that America has to allow oil companies access to its vast reserves in order to reduce our dependence on imported oil. “We’ve heard the same thing for thirty years,” he said. He’s right. And administrations and Congress have blocked access for just as long. It’s our oil!

    He went further, though. “It means that anyone who tells you we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about—or isn’t telling you the truth.” That’s rich, coming from someone who lies almost as often as he exhales. Oil is a global commodity. The more that’s available to the market, the lower its cost. Domestic oil always costs consumers less than imported oil!

    The truth is that oil production on federal lands declined last year by eleven percent on lands controlled by the Obama administration and six percent for natural gas in 2011.Oil and natural gas production on federal lands is down by more than forty percent (40%) compared to ten years ago. The Obama administration, in 2010, issued the lowest number of onshore leases since 1984. In 2011, it held exactly one offshore lease sale.

  4. Russ says:

    In his speech at the University of Miami last week, Obama told his fawning audience: “If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing alright. Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in America.”

    He wants algae to fuel our jets.

    The Department of Energy is spending $85 million on 30 different projects to “develop algal biofuels.”

    The Department of Defense is investing $500 million to develop algae based biofuels for the Navy. The company developing the algae jet fuel is Solazyme, run by T.J. Glauthier, an Obama transition team member who was heavily involved in crafting the energy portion of the 2009 stimulus package. Isn’t that special?

    An MIT study found that the price of algae as jet fuel would be twice as high as the cost of traditional jet fuel. And a study from the University of Virginia discovered that production of algae-fuel requires more water and more petroleum based energy than other biofuels.
    In short, Obama’s latest nonsense is just designed to provide jobs for his green cronies and to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on more failed experiments with alternative energy resources.

  5. Keith says:

    Pond scum eh? What next? Is he going to suggest we make fuel out of human waste?

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