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Guest Post: A Plan for Synthetic Fuel Stimulus

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Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:07 | 605607 MountainHawk
MountainHawk's picture

I have some stock in SYNM, their technology converts chicken fat to produce bio diesel.



Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:22 | 606022 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Synfuel and Butanol, bitchez!

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 02:30 | 606657 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

Let's see....First Tyler pens a pean to H1-B's, then states his preference on the inevitability of Amerikan labor surrendering to their rendering in the great global meatgrinder of slave wage arbitrage.

Now we read that Amerika ..


has been "voluntarily" placing .."its economic life in the hands of so many hostile powers, while denying itself the vast mystic oceans of oil within its own borders" ...when we should really be getting jiggy with COAL (suggest blog name change to "Zero-visability" in that event) ...That we "float on a lake of natural gas (Infrastructure!) and swim in a sea of agriculture: grain, corn, switchgrass" (W was always so proud to roll that one off his simian tongue)— Dig it Tyler....that Ethanol scam was some DOPE ASS SHIT! Tyler, you are rapidly inhabiting my "Nutjob" file just as Denninger did before you.... How much of the rest of the shit on this blog is pulled out of your ass?


Mon, 09/27/2010 - 07:07 | 606792 mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

Wow.  What sophistikated arguments you make.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:25 | 605626 michael.suede
michael.suede's picture

It is time for the American government to stop using coercive violence against its own people, forcing them to buy crap they don't want and don't need.

For example, currently the American government violently loots the public to the tune of billions of dollars, then takes that money and hands it to corn farmers.

The corn farmers grow epic amounts of corn, which we are then forced to burn in our gas tanks.

Basically, the American government forces its people to burn money for fuel.

The criminal American government simply needs to get the hell out of the way and allow the market to produce the correct fuel for our vehicles and factories.  The "correct" fuel is the one which does not have to be rammed down the public's throat at gun point.


Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:27 | 605693 panika2008
panika2008's picture

Would be cool if the american government's "getting the hell out of the way" actually increased the world's stock (or flow, for that matter) of usable energy. Unfortunately, no such luck.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:00 | 605893 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

Respectfully, how do you know this?  The airwaves are presently full of mouthpieces who tell us about the failure of capitalism and free markets, all the while holding up the poor performance of our current near-socialist definitely *not* free markets as examples of failure.  You presume a result from a circumstance that hasn't actually existed.


As for factual examples, our government in the past pushed strongly for ethanol, an absolute disaster and epic fail from an engineering/scientific analysis.    Beautiful example of the government "getting in the way", and why many believe that ex-lawyers and car salesman shouldn't be making decisions about national energy policy, at all.  When the private sector pushes for something that isn't profitable or competitive, it comes to a screeching halt due to lack of continued funding.  When the public sector pushes for something that isn't profitable, there is no such check, and the idiocy can reach tremendous proportions buoyed on the back of unwilling taxpayers.  This is better how?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:37 | 605961 panika2008
panika2008's picture

Changing the method of slicing a pie does not make the pie any larger or more tasty.

Nothing wrong with capitalism if you ask me. It's just that Earth is finite.

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 00:06 | 606501 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

Did other posters argue that it's not or do you believe that there's somehow inherent in capitalism a set in stone belief that the earth is not finite?  It seems like arguing a straw man point. 

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:32 | 606685 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I think all understand the earth is finite.  It's just that some argue for using it all up now; others argue we should save some for later.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:27 | 605630 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Much more logical is to develop the enormous quantities of energy that we already have, especially coal, shale oil, tar sands, offshore oil, etc. which have been ruled out by the EPA dictatorship.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:17 | 605936 Seer
Seer's picture

It's MINIG, not "development!"

What you are advocating is the srtategy of strength through exhaustion.

People have to quit using the bening term "production" on a non-benign process/situation.  "Production" is a process, not a resource.  Exhaust a resource and there is NO production- capiche?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 22:11 | 606338 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Yeah, I always get a kick when oil companies talk about production, "Oh, we produced 400 gadzillion barrels this quarter". Oil companies do not produce dick, the Earth produced the oil. Oil companies poke a hole in the Earth, siphon oil out, and destroy it.

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:37 | 606688 RichardP
RichardP's picture

Can a magician produce a rabbit out of a hat?  Can a thief produce the stolen goods?  Can an oil company produce oil from the ground?  The dictionary says all of these productions can happen.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:28 | 605631 grandcanonical
grandcanonical's picture

On the other hand as long as we own/control Iraq, House of Saud, et al isn't the Middle East actually a domestic supplier?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:02 | 605664 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Collateral cost is too high!!!...

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:31 | 605635 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

Here's a better plan.  Stop wasting our treasure and lives to artificially stabilize the middle east.  Next time the Arabs and Israel go to war, and oil spikes to $350/barrel - watch all those "green energy" companies get money from PRIVATE interests.  Problem solved.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:31 | 605702 panika2008
panika2008's picture

What kind of media brainfuck does it take to induce in american hatred for the hand that feeds them almost for free? Are you guys suicidal or what? Really think it would be cool to just forego the cheap oil provided under the US Army's aegis? I say madness! Suicidal, masochistic madness!

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 16:59 | 605912 SWCroaker
SWCroaker's picture

It doesn't take media blather, just morals.  And an expectation that human existence should contain a hint more responsibility and a lot less "gimmee"... 


PS.  Your "hand that feeds you" for "almost free" is stealing from you, right now, this very instant.  Can you feel it?  Are you even aware of it?  The value of your savings, your degree of personal freedom, your very self-image as a responsible human in a just world are being eroded, bit by bit.  A country that takes from its citizens, seizes from others by force of military might, and lies routinely sets a tone for entire generations to be raised thinking a dishonorable existence is natural and the way to go.  Please give totalitarianism a 2nd evaluation before embracing it so...

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:43 | 605973 panika2008
panika2008's picture

Every day I fill my tank at the station I feel that I'm getting something half free. Does it make me an accomplice? Probably. Fuck morals. Might makes right. And the cost of this might is so tiny for you Americans, and still you complain. How the fuck is this reasonable? Getting a heap of free goods for like a 2 or 4% GDP spent on DoD and friends. You guys seriously need to go back to school and learn to calculate what's good for you and your families.

As we are at families. Please tell me, do morals feed your relatives? Did morals feed the people of Carthage when their country was smashed by the Roman empire and themselves killed and enslaved?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:22 | 606021 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You're not really calculating the costs accurately.

If I go steal a 40oz bottle of beer from the local deli, it's "free," right?  But if I have to buy a gun to get it, or end up on Riker's because I get caught, the cost increases dramatically.

May as well burn down your house and watch all that big free insurance money roll in.

The most glaring (offensively so, really) omission is that the DoD budget doesn't fund the cost of the wars.  Military operations are funded with supplemental spending--very rarely on-budget.  The ongoing health-maintenance costs of all the war casualties get driven out of the costs paid by income taxes, and shifted to SSA and Medicare.

There's nothing "free" about any of it.  It's just a government-enforced system to increase wealth-inequality among the domestic population.  A few guys who were worth $40million get to be worth $50million, and a million other guys worth shit are now worth less-than-shit.  A few are dead.


Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:51 | 606698 panika2008
panika2008's picture

So, what is the real cost of these wars? www.costofwar.com lists it as ca 1 trillion $ from 2001 on, I'm inclined to think that the site does not underrepresent it. 1 trillion per 9 years, OMG that's a lot, especially taking into account that your Capitol dupes spent lighheartedly like 2 trillions in 2 years saving the banks.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:28 | 606034 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

You neglected to subtract out the 60 years of treasure spent on the guns to get you your "half free gas", which includes debasing the money to fund the war machine.

And that doesn't even figure in all the blood spilled.

From where I sit, your so called "half free gas" is pretty fuckin' expensive, bub.

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:55 | 606702 panika2008
panika2008's picture

That is quite possible, but please not that many other countries debased their currency much, much more and spent - or at least tried to - much more per capita on arms, well, and the winner is USA.

Please note that the domestic production of oil in US peaked in 1970s. Domestic production of oil in the USSR peaked in 1980s. US, contrary to USSR, was able, in spite of surging oil price, to stabilize its empire and by its brutal presence around the world ensure the flow of black gold. USSR failed it. Pray tell who did better.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 21:14 | 606260 l1xx3r
l1xx3r's picture

You have some serious re-evaluating to do.

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:52 | 606701 panika2008
panika2008's picture


Sun, 09/26/2010 - 16:03 | 605835 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

You believe in the free market?


Anyways, seems like a good trade no matter what the cost of a barrel.  Trade fiat for oil.  What a deal.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:46 | 605975 panika2008
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A good trade, and one that is largely possible thanks to the guys at the Pentagon.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 13:52 | 605653 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

This has to be the work of Brad Schaeffer?? 

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:21 | 605686 Lapri
Lapri's picture

Who's Brad Schaffer? Maybe he owns some energy hedge fund or something and looking for a federally guaranteed profit, like Bill Gross does all the time by front-running the Fed?

If he so believes in the synthetic fuel, he should feel free to do it himself. Don't drag us into it by forcing us to subsidize.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:30 | 605699 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Maybe you should google? just saying!

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 16:29 | 605870 Lapri
Lapri's picture

OK I found Brad Schaeffer, not Schaffer...

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:32 | 605706 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It's not about the oil. It's all about bribes.


Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:43 | 605716 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Why synfuels?  So the government can waste another trillion dollars and put more guns to our heads.  This has already been solved.  With new drilling technology we have over a hundred years supply of natural gas.  Convert fleet vehicles to natgas and piss on oil.

Cost - 40 % or less than gas or diesel

Great cold weather starts

No refining cost or pollution

Greatly reduced transport costs and related spills

Engines last forever because it burns clean

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 15:00 | 605736 drB
drB's picture

Being a chemist I think all this is CRAP and will result in disaster just like "bioethanol" which is neither green nor cheap. The only economically viable form of energy other than coal, gas, and oil is nuclear energy. For some reason it is not being developed enough, and if we would switch from fossil fuels to nuclear for electricity generation then Middle East can go and eat sand. My recollection is that 10% of oil consumed in US is used for residential heating/electricity production, and if that is cut out + convert some transportation to natural gas which is here in relatively large amounts then oil price/consumption will drop to the level that oil-producing nations will not be able to be stupid any more.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 15:19 | 605760 LMAO
LMAO's picture


Thorium anyone?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 15:23 | 605770 drB
drB's picture

Exactly! But even current technologies for nuclear plants would be sufficient for many years. AND they are not pumping CO2 into atmosphere. I wonder why INconvenient truths did not advertise nuclear energy...wait...no finantial gain there :)

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:37 | 605954 Seer
Seer's picture

Reading stuff like this just makes me feel better about not being one of the drones produced by "higher" education.

If one is myopic then the most hideous solution could be made to appear rational.

Assuming that nuclear plants could be constructed in time to save us from the impending energy drop, which they cannot (perhaps for the advantage of the wealthy), one must realize they are no more than a PROCESS, they do not CREATE anything, they TRANSFORM.  And what is it that they TRANSFORM? raw materials, LIMITED raw materials; as a matter of fact, raw materials that are SCARCER than any other materials from which we derive energy from.

How about we first determine whether all these energy-dependent systems/way of life is really needed before trying to perpetuate them?  That people can't see it for what it is -a centrally planned govt- just allows us to continue to be manipulated right up to the massive grow-or-die collapse that is on the horizon; and all that's being done it to adjust the SPEED at which we're heading there, NOT the direction!

Inconvenient Truth promoted nuclear through omission.  It did NOT bash nuclear: geezus, Gore is from a big nuke state! (fucking people are SOOO duped!)  Some of the biggest pro-nuke ads in years came out exactly when this film came out- conincidence?  I don't think so.  The elitists (many with "Dr." in front of their names) are all in it to perpetuate a system that CANNOT be perpetuated; they do so so that they can continue to make OTHER people do work, while they tell everyone else what to do!

"But even current technologies for nuclear plants would be sufficient for many years"

Without any metric applied you're just promoting blind faith here.

Just imagine BP running nuke plants.  It'll happen; and if not BP then someone else.

I tend to think that heroin junkies can kick heroin easier than energy junkies can kick energy.

Bottom line: entropy is going to kick everyone's ass.  Big systems WILL fail, and one day they will be no more.  What will you want to have at that point?  A wasteland?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:26 | 606007 drB
drB's picture

Nothing is eternal. Even if you do not consume anything Sun will turn into red giant and swallow Earth. The question is, how to make our existence here reasonable for time being. If you are against any consumption why don't you leave for Pakistan of Zimbabwe..they do not consume much energy. And who will decide what is reasonable consumption and what is not? You? Government? People who make decisions are the ones who have their palms greased.

With respect to how long can we use energy. Fast breeders which use 238U would produce energy sufficient for billions years by current needs (if they would be built; American Journal of Physics, 51, (1), 1983). Sun will turn into red giant much earlier. I give you that any consumption is destructive, and as such it would be good if it is minimal, but that is unrealistic.

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 00:18 | 606519 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

If you'd go look at any site about the use of thorium in liquid fluoride thorium reactors you'd find that the U.S. has, literally, thousands of years by best estimates of the stuff.  And it's actually harmless in its natural state.  You can hold a lump of it in your hand without injury. 

Please look into the issue.  For a start, you might try reading this:


and this:


and this:



Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:31 | 606042 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture


Hell yes, THORIUM!

You refine the thorium from coal deposits.

Then use that thorium to create electricity, some of which you use to convert coal into liquid motor fuel.

1000 years of energy indpendence.  At least.


Spread the word.



Mon, 09/27/2010 - 03:57 | 606703 panika2008
panika2008's picture

"Then use that thorium to create electricity", uh, it's not that simple really.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 16:51 | 605902 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Let's at least convert what we can to nat gas first which we apparently have a shitload of suddenly.  That would be an improvement in several areas at once plus we know it works and what the trade-offs are already.  When we've made that move (and nuclear too) then we can afford to tilt at windmills and cow farts and other wacky (sorry, alternative) things like that but lets pick the low hanging fruit first please.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:46 | 605976 Seer
Seer's picture

You've got a pile of dirt in your back yard.  It's a BIG pile.  If you advocate using that dirt, meaning that it's going to be REMOVED from that BIG pile, do you really think that your BIG pile is going to STAY big?

Stating that there's a "shitload" of NG is meaningless.  Without stating what kind of drawdown that can be expected -remember: you are, but default, encouraging a more rapid rate of drawdown- you have NO idea how long that resourse is gonig to last!

That stated, I DO agree that it would be more meaningful to use NG directly than indirectly, such as Canada is doing to produce oil from its tar sands.  And speaking of Canada, the US gets something like 16% (reference: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/ng_cons_top.asp) of it NG from there.  Since the US is importing That much, does anyone honestly believe that increasing the demand will reduce imports here?

This energy shit is the yoke around people's neck.  It's how TPTB control you!  Yes, msater, just give me another fix!

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:55 | 606085 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Bravo! Well said! I will tell you this, uranium is also a finite fuel of which we have only ten yrs. supply at increased consumption. Working in high energy I always laugh when I hear friends say, don't worry you guys will take care of the technology to save us ha! People just don't get it, there is nothing like high btu crude oil and we wasted it. When you have to mine, drill a mile deep in water, inject water/nitrogen you are at the end of the cheap oil done over said. We don't have to worry about alternatives becoming available, nuclear, pollution etc., the countries with the last of the crude will withhold and horde the last 30% and tell us if you want to build anything come to us.  You can not feed 7 billion people with anything less then cheap crude. Remember the last 30% is worth far far more than the previous 70%!

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:52 | 605725 dussasr
dussasr's picture

"I do not trust Wall Street (the traditional source of investment capital) to act in the national interest." 

This is good because Wall Street acts in their own interest.  I think it is a mistake to assume that they should act in the national interest - they are business people whose priority is to earn a living.

I agree with you that it is a national security risk to import as much energy as we do.  However, part of me doesn't mind using up other country's resources while our domestic supplies remain underdeveloped.  This helps to ensure that we will have domestic energy in the future.  

Finally, I also think it is a mistake to assume that we need more feds on the public nipple to solve this issue.  After all, the reason the Department of Energy was created was to reduce dependence on foreign oil.  How has that worked out? 

The best way to encourage development of alternative engery supplies is to tax the ones you are trying to reduce consumption on.  However, this raises the overall cost of energy for Americans and sends jobs overseas where energy would be cheaper.  You would have to be extremely careful with such a move to avoid doing something counterproductive.

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:54 | 605984 Seer
Seer's picture

"I agree with you that it is a national security risk to import as much energy as we do."

Whose "national security?"  With all this increase in said "national security," do YOU feel safer?  I sure the fuck don't!  "National security" is a fucking racket by TPTB to control the masses.

"However, part of me doesn't mind using up other country's resources while our domestic supplies remain underdeveloped.  This helps to ensure that we will have domestic energy in the future."

Which part of you believes this way?  Would you be willing to go to where your oil is coming from and inform the people There how you feel?  Probably not.  You are, in essence, just participating in the pillage of other people.

Your approach, however, is nothing new.  One of the Forbes stated this very strategy back in the early 70s: of course, if any of the oil exporting countries were to take this same approach our "national security" apparatchik would demonize them.

As far as having any assurance of having energy in the future... fantasy land!  Build up an even BIGGER energy consuming country and then have it feed only on its own resoruces will only result in an extremely fast drawdown/depletion, and Then what?

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 14:53 | 605726 LostWages
LostWages's picture

Why not listen to Boone Pickens?  His plan to convert all the big trucks to CNG would create jobs (converting all the big rigs, adding CNG fueling depots along major interstates), and would reduce our imports greatly.

The falling price of oil would create a tax reduction in the form of cheaper gas prices and boost the economy by putting more money in the hands of Ipod buyers.

A Fast Money guest the other day (sorry I don't remember his name, a big hedge fund guy) also suggested giving citizenship to foreign immigrants who pay cash for a house and live in it for at least two years.  This would cause housing prices to recover and force the would be homebuyers off the sidelines.  As deflation in the housing market continues, the urgency to buy today has been removed as prices will be cheaper tomorrow. 

Never mind, it makes too much sense and the politicians would have to get their hands out of the pockets of big oil. 

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 17:57 | 605988 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, right on!   Let's just keep the Ponzi going so that it can get around to dying!

And when the "conversion" is over, then what do all those mechanics do?

And, why the fuck do we have to be moving big trucks around?

BIG = FAIL! (be it big government, big busienss, ANY BIG system [except nature])

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