CBO on Electric Cars - Don't Buy Them!

Bruce Krasting's picture

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government's role in its evolution with this report (Link):



I'm not knocking electric cars, I'm knocking DC's role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed to up to $25Bn of soft loans to the auto industry and it is subsidizing every electric car that is sold. Without the massive support from our "rich" Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA. The question is, "Is this money well spent?"

The government's role with electric cars goes back to the 2009 emergency spending program ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act):

ARRA provided $2 billion in funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for grants under that program. Of that amount, $1.5 billion was awarded to battery producers, intermediate suppliers for those producers, and recyclers of vehicle batteries; the other $500 million was awarded to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles and intermediate suppliers of that manufacturing.


DOE’s Transportation Electrification Initiative has made commitments for $400 million in grants for demonstration, deployment, and education projects involving electric vehicles. (Party Time!)

I think it's important to note that the original objective of supporting electric car production was that it was a plain old economic stimulus. This was dropping money from a helicopter in the hope that it (and all the other money) would stabilize a rapidly declining economy. Another motivation for the federal investment/subsidy was that it created a back-door support package for the auto industry that was falling off a cliff back then.

Washington also agreed to provide $25Bn in cheap loans to the companies who make electric cars. So far, $8.4Bn has been committed. The rest of the money will be doled out before 2019. The money is being lent by the Federal Financing Bank (FFB). Because the loans are guaranteed by DOE, there is no risk of repayment to FFB. As a result, the loans are excluded from the calculation of the debt limit. The 25 'large' is all "off balance sheet". A very neat trick indeed!

Who is getting the billions of soft loans? What are the terms for these advances? From the FFB (Link):




The CBO has concluded that electric cars are not a "smart" choice for consumers. From the report:

Because of differences in vehicle design and technology, electric vehicles cost thousands of dollars more to purchase than conventional vehicles of comparable size and performance.

Okay, the cars cost too much. What does the government do? It subsidizes the inefficiency. It pays a cash incentive for each vehicle sold. The subsidy is based on the size of the battery; it ranges from $2,500 to $7,500. But the subsidy is still not enough to make electric cars competitive:

Given current prices for vehicles and fuel, in most cases the existing tax credits do not fully offset the higher lifetime costs of an electric vehicle compared with those of an equivalent conventional vehicle or traditional hybrid.


CBO concluded:


The tax credits would still need to be about 50 percent higher than they are now to fully offset the higher lifetime costs of an all-electric vehicle.


I know that someone is thinking that gas prices are going up, and when they do, electric cars will prove to be a smart thing. I'm not so sure. The CBO provided a breakeven on this line of thinking. If gas prices go north of $6, electric starts to make sense. When gas goes to $10, all of the vehicles break even to conventional autos. The problem I have with this line of reasoning is that if gas were to go to $8, the US economy (and the rest of the world) would come to an economic halt. In that environment a fellow would be grinning if he had an electric car, but he would probably be out of work, and most of the stores he would want to drive to would be closed. What good does the electric car create for him if things go very bad? Not much.



There is a final argument that could be put forward in support for the mega investment the taxpayers are making in electric vehicles. The environment. Electric cars are "good" for the environment because they don't produce CO2 gases, right? Actually, that's wrong. The conclusion from the CBO:


  • In the short term, the tax credits are likely to have little or no impact on total gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • In the long term, the credits might decrease gasoline use and emissions, but how cost-effectively they would do so is unknown.

DC is on all sides of this mess. It is paying subsidies for inefficient and over priced cars. It is creating free grants to support an uncompetitive product. It is lending very big money (with long maturities and at low rates) to industry players. Please don't tell me that car companies don't go bankrupt. These loans go out to 2034.
The CBO had a few recommendations on what to do with Washington's headache with electric cars. The one that will probably be adopted is this one:

A larger tax credit is needed to make electric vehicles cost-competitive with higher-fuel-economy conventional vehicles.

That's the solution? It's just sending more money down a rat hole.

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kaiserhoff's picture

The fucking Volt costs $89,000 to produce.  Enough said.

janus's picture

wazzup, bruce.  i just high-fived ya before i even read the article.  you always produce, bruce.

janus was itchin to lay some shit down for these lil bitchez; and i wanted to toss you some props along the way.  you are an institution at ZH, BK.  we Love ya.  hard-nosed and resiliant...that's how i'd describe good ole bruce krasting.  i'd probably throw in some other favorable adjectives along the way; but i'd eventually arrive at hard-nosed and resiliant no matter where i started.  but i warn you, bruce: my flattery shoudn't invite your invective -- you may hate me, but i love you...nevertheless, cross janus and i will flay you with lusty dispatch...that's kinda how i roll.  but i'd love you nonetheless.

lest i digress, i should also praise another that reminds me of BK...or do i have that the other way round?  whatever the case, i present to you, the one, the only, jim willie. 


say what you will about jim willie and rumors and the bleating of jackasses; but the book of Genesis was unambiguous on the subject -- when a jackass rebukes, you bettah listen.  just ask balam.  who's balam?  why, you filthy heathern, balam was the gentile prophet who understood a thing or two.  namely that you bettah heed the word of a pack animal when it warns you that you're charging headlong against the natural order. 

you see, tyler durden was right all along and janus was waiting to see if he was in fact correct.  janus thougth (and naively so) that Uncle Sam would, at day's end, defend The Dollar no matter the cost.  The Dollar is, after all, what this whole mechanism of AMERICA is built upon.

i've for a few years now suspected that Tyler Durden was correct; that the bernack had into an acute corner wedged himself, and that he hadnd't any option but to print and print away (as he'd so famously pantomimed years ago with the cartoonish metaphor he-himself peddaled -- that of a diminutive acedemic boosting scads of cash out the berth of a helicopter, heavily laden with 'liquidity', that he may heal the world by euthanising it with the foul rot that we so lovingly call "fiat"...in other words, thank you, helicopter-ben, you scab-sucking minion of satan).

maybe a tune or two before i really get going...janus needs a musical score for what follows; for you see, i was beginning to envision certain memebers of the ruling class, their supple necks, the good-ole guilotine...i was in that place for a moment in time -- where you're almost-like front row, and the pitiless judgement of a broad-steel blade set loose to the verdict of God and Gravity intersect the evanescance and frailty of ruling-class flesh.  such things happen when certain people get angry enough.

i'm getting angry.


aaaawwwwww SNAP!  dylan is on youtube. 


what more can be said, leonard cohen?  let's see what jack white has to say bout janus...


bedlam it is, bitchez.


i appreciate the fact that some among you entertain various ideas about janus...what he may be, why he's up to whatsoever he's up to, the nature of his motives -- that sort of thing...perhaps you are concerned, and think i'm a sorrowful sheep gone astray.  i don't know how to address these concerns other than to say that i've been rather explicit in an opaque sorta way.  so let me say it in another way.

janus is only attempting to fulfill his Christain Duty.  it's like this: when melancholy directs meditation to the bedrock of one's soul, you find some things of merit (btw, all honest gold-diggers will point you to the pivot of erosion in the deepest bedrock, if they're pointing you to gold).  what do you mean by this odd statement, janus?

well, at a certain point, you start to consider the words of Christ unoccluded by doctrine, politics, churchianity...just His words without fancy equivication.

what words specifically?  i suppose i should set the stage a bit and retell the story of my upcomming Smack Attack and its scriptural justification.  it all happened back in galilee, shortly after Jesus made a few fishermen fishers of men.

Christ went through all the beattitudes in the 5th chapter of matthew, and he did so deftly.  Jesus was jim-dandy when it came to dispensing beattitudes.  He would sometimes illustrate them by saying such things as 'when someone strikes you, turn the other cheek.'  and in an absract sense, you think, 'okay, i'll just accept the smack and invite another...nothing to it.'  well, you do this enough times and you start to question this business of Christianity.  you start to think it may be flawed.  doubt creeps in. 

keep the faith, my brothers, read on.  there is a caveat to this whole cheek-turning nonsense, and it arrives (just when you thought it wouldn't) in the the 18th chapter of matthew. 

if you're a fan of Scripture, you'll know that the apostle peter is not shy.  to put it another way, peter will ask, say and do almost anything.  and so it was that Christ was waxing specific about spiritual covenants and other such bric-a-brac that peter interupted Him with a non-sequitir.  and even if it didn't qualify as a non-sequitir, peter's question was wildly off-topic and in the context of the preceding text, a bit zany.

but if you understand the mind of a man like peter, you'll know that he was still hung up on this turing-the-other-cheek balderdash...he just couldn't get past it.  i'm sure that peter had, from the moment Christ issued the blistered cheek doctrine, doubted his decision to leave the whole fishing for fish industry.  and so the first time Christ paused and took a breath, peter interjected his concerns viz. getting smacked and smacking back.

as i was saying, the book of matthew, chapter 18; verse 21:

"then peter came to Him and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and i forgive him? till 'seven times'?" {verse 22} "Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto thee, until seven times; but, until seventy times seven."

did ya get that, ZHealots?  peter got it.  and, not long ago, janus finally got it.

it means that there is a line.  for a Christian it's when the waters level at the nostral.  when you cannot brook another insult.  490 is a number; more than that, it is a lofty measure of tolerance and fortitude -- it is the subjective appraisal of "enough".

janus has had enough.  i have stiffened my resolve; and i will no longer offer the other cheek.

The Smack Attack:

yo, babyboomers!

remember when you were jaw-boning about debts/the inability to pay/ the freighting of said debts upon the succeding generation's backs, your children?  remember all the moralizing blather about 'responsibility'?  remember those debates?  well, i remember them being glossed over with the various euphemisms for fraud you've over the years contrived.   well, babyboomers, meet Mr. Gen-X.  my name is janus.  i am the child you indebted without permission.  i'm all grown up.  i can do the math.  i refuse to pay.  you are withered and old.  i own your world. 

prepare to suffer, baby-boomer-bitchez. 

whatsoever a man sows, that also shall he reap.


i wonder why we listen to poets/

when nobody gives a fuck/

how hot and sorrowful/

this machine begs for luck/

all my lies are always wishes/

i know i would i die if i could come back new,


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I see no math here to account for all the fuel for shipping & mining of the materials used primarily in an electric vehicle for batteries & electric motors that are NOT commonly used in combustion vehicles.

Combustion heat-exchange is the most efficient manner of conversion as all conversion processes lead to waste heat but at least a heat-capture system can get more mechanical energy from the fuel.

The sad truth is steam-engine technology, properly sealed & arranged for heat re-capture, far exceeds electric engine efficiency. They had it right back in the 1800's moving on. The electric cars can do something negative that heat engines can not - lose power to an antenna via induction.

fredquimby's picture

We have had electric cars for sale for YEARS in Europe;) They sold a few to the Euro equivalent of the Hollywood set (The Swiss), but the biggest problem we have...is.....we normal mortals have NOWHERE TO PLUG 'EM IN!!!

I am not talking about getting a charge whilst on the road, there are plenty of mega-wattage charge up stations on the motorways and other places (see plugsurfing.com), I am talking about at home.

I just shouted out to my office, how many people park their cars in their own garage? Not one hand in the air out of 35 people. We all park in multi-story car-parks close to home or outside the front of the building i.e on the road.

This is why Electric cars are not working so well IMO....... I certainly know this is the only reason I haven't yet bought a Tazzarri Zero or a Zero Motorbike.


SanOvaBeach's picture

I'm green!  My car gets 11 mpg at 117 mph.

Crisismode's picture

You call that green?

My bicycle gets 100 miles off a pile of pancakes and syrup for breakfast.

A side of fried eggs and cheese gets me an extra 25 miles.



plata pura's picture

T.I.R third industrial revolution; every roof top will be ones own energy company;;;;;;;;;;; the mega energy companies will be brokers. the great turning will have marvelous things for posterity. verily it will try mans souls.

Ginsengbull's picture

Power failures could present a big problem.

imppress's picture

Do these studies take into account the sizable cubmint subsidies to oil companies that makes our gas much cheaper than it otherwise might be?


$8.00 gallong might be very plausible if not for fed assistance in pipeline building and defense of oil fields and what-not.

Are electric subsidies so outrageous given our military deployment needed to secure oil?  Maybe not.  I need more numbers.


Non Passaran's picture

Well, both oil and electric car subsidies should be canceled.

And then electric cars would still be more expensive than natgas cars.

patb's picture

iraq was running about $3 Billion a year.  Afghanistan similiar.

figure 33% of the DoD budget is tied to patrolling the oil lanes.


that's anywhere from 7-25 per gallon of gas.


jonjon831983's picture

Don't buy em?  Who do we report this to?  That's "Un-American"!

Heyoka Bianco's picture

The electric car industry is certainly a mire of bad investment and crack pipe dreams, but I find it a little, um, hypocritical, that suddenly the CBO has become the unimpeachable source, on any subject, for ZHers. How are they any different from the fraud peddlers in every other government branch?

The whole electric car industry and its brainless "green" supporters hasn't even hinted at what to do about the real life blood of the American economy: all them semis out there hauling consumer crap for just-in-time delivery. Of course, this is a pointless argument to try and make to folks who think huge solar arrays are somehow going to reduce oil demand.

Dork of Cork, the numbers sound good, if we all really wanted to leave near the fucking train, but I never even liked model trains. How is laying thousands of miles of track any advantage over the existing road system? If you live or work within walking distance of a station, great. Otherwise, we're just creating another inefficient scheme for milking tax dollars.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture


There are two different types of people in this world .... Dinky (toy cars) or Toy train people....

The tracks already exist is America for the most part...... they just need modern signaling so that passenger trains and freight can operate at the same time and relaying so  passenger trains can operate at higher speed.


This public transport story needs to be told.


What other mode of transport system refurbishes 1950s vehicles to supplement modern unreliable buy America vehicles ?
They perhaps may need to reconsider restarting the Budd railcar production line with possibly a lighter upper body replaceable section.
The Bicycle storage area is the largest I have seen on a commuter train , its pure decadence when seen from a European perspective.


And only 1,750 users a day !!
In Europe pre crash it would be standing room only for a route that passes through towns of 50,000 – 80,000 population.

The question is why is this commuter train not going to Salem where this track continues ?

Its a city with a population of over 300,000 people or something.


patb's picture

Prior to 1945, 80% of everything went by rail.



The Alarmist's picture

The cars themselves have lower emissions, but the energy-generating infrastructure needed to charge the cars puts out even more carbon emissions than a comparable gas or diesel burning vehicle.

patb's picture

Large centralized plants are more efficient and the grid is becoming more green, it's 13% renewables and headed north fast.

Non Passaran's picture

Uh, the report says it's all great, but cost is the problem.
Spain is very green, too.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

OK lads -  attack my argument rather then give me negative marks.

Have he ever heard of the Labour theory of value ?



The use of derivatives has extended this capital cycle over a unnatural long length.......this multi decade now global wage arbitrage scheme has created  huge capital misallocations as there has been false demand signals from this credit mirage.

When Ryanair and Jetblue eventually go bust there will be no rational capital available to run to......all of the real physical capital was destroyed to extend the cycle of metaphysical capital claims.

There will be no new cycle of accumulation if we continue this madness.

You cannot do this during a civilisational collapse.

Its why people keep finding Gold coins with metal detectors from about 400 AD or thereabouts.......

Look at Ireland for God sake.

You now cannot get a flight from Cork to Belfast

The era of low cost airlines created a false capital construct which broke down in 2007.

Just as in the 19th century you cannot go direct by train to Belfast - you must change stations as always.

Why ?

There was no point in investing in such stuff back in the day as airlines were so cheap........

A false credit demand signal causes these malinvestments ,money / wage demand signals do not do this.


SAT 800's picture

You're wasted on this website; ninety-five percent of the muppets could no more think clearly than they could take off and fly using their arms as wings. And, as for actually knowing anything; that requires reading and studying; you can forget that. You should try to find another  website where people who were worth your time would reply to you.

Snakeeyes's picture

Too bad Americans are forced to buy Obamacare with its staggering tax increases. As if letting the Bush tax cuts expire is any bettter.


SanOvaBeach's picture

I guess you forgot.  Da Bushie started two (2) wars and they are not paid for yet.  At the same time he gave tax cuts and started a drug program on Medicare that is not paid for.  If he can do it, so can I God damm it!  I'm gonna buy a new house, a new car, and then quit my job.  Then I'll blame Obama..............

Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

Why can't we just wait until oil gets to a price where electric cars (solar panels, wind energy, etc.etc.) are cost competitive without subsidies?

Then we can just steal the technology from all the other countries wasting money on it at this time. Every other country has been doing this to us for decades. I think it is about time we return the favor!

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Because Walter you would get a larger breakdown of civilisation when you get to that station - the externalties of conflict would then feed back into more losses etc etc etc.

Refer to Steve from Virgina posts......all Industry requires subsidy and at all times..... ALL.

This is now a question of management to prevent a larger train crash.

To have "growth" in this system you need to increase the  monetary aggregates...this could be Greenbacks ,fiscal funds perhaps if they pay little or no interest but it most certainly cannot happen via Bank Credit which is just too wasteful of real resourses.

This "Growth" of money will redirect resourses to nodal points where you could get a critical mass of commerce going again.

This video however explains how not to do "Growth" and perhaps explains the decline of the Vermonter train. 


Low cost airlines - in this case "Jet blue"

What exactly happens when you get a low cost airline operational ?

Resourses are subtracted from wages (wages transfers to rational domestic demand) and more resourses are directed towards fuel waste.

This means less fuel is available to do real work rather then consumption

This is a very simple concept

Wage arbitrage seems to work until the airline runs out of customers as its customers also eventually work for low wage type operations so therefore have little time or money to travel by any method.

This creates huge malinvestment in the wrong capital projects as the true input costs are hidden until it is too late.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Again - I think the comments here for the most part project suburban minds.....

Its not a question of if a system requires subsidy or not ... all Industrial systems require subsidy.....it a question of if it is a effective subsidy.

All Cars (Oil Or electric) are a product of consumer bank credit - they are extreme leverage vehicles....

If the goverment gave $15,000 to each Adult to go out and buy a car it would rightly be considered a waste of resourses....but when banks give credit of $10,000 or whatever it seems OK.

Why is that ?


Look cars are a epic waste of real resourses - you cannot stop car use overnight since the entire built landscape is the product of credit hyperinflation but you can channel resourses towards new Nodal zones.....they were once called Train stations.

If the goverment provided fiscal funds to each Adult which in total was $1,000 each per year of rail cards the oil price would dive I imagine....Releasing oil to do real work.....i.e. build more rail & tram lines.......

Repeat those simple steps for 20 years and see what happens......

Piedmont train passenger growth

Y2009 : 68,427

Y2010 : 99,873 (46%)

Y2011 : 140,016 (40.2%)  - second daily service added 5th June 2010


 IIIini & Saluki train passenger growth

Y2011 (313,027) increase of 18.2%


Vooter's picture

I live in NYC, I love mass transit and railroads in general, I commute by subway every day, and my car is parked 95% of the time. That being said, the United States is GIGANTIC (especially compared to Ireland)--that 260-mile trip between Cork and Belfast you mentioned in an earlier post is roughly analogous to the trip between NYC to Washington or Boston, a corridor that is already served by commuter railroads and Amtrak. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the nation's population (outside the major metropolitan areas) is widely scattered across the paved continent, and giving them $1,000 rail cards would be as useful as giving a condom to a nun. You could build rail lines and rail stations 24 hours a day for the next 20 years and you wouldn't come CLOSE to giving a fraction of the U.S. population a viable way to get around. This country lives and will probably die on the availability of short-distance vehicles (gas, electric, NG or otherwise)--the nation is simply physically too large and too sparsely settled for anything else...

THE DORK OF CORK's picture


Sure , I get that America is BIG and its really hard for Europeans to Grasp the scale of the place but much of North east America is not unlike parts of Europe in some ways.

The London to central Scotland rail route is actually further then the New York Vermont route as far as I can gather.....you must look at each transport route in isolation.....

Many guys in London use the Scot rail sleeper service to go backpacking for the weekend or week.....they wake up in the morning  , get off the train and off they go.........

You must start from somewhere right ?

PS -very few people live outside of Scotlands Central Belt yet Fort william on the west coast is a busy station


It gets slightly more passengers then Pittsburgh Union station !!!


Something is just not right with your rail system.

I mean Fort william is not even a nice place - it merely functions as a gateway to the Highlands.

Pittsburgh is a Big city I gather.


SAT 800's picture

Once again; your problem is that you actually took the trouble to educate yourself. You know some basic facts, such as that railroads are overwhelmingly the most effecient transportation system available; these people don't even know that. You need to find another web site; this one is populated by morons who are completely and absolutely without any knowledge of the real world; history, or anything else.

Bear's picture

Where is the consideration of the cost and environmental impact of electricity generation. We burn coal (petro, NG, nuclear) to make electricity ... if all American cars were electric, where is all the energy coming from?

jimmyjames's picture

We burn coal (petro, NG, nuclear) to make electricity ... if all American cars were electric, where is all the energy coming from?


The perfect question-

What will people choose when the alternative is darkness?

All of the above-

max2205's picture

More black holes in the USA than all the universe

robobbob's picture

if gasoline goes to $10/gal e-cars will break even?

if gas goes to $10, where will the price of electricity be at? especially since our national policy is in the process of shutting down all those nasty coal fired plants where most US electricity comes from?

or is this another example of central planners unable to walk and chew gum at the same time?

cbxer55's picture


Exactly, electricity is not getting any cheaper. I live in a one bedroom apartment and am very consciencious of my electricity usage, and I have a hard time keeping my electric bill below $70.00. Most of my bulbs are compact flourescents, and I rarely ever have more than one on at a time. I work nights so everything is off, and the air/heat is set to run at a minimum while I am gone.

Gas hits $10.00 a gallon, my electric bill will more than double, I am sure.

Gas hits $10.00 a gallon, there ain't going to be much consuming going on, if any. I am already starving the beast, buying nothing but food and gas, and the minimum I can get away with. Not buying anything, not going out to eat, nothing.

Let em eat cake.

Crisismode's picture

Let them eat sushi at Nobu for $300. a plate.

nmewn's picture

"DC is on all sides of this mess. It is paying subsidies for inefficient and over priced cars. It is creating free grants to support an uncompetitive product. It is lending very big money (with long maturities and at low rates) to industry players. Please don't tell me that car companies don't go bankrupt. These loans go out to 2034."

Centrally Planned, Fascist and "Green"...whats not to love?...lol.

Here's another good one...

>>>"The military sales are particularly galling.<<<

If they want a small car that doesn’t use much gas, they could buy two Cheverolet Cruzes (same frame as the Volt, seats one more) per Volt. In a remarkable slap at fiscal conservatives, Andrews Air Force Base just purchased 18, probably to be parked somewhere near Air Force-1." (LOL!!!)

The good news is that there is no chance that the military can ever claim that there’s no fat in their budget when they are about to plunk down—estimate—about six million dollars for cars that no one else really wants."

(Well yeah, theres always that.)

"Here’s the sorry bottom line. Volt sales to individuals are really running around 10,000 per year. Given a smaller number of leases and fleet sales last year, this is pretty much what GM should have gotten if there weren’t supply problems in the first half of 2011.

The fact is that no one wants this car and the government is goosing sales by giving them away as short-term leases and purchasing them for officers to tool around in. Meanwhile, the dealers make a killing—largely on the taxpayer’s dime."


Isotope's picture

Or even better, wait just a little while and buy the diesel model of the Cruze. The military already buys and handles a lot of diesel fuel. These would fit in easily and save a lot of fuel and money. Of course, that's assumimg they didn't opt for the much more expensive biodiesel that they are subsidizing with their purchases.

nmewn's picture

They've got em a helluva racket going on up there, no doubt about it...

"The federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets targets for renewable fuel production and requires a certain amount to be blended into conventional gasoline and diesel, has been the main catalyst for the growth of several companies exploring new technologies.

Investors, however, have been leery of the enormous amounts of cash it can take to bring the fuels from the lab to the gas tank. Industry officials say that having a large, steady customer like the military could attract other investors to help finance large refineries that would bring costs down through economies of scale. Military officials say that their purchases of small amounts for testing has already helped reduce the cost. In 2009, the Pentagon spent roughly $424 a gallon on algae oil from Solazyme.

“Finding a user like the military can rapidly help to scale technologies that then are used in the civilian marketplace — it becomes a catalyst,” said Bob Johnsen, chief executive of Primus Green Energy, which is developing fuels from biomass and natural gas. “If the military becomes a buyer, that becomes a means by which the production facilities can be financed.”


And who is part of Solazyme?...T. J. Glauthier.


Thicker than thieves.

WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>The federal Renewable Fuel Standard

I think I have a 2 bird solution for this one. Lipo all the lard asses on their hoverounds at WhaleMart, render & voila enuf biofuel for decades to come. Less health care until they lard up again. Rinse repeat. 

nmewn's picture

Yet another use for Soylent Green...don't give them any ideas ;-)

falak pema's picture

bruce, the experience curve...and the disguised subsidies to the oil lobby...since 40 + years.

adr's picture

Ford has taken almost $4 billion in loans from the program at an average interest rate of 2%. The electric Focus was one hell of an expensive car!

Mulally the master thief.

SAT 800's picture

Definetely not. The Government is the problem, the whole problem, the only problem; and always has been. They're buying votes from muppets similar to you who believe there's something called "global warming"; or something called "oil shortage"; or something called "green energy"; none of which exist. The programs are loudly anounced to buy votes from the ignorant cultists.

q99x2's picture

Save trillions by getting rid of DC (as in Washington) and driving PeterBilts.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

I really don't understand America......you can save far more fuel if you give money to Amtrak to reduce ticket prices.


 Its the least you can do since they don't have any control over most of the trackbed which is unheard of in Europe.


A decline of 13% to a amazing 3,023 in Y2011 , I mean come on !!! 3,023 people used the  train station !! with direct access to NY & DC !!!!!

 The Vermonter was one of the few Amtrak lines to show a decline in passenger numbers during FY2011

Passenger numbers

Y2010 : 86,205 (ticket revenue 4.778 million)

Y2011 :77,783 (ticket revenue 3.961)

Whats happening in Vermont ?

This is a combined monetary & private ownership of the commons crisis.

All of the input /output signals are fucked up.

This is not a oil / energy crisis.

This is a free banking malinvestment crisis.


Meanwhile in the land of almost free Kerosene

Burlington International Airport (April 2011 - March 2012) destinations out.. 


JFK : 170,000 passengers

Newark LGA : 36,000

Wash DC  IAD :54,000

Wash DC DCA : 52,000


Go figure ..........

Yee are wasting energy that could do some usefull work otherwise.

Its a waste based system.

Why ?

Because the money is fully privatised - it turns waste into interest............simple.

Now it is having difficulty turning the waste into interest as there is now very little to waste under the current monetary system.


PS if you must drive a car long distances.....get a smallish car with a small Diesel engine.....give it much higher gear ratios....... narrow wheels . a puncture repair kit rather then a extra tyre.


People can get 90 MPG in this vehicle in real world conditions over long distances when driven in a conservative manner.




This video was made in 2009 but it was a amazing $12 for a ticket !!!




Have you any idea how much it costs for a ticket in non sovergin Ireland where everything must pay its way withen the debt based system even if it wastes a biblical amount of energy ........

Yee guys have the Luxury of almost free interest rates at the moment

Its 40 - to 60 Euros for a ticket from Cork to Dublin............so its cheaper to waste Petrol and diesel in a car while the train travels half empty wasting more diesel.......

But yee have the option of filling those railcars....make it $6 to New York why don't yee ?

Empty trains don't save fuel.......

SAT 800's picture

My dear friend; you do not understand America because you are rational. America is a cultural and educational sinkhole; with a government that does nothing but buy votes. Are you aware that General Motors was proscecuted in Court and found guilty of buying up city tram lines and scrapping them; to sell BUSES? This is a historical fact. The transition to the rubber tire motor vehicle has been under-way for a long time now; the Federal Government began destroying the railroads in the late nineteenth century and got really serious about it after WW1. President Lincoln put into motion the Federally subsidized transcontinental railroad, which was a giant cesspool of giveaways, padded bids, and substandard work. Shortly after it's completion; a competing trans-national railroad was built; WITHOUT A DIME OF fEDERAL MONEY; it was much more effecient and threatened to run the Federal boondoogle RR out of business; this would have been politically un-acceptable; so Washington started fucking around with the railroads; replacing a system of free enterprise with one of centrally managed freight rates; costing the nation enormous amounts of money thru-out the twentieth century. Eventually, of course, the Washington Railroad Czars killed off most of the nation's rail systems. But that was alright, they had billions of tax dollars to spend on highways with the attentand possibilities of kick-backs, vote buying, and etc. Do you need any successful Futures Traders in Ireland; I'm just tired of watching this massive fraud machine grind itself into the ground. Cheers.

OldPhart's picture

Dear Dork:

In July my wife and I took our very first vacation, ever, in 34 years.  To make it special for her I booked the train from Jacksonville, Flawed-duh to Shithole, DC, then to feelagalfreeah, and then to NewYakShitty.  We had never been on a train.

#1  I'm a smoker, fuck everyone that doesn't approve, I am and I try to be reasonably polite about it.  However, riding a government train means there are no accomodations for smokers.  You may have a few minutes at some stop along the way, but you really have no idea where or when those stops are.

#2  Time in travel on a train equates roughly to 1 hour air vs 17 hours by track.  We stopped at every podunk town for a few minutes and the conductor would not allow me to deboard to blow a fag, pass gas, suck a butt or simply smoke a cigarette.

#3  Screaming babies/kids....air time 1 hour train time 17 hours.

#4  Cost...coach from Jacksonville to NewYakShiity for two...$400 plus.  Air fare for two...$200

#5  Food/booze...airline...overpriced, train..meh.

#6  Shitters/Sanitation.  Airline, reasonable.  Trains, times square porta-pottie.

#7  Overall.  Airlines, private company.  Trains, fucking government workers.

On opposite, for trains...no fucking gestapo fingering you.  My everyday carry was no issue.  Airline, naked scanner detected by two silver eagles that I 'forgot' to put in the bin and the gestapo was amused by the two other birds I displayed in the scanner.

I did learn, on this trip, that getting a Library of Congress card is invaluble.  It was accepted as 'official government identification' at mints, the airport, the Halls of our fucked up Congress, and other delightfully unexpected venues.

Trains in the US are weird.  We traveled deisel from Jacksonville to Shithole, there it switches to electric and electric apparently powers the commuter trains of the northeast.  Amtrak doesn't own the tracks south of shithole.  They apparently do heading north.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

@Old Phart

Yes us Euro boys find the long distance rail passenger  setup in the States very very weird.

With 1950s equipment still in service (if it works why not?)

But the airline system using Airlines such as Jet blue can only beat trains over their optimum distance of 300 - 800 ~ miles if they pay less wages and redirect the surplus towards fuel waste (see my argument below) and goverment subsidy remains in the road rather then rail area.

For example the Vermonter only runs at 59 MPH or something.

Loco powered trains are also very inefficient when they stop and go at each local station as the power /fuel needed to increase the momentum each time these very heavy vehicles accelerate and deaccelerate is huge.

The current Vermonter Loco should be used for direct non stop travel to NY & DC (sleeper service ?) and back to compete with Burlingtons NY ,DC flights with a lighter DMU used to service each of the smaller stations in use during Daylight hours.

However I feel the situation is so corrupt withen Congress etc that private entrenched interests in the airline and road lobby do not want to see rail working.

For example Scot rail runs a very successful Sleeper service over similar distances as the Vermont train between London and various destinations in Scotland (Edinburgh ,Fort William , Inverness etc) with almost all of the stops near the end of the Journey  ,and almost no stops in England which makes great sense.



As for ultra long distances of 1000 miles and more I am not so sure it works other then for Tourism and stuff although there is a multi day /night train that runs from Moscow to Paris and the South of France now.

akak's picture



It must just be our US Citizenism nature.

You know: farming the poor, extorting the weak, monolizing the speeching means, consumptionalizationizing, blobbing-up, etc. etc.

It's eternal.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture


Yee don't have to follow the Yellow brick road to figure whats going on..... merely follow the Vermonter


Essex Junction (Amtrak station) : 21,798[1]   -4.6%

Waterbury (Amtrak station) :4,818[1]   -6.1%

Montpelier (Amtrak station) :7,031[1]   -6.2%

Randolph (Amtrak station) :1,897[1]  +2%

White River Junction (Amtrak station) :14,109[1]  -14%

Windsor-Mt. Ascutney (Amtrak station) :687[1]  -41%

Claremont (Amtrak station) :1,240[1]  -37%

I thought this was a oil crisis ?

Bellows Falls (Amtrak station) :4,364[1]   -6.2%

Brattleboro (Amtrak station) :15,223[1]  -1.7%

Perhaps there was some rail works in 2011 but I don't think so.

I thought the people of Vermont were rich or something ?

If this was in Europe it would be a very very very busy rail line but it runs only one train a friggin Day !!!!!

Unlike a Plane it stops in every little town...unlike a bus its much more comfortable......

It should really be running 777,830 people a year rather then the 77,783 people in 2011.