The 'Green' Premium: 620%

Tyler Durden's picture

As the squeeze-fest from Friday's oil-spike wears off a little, it is perhaps worth noting just how astronomically insane the world gets when the terrible triumvirate of 'green' energy needs, defense spending, and government largesse come together. Why should we worry about 5c or 10c on a gallon of fuel down the local gas station when the US Navy (in all her glory) is willing to pay a staggering $26-a-gallon for 'green' synthetic biofuel (made we assume from the very same unicorn tears and leprechaun nipples that funded the ESM). As Reuters reports, the 'Great Green Fleet' will be the first carrier strike group powered largely by alternative fuels; as the Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks just as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae, and chicken fat (we did not make this up). The story gets better as it appears back in 2009, the Navy paid Solazyme (whose strategic advisors included TJ Gaulthier who served on Obama's White House Transition team) $8.5mm for 20,055 gallons on algae-based biofuel - a snip at just $424-a-gallon. While this is of course stirring all kinds of Republican rebuttal, Navy secretary Ray Mabus believes it vital to diversify as the Navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation for over 100 years (from sail, to coal, to oil, and then to nuclear from the 1850s to 1950s). Indeed, "Of course it costs more," he told the climate conference. "It's a new technology. If we didn't pay a little bit more for new technologies, we'd still be using typewriters instead of computers." Easy when it's other people's money eh?

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monad's picture

It makes sense if you think Waterworld was a forecast.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

This is one of the many reasons we should legalize hemp.

theXman's picture

Mr Secretary Mabus,

I have news for you -- you just paid 10 times the price for an old typewriter. Bio-feul is nothing new, just a more expensive "technology" to produce an old product.

idea_hamster's picture

unicorn tears and leprechaun nipples

In fact, it's Kermit spunk.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


If we are going to get serious about climate change, we need to do better than this. ONE FLEET of ships? Are these the ONLY people willing to make the commitment to building a better world for our children? We need to replace ALL fossil fuels with biofuels, wind farms and solar. And I know conspiratorialistic libertarians won't like this, but NUCLEAR is another one of the options we simply have to develop. In the 21st century, there is simply NO NEED to burn ANY fossil fuels. Join the CARBON FREE REVOLUTION - Stop using carbon based fuels in all parts of your life. Make a difference TODAY and commit to making America CARBON FREE by 2013!


Piranhanoia's picture

MDB thinks diesel is a new green goddess.  Guess you aren't about sarc after all.

MDB just might be a commentatator for the swells.

ThaBigPerm's picture

Heh.  Biofuels = "carbon-free"?  Heh.  Somebody sucks at chemistry.

Praetor's picture

What MDB is not telling you, after the Wall St scum suck you completely dry, all you have left is your bones, which they will process into a new technological calcium phosphate version of biodiesel.

Taint Boil's picture



It has been said that an algae farm the size of Maryland would produce enough BioFuel to satisfy the entire fuel requirements of the United States. Not sure that I believe that 100% and not sure what the EROEI is …….

marathonman's picture

Maryland and DC have a healthy and growing stock of pond scum on hand.  Harvest that and you've got something.  Seems pretty renewable as well.

strangeglove's picture

Price be damned! Full speed ahead!

WhiteNight123129's picture

Baffle them with bullshit and laughter....  thanks MDB for the daily dose of carefully crafted comical absurdity.


RealFinney's picture

America can't afford not to spend the $70,560,000,000,000 to switch it's oil consumption wholly to Bio-Fuels. (4 billion barrles at $420 a gallon).

Bloodstock's picture

We exhale carbon fool. How about you lead us and show the way by stopping breathing? Good luck with that.

El Viejo's picture

FYI:  It's a strategic thing. You wouldn't want to find yourself in a situation where you only have one source for fuel (middle east) and in a war in the middle east, so the Navy has been experimenting. That's all. They do buy a little bio fuel from the east coast and blend it. True they pay a little more, but it keeps the small bio fuel company in business and the Navy has a secondary source for fuel and a chance to experiment on its effectiveness.

mjk0259's picture

OMG! A rational comment on ZH! You're supposed to rant about how this proves the evils of socialism.

El Viejo's picture

You know if ZH got rid of the Junk Button all the escapees from Tech Ticker would probably leave. Most don't even read the full comment before they hit the Junk button and the rest can't come up with legitimate comment.

Troublehoff's picture

That was not a rational comment.

In case you hadn't noticed, the US produces an enourmous amount of oil anyway. If it comes down to a situation where the Navy requires oil and imports aren't available (i.e. war), it will receive oil regardless of the import situation.

This is simply a case of pissing taxpayer money straight into the hands of a government crony/elitist for a scheme that would fail miserably in free market economics. Crony capitalism at its most blatant. I'm so sick of this shit.


blunderdog's picture

It's stupid to pay too much, for sure, but you know, the Navy might be paying $19/gallon for "regular" diesel, too.

Manthong's picture

Ship topped off with Mazzola.. gay crew..

I can see how it makes sense.

Tippoo Sultan's picture

...With the Village People performing their disco cover of Florence Henderson's, "Wessonality."

AnAnonymous's picture

In case you hadn't noticed, the US produces an enourmous amount of oil anyway. If it comes down to a situation where the Navy requires oil and imports aren't available (i.e. war), it will receive oil regardless of the import situation.


Indeed, indeed.

But it is also fair to remember that maintaining the US military in its oil consumption will come at the expense of US of A residents'consumption.

If imports can no longer feed the military machine, then it will come from domestic extraction.

0z's picture

So it would cost me less to work with a typewriter? IAnd all this time I thought I was using a computer because it was more efficient than a pen and paper ... Gotta go back to my economics textbooks.

The third Reich must have been making syncrude from coal to push science, and not because they thought Stalingrad was more important than the caucasus' oil fields. After all, these Tiger tanks only drank 14 gallons to the mile. Brilliant! Why did they lose the war then?

Redhotfill's picture

2.75 gallons to the mile

American34's picture

Are you serious? I am pretty sure that money could have been spent on lighter composite based armor and saved more money by improving gas mileage on those massive ships. Heck, they probably could have burned money like coal for power and spent less. Sorry, buddy but this is plain as day a BAD INVESTMENT! It is this kind of total waste that proves these "Government Servants" who supposedly serve the people have NO CLUE what the real world is like anymore. I am all for an awesome military but this is utterly retarded.

theXman's picture

We already have a 2nd source of fuel, it is nuclear. As to ME oil, in fact, America imports more oil from Canada than from Saudi. We are not even Saudi's top customer. (Guess who is) If we really want to secure supply of oil, build the Keystone pipeline. If we really seriously about energy self-reliance, promote the use of natural gas.

BTW, oil and gas are the ultimate high-density bio-fuel. The so-called green energy can never match the economy of fossil fuel. That is a scientific fact.

0z's picture

 El Viejo:

Ahahahah!! Bin Laden bankrupted the US! A state army has nothing efficient about it. Why do you think mercenaries exist? Ahahah! By WWII, battlecruisers were obsolete. Nowadays, aircraft carriers are obsolete, yet the biggest State army is building more! A well placed EMP and the whole thing goes Kaput!

Systems disuptions is the new warfare. That and pushing massively inefficient armies into enless desperate wars with shadow forces hiding in the mountains who make their guns by hand.

US soldier costs millions. 14 yr old resistance fighter costs a few hundred. Do the math. BTW, did the US win the Vietnam war? Maybe they would have won with biofuels!! Estimates were around 50 000 bullets fired per ennemy killed; I didnt make this up. Go do your homework kid.

El Viejo's picture

These people are experimenting both in space and on planet earth. Why shouldn't we??

cossack55's picture

So, then, I assume they are now using "green" propellants in the gun charges?  Ten times the price for half the range.  God forbid they might increase sailor pay or allowances.  I guess the food stamps cover the gap.

Richardk888's picture

Would it not make more sense to drill here at home, or go to natural gas versus using things that are costly to produce or possilby have an negative advers affect on our food supply?

Personally, I think this is a waste of tax payers money...'s picture

When did I first hear the story about the government paying $500 for a hammer? Late 70s, early 80s?

Flakmeister's picture

Ah our old friend Mr. Crockett

I would like people to note the following ZH post

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 14:46 |  

I reproduce the relevant part of it here:


I will post the quotes from scientists who claim that they are lying about AGW and ignoring the data yet again. I don't know why you're having such a hard time reading these quotes. I've posted them several times  on this very page but apparently they are invisible to you.

Here are the quotes. Look very carefully:


"We need to get some broad based support,
to capture the public's imagination...
So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements
and make little mention of any doubts...
Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.

- Prof. Stephen Schneider,
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports


The data doesn't matter. We're not basing our recommendations on the data. We're basing them on the climate models.”

- Prof. Chris Folland,Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research?


?The following is a edited version of my reply:

Ah, these discredited chestnuts you keep peddling out. Talk about making up stuff as you go:

The Folland quote cannot be verified, it does not exist outside of denier websites in fact trying to track it down gets one lost in a circle of references in AGW denier sites...Provide a real reputable reference for the quote... Problem is that you can't since it is made up....

Lets look at the full Schnieder quotw from the Discover magazine interview.  The highlighted part represents the part of the quote which made it to the climate denier website which you parrot:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both. (Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989.)


?There two possibilites and only one conclusion:

?First Mr. Crockett is incapable of questioning the validity of anything at odds with his worldview and therefore is easily misled and fooled and should not be trusted, the second is that he is aware of the falsehoods that he posts.

?He has demonstrated a lack of critical judgement at best and blatant dishonesty at worst. It should be clear that he has zero credibility. To call him a lieing sack of shit does disservice to bags of fertilizer everywhere.... 

?This is a classic demonstration of the techniques used by denialistas  to confuse and misdirect the AGW debate. Thank you for showing your true colors for all to see...'s picture

So the man did say that he exaggerates the effects of climate change in order to frighten people and that he sees honesty as a bar to being "effective." Effective at what? What is it about the science of climate change and the remedies proposed that makes it necessary to lie? The need for dishonesty seems to be unique to climate change science as it is my understanding that good science is based on openness and honesty -- especially when the proposed solutions will cost trillions upon trillions of dollars. Ya know?


Flakmeister's picture

I take it back, you are a weaseling sack of shit and there is no doubt about your honesty, intellectual or otherwise....'s picture

Why is it illegitimate to ask why climate scientists admit that they have to lie to be effective? It seems to be an obvious question.

Flakmeister's picture

As if that is what you are *really* asking...  

And still you accuse scientists with lieing and provide fabricated evidence...

You didn't do any leg work to verify things because you are not interested in the truth.  That is why you do not understand science or scientists...

You would not even know how to be a real skeptic, it requires real work....

You a merely a denialista, a hack with no ability to sift through lies if that is what you want to hear...

BTW, just so you know real scientists do not accept money in any way that would compromise their integrity...And, its funny in that almost every respectable academic that comes out on the side of AGW being wrong has ties to fossil fuel funds... Did you ask them about their distortions? Strange that, eh?

Shills are whores, a necessary evil of sorts, you are worse, a mere slut, since you lie for free.... 

Likstane's picture

Judge Likstane sees it 11-1 in favor of crockett.  To the showers Flakmeister.'s picture


As if that is what you are *really* asking... 


What I asked is what I asked. It's not any more complicated than that. Either there's a good reason for scientists to lie about global warming or there isn't. We already know that they do it by their own admission, I'd just like to know why.

dogbreath's picture

ice melts....................big deal

Zymurguy's picture

Well, it's a nice try.  But most of these ships run either on traditional internal combustion diesel engines or jet turbines.  It's easy to build (or even modify) diesel engines that can run on diesel, kerosene, jet-a fuel, or any of a multitude of similarly refined fuels (or oils as it were).  Also, given the ample amount of safe harbors for our ships and shipyards across the globe and their massive support flotilla they have NO reason to consider overly priced green wanna-be fuel as part of their strategic agenda.

I can assure you the Navy has no choice in this matter - it's purely politically driven by the green agenda of our current executive administration.

As others have pointed out, this is not new technology.  Diesel was first invented as a bio-fuel so large farms could produce their own fuel to run their own machinery in a self sufficient manner.  But you can see how that ended up.  Now that the hobbiests and speculating corporations have come back to producing bio-diesel vs. petro-diesel everyone thinks it'll be the salvation of the world... ahem, it could be a great direction to take if the US govt. would stop the EPA from putting so many restrictions on diesel emmisions and the govt. would stop giving our money away to un-sustainable business models of those corporations trying to make it.

Flakmeister's picture

Do you just make shit up on the fly?

Praetor's picture

Sure Zymurguy, I think your diesel engines will last 5 minutes tops on these alternate fuels, that's if you can get combustion going in the first place. Please inform me what similarities in octane number and cetane number these fuels have that make them magically interchangeable?

LowProfile's picture

Jesus fucking christ, you can make a diesel engine that runs on COAL DUST if you want it to...

Praetor's picture

Show me a successful , long term performing diesel engine that runs on coal dust you fuckwit. This post shows exactly what we already know- you know fuck all.

You think the Nazi's went to all the trouble to use the Tropsch-Fricher process to convert coal to fuel if they could just use coal dust to drive their war machines?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Ah...military "intelligence."

Henry Ford is cursing the Navy from his grave

Ookspay's picture

Times like these require high thc, cbn and cbd content. I strongly recommend NYC diesel or Northern Lights, hell, smoke 'em both. 

Taint Boil's picture



"This is one of the many reasons we should legalize hemp".

Hemp is a natural living thing that occurs naturally on the planet. Why would anyone or anything make it illegal? If I start eating sand I am sure it will eventually cause harm to my body; let’s make that illegal too.

Marginal Call's picture

Hmm.  If we made sand illegal, and declared WAR ON SAND, I wonder where all the action would be...Ah fuck it.  We're already there.'s picture

If you fight a War on Sand then in what do you draw the proverbial line?