The 'Green' Premium: 620%
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?