Friday, December 23, 2011

Obama "Green Carrier Strike Group" Struggles To Stay Above Water

In another example of inappropriate government ventures, the Federal Times reports that the US Navy has bet heavily on the future of biofuels:
The Defense Department has signed a contract to buy 450,000 gallons of biofuel — the largest purchase ever by the federal government — to power the Navy's "green" carrier strike group.

The blend of used cooking oil and algae will be mixed with traditional fuels to help power the carrier strike group during military exercises next summer in the Pacific Ocean.
It is all a part of the Obama fan dance of energy independence. The notion of gaining some degree of separation from foreign oil producers has broad appeal to many Americans, but in the mind of Obama, energy independence can only come by means of alternative energy. On a cost basis analysis, none of these schemes have proven to be in the least bit attractive in the free market.

Shrugging off such small minded concerns, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus channeled Admiral Farragut and issued his orders: "Damn the costs, FULL SPEED AHEAD"
“It accelerates the development and demonstration of a homegrown fuel source that can reduce America’s, and our military’s, dependence on foreign oil. The Navy has always led the nation in transforming the way we use energy, not because it is popular, but because it makes us better war fighters. This unprecedented fuel purchase demonstrates the Obama administration’s commitment to seeking energy security and energy independence by diversifying our energy supply.”
It doesn't hurt that the companies supplying this oil are tied to the administration.
The Navy entered the contract with Louisiana-based Dynamic Fuels for $12 million for aviation fuel. Dynamic Fuels is a partnership of three firms, Solazyme, Syntroleum and Tyson Foods.

Solazyme previously received $21.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus, to build a “biorefinery.” T.J. Glauthier is listed on the Solazyme website as a strategic advisor for the company. Glauthier served on President Obama’s White House transition team, where he focused on energy issues for the recovery act, according to the Solazyme website.
Government dalliance has wandered near and far. Payouts made by the Federal government under this administration range from the aptly named Cash for Clunkers program, to bankrolling failed solar power cell manufacturers like Solyndra.

These governmental expenditures run far afield from those concerns that the Federal government is constitutionally authorized to be involved in. Interestingly, of the few powers specifically enumerated to the Federal government in the US Constitution is the management of the national defense. Thus, it does cause one pause when this central mission is so blatantly politicized, as it has been with this biofuels fiasco.
In August, the administration announced their intentions to spend $510 million during the next three years to buy advanced drop-in biofuel for military transportation. In lieu of congressional authorization to spend that much, the administration used existing authority for this initiative without congressional authorization.
Sounds about right. This president acting without congressional authority is so common it hardly rates a nod in passing.

Meanwhile, Senator James Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has supported biofuel projects in the past, was forced to clear his throat when the ruinous costs of this project became too great to escape notice. Jared Young, spokesman for Senator Inhofe offered:
“The Department of Defense should not purchase alternative fuels that are priced 9 time higher than conventional fuels."
You would think that would go without saying.

According to the federal government’s own estimates, the United States has 1.4 trillion barrels of oil waiting to be explored. It is not dependency on foreign oil that is the problem. Rather it is a rather pigheaded unwillingness to expand our nation's own energy production.
The purchase is part of the Obama administration’s “We Can’t Wait,” initiative, which involves bypassing Congress when possible.
What cannot wait is getting this clown out of power.

As to the overall goal of reducing the carbon footprint of a carrier strike group, according to a 2011 report from the National Academy of Sciences:
"The impact of biofuel production on those emissions depends on a wide range of land-use and other management factors. The production of biofuels could result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional petroleum because manufacturing and transporting the biofuel burns additional fossil fuels."
To sum up, the administration has ordered the Navy to purchase "biofuels" at ten times the cost, from company's that the administration has friends in and given "stimulus" funds to, and the end result is no gain in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

And these are the guys that are going to reduce the costs of healthcare?!


  1. To be honest, I had no idea the Navy even had a "Green Carrier Strike Group", and the selling this off to the public by Obama and his mouth piece Mabus as the wave of the future irritates me to no end. What next, mercury filled curly bulbs in our nuclear submarines? Recycling spent rounds of ammunition?

    The military is no place for such silliness.

  2. The only Green Energy promise that ever played out is John Deere.

    In the Capitalist world, you can pretty much assume that there is a good reason for doing things the way we are doing them now. Better ways make it on their own without any subsidies or mandates. If you take down a space shuttle by switching to low-VOC foam insulation, you get to sit in the corner and keep your mouth shut for the foreseeable future in a rational world.

  3. Speaking of the moral superiority of green technologies, I love Bedes top picture of an extremely large wind turbine erupting in fire as its generator overheats. The unpredictability of gusting winds... I have seen pictures of Hawaii where they have a vast farm of rusting and discarded wind turbines. I have no problem looking to generate energy by utilizing wind turbines, but to presume a moral superiority on the basis of such efforts is laughable.