When the president gave a speech in Miami touting $14 million in new grants for algal biofuels, where was the derision? Remember when Bush promoted the use of switchgrass to make ethanol in a state of the union address? The democratic machine blew up saying that the president was determined to promote swithgrass whether anyone was listening or not. Comedy Central and Saturday Night Live were merciless parodying the president as a dolt. ABC news called the idea “goofy”. Well when Obama extolled the virtues of algae, there was only silence from the left. Why isn’t this idea ridiculed? Why isn’t this president a dolt? Predictably Newt Giongrich and Rush Limbaugh had a field day but all seem to have forgotten the switchgrass incident. Of course, it makes sense to burn as fuel something other than our food. Brazil is using sugar cane. But somehow, we Americans are burning up our corn. It is no secret why Obama announced the new grants in Florida. Already, his administration has given $25 million to Algenol Biofuels of Bonita Springs, Florida which is building a biofuel refinery to extract oils from algae to be converted into ethanol. What I want to know is that since algae are a living organism, if Obama is alienating part of his base – the PETA crowd? So the big question is whether the billions of helpless little algae have to give up their lives to put fuel in the tanks of the rapacious humans?
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com