Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Algae Exec Stuffs Fox News' Willard

I have not been following Cody Willard, but he looks to me like another failed attempt, like Tucker Carlson, to make conservatism look youthful and cool while actually being just a whining chump.

So here's this short segment from Fox News' Happy Hour (also viewable off this page) where they introduce algae, "that same stuff you try to keep off the inside of your fish tank," as some funky new kind of energy source -- as if they have not already had a bald algae executive on their show.

There is a lot in the video. The CEO of Origin Oil, Riggs Eckelberry, says that getting oil out of algae is ten times more expensive than getting it out of a seed. I had not known of this drastic discrepancy. It is probably a big reason why algae is not already a source of fuel oil. But Eckelberry claims that his company has found a new way to extract oil that cuts this cost significantly.

Then, instead of asking how this relates to the "food vs. fuel" problem with biofuels, or energy security, or global warming, Cody Willard (you wonder if his name was derived from William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody to evoke connotations of the wild west and Ronald Reagan in the susceptible minds of conservatives) wants to make sure he's not paying for it with his taxes.

Eckelberry says his company is not government subsidized. It is just a technology company that wants to sell products to algae growers. It's the algae growers that can and do receive some government subsidies. Willard balks at this, and Eckelberry reminds him that traditional oil companies have received government subsidies too. Willard balks at this too. (And I balk at this, but do any of us really know what the world would look like if there were no government subsidies for anything? Ideologue's projections are always over simplified.)

Wild Bill Cody says, "Google didn't need help. Twitter didn't need help."

Eckelberry shuts him down with, "Who created the Internet?"


Also, twice in the segment, Willard says, "It's penny stock. Don't buy it just because you saw it on our show." I can understand not wanting to buy in to the algae sector just yet. But I'm not sure that penny stock in a company with possibly one of the major keys to success for this industry deserves such an emphatic "don't buy" statement either.

And then Willard asks if he can cook with the oil from algae. As if this has not been brought up before in every algae discussion . . . as if people are not already stealing used cooking oil from restaurants to turn into biofuel . . . what a doof.

1 comment:

svetx said...

Is this kind of what an algae cell looks like when it's electromagnetically stretched to release oil?