Algae for fuel: Obama's next energy plan

President Obama believes seaweed will solve high gas prices. If only we can figure out how to make energy out of it. Photo: Solent News and Photo Agency

We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance, algae – you’ve got a bunch of algae out here. If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing alright. Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in America. ~ President Barack Obama at the University of Miami 

CHICAGO, February 24, 2012— We are looking at $5.00 plus per gallon for gas and President Obama’s national energy plan, is algae.

Please note:

  • This is the smartest guy in the room speaking; and
  • This is a Harvard and University of Chicago intellectual talking.  Talking algae.


This is the President of the United States ameliorating an immediate crisis that impacts the poor, the unemployed, and working families.

The very people he supposedly cares so much about.

He says, “You’ve got a bunch of algae out there; If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing alright.”

The Seaweed Doctrine. It is bold, audacious, and historic, just like President Obama.

Someday, in the science fiction future, if we can just figure out how to make energy out of algae, all our woes will be over. We can be energy sufficient, energy independent, and swimming in algae oil, gas, and diesel. 

But this is years in the making. The process, while being developed, is far away from being deliverable. Algae fuel is not a replacement for gasoline today, but something to consider when planning for a future fuel source. According to published data, algae produces “300 times more oil per acre than conventional crops, such as rapeseed, palms, soybeans, or jatropha.” (Wikipedia).

People are suffering right now. Gas prices skyrocketed and are projected to go even higher by summer.

But, by gum, by golly, and by gosh, there is a bunch of that algal stuff out there and if we just can figure out how to make go juice out of it, all our problems will be solved. 

Algal substances are all over the place. We can even grow more of the stuff right here at home. It is a sustainable domestic energy source. Even ordinary Americans can get involved to save our nation.

Everyone with a swimming pool can be a patriot as we turn all the swimming pools into Victory Pools. Home aqua culture will be the patriotic wave of the future. We will all become algae billionaires. 

But before that we have to develop the fuel, develop the engine that can burn the fuel, develope a delivery method, i.e., algae station, to get the fuel into the car. This will all take time and investment. 

Earth to the President; no one cares about the future, science fiction, or the goddess Gaia. No one cares how much algae or any other kind of bio-mass substances there are on the planet. People care about today, gasoline, and their ability to freely go from point A to point B without facing bankruptcy.

Driving the cars of their choice, not yours

The reality is people are paying now, and will be even more so this summer, through the nose because there is no national domestic energy production plan in place.

We are living with the “Pain Compliance Plan,” or PCP. The PCP has failed for four decades so we are hopeful that plan B will offer us the change we need.  Plan B is the “Wait and See Strategy” or WSS. 

Wait and see what we come up with next. 

Pain is not a plan. Future science fiction is not a plan. Conservation is not a plan. Forcing auto companies to manufacture cars that no one wants to buy is not a plan. Coffee standards are not plans (CAFÉ) . 

Seaweed, kelp, moss, french fry grease, mirrors, and pink bunnies drumming for batteries are not plans. 

Wait and see what we come up with next is not a strategy. 

None of those will impact the American people now. Today, families have to go to work, shop, pick up their children, and do all the other little things that require cars. Cars need gasoline.

People need affordable gas. They need it now. Not when or if we can figure out how to stuff seaweed into gas tanks. 

The SODDI, or Some Other Dude Did It innitiative, just does not cut it anymore either.

Blaming the energy companies, congress, Republicans, Bush, OPEC, or speculators, is no longer credible. People stopped believing the alibis. They believe their own eyes, as they can see the price of gas go up, side by side with the price of food. 

People no longer can afford to drive to the store to buy food they also can’t afford. 

What is the president going to propose for rising food prices as a result of higher shipping and storage prices? How about the EAI plan, or Eat Algae Instead. We do have a bunch of algae out there, and if we can figure out how to get people to eat it, we will no longer be dependent on Big Agriculture for our food.

It is the Spirulina Doctrine. 

The First Lady can get the White House chef to come up with a dulse and laver cookbook, “Let them Eat Badderlocks.” She can plant an organic kelp garden on the White House lawn. 

Future ceremonies can be held in the Kelp Garden. 

When clothing prices go up- well, there is a bunch of algae out there, if we can just figure out how to make better fabric out of it. They make clothing and lots of others things from hemp.

For those who believe in hope and change, algae can fix a lot of things:

The fix for the housing crisis? There is a bunch of algae out there- if we can figure out how to make seaweed huts out of it.

Nuclear crises? The algae bomb. It will give A-bomb a whole new meaning. 

Utility prices going up? A bunch of that stuff called algae- if we can just figure out how to stuff it into the electrical grid. 

Well, if all this doesn’t work out, the President can sing a ditty during the upcoming presidential campaign: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a seaweed garden.” 

Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys.  His opinions are his and his alone. 

pvbella@gmail.com 

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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