27 comments

  1. RuralDem says:

    He does have some decent ads. Although I’m not seeing them as much down here as I was a month or so ago.

    Speaking of ads, Erick, or anyone else in the Macon area, did you guys see the Truth Test last week on WMAZ about Collins’ ads against Congressman Marshall? I was hoping someone would have covered it since the WMAZ archives have been down until today.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    I just don’t care for the ad that much… But it doesn’t matter — Mark Taylor is running an awful campaign…

    Sonny does come across very assertive and take charge in the ad, so I guess that accomplishes something, but all in all, I think it’s rather bland…

  3. Chris says:

    Well he didn’t answer the man’s question about rising gas prices. Waving around the popular “renewable fuels – biofuels” banner in itself isn’t an answer. Current wholesale prices of biofuels are artificially HIGHER than gasoline prices, thanks to its integration into current infrastructure.

    So imagine, when people pull into the pumps and fill up on these more expensive fuels, how relieved they’ll be that Sonny ushered it in.

  4. Demonbeck says:

    Chris,

    In order for these fuels to become less expensive they need to become viable and produced on a large scale. With experience and time the new technologies will be improved and the prices will go down. Not to mention the fact that we will be using renewable energy and we won’t be so reliant on oil from countries that support terrorism.

  5. rmckibben says:

    Using renewable energy to “create” biofuels are decades off. The funny thing is that IF we were to move to 100% biofuels or even hydrogen, it would make our fossil fuel consumption soar. Both hydrogen and biofuels are a net energy loser. Anyone who does even a modest amount of research on this can find that out…so the question is, are we just in denial, or is there a little pandering going on here?

  6. Chris, I’m very suprised by your answer……..

    Of course, alternative fuels could be a huge part of the answer to our conservation and national security concerns . The further development of that industry could also be an economic boon to Georgia – particularly south Georgia farmers and business owners. But you all have heard that before I’m sure.

    Considering that we’re trying to win south Georgians back into the Democratic fold, I’m very surprised that we haven’t pounced on the opportunity to show south Georgians what we can help them do.

    Thankfuly, we do have some local Dems who are very supportive of further research and development in this area. Even better, they are publicly supportive of it as several of them attended the Biofuels conference this summer in Tifton.

    Several of the midwestern states are making progress with corn and other farm products. There’s no reason why we can’t be doing that here. We are as well equipped with resources and infrastructure as anyone else.

    It’s exciting to see us starting down that road. Democrats AND Republicans need to be a part of it.

  7. Mad Dog says:

    Button,

    That part of the industrial era where process innovations cut costs and price may belong to the Victorian era.

    To assume that the process of fermentation, like the production of beer and biofuel, has not been streamlined by modern production engineers would be naive at best.

    Some estimates state that it takes 2000 pounds of biomass (in this example corn, wheat, grain as being used in the midwest) to produce 60-80 gallons of biodiesel. Biodiesel has about 70-80 percent the stored energy of petro diesel.

    The non-industrialized steps in production … growing, transporting, handling, and storing the physically huge amounts of biomass … have already been established to societal norms. Truck/road. Rail car/railroad. These are not going to be bettered without massive changes in infrastructure. And, think about social changes that would be necessary (think NIMBY).

    The location of biomass to biofuel production facility to final user means we will have to locate biomass production near biofuel production near biofuel consumption.

    Then, we have the left over from production.

    About three gallons of water per gallon of biofuel and the original 2000 pounds of biomass … storage, treatment, and recyling.

  8. Mad Dog says:

    It might be easier to understand if we think of biofuel strictly in terms of petroleum.

    Can any one tell me how many years of biomass production on how many acres are in one gallon of crude oil?

    Or, the 23 million BARRELS of crude oil consumed daily in the US?

    Biofuel will merely add to the length of time wasted in distractions before we face how our favorite way of consuming energy binds us to unsolvable problems.

  9. Brazil’s ethanol program which began in the 70’s eventually made them energy independent. With the resources that are available to them via biofuels and their own fossil fuels, they don’t need to import anything from anyone for energy.

    It won’t happen overnight. And even though we have a head start on infrastructure it’ll take an investment. Hopefully it would be an investment that would pay dividends on more than just biofuels. It would create job and tax revenue growth in a part of the state that desperately needs it.

    Maybe not next year or 5 years from now, but in 15 to 20 years, we may be well on the way to not having to buy fossil fuels from nations that like very little about us except for our money. I think we can all agree that would be desirable.

    We have national Republicans and Democrats like Bush, Saxby Chambliss, Hillary Clinton, and Debbie Stabenow amongst others talking about further investment in biofuels. Knowing this, it just doesn’t make much sense for a state like Georgia to sit on the sidelines and watch. Thankfully, we’re not. Though we could do more.

  10. Chris says:

    Demonbeck // Sep 28th 2006 at 11:30 am :

    No that’s not true. The larger the operation, the more expensive the fuel becomes over a certain point. This is not one of those products where bulk translates to savings. Small scale production, on the order of a couple hundred thousand gallons per year are the most efficient. Here’s a story about a startup in MO who was able to undercut the price of gasoline by $.55/gallon with his corn ethanol. The reason he did so well is because his product did not have to work its way through an unweildly distribution network and suffer the taxes and markup that results from that participation.
    And if you know anything about the energy content of ethanol compared to gasoline, ethanol contains between 70-85% of the energy of gasoline, thus a lower cost product needs to meet or exceed that difference in price to be a real lower cost product. That also means this MO producer had successfully produced an ethanol product that genuinely costs LESS than gasoline, on a btu-to-btu basis. THAT makes consumers very happy, though I’m not sure now how he’s doing now that gasoline has fallen through the floor. I hope he’s got the gumption to ride it out.

    http://www.semissourian.com/story/1165729.html

  11. Chris says:

    Button Gwinnett // Sep 28th 2006 at 2:39 pm :

    Surprised at what answer? Sonny’s ad did not answer the man’s question about gas prices. And the national wholesale index for ethanol is higher than that of gasoline, so for Sonny to tout ethanol (biofuels) as the answer is a what do you call it, lie?

    However, this wholesale index has artificially inflated the price of ethanol, and it doesn’t have to be that high if like Mad Dog says we keep production local/regional and distribution limited to a certain radius. Artificially tieing ethanol to petroleum prices and indexing them thusly is going to be the death of biofuels. In order to combat industry’s desire to do that, you have to refuse to dump your product into the national distribution network and set your own rules.

  12. Chris says:

    Button Gwinnett // Sep 28th 2006 at 2:39 pm said:

    Considering that we’re trying to win south Georgians back into the Democratic fold, I’m very surprised that we haven’t pounced on the opportunity to show south Georgians what we can help them do.

    I resent the hell out of that attitude. Do you honestly think south Georgians aren’t smart enough or industrious enough to make these decisions for themselves without a politician’s help? Have you ever looked at a map of the biofuel production capacity in Georgia? South Georgia’s got it going on, big time, and have been at it for several years. If Dems think they’re going to swoop down there and suddenly show them how it’s done, they’re in for a very, very rude awakening.

    There’s a group in Baxley who even built a prototype pyrolisis unit that converts peanut shells to charcoal fertilizer and extracts the resulting hydrogen as a pure clean energy source in the process. These folks are miles ahead of the political experts.

  13. Demonbeck says:

    Chris,

    What I was referring to was the fact that with widespread use, the technology for these renewable energy sources will become more advanced, more efficient and less costly.

    Frankly, I would prefer to see us start building new nuclear reactors. 80% of France’s energy comes from nuclear. 20% of America’s does. It is only logical that if we were to step up our nuclear energy in America, that our demand for other fuel sources would decrease.

  14. Chris, as a fellow south Georgian, raised on a peanut farm, I’m not making any generalizations about south Georgians and their smarts. It’s not an attitude, it’s a disappointment that we’re not out in front on this.

  15. Mad Dog says:

    Button,

    No comment about the population in general, south Georgia or southern Indiana.

    Maybe the reason has nothing to do with a lack of smarts. Maybe the reason is smarts.

    Whatever place biofuel has in the need for smarter energy use, it’s not going to be the HUGE FIX some want it to be.

    People mention Brazil as a success story in biofuels. Do you wanna live in Brazil? Work in Brazil? Do you see Brazil as an economic equal to the United States?

    The answers there are pretty much No, No, and No.

    One gallon of gasoline when burned produces twenty pounds of carbon dioxide gas.

    Biofuels are dependent upon plants to re-process carbon dioxide into a biomass that contains enough carbon which can then be made into a fuel.

    Spending billions of dollars, taxpayer dollars that are taken from one person and given to another person, won’t change the US into Brazil.

    What exactly is the per capital consumption of biofuel?

    (How many gallons of biofuel are used per person in Brazil?)

    Now, how many gallons of crude oil are used per person in the US?

    Comparing an agricultural state to a the world’s largest post modern state… very logical comparison. Are we the apple or the orange in this wacko comparison?

  16. Chris says:

    Button said:It’s not an attitude, it’s a disappointment that we’re not out in front on this.

    To that I say, who is the “we” you are complaining about?

    This is the 100million gallon/year plant going up in south Georgia:

    First United Ethanol, LLC or FUEL is a progressive company with deep roots in South Georgia. A small group of farmers and businessmen cultivated an idea that has grown into a company that will generate wealth and economic development for our region. http://www.firstunitedethanol.com/

  17. Chris says:

    Mad Dog, no one is advocating for ethanol or biofuels to replace petroleum fuels. For the next five+ years ethanol is going to be nothing more than an oxygenate additive to replace the highly toxic MTBE currently in use, and the country as it stands right now can’t produce even a quarter of the ethanol required to replace just MTBE. Growth of ethanol production capacity is absolutely necessary just to get us to the point where all gasoline has a 10% ethanol additive.

    And all of the rush to get ethanol capacity online at this moment today STILL won’t come anywhere near what’s necessary just to satisfy that additive requirement. It’s a decades-long growth industry just to achieve that minimum production goal.

    And guess where automotive technology will be in a decade? Can you say hydrogen, hybrids, fuel cells? I knew you could.

  18. Mad Dog says:

    In ten years, if the oil interests as personified by Cheney and Bush, have their way, cars will still be very much like today.

    Because additive technology will benefit current technology more than it will ‘fuel’ change.

    In thirty five years, under REpublican free market crap, cars will look a lot like … little cubes of crushed scrap metal. If there is any industry or life left.

  19. Mad Dog says:

    Chris,

    If that’s not your plan, sorry man.

    I just know when given a choice between eating and drinking safe tap water … or driving a gas guzzler … I’d rather eat and NOT get sick drinking the water.

    Not directing that at Chriss or anybody.

  20. Chris says:

    No I’m not advocating that billions need to be spent on ramping up biofuels production. Millions perhaps, because a robust lifespan of this particular industry of about 20 years would more than substantially reward the investors. Billions? Only if it comes from the private sector. But the larger the investment the higher the cost of the product over its period of peakness.

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