Editorial: The Pinocchio Delusion

By Ed O’Hara

 

The political nose keeps growing and growing. The hankies are stained with ideological rhetoric and misleading statements. The Federal Government, after spending 90 billion dollars over the past few years on its energy policies are still in limbo. The Feds still don’t know whether to spit or wind their watch.  In 2011 alone, in this economy, the federal government subsidized corn farmers in the mid-west to the tune of 8 billion dollars. 40% of their crop went to producing corn ethanol. It’s interesting to note 80% of our food chain has some form of corn in its mixture. Result food prices have sky rocketed.

Former Vice President Al Gore, (Nobel Peace Prize) green energy activist and global warming savior, who made millions in his so called efforts to save the world, now admits he lied while running for president when he said he supported corn based ethanol in order to get mid-west votes. He now says corn based ethanol was not a good policy! Another nose job! Just because the Federal Government and its elected officials, for one reason or another, who make policies that could affect the lives of people from various parts if the country, doesn’t mean that policy is a “done deal”.

We the people must remember one thing, there are 545 human beings, who spend most of their energy trying to convince us what they say and do is best for us. I am referring to our United States Senate and House of Representatives, there are about 330 million people in the United States. Therefore, we the people are the power, not the polls!

In Massachusetts, there are about 650 million people. Again, the people are the power. Not the polls! The problem we seem to have is that we don’t exercise our power. Enough of us don’t vote.

Recently a member of The House of Representatives indicated that they do not get much feed back from their constituents regarding the ethanol trains that could be bombing their way through Revere. I say to that politician, we played by the rules, 85% of the people of the people of Revere do not want the trains. They told you so by exercising the power of the people. They voted no trains! How could the politician possibly overlook the vote of the people? Get it??

Let me give you an example of “power politics” and greasing the palm. An advanced biofuel task force, comprising of ethanol industry representatives, experts of biofuels, agency officials and a couple of legislators issued a final report to the legislature. Wink wink!! As a result of the report, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi filed a bill (The Clean Energy Biofuels Act).

As a matter of public record, the Speaker and Senate President each received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Global C.E.O.’s and employees to push the bill along. Many other influential reps also receive large donations. Wink wink! The bill passed and was sent along to Governor Deval Patrick.

July 28, 2008- Governor Deval Patrick signed the Clean Energy Biofuels Act. Legislation that will encourage the growth of an advanced biofuels industry, according to Governor Patrick. The Governor goes on, the work is waiting for the next generation of clean renewable alternatives, like cellulosic biofuels. Cellulosic biofuel is a gasoline substitute made from the fibrous matter cellulose of feed stocks such as switchgrass, agricultural waste, and forest products such as wood chips, small trees, and other waste matter such as algae and seaweed.

“We are thrilled that Massachusetts is demonstrating a commitment to the development of biofuels through the passing of this important legislation”, said Bruce Jamerson, C.E.O. Of Mascoma Corp. A leading cellulosic ethanol development company based in Boston, who served on the Clean Biofuels Task Force. Wink wink! At the signing of the bill, congressman Markey must have been in him mansion in the state of Maryland. Congressman Delahunt, Markeys Pratt boy at the time, filled in for him. (Markey has said he knows nothing about ethanol trains plowing through Revere!

NOTE: 2008- the task force estimated that a mature advanced biofuels industry in Massachusetts could contribute 280 million to a billion dollars a year to the Massachusetts economy, generating 1,000 to 4,000 permanent jobs and 150 to 760 temporary construction jobs while reducing the bay states reliance on petroleum imports.

Mascoma has received over 200 million dollars from the federal government to try and produce cellulosic ethanol in Massachusetts.

UPDATE: 2011/12- Mascoma goes belly up with millions of dollars in debt. Leaves Massachusetts and goes to Michigan.

Massachusetts didn’t receive one dime from Mascoma. Not one person was hired by the cellulosic industry. There were no jobs generated in the construction business. Wink wink!

Our legislature must wake up. In this economy we commit afford billions of dollars trying to perfect cellulosic ethanol. The industry has tried for years and failed. The technology is not there.

Why are our elected officials trying to force ethanol trains down our throats?  We are not human guinea pigs waiting to see how many will survive a catastrophic event.

Look what has happened in West Texas. A fertilizer plant has exploded. Many died, many injured, homes blown away.

I beg our legislature to stop the madness. We are talking about 300,000 people who will be living in danger. These trains must not be allowed to pass or idle in densely populated areas. Period!

Last but not least! Four months ago the Obama Administration issued a press release “A small naval ship sailed from Washington State to California on cellulosic algae fuel. What the didn’t say was it cost $2,500.00 a barrel to produce the product. Oil was at $93.00 a barrel.