Shades of Road Warrior: Squeezing out the Last Drop of Gas from Cow Patties

We remember watching Mel Gibson, before he went nuts on us, squeezing the last drop of gas out of some wreck in the post-apocalyptic Road Warrior. Sometimes we think that some of the new energy schemes being floated would have been right at home in that movie. We read in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal that the town of Hereford, Texas is drowning in cow patties, stacked in ridges around town- 6,300 tons of crap generated per day by the "Beef Capital of the World". Panda Corporation, "one of the nation's leading environmentally friendly energy companies" with 9,000 megawatts of "clean gas technology" under its belt, is building a plant to make ethanol from corn using manure as fuel. "The ethanol produced by our Haskell facility will play a major roll [sic] in securing America's energy independence. By using manure instead of natural gas to power the plant, we conserve another of our country's depleting natural resources." sez the prez. It appears to be a reasonable company outside of a strange interest in wrestling, but this just doesn't pass the smell test.

The town, raising cows, cannot deal with the waste. Panda spends 120 million to build a plant. We are now raising cows, building mountains of shit, burning it to convert corn that has been driven in by farmers who are subsidized by the government to raise more corn for biofuels, which is then poured into gas tanks so that we can keep driving. It seems like we are building giant funnels, to pour everything we have into the top and get a few dollars of substitute fuel out of the bottom so we can build another subdivision to drive to in our SUV. We wish we were a chemist and could tell you how much fuel we are actually getting from all this in relation to the energy put in to make it, and how much greehouse gas we are generating. We can't. We just sense that we will burn anything in sight at whatever cost, and wrap it in the cloak of "Energy Independence" to squeeze out that last drop, as we turn into Mel. ::Wall Street Journal