Strange Bedfellows: Algae and Big Oil

Bravo on the Enlightened Leadership scale, for Senator Bill Nelson of Florida’s commitment to the environment.  He has introduced Senate Bill 1250 in Congress.  It is the Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act of 2009, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the definition of cellulosic biofuel to include algae-based biofuel for purposes of the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property.

In plain English, that means that producers of biofuels from algae would get a tax break for pursuing their work.  Finally, some sensible support comes to the clean energy industry along the lines of the subsidies Big Oil and Big Agriculture have enjoyed in building their businesses.  (Can you say “corn subsidies”, and “high fructose corn syrup”? – the latter of which seems to be in just about everything these days – both of which started in the 1970’s right around the time the obesity epidemic began … but that’s another story). 

Interestingly, Exxon and BP are beginning to invest in this arena according to the Business Exchange forum Clean Techies.  As the Clean Techies article notes, these oil production companies know from whence support for fossil fuel production comes, and hopefully reailze that to continue to command market share in the new clean energy space they’ll need to change from a focus on taking every last drop of oil out of the earth. 

We can only hope.

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