Alchemy Or Miracle? Why Isn’t This Bigger News?

Quote of the Day:

Do you believe in miracles?” –sportscaster Al Michaels

An article in the Clarion Ledger newspaper on August 27, 2010, got TB’s attention and I can’t quite figure out why it hasn’t gotten press on a national scale. A Texas company is coming to Mississippi, with a 75 Million Dollar zero interest loan from it’s citizens, to build three plants which will (purportedly) turn timber into crude oil. These biofuel plants will (allegedly) turn wood chips to crude oil in a process taking only seconds. The crude oil produced will (so they say) be cheaper than typical crude oil and it will burn cleaner. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said “They’re going to do what it takes millions of years for Mother Nature to do in a matter of seconds.”*

The claims are as astounding and improbable as they are exciting and revolutionary. If this actually works, it could turn Mississippi into one of the nation’s economic powerhouses. Not only is the state blessed with an abundance of timberlands, but the first three plants in the nation–make that the world–are to be located right here. And it only took 75 million dollars worth of big government to make it happen.

Jesus turned water into wine–impressive, but since he wasn’t in to the whole materialistic thing, the technique never became widely known. In the middle ages, every jackleg with a basement was trying to turn their wench’s tin-pans into gold. Modern magicians routinely turn one scarf into, like fifty, for some reason. But this….this….hell, this is big! Like, miracle big, with an entrepreneurial mind behind it this time!

Hmmm. I’ll believe it when I see it. But, then again, it couldn’t hurt to go out in the back yard and plant a few oil wells–errrr–pine trees, just in case.

——————

*It occurs to me that if Haley’s loan pays off, he may get himself back in the hunt for Prez in 2012. Of course, he’s gonna have to explain the Big Government involvement to the teabaggers and the clear lack of faith in the Huckabee wing’s 6000 year old Earth mythology. But screw all that. We’ll all be rich! Rich I tells ya!

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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15 Responses to Alchemy Or Miracle? Why Isn’t This Bigger News?

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    First I’ve heard of it but keep whatever info you hear about it coming. Maybe our state will be first in something besides obesity.

  2. Mac says:

    Don’t look like big government to me. Looks like one state teaming with another state to do something good and profitable. Now, when Washington gets their claws on it and starts taxing and subsidizing it…well, then we will have Big Government.

    • That’s a mighty selective viewpoint Mac. I guess if there is a difference between a state government spending your money vs the federal, then there is a distinction, but not for me. BTW its a state “partnering” with a private company rather than another state (my syntax wasn’t too good there). And by partnering I mean taking on risk with no chance of any profits, in the “grand old” tradition of socialized losses/privatized gains ushered in over the last decade.

      Actually, it’s little different than the GM/Chrysler loans in principle. Factually different in that the (prospective) oil company isn’t bankrupt, but then again, without the free money I don’t imagine they’d be building factories, so they’d make no money in which to become bankrupt from.

      All that said, I am giving Haley and his people the benefit of the doubt and assuming this has all been thoroughly vetted by them. If it has, and it really works, the 1000 factory jobs it will generate will be well worth the 75 M investment and there will be a large increase in timber industry jobs to boot. And I will give the Guv credit for getting them here. But it is big government. Whether its smart government, we’ll know in a year or two. The only thing is the old cliche, “if it sounds to good to be true….etc”.

  3. ZEEK says:

    Believe it when I see it, and like you pointed out, I don’t like the socialized loss/ private gain scheme. Quite sure ole Haley is getting his pocket lined someway. Anyway, to hell with all that, when are we gonna start talkin’ about important issues like football and Thursday Pickin’???? Get it together TB!!!

    • Thursday Pickin’ will be here, um, Thursday. I’ll be sending out a beginning of the year email/FB/text message reminder. The more that play the funner it is. A little preview–expect more and better prizes this year, and I mean that relatively.

  4. Mac says:

    You are correct in your points. I am making a lot of assumptions. I am assuming that this will be profitable for the State of Texas or I imagine the Texans would be raising holy hell because the state isn’t exactly inundated with tree huggers. If Texas is gambling that they will make a profit with this new technology, I don’t really have a problem with that. When government loans money to failing companies to artificially prop up a business that refuses to make the hard decisions necessary to survive in the changing environment, well, that I have a problem with. I know that may seem ambiguous to some folks, but I refuse to set up shop in one camp. I am not the strict libertarian that thinks all govt is bad and needs to be done away with.

  5. Jessie Lou says:

    An article in the MS Press said the location would be in Bude, MS.

  6. Mac says:

    “Give me your tired, your poor, Your pigeonholed masses yearning to breathe free.”

  7. Smilyj says:

    This is the right kind of govt involvement. I am all for it. Except I just keep thinking Mississippi will get screwd somehow before it is said and done.

    • Mac says:

      Barbour may sound like a local yokel, but he is nobody’s fool. He will strike a solid deal, of that I am sure. We will just have to watch where the money goes, as always. Like TB, I am hopeful that this is the real deal. I can’t imagine Tx loaning the money if it wasn’t pretty damn legit. Just wish I owned a few hundred thousand acres of timber. *gears are heard starting to turn in Mac’s mind*

  8. Mac says:

    TB, I know I am blowin’ up your blog today, but I would like to say that I love the reply option. Just wish it was available on the replys themselves.

    • Yes, that is a flaw (no reply to a reply) but beyond my control. WordPress has been innovatin’ lately though so maybe they’ll tweak it soon.

      Also, just so you have it straight, the state of TX is not involved. It’s a private company based in TX. Mississippi taxpayers are making the loan.

      And I agree that Barbour is very savvy. Can’t see him getting suckered, which is one reason I think this should be a much bigger story.

  9. Mac says:

    Ahhhhh. Thanks for clearing that up. I was comfoosed.

  10. Madd Dawg says:

    If it were such a good idea, then the company could have gotten private money to invest in it. Government should not be investing in business because government has no idea what it is doing–in any field.
    I hope I am wrong, but it sounds like a flop in the making.

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