Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Things Books & Careers Are Made Of

Somewhere out there is a young investigative report who doesn't know it right now, but they are going to make a career on this story if they are a good writer and are willing to dig hard and deep. In a year, in five - who knows; but someone will write it.

It is really a nice slow pitch. I wonder who will swing at it?

Connect these two dots.

Dot 1:
The U.S. is on track to reach records for crude-oil production by 2016, as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques continue to unlock oil in shale rock.

The renaissance in the oil sector feeds into the debate of whether the U.S. should allow crude oil to be exported freely. The U.S. has kept a lid on oil exports since 1973, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries stopped selling crude to the U.S. in retaliation for its support of Israel in a war with Egypt and Syria.

The rising U.S. production "will weigh heavily on oil prices," said Ed Morse, head of commodity research at Citigroup. C -0.41% He said he believes that in the second half of the decade the global benchmark price will be $15 a barrel below where it is now.

Dot 2:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus have announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Navy’s joint Farm-to-Fleet venture will now make biofuel blends part of regular, operational fuel purchase and use by the military.
“A secure, domestically-produced energy source is very important to our national security,” said Navy Secretary Mabus. “Energy is how our naval forces are able to provide presence around the world. Energy is what gets them there and keeps them there. The Farm-to-Fleet initiative we are announcing today is important to advancing a commercial market for advanced biofuel, which will give us an alternative fuel source and help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”
Preliminary indications from the Defense Production Act Title III Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Production Project are that drop-in biofuels will be available for less than $4 per gallon by 2016, making them competitive with traditional sources of fuel.
Government run industrial planning. What a great and glorious economic track record that has. I have a flex-fuel truck; forget about the higher price, you will have significant range reductions to go with it. Just what a military needs in the INDO-PAC, shorter ranges. Buy hey, let's not let real Tactical, Operational, or Strategic considerations come in to play - much less budgetary challenges. We'll just cut pay and benefits to support the corn industry.

That isn't the story though. Hey, at least we don't have money and powerful business with the ability to lobby and push this issue for financial gain. Ahem.

Ideology and personal agenda folded in everything from ADM lobbyist to farm-state politics. There is your future - all you have to do is keep pulling strings.

All those who think the most important thing for the US Navy in the next decade and a half is biofuel, please raise your hand. Those who do not have your hands raised, answer this question for me then; why?.

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