The latest news out of Arizona’s 4FRI project, which seeks to thin several hundred thousand acres of worthless trees on four national forests, has left rational observers scratching their heads. First, the Forest Service has transferred the contract from one fly-by-night company with no track record or discernible assets to another fly-by-night company with no track record or discernible assets. Even better, the new company has ties to a high-level government sultan in Oman, one of the world’s most corrupt countries.
The new company, Good Earth Power Global (hey, what’s not to like with a name like that?), says it will build a biomass facility that “will use clean, green technology in a three-stage process to produce 99.99 percent pure hydrogen.”
Wow! Cool! Oh, but wait, turns out “there are no processes commercially available for centralized hydrogen production from biomass.”
So what’s really going on here? At the heart of every inconceivable, fiscally wasteful boondoggle lies a government agency willing to spend bundles of tax dollars. 4FRI’s new contractor is counting on the Forest Service and/or electricity utilities to spend lavishly to subsidize its operation.
The only gas this latest fantasy will produce is hot air.