The premise, and the promise, were brilliant in their simplicity:
Turn tree waste into fuel, help break the Middle Eastern choke hold on
America’s economy and bring hundreds of jobs to rural Georgia.
What wasn’t there to like?
Plenty, starting with the closing last month of the Range Fuels cellulosic
ethanol factory that promised to help make Georgia a national leader
in alternative energy production. Then there’s the money — more
than $162 million in local, state and federal grants, loans and other
subsidies committed to the venture.
Hm, who was involved in that?
“Range Fuels represents a new future for our country,” proclaimed
then-Gov. Sonny Perdue, flanked by dignitaries and beauty queens. “With
Georgia’s vast, sustainable and renewable forests, we will lead the
“Georgia’s status as the nation’s Bioenergy Corridor continues to
grow with the location of a renewable energy power plant in Valdosta,”
said Governor Perdue. “Our vast supply of biomass, technology innovations
and business-friendly environment are very attractive to companies such
as Wiregrass Power.”