Why Algae

The events of the past few years have made it clear that the United States can no longer ignore the threats to its economy, climate and national energy security rising from its dependence on petroleum fuel.

Social and political instability in or near major oil producing regions has led to frequent price spikes, hampering an already-slow economic recovery as consumers are forced to spend more of their limited income on gas. Major spills in waterways like the Gulf of Mexico provide dramatic reminders of the risks inherent in oil exploration and production and their effect on our natural environment.

The status quo is simply no longer an option. We must find new, sustainable and domestic alternatives to petroleum fuel. Doing so will help us address the three most crucial issues of our time:

National Energy Security. As an increasingly thirsty world drives demand for declining supplies of liquid transportation fuels, countries without secure access to oil will be at a disadvantage – economically, politically and militarily. And since the United States imports more than 60 percent of our liquid fuels, it is crucial to our national energy security that we develop long-term, domestic sources of transportation fuels.

Economic Security. Each year, we send about $400 billion US dollars abroad in exchange for the fuel we consume. That’s almost one billion dollars a day that could be funneled back into the US economy through domestically-produced renewable fuel, helping us overcome major economic problems.

Climate Change. We must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect and preserve our land, water, air and soil by developing renewable and sustainable energy sources. Liquid transportation fuels account for nearly a third of our fossil-fuel carbon emissions footprint.

Fortunately, there is a solution to these incredible challenges. It comes in the form of the Earth’s oldest organisms – algae – which can help address all three of these major issues.


Algae veteran Dr. Stephen Mayfield explains “Why algae?”

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