Not long ago I posted and then almost immediately had to repost this:

[T]he special interests, the moneyed interests, the big business getting in bed with legislators for special favors (where are the media? oh, in the same bed) … [are putting] all their money and ever-growing phalanx of lobbyists to use.

Their strategy? Trot out a different recipient crony every day to do the Oliver Twist act to get maximum media sympathy.

So this week the role of Oliver “Crony” Twist was filled by Smithfield Foods. WHQR finds the world’s largest pork producer facing severe difficulties with turning pig crap into energy to be used by people in the most advanced nation in the 21st freaking century:

[Vice president Don] Butler says the renewable energy subsidies support research for capturing methane gas from hog waste:

Butler: Currently, the cost of producing electricity from a digester fueled by swine manure is higher than – it’s more expensive to produce it that way than Duke Energy and others pay for coal-fired or nuclear-powered plants. If it’s not subsidized in some way, it’s not economically feasible for us.

According to Butler, this form of energy production could become viable soon. But if the subsidy is in question, so are potential investors.

Beyond the risible notion of making pig crap an economically viable fuel, part of Smithfield’s problem is that they’re dealing with in-state pig crap. They can’t therefore avail themselves of the crap & swap scheme in use by Duke Energy.