What a Chicken Poop - Terry McAuliffe

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

Chicken poop isn't the only kind of excrement that seems to fascinate Terry McAuliffe in his race for the Democratic nomination for governor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. His campaign has been busy spreading some grade A cow patties, issuing a press release Tuesday based on a false blog post that claims his opposition is stalking his wife. A camera was set up at a Stafford, VA Democratic Committee meeting to record a surrogate for candidate Brian Moran in the person of Steve Jarding. After Jarding finished, Terry's wife got up to speak for Terry and the camera was left running. This somehow prompted Ben Tribett of Not Larry Sabato, (who apparently was not at the event), to claim Brian's campaign is now stalking Terry's wife. And of course the complete lack of any sources or substance didn't stop Terry's campaign from issuing a press release to stoke this fire of fresh meadow muffins.

(more crap on the flip)

Now I know why Terry is so obsessed with chicken manure. It's because he's so full of it. Terry talks about chicken manure almost everywhere he goes:

"..we could convert that chicken waste into energy. That much chicken litter would translate into about 40 megawatts of power - enough to light up about 40,000 homes in Virginia." Terry Begins Kickoff Tour

"[Terry] to talk about turning Virginia's 500,000 tons of chicken waste into a biodiesel industry that would light up 40,000 homes and create thousands of jobs." Brash and Loaded With Cash, McAuliffe Skips Past The Experience Issue

The problem is he has no idea what he is talking about. Hmm? He keeps jumping around between chicken litter (manure) and converting it into bio-diesel. The problem is you can't really convert chicken manure into bio-diesel. You can burn it to make electricity but compared to coal (per kilowatt hour) it is only worth about $7 dollars per ton but as organic fertilizer, chicken manure is worth about $130 dollars per ton and is used to displace petroleum based fertilizer.

You can convert waste chicken fat into bio-diesel but again compared to coal, it is only worth about $60 per ton for electricity but as road fuel (at $1.75 per gallon) it's worth around $500 per ton. So if you are a chicken farmer/rancher, are you more likely to sell your chicken manure for $7 or $130 per ton and are you more likely to sell the waste fat for $60 or nearly $500 per ton?

This explains why most of Terry's former companies no longer exist. In the past, when someone created a bunch of companies and made a lot of money off of them but those companies no longer exist, people didn't used to call them good businessmen. There was a different term they used. But I guess things are different now?

Terry is bringing big corporate money in from all over and while he distracts us with chicken poop, his opponent Brian Moran is leading with real energy and environmental policies to mandate 25% renewable energy, decouple the profits of power companies to introduce real efficiency, and is the only candidate fully opposed to offshore drilling and a new coal power plant near the Chesapeake Bay.

According to a recent ACEEE study, Virginia can meet 19% of its electricity needs through efficiency, eliminating the need for any new coal plants. And this is just using efficiency programs already being used in other states.

Let's continue to use the chicken manure as organic fertilizer to displace petroleum fertilizer and let's convert the chicken fat into bio-diesel to use as road fuel. This will do the most good for our environment, our farmers, national security and our economy.

And to help make this happen, please help support a genuine progressive and competent candidate Brian Moran for Governor of Virginia

Please add .09 cents to let them know it came from the net roots.

Other Links:


ACEEE: Energizing Virginia: Efficiency First


What an articulate blog. Ridiculous.

You don’t like facts?

It seem like “UvaNick” care less about fact! You know facts are the enemy of ignorant.

Pretty good analysis

So I take it that despite having been told that NLS's assumptions were completely false the McAuliffe campaign is still spreading the falsehood and trying to make political headway on it? Not good.


I think the title of this piece is fairly crude. Whatever our disagreements, there is really no need for this nonsense. I couldn't get through the text, so I can't really comment on that.

I'm a little surprised at you, Catzmaw.

I didn't say I approved of the title

Personally attacking McAuliffe with such a crude comment has no demonstrable benefit; however, the analysis of his position vis a vis the uses of chicken excrement was good. That such a personal attack was counter-productive was shown when you said you couldn't even stand to read the diary.

I was rushing to make my comment due to time limitations and simply omitted the little cluck-cluck of disapproval over the title, but I've seen plenty of other titles to diaries here in the last few weeks which are also objectionable. You have defended some of those diaries rather vehemently and been dismissive of objections to the title and/or body of the diary. Didn't we have a discussion about this very issue a couple of weeks ago when Brian Moran was accused of boorishly exceeding his time limits at the PWDC meeting, which turned out to be a complete error on the part of the diarist? Didn't you object to me pointing out that leaving the misleading title up and the first paragraph front-paged while burying the correction at the back of the diary was dirty pool AND unfair? You thought I should get over it already.

Ha. Almost, Catzmaw, almost...

I think the two cases are inapposite. When I think of calling someone chicken****, it conjures up images of cowardice and dishonesty. In that sense, in fact, I do think the headline was both innaccurate and unfair. But that was not my complaint -- the author can make any arguments he desires. I only objected to the crudity of his expression because I don't think it fits with BC.

In the case of the earlier diary that you reference, I seem to recall you wanted the diarist to change his content to suit what you felt would have been a more accurate and fair representation of the facts.

Indeed, I didn't suggest this author change the headline at all. Entirely concistent with what I expressed in the earlier exchange, I expressed my disapproval in the comments to the post and was happy to leave it at that. (Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I did once ask a diarist to change a headline suggesting that Creigh Deeds had used the offensive epithet "retard," and the diarist graciously did.)

Anyway, my comment here was intended more as a benign and friendly tweak of you on my part than a serious critique.

And I would also note that the author has changed the title, and now it is neither clever nor meaningful. "What a chicken poop" is just lame.

Mischaracterizing much, are we?

I didn't take your tweak too seriously, just wanted to explain my "surprising" omission of comment on the title.

As to the substance of our little disagreement too weeks ago, I was not asking the diarist to "change his content to suit what [I] felt would have been a more accurate and fair representation of the facts." It was the diarist who posted an apology to Brian BURIED in the comments section which said that he had been informed that he was completely in error about his accusation, yet he failed and apparently refused to correct the title AND the body to reflect the truth - not MY perceptions, but the TRUTH - and despite my repeated requests that he correct it still failed to do so. This struck me as inherently dishonest, as he got away with appearing to apologize for a blatant error while keeping the false accusation in the title and the body of a front-paged diary to be read by anyone scrolling by. Frankly, I found this far more offensive than someone calling McAuliffe a crude name. That was just name calling. The diarist two weeks ago claimed to have witnessed conduct which didn't actually occur. So which do you think is more damaging to a candidate? A crude name or a story of something truly obnoxious which he allegedly did and which reflects upon his character?


Todd, while I appreciate the "cleaverness" of your title, I'd really appreciate it if you modified it. I'm not here to censor anyone, and this is just a request, but profanity, even with exclamation points, in the titles of recommended diaries is frowned upon here at BC.

Chicken biofuel/unwarranted negativity!

Todd, Evidently the people in the Netherlands know something positive about chicken waste that you don't. read here...
"Worlds largest biomass plant running on chicken manure online in the Netherlands"
Terry's on track to help Virginia get ahead of the curve in energy innovation. He's in favor of wind power too!
Todd, please limit your "discussion" to the issues and don't attack the person. The personal attack like this headline portrays doesn't serve any constructive purpose for you, Brian Moran, who we know you're supporting, or the Democratic Party. It only makes you and/or your candidate of choice, appear desperate! Brian and Terry deserve better!

There is no comparison

The Netherlands have little to no coal and there is no reasonable comparison to Virginia. They are also wrong to imply that chicken manure, as organic fertilizer is more polluting than petro-chemical fertilizer. If you use too much of any kind of fertilizer, it's pollution.

However, even though chicken manure releases some methane it is still displacing carbon based, petroleum (fossil fuel) fertilizer and is better for the environment than burning it for electricity. But the bigger problem in Virginia is that chicken manure is only worth about $7 dollars per ton when used to make electricity but is worth about $130 per ton as organic fertilizer.

Meanwhile, we already have the solution to coal and T-Mac is trying to dance around it with chicken poop.

ACEEE: Energizing Virginia: Efficiency First

Chicken Litter/Biofuel @ VA Tech

Here's more information that's a LOT closer to home...in fact it is HOME..to VIRGINIA TECH!!!


Thermochemical process converts poultry litter into bio-oil to provide safer and more environmental solution to waste disposal
By Lori Greiner

BLACKSBURG, Va., August 20, 2007 -- Foster Agblevor, associate professor of biological systems engineering, is leading the team of researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech developing transportable pyrolysis units that will convert poultry litter into bio-oil, providing an economical disposal system while reducing environmental effects and biosecurity issues.

Agblevor will present his paper, “Thermochemical conversion: A dual tool for bio-oil production and a solution to environmental waste disposal,” as part of the session “Characterization of Fossil and Biofuels: Challenges and Progress” during the 234th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston on August 19-23.

Agblevor is working with poultry growers to test technology that would convert poultry litter to three value-added byproducts – pyrodiesel (bio-oil), producer gas, and fertilizer. The pyrolysis unit heats the litter until it vaporizes. The vapor is then condensed to produce the bio-oil, and a slow release fertilizer is recovered from the reactor. The gas can then be used to operate the pyrolysis unit, making it a self-sufficient system.

More than 5.6 million tons of poultry litter are produced each year in the United States. The litter consists of a mixture of bedding, manure, feathers, and spilled feed. According to Agblevor, current disposal methods such as land application and feeding to cattle are under pressure because of pollution of water resources due to leaching and runoff and concern about mad cow disease contamination in the food chain. There are also concerns that poultry litter can harbor diseases such as avian influenza. While avian influenza is not harmful to humans, people can spread it on their shoes, with their vehicles, or through movement of litter.

“The self-contained transportable pyrolsis unit will allow poultry producers to process the litter on site rather than having to haul the litter to a separate location,” Agblevor said. “In addition, the thermochemical process destroys the microorganisms reducing the likelihood of the transmission of disease to other locations.”

Poultry litter from broiler chickens and turkeys as well as bedding materials (wood shavings or peanut hulls) were converted into bio-oils in a fast pyrolysis fluidized bed reactor.

According to Agblevor, bio-oil yields ranged from 30 to 50 percent by weight, depending on the age and the bedding content of the litter. Bedding material that was mostly hardwood shavings yielded bio-oil as high as 62 percent by weight. The higher heating value of the poultry litter bio-oil ranged from 26 to 29 mega joules per kilogram while bio-oil from bedding material was only 24 mega joules per kilogram. The bio-oils had relatively high nitrogen content ranging from 4 percent to 7 percent by weight, very low sulfur content, below 1 percent by weight, and were very viscous. The char yield ranged from 30 percent to 50 percent by weight, depending on the source, age, and composition of the poultry litter. The char also had a high ash content, ranging from 30 percent to 60 percent by weight, depending on the age and source of litter.

“The type of poultry litter used will affect the amount and quality of the bio-oil produced and ultimately will impact the producer’s profitability,” Agblevor said. “Finding the right set of conditions for the poultry litter is key to the adaptation of this technology.”

This research is part of a concentrated effort by Virginia Tech researchers, Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists and agents, conservation organizations, state agencies, and private industry to determine the most effective means to support the agricultural community and manage the excess nutrients in the Shenandoah Valley. The research is being funded by a $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Targeted Watershed Program.

In addition to Agblevor, co-authors from Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering include Sedat Beis, postdoctoral associate; Seung-Soo-Kim, former postdoctoral associate (currently at the Korea Institute of Petroleum Quality); Ryan Tarrant, graduate student; and Ofei Mante, graduate student.

Terry's presenting chicken litter as ONE of many alternatives...not the sole solution! And isn't it great that our own state unversity is already researching it.

This still doesn't deal with reality

OK I am shocked to hear someone's been feeding chicken litter to cattle. That is disturbing and gross but this still doesn't deal with the reality that low processed chicken manure is valued at about $130 per ton as organic fertilizer and is already displacing a fossil fuel.

The price of coal is about $30 per ton and can produce about 2500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per ton. One ton of chicken litter has enough energy to produce about 610 kilowatt-hours of electricity which makes it only worth about $7 per ton compared to coal.

If chicken manure, as organic fertilizer was worth only $8 per ton, it would still be an insurmountable problem. But at $130 per ton this whole thing is a mute point. It's green washing plain and simple. Distracting people with something that sounds green but has no chance of ever happening.