"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Sali, oil, trees

We’re unfamiliar with the basic source (an Idaho blogger named Byron Yankey) but it was related as a first-person account. If it needs to be rebutted, contact here and we’ll take note. But this from what Yankey described as a converation with Idaho Representative Bill Sali, if accurate, merits note:

Congressman Sali informed us that a solution to the high price of gasoline was to make petroleum from “all those trees in our forests.” Stunned by the comment, I suffered a momentary regret for not taking that high school chemistry class those many years ago. He continued by saying there ‘”could be up to 40 barrels of oil ” in a single tree.

UPDATE (reedited): From Sali spokesman Wayne Hoffman, came after the Spokane Spokesman-Review Huckleberries blog also posted the Yankey quote; Hoffman responded a little differently to it but also passed that along here: “I wasn’t in the meeting. But I have heard Bill talk about using wood sources for cellulosic ethanol. He has discussed and promoted using Idaho forest products as part of that effort.”

FOLLOWUP: The blog Unequivocal Notion points out that Sali made reference to oil/trees in the 2006 campaign. From an October 8, 2006 report in the Spokesman-Review by Betsy Russell (whose track record for accuracy is solid): “Sali said, ‘The answer clearly is that we’ve got to get the value off of the land if we’re going to have a sustainable system, and what that means, most people would say that means we’ve got to engage in logging. I don’t think it necessarily stops there.’ Sali favors tapping into forest timber for biofuel. ‘Forty percent of the mass of every tree in the forest is crude oil,’ he said. Going after that, he said, ‘could put Idaho in the oil business for the first time’.”

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  1. oliviaharis said:

    Forest management, the concept that human intervention in natural processes will actually create a better forest, is little more than 100 years old. The “father” of American forest management was Gifford Pinchot, who became the federal government’s first Chief Forester in the early 1900s following the establishment of Forest Reserves.

    Idaho Treatment Centers

    August 1, 2008
  2. slfisher said:

    Byron Yankey is not “a blogger.” He is a Legislative candidate from District 13.

    August 3, 2008
  3. Re 2:

    Thanks for the note about the legislative candidacy, which is worth noting. But he entered this discussion because he posted an item on a blog, which definitionally makes him a “blogger.”

    August 3, 2008

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