The Dirty Politics of Clean Energy
Last month we focused on the “Green Slime Fuel Dream: Scent of a Scam,” of which I chronicled the trio of President Obama’s “algae allies” –– those with political access and influence –– and how they scored over $100 million in clean-energy funds.
Marita Noon, energy expert and columnist at Townhall.com, followed my post with the following piece: The Dirty Politics of "Clean" Energy, whereas she noted the latest battle over the renewable fuel standard (RFS) as well as how biofuel mandates cost the American taxpayer at the pump and much more.
Despite the fact that some will argue that ethanol "can ruin car engines, it’s bad for the environment, and it raises taxes, gas and food prices," the Obama administration continues to dump millions of tax dollars into this fuel source. Inside Noon's column is just a hint into the number of ethanol companies that have gone bankrupt, with some problematic, while receiving taxpayer subsidies, grants and loans –– all with the potential for cronyism, of which she summarized a portion of my latest research.
Algenol Biofuels: $25 million DOE stimulus grant
During an energy speech in Florida, President Obama stated, “We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance — algae.” Right there in Florida is Algenol Biofuels — which Forbes calls “Obama’s favorite algae company.” In December 2009, Algenol Biofuels received $25 million in federal stimulus grants from the Obama administration and a $10 million grant in 2010 from Lee County’s Economic Development Committee.Sapphire Energy: $54.5 million USDA loan; $50 million DOE stimulus grant
Then there’s Sapphire Energy, which received a $50 million grant from the DOE and a loan guarantee for up to $54.5 million through the Biorefinery Assistance Program for their “Green Crude Farm” in Southern New Mexico. Surprise! Executives, board members and employees at Sapphire contributed almost exclusively to Democratic campaigns. Michelle Malkin reports: Sapphire's “website reads like a satellite White House communications office.” Even the Private funds raised for Sapphire have Obama connections: Bob Nelsen, a founding partner of ARCH Ventures—a Sapphire investor, served on Obama’s National Finance Committee during the 2008 campaign, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates is also a Sapphire investor. In 2008, Microsoft donated $852,164 and $814,645 in 2012—making them number four and number two, respectively, on the top Obama donor lists. In 2012, Bill and Melinda Gates personally contributed $71,800 to Democrats.Sapphire Update: On July 30, 2013, it was announced that Sapphire Energy, Inc. had "paid off the entire $54.5 million loan guarantee awarded to the company by the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Then on August 1, 2013, Sapphire Energy snagged another $5 million DOE algae grant.
Solazyme: $21.7 million DOE stimulus grant; plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy
The really interesting story is Solazyme, as it got both a $21 million DOE stimulus grant in 2009, and then in 2011 was rewarded with a guaranteed government customer for its biofuel that will pay four to seven times the regular fuel price: the US Navy. TJ Glauthier is a “Strategic Advisor” for Solazyme. Previously Glauthier held key positions in the Clinton administration and the DOE and served on Obama’s 2008 White House Transition Team. He is widely credited with helping to develop the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Solazyme’s officials, including Glauthier, contributed at least $360,000 to Democrats between 2007 and 2012. Other Solazyme Obama/Democrat connections include:
- Drew Littman, head of Solazyme’s Washington lobbying office, who was chief of staff for Senator Al Franken (D-MN).
- Jerry Fiddler, chairman of the board of directors, is a large Democrat donor, who contributed $24,000 to Obama’s Victory Fund.
- Sanjay Wagle was a Solazyme investor through VantagePoint. He was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign and joined the administration, as a “renewable energy grants advisor” at the DOE.
- Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme co-founder, sat on the board for the Center for American Progress (CAP) Clean Tech Council. CAP is responsible for crafting and promoting many key Democratic policies and is a major force behind Obama's green-energy agenda.
After over a month of extensive research, in today's Green Corruption File I'll be unleashing how the Obama administration has gambled on approximately 30 potentially risky biofuel projects, including advanced biofuels, which is consider a high-risk investment, costing American taxpayers over $2 billion. While a little over half of the money came out the Department of Agriculture's Biorefinery Assistance Program, a huge chunk was dished out of the 2009-Recovery Act –– the massive spending bill with over $90 billion earmarked for clean energy, which was sold as a means to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Yet we know that there were additional stimulus funds for "Clean Energy R&D:" $2.5 billion for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities at the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Of this total, $800 million was designated for biomass energy projects and $400 million for geothermal projects.
Meanwhile our new Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz –– just a few months on the job –– just handed out $22 million for algae biofuels, and the DOE continues to divert more taxpayer money towards the expansion of biofuels. Still, there are firms with the support of Democrats that are hammering away at the DOE's loan program for their fair share of taxpayer money. But where's the oversight?
Also, a handful of these biofuels firms have received contracts from the Department of Defense (DoD), for example grants from DARPA's Living Foundries research program –– as did Amyris. The DoD is also doling out grants for the engineering and development of plants to produce jet fuel, as in the case of Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. Throw in the Pentagon's effort to switch to (experiment with) biofuels, which includes large contracts to purchase biofuels for the Navy and the Air Force –– both Solazyme and Gevo (covered in this post) were winners here. The alarming aspect to this piece of the story is that as reported by RT.com, the Navy and Air Force "demonstrations were triggered by President Obama’s initiative to unearth greener solutions to rising fuel costs," yet the U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet cost $26 per gallon of biofuels, while the Air Force spent $59 per gallon on alcohol-to-jet fuel.
In reality, we won't get a true picture of the success or failure of these risky ventures (what the Obama administration calls investments), because, despite the fact that the stimulus was promised for “shovel-ready” projects, the majority of these biofuel projects –– stimulus funded and otherwise –– are only about half completed, and the jobs anticipated, saved, created, direct and indirect for each are laughable.
Still, if you are tempted to trust Recovery.org or the any of these firms to give the American taxpayer accurate or truthful jobs statistics for each of these these biofuel projects, it's important note that there has been no government oversight committee or watchdog group to validate them. Furthermore, we know that the manner in which the Obama administration calculates so-called green jobs is nothing but pure hype, if not downright lies –– janitors, bus drivers, clerks at bicycle shops, environmentalists, etc. are considered in that tally.
What's not funny is that inside the DOE's Loan Guarantee Program, with $26 billion spent since 2009 through Section 1703 and 1705, it has yielded 2,308 permanent jobs — meaning the cost to taxpayers is $11.25 million per job," as documented by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) in May of this year.
Keep in mind that I'll only be tackling the projects that I have personally kept track of: meaning that of the 31 highlighted below, I'll be documenting the corruption path of thirteen, with a few more as a bonus. I'm confident if I dug deeper, the percentage of the crony capitalism at work here would exceed 50 percent, and possibly as high as 90 percent, following the same pattern of the Energy Department's Loan Guarantee Program, which we have exposed since 2012, and thus far, have cost taxpayers over $34 billion under President Obama.
Department of Energy Funded 19 Biofuel Projects: $600 million from the stimulus package
|Map courtesy of the EERE / BETO|
IBR Portfolio Overview
In December 2009, the DOE awarded close to $600 million for 19 integrated biorefinery projects from the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the construction and operation of pilot, demonstration and commercial-scale facilities.”
While three were algae-based projects within the stimulus hand out, and covered in detail in my last post (referenced above: Algenol Biofuels, Sapphire Energy , and Solazyme) , there are plenty others that are confirmed corruption tales to share. But for now it is important to note that Energy Department program doled out "big biofuel bucks" via the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) through the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), of which we know that the 2009-Recovery Act gave that office “$16.8 billion for its programs and initiative.” It seems that EERE got $107 million from the stimulus package for Advanced Biofuels Research and Fueling Infrastructure as well as that 600 million for Advanced Biofinery Projects, mentioned above.
Also, we know that Cathy Zoi –– whose past includes serving as chief of staff for environmental policy under President Clinton as well as the CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection –– in April 2009, became the Assistant Secretary for the EERE.
Later in 2010, during a series of DOE vacancies, Zoi briefly filled the role of Acting Undersecretary for Energy, and in February 2011, she jumped the DOE ship to work for George Soros, another billionaire buddy of the president and key villain in this Green Corruption scandal that I tackled in March, exposing the fact that Soros' green tab exceeds $11 billion of stimulus money –– paid for by American taxpayers, and this tally is not factoring in the huge profit Soros is making off of his "green" investments.
Now it seems that Zoi has landed a new gig as the "chief strategy officer for C3, which develops data grid analytics tools for utilities like PG&E, and is the software behind GE’s Grid IQ Insight product."
Department of Agriculture: Since 2009, $1.02 Billion Loan Guarantees to 10 biofuel projects
- Abengoa*: In 2007, DOE grant up to $76 million from the Bush administration /In August 2011, Abengoa received a $132 million loan guarantee through the 1705 DOE stimulus created program (finalized), of which the DOE projected that this projects was going to create 300 construction jobs and 65 permanent jobs. Status: according to Abengoa's website, "The construction of the Hugoton plant began in July 2011 and it is expected to begin operations in June 2013." Hmmm, no update?
- Algenol Biofuels, Inc.*: $25 million stimulus grant (01/19/2010) to "convert carbon dioxide into ethanol using Algenol’s proprietary DIRECT TO ETHANOL® algae technology, which was first announced to be in @ Freeport, TX, but now they are doing this in Fort Myers, FL –– Status: While you can find the complete Green Corruption story on Algenol in my last post, Recovery.org places this project for the 2013 second quarter as "more than 50% completed." Also, this project had initially claimed that it would create "300 or more high-technology jobs in Florida," yet in the second quarter of 2010, jobs reported were 59.75, which seems to be their highest job creation since they began the project. Furthermore, since the fourth quarter of 2012, ZERO jobs have been reported for Algenol's pilot-scale biorefinery in Florida.
- American Process, Inc. (API): $17.95 million stimulus grant (01/31/2010) to "produce fuel and potassium acetate, a compound with many industrial applications, using processed wood generated by Decorative Panels International, an existing hardboard manufacturing facility in Alpena, MI" –– Status: 2013 second quarter is more than 50% completed, with initial jobs anticipated were as follows: "19 permanent jobs for direct employees and help retain 200 jobs associated with the host facility." However, it seems that this API project didn't start adding any jobs until the third quarter of 2011, which was ONE job reported. If you mosey around you'll find more, but its unclear as to the total jobs created as well as those 200 saved.
- Amyris, Inc.*: $25 million stimulus grant (12/28/2009) to "produce a diesel substitute through the fermentation of sweet sorghum" @ Emeryville, CA –– Status: With an anticipated jobs of 35 full-time, the 2013 second quarter places this project as completed. / Unrelated to the CA biofuel plant, Amyris also snagged a DoD DARPA contract in 2012 worth $8 million, as part of DARPA's Living Foundries research program.
- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM): In December 2009, ADM was awarded a $24.8 million stimulus grant to "use acid to break down biomass which can be converted to liquid fuels or energy" @ Decatur, IL. –– Status: While I can't locate the status of this project via Recovery.org, I can say that their "anticipated job creation" was 55 construction jobs and 14 sustained. Also, in June 2010, ADM was awarded a "$99.2 million DOE grant for a commercial-scale carbon sequestration project to capture and store 1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually from the Company’s ethanol facility in Decatur, Illinois." Yet, Recovery.org, states, "The ethanol plant and the sequestration site are both located in Decatur, Illinois, and lists ADM's DOE stimulus grant award for their "CO2 capture" in the amount of $141,405,945, which is also "less than 50% completed." Hmmm
- BlueFire Renewables Inc.: In December 2009, the largest single stimulus grant of $81 million went to BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc. (BFRE) to "construct a facility that produces ethanol fuel from woody biomass, mill residue, and sorted municipal solid waste" @ Fulton, MS. Plus, under the Bush administration, BFRE was awarded a total of "$40 million in DOE funding aimed at increasing the use of renewable and alternative fuels," noted Ethanol Magazine in 2008. (Also were seeking $250 million funding from the DOE loan program). Status: This project was supposed to create 65–70 permanent, and up to 750 during peak construction, and it turns out that Recovery.org lists this project for the 2013-second quarter as "less than 50% completed." Still, BFRE's DOE loan didn't work out and they are currently having financial issues –– construction halted in March 2013, and it seems they are out looking for more money to get rolling again. #1 with ISSUES
- Elevance: $2.5 million stimulus grant (December 2009) to "complete preliminary engineering design for a future facility producing jet fuel, renewable diesel substitutes, and high‐value chemicals from plant oils and poultry fat" @ Newton, IA / Apparently, Renewable Energy Group (REG, who also purchased SoyMor) was involved in this project, and 2011, Newton also snagged grants from the USDA's Farm Bill (Renewable Energy Group, Ames $695,000) along with a six other Iowa biodiesel plants. Status: In July 2010, the Elevance biorefinery pilot project and research facility in Newton, Iowa was "put on hold indefinitely," citing private financing issues. However, sometime in 2012, according to the DOE, Elevance's "research and development" was a success, and they moved their biofuel technology Natchez, Mississippi. #2 with ISSUES, but resolved
- Enerkem: $50 million stimulus grant (12/30/2009) for a "project to be sited at an existing landfill and use feedstocks such as woody biomass and biomass removed from municipal solid waste to produce ethanol and other green chemicals through gasification and catalytic processes" @Pontotoc, MS / January 2011 also the recipient of USDA loan guarantee worth $80 million (finalized) –– Status of Enerkem’s biorefinery in Mississippi is a little foggy
due to the fact that Recovery.org only has data as recent as the third quarter of 2011, which lists it as "less than 50% completed," and the jobs report is dim as well.
- Gas Technology Institute (GTI): $2.5 million stimulus grant (December 2009) to "complete preliminary engineering design for a novel process to produce green gasoline and diesel from woody biomass, agricultural residues, and algae" @ Des Plaines, IL –– Status: It seems that in November 2012, according to the DOE, the project was completed.
- Haldor Topsoe, Inc.: $25 million stimulus grant (12/28/2009) for a "pilot plan to convert wood to green gasoline" @ Des Plaines, IL –– Status: While Biomass Magazine reported last month, "[Haldor and partners] have successfully completed the first production of gasoline from woody biomass in an integrated 20-barrel-per-day demonstration plant located near Chicago," Recovery.org places this project's 2013 second quarter status at "more than 50% completed." And what are the anticipated jobs here? "35 jobs during peak construction and 25 sustained jobs during operation" –– oh my.
- ICM, Inc.: $25 million stimulus grant (12/04/2009) to "modify an existing corn‐ethanol facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and energy sorghum using
biochemical conversion processes" @ St. Joseph, MO –– Status: With an anticipated jobs creation of 21 sustained and 50 temporary during peak construction, as of the 2013 second quarter, the status of this cellulosic ethanol project is "more than 50% completed."
- INEOS Bio/New Planet Bioenergy: $50 million stimulus grant (12/30/2009) to "produce ethanol and electricity from wood and vegetative residues and construction and demolition materials" @ Vero Beach, FL / January 2011, also the recipient of a USDA loan guarantee worth $75 million (finalized) –– Status: Recovery.org's 2013 second quarter places this project as "more than 50% completed," and "400 jobs reported." Also, a July 2013 press release by the partners, "announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center (Center) is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale." Great news, however, those 400 jobs were temporary –– with the "Center" listing only 65 full-time employees. At least for $125 million of taxpayer money, this project exceeded its anticipated job creation of 50 full-timers.
- Logos/EdeniQ Technologies*: $20.4 million stimulus grant ( to "convert switchgrass and woody biomass into ethanol" @ Visalia, CA –– Status: With this project listing 11 new positions (43 sustained) as their "anticipated job creation," we find that as of the 2013 second quarter, Logos/Eden is more than 50% completed. Yet, in June of 2012 they "hosted an event to officially launch [the] Corn to Cellulosic Migration (CCM) pilot biorefinery" –– funded in part by American taxpayers... of course.
- Mascoma*: Mascoma Corporation is a cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol company that has received federal and state funding since its founding in 2006: Then in December 2011, Mascoma received up to $80 million in DOE funding "to assist in the design, construction and operation of a commercial-scale hardwood cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, Michigan." This $80 million was awarded to Mascoma despite the fact that this project had only created three jobs in three years. It should be noted that in October 2008, Mascoma –– for their Michigan facility as well –– had also received a total of $26.0 million in funding from the DOE and an overall contribution of $23.5 million from the State of Michigan. Status as of August 2013: The project was expected to be completed by the end of this year (2013), but ground has yet to be broken. #3 with ISSUES that will be expanded upon later in this post
- Myriant (BioEnergy International, LLC): $50 million stimulus grant (01/20/2010) to "biologically produce succinic acid from sorghum" @ Lake Providence, LA / This project is also funded with $25 million from the USDA's Rural Development B&I Loan Guarantee Program (June 2012) and a $10 million grant (2010) from the Lake Providence Port Commission and the Louisiana Department of Transportation –– Status: 2013 second quarter, more than 50% completed, and this project, worth $85 million in state and federal funds, was "expected to create approximately 40-50 direct and highly-skilled jobs, approximately 250 construction jobs and an estimated 300 indirect jobs." Now, Myriant, in a June 17, 2013 presser, announced a critical milestone at their plant located in Lake Providence, Louisiana, and that the "Company anticipates that customer shipments will commence soon." Wonder if the jobs commenced too?
- POET/DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC*: The POET Project LIBERTY (primarily corn stover) in Emmetsburg, IA has been part of the DOE BETO for a while. And, in September 2009, additional DOE funds were awarded to this project, of which at that time "the two grant increases will bring the total financial commitment from DOE to $100 million." Plus, $20 million in financial assistance from the State of Iowa (could be more?) / Was also awarded $105 million loan guarantee through 1705 DOE (stimulus created) program but POET voluntarily withdrew in January 2012 due to availability of private financing –– Status: Project LIBERTY, with an anticipated 35 sustained and 200 peak construction jobs, is scheduled to begin operations in Iowa in early 2014.
- Red Shield Acquisition, LLC (RSA): The Red Shield Acquisition integrated biorefinery, Old Town, ME, converts wood to sugars for feedstock. In 2008, RSE Pulp and Chemical, a subsidiary of Red Shield Environmental LLC, received up to $30 million for a wood-based ethanol facility at an existing pulp mill in Old Town, ME –– a mill that has had issues since 2003, and has been supported by Maine taxpayers. One of the most ironic problems that existed, even as recent as 2012, is that the Old Town Mill is on the EPA's watch list for air pollution. "In 2011, the Center for Public Integrity revealed that the mill was on the EPA’s watch list of the 464 violators of the Clean Air Act in serious or chronic noncompliance," documented the Bangor Daily News. #4 with ISSUES
- Renewable Energy Institute International (REII): $20 million stimulus grant (04/14/2010) to "produce high‐quality green diesel from agriculture and forest residues" @ Toledo, OH –– Status: A collaboration, of which this next-generation, fully integrated biorefinery (IBR) pilot plant in Ohio, anticipated 110 jobs during peak construction with an average of 30–35 jobs over the three-year project period. And as of the 2013-second quarter, is like most of these so-called "shovel-ready" projects is "more than 50% completed."
- Rentech ClearFuels: $23 million stimulus grant (01/29/2010) to "produce renewable diesel and jet fuel from woody biomass by integrating ClearFuels’ and Rentech’s conversion technologies" @ Commerce City, CO –– Status: With anticipated job creation for this project at 12 sustained and 50 peak construction, Recovery.org doesn't go past the final quarter of 2012, which at that time, placed it at "more than 50% completed." It was noted at that their Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) facility in Commerce City, was designed, built and operated," however, in March of this year, BiofuelsDigest,com reported, "In California, Rentech announced plans to cease operations at, reduce staffing at, and mothball its research and development Product Demonstration Unit, in Commerce City, CO, and to eliminate all related R&D activities." Translation, Rentech will be closing their Colorado demo unit, and is "currently seeking parties interested in purchasing the PDU and/or the site." #5 with ISSUES, yet it seems that it was completed prior...
- Sapphire Energy, Inc.*: $50 million stimulus grant (12/29/2009) to "cultivate algae in ponds that will ultimately be converted into green fuels, such as jet fuel and diesel" @ Columbus, NM / November 2011, also the recipient of a USDA loan guarantee worth $43.6 million (finalized and recently paid back as mentioned earlier in this post) / August 1, 2013, Sapphire Energy snagged another $5 million DOE algae grant. –– Status: While you can find the complete Green Corruption story on Sapphire Energy in my last post, Recovery.org states that as of the 2013-second quarter, this New Mexico biofuel project is "more than 50% completed." Meanwhile Sapphire claims that the Green Crude Farm "is on-schedule and on-budget," with "scale up operations and expansion of farming operations into 2013." Still, from what I gather, it will takes years to know if this slimy jet and diesel fuel will be viable –– to infinity and beyond...
- Solazyme, Inc.*: $21.8 million stimulus grant (December 2009) to "produce algae oil that can be converted to oil‐based fuels" @ Riverside, PA, but it states that their pilot project is in Peoria, IL / Plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy –– Status: 2013 second quarter, more than 50% completed. While you can find the complete Green Corruption story on Solazyme in my last post, it should be pointed out again that, according to Forbes, "Last year Solazyme posted a net loss of $83 million last year on sales of $44 million," and it seems that Solazyme's "green fuel" is not the money maker in the family.
- UOP, LLC*: $25 million stimulus grant (12/31/2009) to "integrate existing technology from Ensyn and UOP to produce green gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from agricultural residue, woody biomass, dedicated energy crops, and algae" @ Kapolei, HI –– 2013 second quarter status: More than 50% completed, and is "expected to start up in 2014."
- Verenium*: In 2008, Verenium was awarded a grant from the DOE under a $40 million program to support the development of small-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery plants for their project in Jennings, LA. / Approximately 12 million from Obama's DOE and the State of Florida (Back in 2010, Verenium was "banking on" one of those DOE loan guarantees to help it build its now-delayed first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant.) #6 with ISSUES, explained a bit later in this post
- ZeaChem, Inc.*: $25 million stimulus grant (04/27/2010) to "use purpose‐grown hybrid poplar trees to produce fuel‐grade ethanol using hybrid technology" @ Boardman, OR / September 2011, part of a $40 million USDA grant / January 2012, also the recipient of a USDA loan guarantee worth $232.5 million (Conditional loan) –– With all that taxpayer money, we find that this project also, as of the 2013 second quarter is only "more than 50% completed." #7 with ISSUES, financial and jobs, and explained later in this post
- LOANS ONLY START HERE: Chemtex International, Inc.: August 2012, $99 million for miscanthus and switchgrass @ NC / (finalized) Yep, Chemtex International Inc. snagged this huge USDA loan to build a 20 MMgy cellulosic ethanol facility in eastern North Carolina’s Sampson County, called Project Alpha, of which a month prior (June 2012) had already been "awarded $3.9 million by the USDA, under its Biomass Crop Assistance Program, to support the establishment of over 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass across 11 counties in North Carolina to help supply the new facility," documented Ethanol Producer Magazine. Status: With an expectation of creating "approximately 65 direct and at least 250 indirect jobs excluding those relating to the construction of the plant," Project Alpha target start-up date is set for 2014.
- Coskata*: January 2011, $250 million for woody biomass @ AL (finalized) #8 with ISSUES, explained a bit later in this post
- Fiberight, LLC: January 2012, $25 million for "municipal solid waste, seed corn waste" @ IA (conditional loan) / Fiberight also received a $2.9 million grant from the Iowa Power Fund in 2010. –– Status: Fiberight, who at the time of the loan announcement, estimated the plant based in Blairstown, Iowa, "will create 38 jobs and save 16 jobs, now Craig Stuart-Paul, CEO of Fiberight "hopes" to have construction start towards the end of 2013.
- Fremont Community Digester (FCD): May 2011, $12.8 million for "organic waste, agricultural residues" @ MI (finalized) / This project also received a 1603 stimulus grant "that covers up to one third of eligible capital costs." It turns out that FCD’s majority owner is INDUS Energy, LLC, an investment group located in Bingham Farms, MI. Managing member is NE Biofuels LLC of Novi Energy. During FCD's July 2011 groundbreaking announcement, "The head of Novi Energy said that even though the project had suffered ups and downs – even on life support for a bit," he was happy. Status: The latest data that I could find on this project is from the Detroit Free Press (dated January 2013), which reported that the Fremont Community Digester plant began making electricity (out of blend of food wastes and livestock manure) in the winter of 2012, and the plant employs 12 workers.
- Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels, LLC: August 2012, $105 million for "municipal solid waste" @ NV (finalized) / Also seeking $85 million funding from the DOE loan program Status" According to Fulcrum's 2012 press release, "The Sierra BioFuels Plant will be located approximately 20 miles east of Reno, Nevada in Storey County," and is supposed to create "53 full-time and more than 430 engineering and construction jobs." Status: In November of 2012, it was reported that Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. withdrew its IPO. However, despite the setback, Fulcrum, at that time, planned on proceeding with their Nevada project –– that is after they have "secured all of the capital necessary to fund construction of the plant." So we may see our taxpayer money at work by 2015...maybe. Unrelated to the Nevada project, Fulcrum, in May of this year, was awarded a $4.7 million grant by the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) to begin engineering and development on a plant to produce jet fuel.
- Range Fuels, Inc*: January 2009, $80 million for "woody biomass" @ GA (finalized but project failed, costing taxpayers millions) / Also sometime in 2007, when the Bush administration awarded "six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants up to $385 million in federal funding," Range Fuels (formerly Kergy Inc.) of Broomfield, Colorado, got up to $76 million. The proposed plant was to be constructed in Soperton (Treutlen County), Georgia. #9 with ISSUES: Failed in December 2011 with more details on this project later in this post
- SoyMor: June 2009, $25 million for "corn or soybean oil" @ MN (finalized) / What's funny about this biofuel deal is that the UDSA gave SoyMor millions knowing that "High feedstock costs forced SoyMor to suspend operations at its Albert Lea, Minn., facility in the spring of 2008" –– meaning that they were struggling, and this was an attempt at a bailout. But things didn't get better for SoyMor, because in July 2011, Renewable Energy Group (REG) became the new owner of the SoyMor Biodiesel LLC facilities located in Albert Lea, Minn. "The purchase included SoyMor’s biodiesel plant as well as its soy lecithin facility" –– a 30 million gallon per year (mmgy) biodiesel plant that had been idle since 2008. Status: from what I gather in September 2011, REG opened the REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant in Minnesota, which as stated, was originally was built and opened by SoyMor. #10 with ISSUES, that apparently got resolved –– I just wonder if they paid back the $25 mill...
- EERE's IBR Portfolio Overview (as of May 2013)
- EERE's December 4, 2009 Investment in Advanced Biorefinery Projects
- U.S. Energy Dept. to Award Up to $564 Million for 19 Integrated Biorefinery Projects, December 8, 2009 by Edmund's Auto Observer
- Taxpayer for Common Sense Biorefinery Assistance Program April 2013 Fact Sheet
- Taxpayer for Common Sense Department of Energy Loan Guarantees: Biofuels and Biomass April 30, 2013 Fact Sheet
- 2013 Second Quarter Status as well as date of some of the dates of the grants and jobs reported came from "Recovery.org, Tracking the Money."
- Asterisk*: Cronyism will be covered in this Green Corruption File
- Highlighted: Obama's biofuel stimulus grants
- Green Italics: DOE biofuel stimulus loans
- Red Type: Those that received a loan guarantee from the USDA
- ISSUES: briefly explained except for when noted
Additionally, if you look at the the Bioenergy Technologies Office interactive map, provided by EERE and last updated May 2013, it states that "grey markers signify projects are no longer active with BETO," which includes Verenium, Elevance, and GTI. But there are five others that are not listed with the final 24 such as; Flambeau, Lignal, New Page, Pac. Biogasol and Range Fuels, of which some had to terminate their DOE awards, and Range Fuels ended up a boondoggle.
Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas" of which this "Integrated Biorefinery (project located adjacent to and west of the City of Hugoton, in Stevens County, Southwestern Kansas) states, "it will convert biomass feedstocks to fungible liquid transportation fuels and green power."
Abengoa had already received a DOE grant up to $76 million for their proposed plant in the state of Kansas sometime in 2007, when the Bush administration awarded "six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants up to $385 million in federal funding." But what's interesting about the Spanish company Abengoa is that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan program gave them than $2.8 billion in loans — making them the second largest recipient of the DOE 1705 loan program money (created by the 2009-Recovery Act), and a huge part of the Green Corruption scandal, that Marita Noon and I have covered many times.
While two of the taxpayer-funded loans were for solar, the third went to fund a biofuel project located in Kansas. Despite the fact that Fitch rated the this project as "extremely speculative" –– just like the majority of the DOE loans: junk bonds and jammed packed with cronyism and corruption –– in August 2011, the Energy Department awarded Abengoa a $132 million loan in order to "begin construction of a first-of-its-kind, commercial-scale biofuel plant" –– projected to "support approximately 300 construction jobs and 65 permanent jobs about 90 miles southwest of Dodge City, KS."
So how did such a poorly rated, non-American company get billions in US taxpayer loans? And now we can add millions in grants. Can you say “crony corruption?” A story Marita and I broke last summer, yet I revisited in January 2013, exposing internal Energy Department email interactions that demonstrated a rush on Abengoa as well as other DOE deal making, which in this case included White House "intervention," and much more shenanigans. However, in short, Abengoa has a cadre of cronies in high places which not only involves Al Gore (since 2007), but former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, and of course, President Obama — plus, many others whose names you’ve probably never heard of.
It's worth repeating that billionaire John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins, along with his "billionaire climate buddy" Al Gore, is considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor" by New York Magazine, who in February 2011 hosted a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president. Doerr was one of the chosen members of on President Obama’s Jobs Council (also from Obama's 2009 PERAB), but early on he ultimately shaped what went into the energy sector of the 2009-Stimulus package. Gore and his VC firm Kleiner Perkins is tied to at least $10 billion of Obama's taxpayer funded clean-energy spending spree.
Additionally, I've noted Obama’s Wall Street Buddies in many of my Green Corruption files, and have written extensively about the president's connection to Goldman Sachs –– the number two top Obama donor in 2008. Also, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee, Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 bundlers –– Heyman was also a 2012 Obama bundler.
Even without extensive research, Goldman Sachs is tied to many other clean-energy projects that received loans, grants and special tax breaks from the Obama administration, and what I've tracked so far are billions of stimulus money from the DOE. Besides First Solar, Cogentrix, U.S. Geothermal, and others that I covered in January 2013, Goldman is also credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for now bankrupt Solyndra, and in 2010, handled the IPO of both Tesla Motors and Amyris.
“Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, said President Barack Obama had a "recycling" program that used crony capitalism to reward its campaign contributors, who would then funnel money back to the Obama campaign.
Schweizer said the Obama administration treated taxpayer dollars as "gift bags" to give to its top donors, which he called "the Obama recycling program."
In many instances, Schweizer said top Obama administration bundlers and influential Democrats -- like California Senator Dianne Feinstein and former Vice President Al Gore-- invested in companies before those companies received government-backed loans and grants, and then saw their investments flourish.
One such company was Amyris biotechnologies in Berkeley, California. Weeks before Amyris received a $25 million grant from the Obama administration, Feinstein and her husband bought nearly a $1 million in equity in the company. Then, the initial investors, such as Gore, saw a $12 million investment balloon to more than $80 million after they took the company and cited the government grants as a reason the company would be successful. As Schweizer noted, the IPO was only possible because of taxpayer dollars.
The Logos and EdeniQ pilot facility is listed as a project that "will test methods to convert non-food feedstocks into ethanol." It turns out that Logos, Inc. and EdeniQ, Inc. "are retrofitting EdeniQ’s existing pilot plant in Visalia, California."
In December 2009, this project snagged one of those Energy Department stimulus grants worth $20.4 million. Also, in June 2012, EdeniQ secured a $3.9 million from California Energy Commission to "support California feedstock and corn ethanol facilities’ innovations."
In a very eye-popping report by the Center for Public Integrity you'll meet the Steve Westly –– the poster child for the dirt behind the majority of the clean-energy deals –– via their piece March 2011 entitled, "Green bundler with the golden touch: Obama fundraiser got clean energy aid, then perch to advise Energy Secretary."
While IWatch points to "a trail of [green] loans, grants and tax breaks," I uncovered much more: as of January 2013, of the listed 20 firms (exited and current), at least 50 percent of The Westly Group portfolio were winners in the Obama clean-energy spending spree, and one of those is EdeniQ. But Westly is not the only VC firm that has an invested interest in EdeniQ: it is also a Kleiner Perkins investment as well, as noted above.
This $80 million, which came from the DOE's EERE, was awarded to Mascoma despite the fact that this project had only created three jobs in three years, as pointed out by the Washington Examiner last year. It should be noted that in October 2008, Mascoma –– for their Michigan facility as well –– had also received a total of $26.0 million in funding from the DOE and an overall contribution of $23.5 million from the State of Michigan.
However, if you add up the all the funds that the DOE has doled out to POET, as of 2009, the total financial commitment is at about $100 million of taxpayer money. Also, according to the Project LIBERTY site, "The State of Iowa has also taken a lead role in helping make this process a reality by contributing $20 million in financial assistance, yet, it's unclear if the $20 million from the State of Iowa includes the funds ($14.8 million) that Project LIBERTY got from the Iowa Power Fund, which contracts were finalized in June of 2011.
Be that as it may, all this free taxpayer money for Project LIBERTY to produce an anticipated 35 sustained and 200 peak construction jobs, which is scheduled to begin operations in Iowa in early 2014, is quite amazing.
True, but what USA Today missed is the fact that POET's connections to the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) are pretty thick. Not only as member, but we find that Doug Berven, POET's Vice President of Corporate Affairs is on ACORE's Board of Directors.
Who is ACORE?
As mentioned in a few posts, ACORE is an organization where we find many of our Green Corruption villains, however, if you enter in Michael Eckhart, who after spending the last decade as the founding President (2001) and a member of the Board of Directors at ACORE, joined Citigroup as Managing Director in February 2011, there's more to this part of the scandal.
ACORE is a renewable energy lobby powerhouse –– a band of Music Man businesses and deep-pocketed backers, of which PJ Media had alerted to 2011: “Eckhart and the ACORE membership also helped design the Department of Energy grant programs that partly offset the loss of tax equity financing arrangements. The tax equity financing schemes had been Wall Street’s main vehicle for bankrolling large wind and solar power plants, but they became moot when major losses …"
It is not clear which grant program that ACORE "helped design," however we do know that there are numerous ways that the Energy Department gives out free "green money" –– as is the case here with billions in biofuels bucks. Besides the DOE loans, there are smaller grant programs like the ARPA-E and the SunShot Initiative. Yet additional programs were created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, such as $11 billion for Grid Modernization, the $5 billion Home Weatherization Program, as well as $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, $2 billion for research into batteries for electric cars, $500 million for Green Jobs Training, and so on. Then throw in the Clean Energy R&D, where as stated, "$2.5 billion went for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities at the Energy Department’s Office of EERE," of which a huge chunk was designated for biomass energy projects and geothermal projects.
Still, Marita Noon and I exposed Citigroup's part in this massive mess this year in two exposés: "Citigroup’s Massive 'Green' Money Machine" and "Wall Street Walks on the White House," chronicling the Citigroup's carbon footprint inside the Obama administration and this Green Corruption scandal. But don't underestimate ACORE's, another one of the Gang of Eight stimulus authors, which are cashing in big time on green funds, and I've been exposing for some time. But for now, we'll stay with Obama's biofuel buddies...
Hmm, I thought trees were important for our environment, but I digress.
ZeaChem also snagged additional government handouts; such as in July 2012, they were "awarded $6 million for Hawaiian Biofuels Project" and in October 2012, they were "selected for $4.6 million award from California Energy Commission to develop renewable low-carbon biofuels."
Hyatt Farber Schreck –– who as exposed by Schweizer, lobbied on ZeaChem's behalf, yet they also had the help of
Dutko Worldwide as well as Liebman & Assoc, records OpenSecrets.org.
Mr. Farber's law firm members have donated around $1.1 million to candidates, parties and political action committees since 2005, with the majority going to Democrats. Nevertheless, since the New York Times 2008 reporting, in 2010, the Brownstein, Hyatt "PAC Contribution Data" breakdown was significantly higher to the Left: 63% to Democrats, 35% to Republicans, while in 2012, it slightly shifted to red: 47% to Democrats, 53% to Republicans.
Also documented in Schweizer's book, "shortly after the federal government started writing Recovery Act grant checks, Farber boldly placed an ad in the Wall Street Journal" touting his firm’s clout (access and influence): “Expertise in sustainable energy law is worth nothing without connections,” the advertisement read. “Learn how we’ve helped clients obtain funding from the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
"Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is at the forefront of representing companies in the clean technology sector," states their website, and while they draw political talent from both sides of the aisle –– even from the Department's of Energy and Interior –– their assistance goes beyond ZeaChem's $25 million stimulus cash. For example, in 2010, which was their largest amount of lobbying income in over a decade that almost hit $25 million, it included representation of additional clean-energy stimulus money winners such as Amyris Biotech, CH2M HILL, First Wind, NextEra Energy, Prologis, US Geothermal –– and all but Prologis I've covered in detail here at The Green Corruption Files. (NOTE: stats on political donations and lobbying expenditures are from OpenSecrets.org, and linked accordingly.)
Another Obama Billionaire Buddy, Khosla Ventures: a huge VC winner of the taxpayer-funded green spending spree, which includes least $800 million of biofuel bucks
|Photo from theiitian.com|
As divulged in Peter Schweizer's book, Throw Them All Out, Mr. Khosla "had been the head of Obama's India Policy Team during the 2008 election." Later we find out from Breitbart.com that even though Khosla donates to Republicans, he is a major Democrat donor, who, in October 2012, donated one million dollars to Priorities USA Action, a top liberal super PAC that backed President Barack Obama’s reelection." And as recent as June 2013, Vinod Khosla hosted a dinner for President Obama at his Portola Valley home.
Khosla, a registered Republican, breaks with inside-the-beltway Republicans most significantly over the significance of climate change risk. "I'm fiscal hawk. I vote against all taxes, but I do believe the environment, and climate change, is a bigger issue than fiscal deficits are as a risk to the nation."Fine and dandy, however, maybe Mr. Kholsa is liberal when it comes to government spending only when taxpayers foot the bill in order to save the planet, because he's one the big venture capitalists sitting in the winners' circle.
Although I kept a file on Khosla since 2010 –– with over 50 investments within their sustainability portfolio –– I didn't expose their entire part in this scandal. However, in my January 2013 post, I documented the Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures connection, along with their related clean-energy investments, which were winners of stimulus funds and, at that time, included Ausra Inc, AltaRock, Amyris, Great PointEnergy, Mascoma, and QuantumScape.
Also in my post, I shared Coskata as well as Nordic WindPower, the latter was also a Goldman Sachs investment, which snagged a small amount of stimulus funds and went bankrupt. So, today we'll take a peek at Khosla's biofuel, advanced hydrocarbon categories, which only lists seven. However ALL but one of those got renewable energy stimulus funds, other energy funds from at the federal and state level, as well as special deals –– with one hold out seeking a billion dollars from the Energy Department.
- Cilion: Goshen, CA
- Hawaii BioEnergy: Honolulu, HI*
- Mascoma Corporation: Cambridge, Mass.
- Range Fuels: Broomfield, CO*
- Coskata Energy: Warrenville, IL
- Gevo: Pasadena, CA
- LS9: San Carlos, CA
- AltraBiofuels: Los Angeles, CA
- Amyris Biotechnologies: Emeryville, CA
- Celunol, (now Verenium): Cambridge, Mass.*
#1) Amyris: complete corruption story covered earlier that received a $25 million stimulus grant from the Obama administration to "produce a diesel substitute through the fermentation of sweet sorghum" @ Emeryville, CA
|Coskata News: |
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell
with Coskata CEO William Roe
Eleven days later, we discover that the Green County Biofuel plant for Boligee got axed: "Coskata Inc. had announced in January 2011 that it would build a bio-refinery at the Crossroads of America Park in Boligee. The site was selected because the plentiful supply of timber in the region would provide ample wood chips and wood waste needed to produce ethanol. The company later decided to instead use natural gas, which is less expensive, to make ethanol," wrote Tuscaloosa News.
Listed on their site, Coskata currently has two facilities: Lighthouse located in Madison, Pennsylvania and in Warrenville, Illinois, and the latter is where they house several development labs. But what is unclear is what they did with the $250 million of taxpayer money, which was supposed to be for the Alabama biofuel project. It's a biofuel mystery.
#3) Gevo: Under Obama, $600 thousand Air Force contract; $5 million grant from the USDA; and $1.8 million grant from the DOE and USDA Biomass R&D Initiative
In my last post, Obama's Biofuel Buddies, Part One, with a special emphasis on algae, I had given a complete overview of Solazyme, and their clean-energy dirt. But let me give you a recap. At the end of 2011, Solazyme [and Dynamic Fuels] secured a $12 million contract with the U.S. Navy to unload hundreds of thousands of gallons of biofuel, which was priced at an estimated four to seven times the normal cost of regular jet fuel. This deal, which included the purchase for 450,000 gallons of advanced biofuels, at the price of $15 per gallon (some reported $26 a gallon) , was for the "first demonstration [off the coast of Hawaii] of the so-called "'Great Green Fleet'" — an entire aircraft-carrier strike group relying on alternative energy sources," reported Wired.com.
While Gevo's contract to supply 'alcohol-to-jet' (ATJ) based jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force, worth $600,000 was awarded on September 28, 2011, the Huffington Post in July 2012, noted that
Gevo spent $360,000 over three years for the services of Green Capitol LLC, and that "the principals of the firm are a former Capitol Hill aide who worked on energy programs and a former official of the Air Transport Association, the major airlines' trade organization, who pushed the Air Force to experiment with biofuels." Interesting enough, Huffington Post noted a tiny fraction of the Khosla connection, but reported, "Khosla told Reuters through a spokesman that he had no knowledge of the Air Force contract and declined further comment."
#4) Hawaii BioEnergy: Honolulu, HI: Under Obama, $25 million stimulus grant went to UOP, LLC for an "integrate existing technology from Ensyn and UOP to produce green gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from agricultural residue, woody biomass, dedicated energy crops, and algae" @ Kapolei, HI
In 2009, UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company was awarded "$25 million stimulus grant to build a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels." According to Honeywell press release, dated January 2010, the demonstration plant refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, which broke ground in August 2011, "is expected to start up in 2014."
While Honeywell International Inc., the billion-dollar company, is also a big player in this clean-energy scam, what's relevant in this story is that the Pilot-Scale Biorefinery UOP Project includes other participants : Tesoro; Ensyn; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Ambitech; Hawaii BioEnergy; Group70; Michigan Technological University; Ceres; Cargill, Inc.; Grays Harbor Paper LP; Imperium Renewables; Mesa Engineering; Countrymark Petroleum; Kern Oil; Honeywell; Boeing; and General Motors.
- Hawaii Bioenergy ($5 million DOE grant)
- Sapphire Energy ($5 million DOE grant)
- New Mexico State University ($5 million DOE grant)
- California Polytechnic State University ($1.5 million DOE grant)
#5) KiOR: seeking $ 1 billion DOE loan, and we will watch if they get it
According to their website, "KiOR is a next-generation renewable fuels company that has developed a proprietary technology platform to convert biomass into renewable crude oil that is processed into gasoline, diesel and fuel oil blendstocks."
Apparently in May 2012, LS9, Inc. got some help from Florida Opportunity Fund's (FOF) Clean Energy Investment Program. LS9 presser stated, "FOF invested $4.5 million to help fund the retrofit of LS9's demonstration facility in Okeechobee, Fla., to develop biodiesel and renewable chemical products."
#8) Range Fuels, Inc: Under the Bush administration Range Fuels (formerly Kergy Inc.) of Broomfield, Colorado, got up to $76 million. / From the Obama administration, $80 million USDA loan for "woody biomass" @ GA –– and this boondoggle ended up costing costing taxpayers about $92.5 million
#9) LanzaTech: Under Obama, besides special DOE and DOD deals, which includes purchasing the Range Fuels factory, Lanza got at least $11 million tax dollars from the DOE and DOT
Under the Obama administration, Range Fuels "secured a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture out of the 2008 Farm Bill worth $80 million to help the company finish construction of its commercial scale plant near Soperton, GA," reported Gigaom in January 2009.
This $80 million USDA deal was later revealed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (ACJ), "that taxpayer money for Range Fuels was approved despite repeated warnings and strong opposition by some of the federal officials who vetted the project." ACJ goes on, "The documents obtained by the AJC show that three USDA officials who vetted the project approved it. Three opposed it. And three others who made critical comments had their opinions redacted."
Yet, I found that in December 2011, LanzaTech got a $3 million contract from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), through the Department of Transportation. And that LanzaTech has snagged more government contracts and funds from the Obama administration. In November 2010, LanzaTech entered into a research and development agreement with the DOE's America's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), of which it was reported by the Global Bioenergy Industry News, "The first phase of the work will take place over a year with equal funds from the DOE and LanzaTech."
Verenium, a Cambridge, Mass. biofuel maker, which as I mentioned earlier, is part of Gigaom.com 2007 "10 Khosla Biofuel Bets," which in 2008 snagged a large grant from the DOE through the Bush administration, "under a $40 million program to support the development of small-scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery plants." Also, in April 2010 –– as an extension of the grant previously awarded in July of 2008 –– Verenium was awarded an additional $4.9 million from the DOE "to fund ongoing activities at its demonstration-scale facility in Jennings, Louisiana."
In 2008, according to VentureBeat.com, Verenium had "formed a partnership with oil giant British Petroleum and taken on a $90 million investment from the latter company to develop its cellulosic ethanol process."
Then in 2009, we find out that Verenium was awarded a $7 million grant from the State of Florida's Farm to Fuel initiative to build its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant.
But ever since they got all that cash, Verenium "managed to lose a lot less money in 2009 than in 2008. Verenium announced a net loss of $56.24 million in 2009, down from a staggering net loss of $189.00 million in 2008," documented Gigaom in March 2010. And at that time, "the company’s joint technology development deal with oil giant BP, called Galaxy Biofuels, is set to expire on April 1, 2010." Meanwhile in March of 2010, Verenium was "banking on" one of those DOE loan guarantees to help it build its now-delayed first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant."
No DOE loan yet, however in July 2010 BP came to the rescue, and announced that it "will acquire the cellulosic biofuels business of Verenium. The $98.3 million deal includes Verenium’s biofuel facilities in Jennings, LA and San Diego, CA. But it doesn’t include Verenium’s commercial enzyme business, and allows Verenium to develop its own “'lignocellulosic'” enzyme program," reported TechCrunch.com. This deal also included the fact that BP will own 100% of Galaxy Biofuels, mentioned above.
Two years later, BP scrapped their cellulosic ethanol plant plans, including the one in Florida, announcing that they "will instead focus its U.S. strategy on research and development as well as licensing its technology." SmartPlanet.com, conceded while opining on BP's Verenium $98.3 million bargain, that "the cellulosic ethanol business is a risky one that requires considerable investment." BP is hardly alone in its failure. Dozens of companies and startups have tried without success to produce a single commercially viable drop of the stuff."
Risky, yet the Obama administration continues to gamble with tens of billions of taxpayer money in order save the planet. But for those of you that have been following "green corruption," you know that biofuel is only a fraction of the funds being dumped into so-called clean energy, which, in reality is used as political payback. Worse still, is the obvious crony capitalism and corporate welfare –– those with access and influence –– fueling this massive, expensive and deceptive scandal.
But what's a few billion amongst friends –– of other people's money –– anyhow?