In an effort to make good on President Barack Obama’s commitment to “green energy,” the United States Air Force spent $639,000 on 11,000 gallons of alcohol-to-jet fuel from Gevo Inc., a Colorado biofuels company, at $59 a gallon.
The cost of petroleum is presently $3.60 a gallon.
Similarly, in preparation for last week’s “Green Fleet Demonstration,” the U.S. Navy purchased $12 million in biofuels to prove that a carrier strike group could be run on biofuels for the day. It’s all part of the Obama Administration’s decision last year to direct the Navy, Agriculture department, and the Energy department to spend $510 million in taxpayer monies on alternative jet and marine fuels.
But what may appear on the surface to be a green energy initiative may instead by yet another example of cronyism between the green energy industry and Democratic lawmakers.
As it turns out, one of the venture capital funders behind Gevo Inc. is Vinod Khosla. Since 1996, opensecrets.org reports that Mr. Khosla has made $474,534 in campaign donations, 86 percent of which went to Democrats.
As Reuters reports:
Khosla’s firm owned a 27 percent stake in Gevo as of the company’s March federal filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Khosla also has close ties to another venture capital firm whose team includes Al Gore, the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate in 2000.
Mr. Khosla is no stranger to failed biofuel projects involving taxpayer monies. He was the chief backer of Range Fuels, a biofuels company that received a government-guaranteed $64 million loan only to later go bust and leave taxpayers holding the bag.
In his book, Throw Them All Out, Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer revealed that 80 percent of the Department of Energy’s $20.5 billion loan program went to companies owned by or connected to Mr. Obama’s campaign donors.