A couple of days back we reported out on Range Fuels, a biofuel firm, that had recieved a $64 million loan from the Department of Agriculture and still managed to go belly-up. We were perplexed that there were no evident Range Fuel ties to the Obama administration as that appears to be the way things work in our new crony capitalist economic model. Well, it turns out that we were just looking at the wrong biofuel firm.
First the set up:
The departments of Agriculture and the Navy announced plans Monday to buy 450,000 gallons of non-food biofuels -- at a cost of $16 per gallon -- in what will be the largest federal purchase of biofuels in U.S. history.
The purchase is being authorized by an executive order under the Obama administration's "we can't wait" campaign.
Administration officials gave no indication why they're not going through Congress, instead using a program that was established to promote rapid job growth by bypassing congressional debate.
Perhaps why Congress was not able to chime in on this decision was because the fuel that this biofuel is replacing, JP-5, which powers the Navy's jets and helos goes for about $4/gallon. Crazy theory, we know, but that might just explain it.
Two companies will participate in the program -- Louisiana-based Dynamic Fuels, a joint venture of Tyson foods and Syntroleum Corp, which makes biofuel from used cooking oil; and California based Solazyme, which makes fuel from algae.
Now we get to the part you've been waiting for:
Solazyme is not just any biofuels company, and its continued partnership with the Navy is not without crony connections. Its strategic advisor is T.J. Glauthier, Obama donor and part of President Obama’s transition team, as Solazyme’s website states:
TJ Glauthier is an advisor and corporate board member in the energy and “clean tech” sector. He advises companies dealing with the complex competitive and regulatory challenges in the energy sector today. He also served on President Obama’s White House Transition Team, where he focused primarily on the energy portion of the economic stimulus bill.
Not an isolated incident. Though we don't have the numbers for the Dept. of Agriculture loans, a full 80% of DOE loans went to the companies of Obama donors.
Yeah, "We Can't Wait (to hook up our donors)" probably wouldn't pass Congressional muster but then who in Congress is going to have the stones to put a stop to this?