Another green energy boondoggle is coming to North Carolina. Chemtex, a subsidiary of an Italian based company, has received millions of dollars in federal government guaranteed loans. Their objective is to turn grassy plants into a viable fuel for automobiles.
The Oxford-based Biofuels Center has gotten $20 million from taxpayers for its 10-year mission of establishing a biofuels industry that converts grasses, wood pulp and even algae into motor fuels the future may demand. The center calls itself the nation’s only state agency with a mission to help businesses, universities and others involved in the science, growing, production and logistics of biofuels.
“Anyplace that can grow has the capability for biofuels,” Biofuels Center President Steven Burke said. But “North Carolina is perfectly suited, for we have diversity of land, growing conditions and climate able to grow a large variety of fuel plants.”
Chemtex hopes to “take some pretty marginal land, land that’s not producing major value to farmers, like sprayfield land. We see that as an opportunity,” project manager Allana Whitney said.
Hope springs eternal for the green energy tricksters. Failure is an option when the taxpayers are footing the bill:
The ethanol plant is waiting for the U.S. Agriculture Department to approve a loan guarantee. The state’s first ethanol plant went bankrupt last year despite $35 million in USDA loan guarantees and millions more in loans and private investment. That Raeford-based company couldn’t produce ethanol cheaply enough after surging demand for corn from developing countries drove up the price.
Not only was this ethanol plant a failure, so have been many others. Georgia’s Ranger Fuels is one of the more notable schemes that the taxpayers were scammed on. Vinod Khosla, one of Obama’s campaign bundlers, profited handsomely off of this taxpayer funded largess:
The failed Range Fuels wood-to-ethanol factory in southeastern Georgia that sucked up $65 million in federal and state tax dollars was sold Tuesday for pennies on the dollar to another bio-fuel maker with equally grand plans to transform the alternative energy world.
LanzaTech, a New Zealand-based biofuel company, paid $5.1 million for the plant in Soperton. Its main financial backer: Vinod Khosla, a California entrepreneur who also bankrolled Range Fuels, and helped secure its government loans, before Range went bust last year.LanzaTech hasn't received the same type of loans, but the company has received $7million from the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation to assist in the development of alternative fuels.
I wonder which Obama bundler is involved with this Chemtex loan. But I digress.
Many believe in the potential of biofuels. Unfortunately, these products are heavily subsidized, and have proven to be harmful to engines. But that doesn’t stop the enthusiasm of some politicians. Even republicans are on board:
Sen. Harris Blake, R-Moore, said lawmakers are looking forward to a payoff on biofuels from taxpayers’ investments.
“We spent a lot of money on that biofuels center, I mean big bucks,” said Blake, who backs drilling for the natural gas believed to be in underground deposits centered on his home district. “Now we need to do something if we think there’s any potential future for it. A lot of people think there (is).”
And the green energy boondoggle continues on.