• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Federal Advisory Committee Members Land Millions in Taxpayer Backing

    Members of a federal advisory committee on the adoption of biofuels have seen millions in taxpayer dollars steered to their companies while sitting on the committee, Scribe reports in today’s Washington Examiner.

    The Biomass Research and Development Board, created in 2000, makes recommendations to the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture on federal incentives for and adoption of biofuels. It contains an advisory committee with some very noteworthy members.

    The presence of at least six taxpayer-backed companies on the advisory committee raises serious conflict of interest questions, as I explain in the Examiner.

    The San Francisco-based company Solazyme made headlines in December when the Navy and the Ag Department jointly announcedthat the former would purchase biofuels from the company for up to $15 a gallon. Less reported was the presence of Solazyme Co-founder and President Harrison Dillon on the panel advising Agriculture on the adoption of biofuels…

    The Navy biofuels deal also steered federal dollars to a company called Dynamic Fuels, which manufactures biofuels from used cooking oil. Dynamic is a joint venture of Syntroleum Corp. and Tyson Foods. Sitting on the biofuel advisory committee is Robert Ames. Ames was Tyson’s vice president in charge of commercializing the company’s renewable energy projects, including Dynamic Fuels, when the contract went through. In January 2012, Solazyme hired him as its vice president of fuels commercialization.

    Advisory committee member William Provine, now the director of Science and Technology External Affairs at DuPont, was until April 2012 a board member at Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a joint venture of DuPont and BP. In 2010, Butamax announced an $8.8 million cost-sharing agreement with DOE for the production of a sugar-based biofuel called isobutanol.

    DOE has steered massive sums to Archer Daniels Midland for biofuel-related projects since the committee’s creation. ADM landed a $99.2 million contract in 2010, for carbon sequestration technology for biofuel producers. The year before, it got a $24.8 million grant to develop and commercialize advanced biofuels. Meanwhile, Todd Werpy, ADM’s vice president for Biofuels and Biochemical Research, sat on the advisory committee.

    In October 2011, DOE announced up to $4 million in grants for LanzaTech, whose CEO sits on the advisory committee, to develop a biofuel called butadiene. The same month, ArborGen, whose then-vice president of product development had a seat on the committee, got $6.3 million from DOE to develop wood-based biofuels.

    Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Federal Advisory Committee Members Land Millions in Taxpayer Backing

    1. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I wonder if any of these "big corps" and/or their CEOs made campaign contributions to Obama 2012?

    2. Bobbie says:

      Is this considered redistribution? Government abuse entrapping everyone to pocket all they can? Then thieve more when it's called "redistribution?" America needs her dignity back that comes from strong, dignified leadership with American principle! We're dealing with the intelligence of ill willed people.

    3. Crony Capitalism is Phony Capitalism. The Congress has shirked its responsibilities. It has empowered the Judicial and Executive Branches with powers that are not within Constitutional limits. The same can easily be said for the states. The overt corruption that is being allowed to continue may eventually have to be dealt with in more drastic ways than via the voting booth. When a U.S.Court says lying is protected speech and is without consequences, it tells me something is very wrong. When a Court can have an 80% reversal rate and waste taxpayer money on a Hawaiian getaway something smells. Let's wake up!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.