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Solyndra-Linked Executive to Lead Pentagon’s Advanced Tech Agency
Posted By Melanie Wilcox On July 11, 2012 @ 1:05 pm In Energy and Environment,Scribe | 9 Comments
A venture capital executive with ties to defunct solar company Solyndra has been hired as the new chief of the Defense Department program heading up the Pentagon’s renewable energy push.
Arati Prabhakar , a former partner at U.S. Venture Partners , a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that backed Solyndra, has been named the new director of DoD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  (DARPA). Prabhakaker will administer DARPA’s roughly $3 billion budget, some of which will likely continue funding projects in renewable energy.
While there is no indication that Prabhakar was involved with Solyndra during her time at USVP, her appointment to DARPA may rekindle allegations of cronyism in the administration’s dealings with Solyndra and other green energy companies.
DARPA itself has been scrutinized for some of its green energy deals. Former chief Regina Dugan was investigated by federal watchdogs after her family’s company won $400,000 in DARPA contracts  while she headed the division.
DARPA was also responsible for the $21.8 million deal with biofuel company Solazyme, inviting further scrutiny. A member of Solazyme’s corporate board sat on President Obama’s transition team, where he helped form renewable energy policy.
Given the large pricetag of the Solazyme deal – the Navy paid $26 per gallon  for Solazyme fuels – its merits mention that Prabhakar stresses the importance  of relying on alternative energy despite its admittedly high costs to American taxpayers .
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/11/solyndra-linked-executive-to-lead-pentagons-advanced-tech-department/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/darpa.jpg
 Arati Prabhakar: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/darpa-solyndra/
 U.S. Venture Partners: http://www.usvp.com/html_vers/
 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: http://www.darpa.mil/
 $400,000 in DARPA contracts: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/darpa-gave-400000-to-chiefs-family-firm/
 $26 per gallon: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/02/gop-in-congress-critical-navy-great-green-fleet/
 Prabhakar stresses the importance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNVq85Lq1dc&feature=player_embedded
 high costs to American taxpayers: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/05/24/four-big-problems-with-obamas-energy-subsidy-push/
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