Talk Straight

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Obama donors stand to profit from president’s latest green energy fixation...

President Obama’s most recent green energy fixation—algae—may suffer from the accusations of cronyism that have plagued his broader effort to promote non-fossil fuel energy sources through massive federal subsidies.

Solazyme, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in the plant matter, has received more than $25 million in federal grants and contracts as part of Obama administration’s controversial stimulus package, and is poised to receive millions more as part of the president’s recent efforts to promote green biofuels such as algae.

The firm employs a former member of the Obama-Biden transition team who, according to one online bio, “played a key role in developing the energy provisions in the economic stimulus bill.”

TJ Glauthier, who is listed as a “strategic adviser” and corporate board member, previously held a number of high-ranking posts in the Clinton Administration, including deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Glauthier’s bio on the Solazyme website used to note that he “focused primarily on the energy portion of the economic stimulus bill,” but has since been amended to remove all reference to his work in the Obama administration.

It does mention, however, that Glauthier serves on the board of EnerNOC Inc., a company that provides demand-response services to electric utility firms.

EnerNOC won a $10 million contract with the Department of Energy Resources in 2010 despite being underbid by competitors, the Boston Herald reported.

Glauthier also served on the board of SunRun, a solar financing company that received a $6.7 million federal grant in 2010.

Glauthier’s relationship with Democratic lawmakers has been beneficial. Since 2007, he has donated nearly $8,000 to Democratic candidates and committees, including $2,500 to Obama.

Solazyme’s other board members and top executives have given much more.

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I was wondering how this whole algae thing came up when he mentioned it a bit ago-mystery solved.

Filed under obama energy stimulus corruption cronyism green liberal progressive politics