Key Senate Biofuels Critic under Fire over Nat-Gas Fuel Earmarks
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) Arch-critic of the cost of military biofuels — Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe — comes under scrutiny over earmarks for natural gas-based military fuels that cost 29 times more than conventional fuels.
In Washington, the battle over advanced military biofuels took a turn for the bizarre this week, amidst revelations that a leading Senate sponsor of legislation to restrict Navy purchases of advanced biofuels, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, had previously secured earmarks for Syntroleum Corporation to produce natural gas-to-liquid alternative fuels which were priced 29 times higher than conventional fuels.
Overall, Syntroleum reported receiving nearly $6 million from 2002, 2004 and 2006 joint development contracts with DoD, stemming from the earmarks by Inhofe. Syntroleum also reported a 2006 contract for $2.3 million for the sale of 104,000 gallons of gas-to-liquid jet fuel to DoD, for testing in Oklahoma-based B52s.
According to the most recent disclosures at opensecrets.org, Senator Inhofe is an investor in BlackRock, which is the largest shareholder in Syntroleum as of March 31, according to SEC filings, through BlackRock Institutional Trust and BlackRock Fund Advisors.
…There seems to be ample evidence that Senator Inhofe is intimately aware of the costs of developing and testing alternative fuels in small quantities. It appears to be a simple case of playing political games, by criticizing Dynamic Fuels for selling advanced biofuels for $26 per gallon, when the Senator himself won an earmark requiring the military to purchase even more expensive natural gas-based fuels from Dynamic’s parent.
Paying nine times as much for test quantities of advanced biofuels? “Far-left agenda.”
Paying 29 times as much for test quantities of alternatives to fossil fuels made from, ahem, more fossil fuels? “A real difference for America.” READ MORE