That title is quite a mouthful and really who would think that anyone should ever have to write that sentence about the federal government of the United States of America. It is a sad state of affairs in this Country when our children and grandchildren will be paying for generations to come for the largess of the politicians of past 100 years. Today we stand at almost 17T in debt because of venture crony capitalism, let me be clear, what is happening here is NOT capitalism! Who do you think will pay for that? why did we allow this to go on for so long? What in the hell is the federal government doing doling out hard earned Americans tax dollars to wealthy cronies? All of those questions and the end of that insanity is in the eye of the 2012 election cycle. It is time to stop the gravy train of the American taxpayer dollar to those who can start and company and take the risk and the reward or failure on their own. Lord Forgive Us As We Did Not Know What We Were Doing
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 $7 million from the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation to assist in the development of alternative fuels.
The Range fiasco harkens other, failed renewable energy companies that received major taxpayer funding. California solar panel maker Solyndra got $535 million in federal loan guarantees. Beacon Power of Massachusetts, which makes energy-storage equipment, took in $43 million in federal money. Both filed for bankruptcy last year.
Range cost U.S. taxpayers $64 million and Georgia taxpayers another $6.2 million. Tuesday’s sale netted $5.1 million which will help offset losses suffered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Georgia’s money, which paid for some of the ethanol-making equipment, won’t be recouped outright, but state officials expect LanzaTech to use the machinery.
Sam Shelton, director of research programs at Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute, was long skeptical of Range Fuels’ plans and technology.
“It was too damn big a risk for an apparently unproven technology and the due diligence I personally performed on Range would not entice me to invest in it,” Shelton said Wednesday. Shelton was invited by Range a few years back to check out its operation in Colorado where it was based.
“Government should not be in the venture capital business selecting technologies,” he added.
Range was the alternative energy rage in 2007 when then-Gov. Sonny Perdue held a press conference to announce dot-com billionaire Khosla would help finance the $225 million wood-to-ethanol plant in economically depressed Treutlen County, 155 miles southeast of Atlanta.
Later that year, at a groundbreaking in Soperton’s industrial park, Perdue boasted that “Range Fuels represents a new future for our country.” And Georgia, with its 24 million forested acres, would become world renowned for cellulosic ethanol which, conceivably, turns pine trees and scrap into fuel.
The Bush administration’s Energy Department steered a $76 million federal grant to Range. The Department of Agriculture followed up with an $80 million loan guarantee. Georgia officials pledged $6.2 million. Treutlen County, one of the state’s poorest, offered 20 years worth of tax abatements and 97 acres in its industrial park.
Private investors reportedly put up $158 million. In all, the project raised more than $320 million.
Range, unable to turn wood into ethanol, closed its doors a year ago. It never came close to creating the 70 jobs once promised.
“We are disappointed that this company did not succeed,” said USDA spokesman Justin DeJong. “It’s important to remember that USDA has a long history of successful lending that supports rural homeowners, business owners, utilities and cooperatives, and over 90 percent of USDA’s loans are successfully repaid.”
I bolded the Bush Administration because I want everyone to be clear, it is both political parties and its time to end the death of America by bankruptcy and its up to We The People!