LanzaTech, a Chicago-area company that says it turns pollution into cool things such as fuels and chemicals, has gotten lots of U.S. tax money.
And guess what country LanzaTech is tight with? Of course.
The Biden administration has given the company $10 million in grant payments since April 2021, when LanzaTech announced it was working closely with Sinopec Capital, The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday.
Sinopec Capital is the green energy investment arm of the Chinese state-owned oil conglomerate Sinopec Group, also known as the China Petrochemical Corp., the report said.
LanzaTech’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission concede that its tight ties to Sinopec could affect its financial returns. What’s more, Sinopec is the means by which China buys oil from Iran and Russia, which are under U.S. sanctions.
It’s all so cozy.
In an SEC filing on Nov. 14, LanzaTech admitted that “we are subject to the risk that the Chinese government may intervene or influence our operations at any time.”
But China is hustling to take that lead, even though last year it launched construction of nearly three dozen new coal-fired power plants.
And the president and his team are not helping the U.S. when their green energy efforts include not only money to LanzaTech but also a $200 million grant to Microvast, a lithium battery company operating mainly out of China.
Microvast, by the way, is on an SEC list of companies not complying with U.S. auditing standards.
It makes one wonder if the touting of all those wonderful electric cars Biden loves is aimed at aiding his friends, the Chinese, as they sell us batteries.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said aid to companies such as LanzaTech means that Democrats’ “green energy agenda is stamped with the words ‘made in China.’”
“Instead of handing millions of taxpayer dollars to a Chinese-backed company, the president should be encouraging American energy production and American energy independence,” Cotton told the Free Beacon.
The Department of Energy told the outlet it awards grants “on a competitive basis and follows a rigorous merit review process using independent technical experts.”
LanzaTech is fond of Democrats. One of its key investors, billionaire Vinod Khosla, hosted a $32,400-per-plate Democrat fundraiser in California and headed Barack Obama’s India policy team during the 2008 presidential election, the Free Beacon reported.
Board member Jim Messina is a political consultant who was President Obama’s chief of staff and 2012 campaign manager, according to the LanzaTech website.
During the Obama administration, LanzaTech received millions in DOE grants, some of which — $3 million — carried over into the administration of Obama’s successor in the White House, Donald Trump.
In September, LanzaTech announced that CEO Jennifer Holmgren had addressed White House officials and members of Congress on “the progress LanzaTech has made in leveraging biotechnology and biomanufacturing for a safe, secure, and sustainable U.S. bioeconomy.”
The Biden administration has been criticized for the April sale to China of a million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The sale was made to Unipec, the Chinese petroleum trading agency, and was part of a reduction of U.S. reserves to their lowest level in some 40 years.
Besides enhancing China’s strategic reserves, aggressive buying by Unipec tightened China’s relationships with Iran and Russia, according to the Free Beacon.
The sale prompted an investigation by congressional Republicans.
Also, on Dec. 7, Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming demanded answers from the DOE about the Microvast grant, which he said “endangers our national security” and compromises U.S. efforts against China regarding technical superiority.
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