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Green company creates three jobs in three years, gets another $80 million from DOE

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Department of Energy officials gave a New Hampshire-based biofuel company access to $80 million for a Michigan project that has already fallen short of job creation expectations, despite receiving another $40 million in state and DOE subsidies.

“In September 2008, Mascoma [Corp.] pledged 70 jobs at the plant by the end of 2012. On Feb. 29 of this year, Mascoma reported to the MEDC that only three jobs had been created by the grant,” the Capitol Confidential (Mich.) reports today.”The company has been given the full $20 million from the state.”

Mascoma, a renewable energy company that specializes in cellulosic ethanol, received another $20 million for research and development from the Energy Department in 2008.

The company warned the federal government, in its SEC filing, that it has “no experience in the markets in which we intend to operate” — which perhaps explains why it only created three jobs from 2008 to 2011, despite promising to create 70 jobs, according to Capitol Confidential. That means that the Michigan government and DOE, in combining to give the company $40 million in 2008, spent $13.3 million on each job.

Even so, DOE signed an $80 million cooperative agreement with Mascoma in December, 2011. “Biofuels hold great potential, not only for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but also for creating new jobs and economic opportunities for America’s rural communities,” Valerie Reed, the Acting Biomass Program Manager in Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy of the DOE said at the time.

Biofuels, in general, may ‘hold great potential’ for job creation, but what about creating three jobs in three years suggests to DOE that Mascoma in particular should receive another $80 million in taxpayer money?

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