Green for Green: Taxpayers Fork Out For Algae Fuel

Eric Scheiner
By Eric Scheiner | March 8, 2012 | 1:40 PM EST

The Obama administration has been outspoken in support of using algae as a fuel. But at what cost? How much green will America spend on green algae?

Over $21.7 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money has already been awarded to one particular company, Solazyme, in order to continue working on converting algae into fuel. That company also happens to be one three benifeciaries of a $12 million contract for green fuel with the Navy.

It's been reported the cost of the ‘green’ bio-fuel for the Navy is $26.75 per gallon for JP-5 jet fuel, the standard fuel costs roughly $4 per gallon.

While all this algae fuel adds up to an expensive tab for the taxpayer, more government spending may soon be on its way.

President Obama has talked about “doubling-down” on his administration’s green energy spending. His 2013 budget proposal contains $27.2 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Energy.

The description in White House budget documents calls for, “ A 3.2 percent increase above the 2012 enacted level. This request includes increased funding for priority areas such as clean energy, research and development to spur innovation, and advanced manufacturing.”

Exactly how much, if any, of that discretionary money goes to algae fuel initiatives remains to be seen. In the meantime, it seems both the production and the purchase of algae fuels will be greatly subsidized by taxpayers.

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for