Thus, we learn from Wynton Hall at Big Peace that the United States Air Force spent $639,000 on 11,000 gallons of alcohol-to-jet fuel from Gevo Inc., a Colorado biofuels company, at $59 a gallon. The cost of petroleum is presently $3.60 a gallon, and one imagines that the government can use its purchasing power to get a considerably lower price than that.
So why pay $59 per gallon? It turns out that one of the venture capital funders behind Gevo Inc. is Vinod Khosla. Since 1996, opensecrets.org reports that Mr. Khosla has made $474,534 in campaign donations, 86 percent of which went to Democrats. As of this March, when Gevo filed with the SEC, Khosla’s firm owned a 27 percent stake in the company.
Just to put things in perspective, according to their latest ad (PDF) our friends down the street at St. Anthony Village Wine and Spirits are selling Jim Beam bourbon at $24.99 for a 1.75-liter bottle. Two bottles of Jim Beam would net out cheaper than that jet fuel. I think St. Anthony Village Wine and Spirits is missing a bet here.