Energy Department grants to promote green vehicles made despite conflicts.

Washington, DC. July 26, 2012 — A U.S. Energy Department program designed to promote use of alternative fuels for vehicles gave out about $5 million in grants to individuals with conflicts of interest, the agency’s inspector general said.

The department’s Clean Cities program made an award to an individual who in turn gave money to a family member’s company, Rickey Hass, the Energy Department’s deputy inspector general, told a House Science subcommittee in testimony today.

In another case, a coalition the government entrusted to distribute federal money gave 40 percent of its available funds to entities associated with board members, Hass said.

“We are spending taxpayers’ money,” said Representative Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican who is chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee. “We should all remember that.”

ZED COMMENT: Yes, it is taxpayers money, not “government money”. If a “green tech” company has a strong business case, it doesn’t need taxpayer funding. This is especially troubling when, as in one case, 40% of the taxpayer funding went to entities associated with board members.  ZED has not accepted any government funding. For more information contact: