Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has refused to apologize or substantiate his own claims that so-called “green energy” experiments — which have resulted in millions of dollars in lost taxpayer money — were akin to cancer research.
Jason Mattera, author of the blockbuster new book CRAPITALISM: Liberals Who Make Millions Swiping Your Tax Dollars, caught up with Khosla at a conference in Washington, D.C. to ask him whether the analogy was appropriate.
“When are you going to relieve taxpayers of all of these green energy boondoggles you’ve been wanting them to fund over the years?” asked Mattera.
“I think the topic here is different,” answered Khosla, referring to the event he was participating in.
“Do you still compare clean tech funding to cancer research?” asked Mattera.
“Yes, I do,” replied Khosla.
“You do? You can see how that’s wildly offensive,” remarked Mattera.
During an interview with “60 Minutes,” Khosla dismissed concern over all the money taxpayers have lost in the green-energy sector the last six years by offering this bizarre analogy: “We’ve been looking for a cure for cancer for a long time. How much money has the U.S. government spent? Billions and billions of dollars. Should we stop looking for a cure for cancer because we haven’t found a cure?”
Mattera, who publishes Daily Surge, continued to press the billionaire businessman about his past remarks, but Mr. Khosla wanted the conversation to end. “I’m trying to meet somebody, so you’re being offensive now,” he said.
“I’m being offensive?” asked an incredulous Mattera. “You compared green energy schemes to cancer research, and I’m being offensive?”
Vinod Khosla found success as a co-founder of Sun Microsystems in 1982. Today, his clean technology investments are largely dependent on taxpayer subsidies. However, many of those green energy companies have either gone bankrupt or have come dangerously close to bankruptcy. Range Fuels, as Mattera points out in CRAPITALISM, was a Khosla-backed company that claimed it would convert wood chips to ethanol fuel. Instead, it went belly up and costed taxpayers an estimated $64 million.
“When it’s all said and done, how many millions of dollars will taxpayers be fleeced?” asked Mattera. “Do you want to give taxpayers an explanation for the tens of millions of dollars you fleeced them?”
“Can you stop?” pleaded Khosla.
“What do you think will go down as your most favorite clean tech failure?” asked Mattera. “KiOR? Range Fuels? I guess I could mention Nordic Windpower, funded by taxpayers.”
To be fair, the Khosla-backed KiOR is only teetering on bankruptcy, while the other two taxpayer-funded companies connected to him have already gone bust.
“You’d think that green energy companies would exist to produce energy,” writes Mattera. “Not act subsidies for the rich and tax obligations for the rest of us.”
Mattera included a chapter on Khosla in CRAPITALISM, he has explained, because Vinod’s “clean-tech’ dreams won’t work unless they’re funded by taxpayers. “That’s what’s so messed up about Crapitalism: It snuffs out the magic of true, rock-ribbed American competition.”
“Americans are tired of waving good-bye to the hundreds of millions we’ve sent to green energy fantasy camp so that people like Vinod Khosla can minimize their own risk.”