Condoleeza Rice to join board of Houston biofuels firm


Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has agreed to join the board of directors of Houston-based biofuels firm KiOR, the company announced today.

Rice, who served as the country’s top diplomat from 2005 to 2009 under President George W. Bush, will assume the post on July 11.

KiOR, backed by billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, has developed a proprietary technology to convert non-food biomass into a crude oil substitute. The oil can be further refined into gasoline or diesel blends that can be blended with petroleum-based fuels and “dropped in” to the nation’s existing fuel infrastructure without modifications. In that way, it is different from ethanol, the most widely used alternative fuel in the U.S., which requires separate pipelines, storage and distribution systems to handle it.

KiOR also says its process for producing gasoline and diesel blendstocks emits 80 percent less greenhouse gases than the process used to make conventional gasoline and diesel.

KiOR currently operates a demonstration plant in Pasadena, which the company calls the world’s first to produce renewable crude oil from biomass. At that plant, the firm is converting wood chips into the crude substitute.

The company is planning its first commercial scale plant in Columbus, Miss., with plans to build others in Georgia and Texas at a later date. Several companies including Hunt Refining, Catchlight Energy and FedEx have already agreed to buy fuels produced at the plant.

To help fund its growth, KiOR is also planning an initial public stock offering. Lead underwriters are Credit Suisse, UBS and Goldman Sachs.

In addition to her role as a KiOR board member, Rice is currently a professor of politcal economy in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, senior fellow of public policy at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University.

Previously, she’s been a board member at Chevron Corp., the Charles Schwab Corp., the Transamerica Corp. and the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan. Today, she sits on the boards of Makena Capital, a private endowment firm, and energy software company C3.

Brett Clanton

18 Responses

  1. LyleLondon says:

    Hopefully, it won’t clog carburetors like ethanol does when it sits in there too long. Or affect the aluminum in the fuel systems which has prevented ethanol’s use in aircraft fuel systems.

  2. Energy Moron says:

    Like, if the press release is true, doesn’t anybody understand the tremendous potential of the process?

    This is really good stuff… independent of politics I wish her and KiOR well… if it succeeds we can leave the middle east…

    which we should have done already anyway

  3. Avery says:

    Sounds like an overextended agenda to me. Rice would be the last person I’d want for this particular job.

  4. Signal2Noise says:

    She was on Chevron’s Board prior to assuming the SoS role during the previous administration.

  5. J. says:

    She’s also Chair of the George W. Bush Institute Advisory Board,

  6. Harry W. Parker, PhD, PE says:

    There is no mention of operating costs for the process, so it is assumed that they are high. There is no mention of process details from which processing costs might be estimated. In addition there is no mention of other energy inputs to the process such as natural gas.

    The above observations suggest that the process is not economic without vast government supports!

  7. Scott in Richmond says:

    “Overall, 184 of 556, or about one-third, of Obama bundlers (those who convinced others to donate to Obama’s campaign) or their spouses joined the administration in some role. But the percentages are much higher for the big-dollar bundlers. Nearly 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took ‘key administration posts,’ as defined by the White House.”

    www . usnews . com / news / blogs / washington-whispers / 2010 / 06/ 30 / obama-rewards-campaign-donors-with-ambassador-jobs

    blogs . suntimes . com / sweet / 2011 / 06 / obama_mega_donors_rewarded_wit.html

    And this guy is ethical?

  8. jesse says:

    another deal the devil made while Bush was in office.

  9. PostShooter says:

    +1 that, Just_A_Thought.

  10. Terry says:

    She is one of the smartest women around.

  11. Pat says:

    She advised Bush to go to war in Iraq. I wonder what excellent advice she’ll bring to their board?

  12. Just__A__Thought says:

    I wish she would go back into Politics. She should be running for President.

  13. WalktheTalk says:

    I meant, I’d sure like to get next to her, but she always in a meeting.

  14. WalktheTalk says:

    I’d sure like to get to her, but she always in a meeting.

  15. lifeuniverseeverything_42 says:

    one company will be getting a lot of government aid and contracts now. Like Halliburton did when cheney was the boss.

  16. Cowgirl says:

    You liberals are such a bunch of hypocrites.

    The biggest war criminal is Obama.

    We’ve got wars escalating in Iraq and Afghan and new wars exploding everywhere since Obama took office.

  17. cabalfighter says:

    Isn’t she a war criminal?

  18. LnL says:

    I am not sure she is capable of directing anything.