The Orlando Sentinel reports that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden wants to quash a $10 million biofuels project whose proponents include his deputy, Lori Garver. According to the story, Bolden consulted on the project’s merits with Marathon Oil, where he served on the board of directors and which has competing technology under development. Bolden’s actions in light of his relationship to Marathon — he still holds up to $1 million in company stock — have triggered an investigation by the NASA inspector general.

Simon “Pete” Worden, the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, where the Omega biofuel project is based, has weighed in demanding an explanation.  The Sentinel story includes the following, which it said was an e-mail from Worden:

“’I think my folks are entitled to know who talked to Charlie and the basis of their criticism so we can respond. This is frankly the worst of NASA, and I don’t like it. It is ‘good ole boy’ networks at its worst and not worthy of NASA and this administration,’ he wrote.”

Not surprising that Worden would want to defend a project based at his center. But Bolden’s question of why NASA should be leading this type of project in the first place seems a fair one.


READ IT AT: [Orlando Sentinel]