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Drive to allow Gov. Schwarzenegger to run for president is dropped

Backer pursues biofuel project

If you passed by the Almanac's office on Alameda in Menlo Park this week, you may have noticed a big moving van out front.

The Almanac's across-the-hall neighbor, Amend for Arnold, is pulling up stakes to pursue another venture: producing biofuel from algae.

Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones of Woodside is CEO of LiveFuels Inc., as well as the head of Amend for Arnold, an organization devoted to changing the U.S. Constitution to allow foreign-born Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president.

"Before we started Amend for Arnold, we were involved in biofuel (research)," Ms. Morgenthaler-Jones told the Almanac. "The amendment effort will be handed off to others."

The governor would like a chance to run for president, but his wife, Maria Shriver, is not in favor of it, she said.

"We’re putting it off to the side, and if any of his staff wish to resume it, they can," she said.

In the meantime, LiveFuels is moving to a biotech incubator in Menlo Park on Adams Drive, to pursue what some have called the Holy Grail of biofuel: producing fuel from algae, rather than food crops such as soybeans or corn.

"Ninety percent of what's in your gas tank right now was algae 90 million years ago," Ms. Morgenthaler-Jones said.

Transforming algae into crude in fewer than 90 million years has not proved easy.

"It's been tried off and on for 50 years," she said. "It's not a small challenge."

And there is a connection between Ms. Morgenthaler-Jones’ two ventures: Gov. Schwarzenegger, who had been criticized for driving a gas guzzling Hummer, is embracing alternative fuels. He’s reportedly going to convert his Hummer to hydrogen or fuel cells, and guests at his inauguration were ferried about in fuel-cell vehicles.

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