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Wendy Schmidt gives $1M to oil cleanup company

By Laurie Bennett

October 12, 2011 at 10:28am

An Illinois company, Elastec/American Marine, has won a $1 million prize in the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge competition, the X Prize Foundation announced Tuesday.

The contest, launched after the BP oil spill, was funded by the wife of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Wendy Schmidt heads the Schmidt Family Foundation, which focuses on environmental issues. She’s also a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and along with the council, was a big opponent of California Prop 23, which would have suspended a state law calling for reductions in greenhouse emissions. Schmidt gave $500,000 to efforts to defeat the proposition, which was rejected by voters.

Google has strong connections to the X Prize Foundation, which administered the cleanup contest. Company co-founder Larry Page is a trustee, as is Gilad Elbaz, former engineering director at Google.

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