cronyism (17)

Rep. Pitts Exposing Corporate Cronies

A RedState article highlights a remarkable event that will happen next week -- a member of Congress will hold a hearing exposing corporate cronyism.  

The issue is called 340B, a discount drug pricing program that was originally created to assist veterans get drugs they need at a cost they can afford.  The relatively small program was around for nearly two decades before it was turned into a corporate profit center for hospitals and chain drugs stores by its rapid expansion in ObamaCare.

ObamaCare rapidly expanded the program to the point where corporations soon recognized they could take in large amounts of discounted drugs and then turn around and bill insurance companies and the government for their full cost.  Policyholders and taxpayers are being shafted while hospitals and drug stores make hundreds of millions of dollars.  Congress is finally taking a look at the scam:

Next week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) will take its first look at the program.  It will examine the genesis the program, an attempt to assist the poor to its current form -- a get rich quick arbitrage scheme that is helping investors and financial institutions rather than those in need.

A cottage industry of corporations and lobbyists has been spawned by the ObamaCare expansion of the program.  The 340B Coalition has become the lobbying are of nationwide drugstore chains line Walgreens and CVS that have profited greatly from being able to take in drugs at a price-control rate and then billing Medicare and private insurance companies for the full cost of the drugs.

The 340B drug program was passed as part of the 1992 Veterans Health Care Act. The program was a subsidy program designed for “safety-net” hospitals serving underprivileged communities, compelling drug companies to sell drugs at steep discounts as a condition of their being allowed to participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

 After the program's expansion in ObamaCare, investors recognized the potential locked in profits.  Duke University Hospital pocketed nearly $70 million through the program.  The Charlotte Observer reported the hospital "purchased $65.8 million in drugs through the discount program, which saved $48.3 million. It sold the drugs to patients for $135.5 million, for a profit of $69.7 million. The profit would have been $21.4 million if Duke had not participated.  At Duke, about 67 percent of patients who received those discount drugs were covered by commercial insurance companies, which often pay hospitals many times over cost for medications. Only 5 percent of the Duke patients were uninsured.

They weren't alone. The Healthcare Corporation of America sold $1 million in converted bonds with an 8 percent coupon in April to finance marketing of its 340B software program that helps facilities maximize their profits through the subsidy program.

With the program clearly hijacked by cronies who care less about the poor, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) has decided to take a look.  If Republicans are serious about ending crony socialism, reforming or abandoning the 340B Program would be a good place to start. 

Read more…

The power of lobbying

While chalaque obama is destroying companies providing electric power to us, he is rewarding lobbyists and his well connected friends, who are engaged in the same businesses he is shutting down.

See this:

http://epaabuse.com/4874/editorials/obama-issues-global-warming-rules-then-exempts-ge-powered-plant/

His friends at General Electric have been making a fortune from government manipulation and cronyism for years.

Read more…

Hollywood's Rent Seeking

The first step to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. Yet, all too often, the reaction is to just the opposite. This is particularly the case with industries that have made a business model out of enlisting the government to pad their profits.  The New York Times recently reported on the legal fight between Pandora and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), one of the two licensing entities that essentially control music publishing. 

The lawsuit highlights the wreckage caused by government intervention replacing market forces and involves things like Department of Justice consent decrees, mandated payments, and mandates for the use of other people’s property. In other words, its a total statist mess.  

One might think that this lawsuit and many others just like it would be a sign for the industry to move towards a far less complex and far more profitable market-based system. Not so much. 

Already in a government created hole, the industry’s apparent solution is to dig harder, deeper and faster. Rather than innovate, the recording industry makes ready use of lawsuits to try to maintain an outdated business model. In a rapidly changing world, sometimes that isn’t enough. So when lawsuits are ineffective, they turn to their lobbyists and seek even more government intervention to protect them from competition and advances in technology.  

One of the industry’s greatest desires is to put the Internet genie back in the bottle. Since they can’t do that, their solution is to use the government to censor it. In 2012, an industry backed bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was defeated in Congress thanks to an uprising among tech giants and advocates. The bill would have granted government the power to unilaterally shut down websites, without due process, based exclusively on industry complaints of copyright infringement.  There have been one million such complaints filed against Google alone.  Despite its failure in Congress, this issue remains very much alive with the industry and Obama administration continuing to push it. 

Another long time goal of the industry is performance royalties for songs played on the radio. Artists have benefitted from airplay on radio stations since radio first became widespread. In exchange for allowing radio stations to play their records, artists received millions in free advertising that sells records, concert tickets and other merchandise. Now the industry wants radio stations to pay artists for playing their songs. Such performance royalties would be fine as a voluntary free market exchange. That’s not how the industry envisions it. 

Their plan is laid out in legislation ironically known as the Free Market Royalty Act (FMRA) recently introduced into Congress. This bill goes even one step further than government intervention and actually seeks to make the industry itself a pseudo-government agency. The bill not only mandates that radio stations pay performers for their songs but grants a government enforced monopoly to an organization run by a handful of record industry executives with the power to set prices. Once these few executives have set a price, independent negotiations would be outlawed.  

The collision between the market and policies like FMRA and SOPA would have far reaching and complicated consequences for the market place and indeed the industry itself. Such crony government contrived systems are always doomed to fail in the long run. Eventually the hole just gets too deep and swallows up those doing the digging.

Read more…

"Hope & Change"…and Saving the Planet 4063792327?profile=original

Barack Obama's original 2008 presidential campaign of “Hope and Change,” masterminded by campaign manager David Plouffe and chief strategist David Axelrod, was a triumph messaging, which quickly gathered immense attraction across our nation and abroad.

Part of Obama’s change crusade included slamming Wall Street at every turn, especially during his first term, labeling them as “fat-cat bankers,” who don’t follow the rules. In fact, President Obama proclaimed in a December 13, 2009 60-Minutes interview, "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street…" 


While the majority of Americans were mesmerized by his messaging, along with the left-wing media's "thrill up their leg" –– glorifying him to sainthood even –– by late 2009, Matt Taibbi, liberal writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, laid out a compelling case on how Obama sold out to Wall Street: "Obama's Big Sellout." "Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008." The Obama inspiration came from the "sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, and they were voting for 'change,'” were some of the words Taibbi penned regarding then-Senator Barack Obama’s rise to power.

Needless to say, Taibbi seemed shocked, documenting that it all began after Obama was elected in 2008: "What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history." Later Taibbi asks the question, "How did we get here?" He then answers, "It started just moments after the election –– and nobody noticed." 



Outsider? 



Quite the contrary, because Obama arrived on the scene with his fair share of Wall Street buddies, which in fact helped ensure his presidential victory in 2008 –– with many again in 2012 –– poring millions of dollars into his campaign coffers, making their mark as TOP campaign donors, with even Wall Street executives bundling huge sums of money for Obama. There were many of the too-big-to-fail banks (you know the ones that we, the taxpayer, bailed out) that made this special donor list: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley. Further down the line you'll find Bank of America, Lehman BrothersMerrill Lynch –– the latter two indirectly, and so on. Meanwhile, many of the executives running these enormous failures, were not only handed big bonuses, but Obama  rewarded them and his big bundlers with "jobs, commissions, stimulus money, government contracts, and more"  –– with Wall Street given key positions inside the White House and also tapping into the "green" funds.

Wall Street was not the only big backer of Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential bids. Besides having the usual (and expected) environmentalists and left-wing organizations in his back pocket, there were Big Venture CapitalistsBig Left-wing Money, Big Energy, and Big Oil, all bundling for, and donating to his campaign  –– with each snagging their fare share of money from President Obama's “save the planet slush fund.”

Save the Planet Slush Fund

"America, this is our moment…the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," candidate Obama declared in a June 8, 2008 speech.

Furthermore, not only did the "candidate of hope and change" pledge to do the miraculous, Senator Obama, during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, vowed to save the planet: 


Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stopgap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close. As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of bio-fuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

Shortly after President Obama began his reign as our 44th president, in February 2009, he signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This was a massive economic stimulus bill –– among the biggest in history and the number one lobbied piece of legislation since 2005 –– that was sold to the American people as a means save our economy from the brink of disaster and create American jobs.

By the beginning of 2012, revelations revealed the real intent behind Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree ("walking around money"): it was “a key tool for advancing the Obama administration’s clean-energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.” In fact, the 2009-Stimulus package was jammed-packed full of clean-energy provisions, of which about 10 percent of the monies were earmarked for renewable energy.

It's important to point out that the $100 billion in stimulus funds is not the only money being used to fuel the Obama administration's efforts to save the planet; it's closer to $150 billion and counting, because they continue to dole out more –– and all at at time when we are drowning in debt. A March 2012 report by the Brookings Institute places the Obama administrations' "total government spending (both stimulus and non-stimulus) on green initiatives at $150 billion through 2014." And what did we, the taxpayer, get out of the deal? Billions wasted, increased debt, outsourcing clean-energy money and green jobs to other countries, as well as massive amounts of corporate welfare, cronyism, and corruption.

The most controversial has been the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program, which comprises of Section 1703Section 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM). While both Section 1703 and the ATVM programs were established during the Bush administration, Section 1705 was created by the 2009-Recovery Act that included $16 billion in lending power. Thus far the DOE has guaranteed $34.7 billion of taxpayer money, and even though the 1705 has expired, there are reports that “the department still has about $50 billion left that could be lent, with a large chunk earmarked for nuclear projects.”

This is the same Energy Department program which the Green Corruption Files has exposed over and over how at least 90 percent of the loan winners have meaningful politically connections to the president and other high-ranking Democrats –– in many cases to both, with Majority Leader Harry Reid tied to five (a bombshell report we released last month). It also brought you the big alternative energy losers such as Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Fisker Automotive, and Vehicle Production Group, flushing millions of tax dollars down the eco-toilet. With SoloPower, Nevada Geothermal and others in the shadows, and quite a few DOE clean-energy projects at risk –– AREVA and its $2 billion, Georgia Power Company and its $8.33 billion –– there are billions more still hanging on the edge.

Also, many of these same companies that were funded with DOE loans, also won free taxpayer cash from one of the biggest stimulus scams: the 1603 Treasury Program, which has to date given out $19,349,675,402. This is another part of the scandal that we've been tracking that also includes numerous favored clean-energy projects. The real shock came at the end of 2102 when we learned from the Energy and Commerce Committee's “in-depth report on its ongoing investigation into the implementation of President Obama’s green energy stimulus spending,” which exposed the fact that “foreign corporations have received approximately one-quarter of $16 billion spent on 'Section 1603' renewable energy stimulus program.”

Last fall, and since, we've debunked the president's 5 million green jobs campaign promise. Worse, the Obama administration has shipped green jobs overseas, and from the beginning, the Department of Energy has exaggerated and/or manipulated the number of green jobs created, calculating saved, indirect, direct, and "touching lives" in the mix –– along with the Obama administration’s labor department counting oil lobbyists, sanitation engineers, school bus drivers, bicycle repair shop clerks, and so on, as as green jobs.


In May 8, 2013, a report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) gave us insight into the DOE's dismal reality on green jobs: "the Department of Energy has spent nearly $26 billion since 2009 on its Section 1703 and 1705 loan programs. However, these two programs only yielded 2,308 permanent jobs — meaning the cost to taxpayers was $11.25 million per job," recorded the Daily Caller.

As you will discover throughout our work, the DOE loan program is not the only vehicle used to transport taxpayer funds toward alternative energy. There are numerous ways, which includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program that along with the DOE, used billions of taxpayer money to fund risky biofuel projects that were "not so shovel-ready" –– yet as usual, the majority had significant political connections. There are smaller grant programs like the ARPA-E and the SunShot Initiative. Throw in the Clean Energy R&D, where "$2.5 billion went for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities at the Energy Department’s Office of EERE," of which a huge chunk was designated for biomass energy projects and geothermal projects.

There were additional stimulus funds that were appropriated to the Energy Department, which includes $11 billion for Grid Modernization; the $5 billion Home Weatherization Program; the $6 billion Nuclear Waste Clean Up as well as $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects; $2 billion for research into batteries for electric cars; $500 million for Green Jobs Training; and funds that went to various state energy programs.

Did you know that there is a "Green War" being waged? Yep, the Department of Defense has launched more green energy initiatives than any other federal agency and many are duplicative and wasteful," as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

Another means where huge corporations and Obama's green buddies get taxpayer money is through the taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), who "has a Congressional mandate to support renewable energy and has been directed that 10% of its authorizations should be dedicated to renewable energy and environmentally beneficial transactions."

Clean Energy; Dirty Money 

What happened during President Obama’s first term –– and is continuing into his second –– is the focus of Clean Energy; Dirty MoneyHow the Obama administration hijacked our environment and doled out tens of billions of our tax dollars to payback his political cronies –– "green" bundlers, top donors, financiers, and allies –– catapulting crony capitalism to a staggering level, while fueling corporate welfare and corruption.


Hope and change were still alive in 2012, but this time in the president’s “forward” message, fear was added as its running mate. The president described 2012 as a "make-or-break moment for America's middle class," before incorporating the theme of moving "forward." 

"We've got to move forward, to the future that we imagined in 2008. We've got to move forward to that future where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules," President Obama hyped. 


Again, during his re-election bid, President Obama had promised that climate change would be a priority in his second term –– a term he began with more scare tactics, proclaiming that the failure to tackle climate change, “would betray our children and future generations.”

But it wasn't until June of 2013 that the president unleashed his new climate agenda; however, prior to and since that time, his administration has continually fired up new climate legislation, regulations and mandates, which benefits special interest groups while adversely affecting American families. And, like the Affordable Care Act taking over our entire health care industry, will in essence, under the guise of "saving the planet," dominate our most valuable resource –– energy. The National Review took notice of "Obama's radical climate agenda," which by the way circumvents Congress, alarming that "the president announced that, on behalf of 'all of humankind,' he is in effect directing the EPA to take over the American economy." Reason.com, too, sees the dire reality here: "Obama’s plan ambitiously seeks to control nearly every aspect of how Americans produce and consume energy."

Last but not least, the president's Climate Action Plan calls for releasing more taxpayer money –– thus once again funding the Green Bank of Obama. “This time, though, the [DOE loan] program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy,” wrote the New York Times. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) took aim at this part of the plan: "This proposal is nothing but window dressing to make it appear that the administration isn’t completely anti-coal. The new proposal would throw good money after bad."

As I was preparing this post, Energy Secretary Moniz via the Energy Department "released [that] $8 billion solicitation for advanced fossil energy projects."  They expect to receive the initial applications by the end of February 2014.


This month, the Energy Department, through the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program (48C Program), which is also part of the president's Climate Action Planannounced "$150 million in clean-energy tax credits to build U.S. capabilities in clean energy manufacturing. The credits will go towards investments in domestic manufacturing equipment by 12 businesses."

Last August, it was reported that "Senior officials from the Department of Energy have signaled the Obama administration is ready to restart" the ATVM program (explained earlier). This is part   the Energy Department's loan power, of which if we go back in time, around June 2009, we find that the DOE starting funding electric cars. Needless to say, this program drew over 100 applicants, but only the "FAVORED FIVE" were granted ATVM loans, totaling $8.4 billion –– igniting red flags, spurring on lawsuits, bursting with electric issues, and thus far two have slipped into the abyss: Fisker Automotive ($529 million) and Vehicle Production Group ($50 million). Yet the Energy Department deems the ATVM loan program a success, however, others, in analyzing the facts, see that Obama's electric vehicle loan program as a "failure."

Follow the Money 

Since late 2009, we've been following the "green" money and connecting the dots –– money that not only led to plenty of fraud, waste, and mismanagement, but also abuse, cronyism, corruption, and failure. Today's post will provide you with a breakdown of where we started, how far we've come, and what's left to expose. The Green Corruption Files has unleashed a treasure trove of evidence that stems from over three years of extensive research; House Oversight reports, hearings and internal emails; Inspector General reports, whistle-blower Intel; as well as Peter Schweizer's bombshell bestseller, Throw Them All Out and various publications covering the topic –– proving that cronyism and corruption are the driving forces behind the Obama administration's clean-energy (climate change) agenda.

Green Corruption began in 2010 at Blogcritics Magazine 

  1. Obama’s Political Payback: Green Corruption, Part One first published @ Blogcritics Magazine July 19, 2010; then posted @ The Green Corruption Files April 28, 2012) 
  2. Obama’s Political Payback: Green Corruption, Part Two (first published @ Blogcritics Magazine July 20, 2010; then posted @ The Green Corruption Files April 28, 2012)
  3. Green Corruption: The Plot Thickens (first published @ Blogcritics Magazine August 7, 2010; then posted at @ the The Green Corruption Files April 28, 2012) 


The Green Corruption Files: 2012 with 23 Posts

  1. Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism (first published @ Blogcritics Magazine on April 17, 2012, then posted Saturday, April 28, 2012 –– also at EPA Abuse on May 1, 2012, California Political News and Views on May 5, 2012, and many other Conservative sites) 
  2.  BREAKING: BrightSource Energy Political Influence and Their $1.6 Billion DOE Loan (posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012)
  3.  BREAKING: NRG Energy on the DOE Cronyism Hot Seat, Also Tied to George Soros (posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012)
  4. Lou Dobbs "Shocks" Bill O'Reilly on the Severity of Obama DOE Crony Capitalism (posted Friday, May 25, 2012
  5. Obama-Tied Troubled First Solar $3 Billion DOE Loans Produce Majority of Jobs Oversees, CEO Sold His Own Stock; Plus More "Clean-Energy Dirt" Exposed (posted Monday, June 11, 2012
  6. Obama’s Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption Story; Special Seven, Part 1 Expanded Version (posted Saturday, June 30, 2012)
  7. Shining the Light on BrightSource Energy's $1.6 Billion Shady DOE Deal: Special Seven, Part Two (posted Friday, July 6, 2012)
  8. General Electric Making “Bank” off Obama's “Green” Stimulus Money; Over $3 Billion and Counting (posted Thursday, July 12, 2012)
  9. Senator Harry Reid’s Part in Green-Energy Crony-Corruption, Part Three of The Special Seven (posted Sunday, July 15, 2012)
  10. The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle (posted Wednesday, July 25, 2012)
  11. Recent Oversight Hearing Reveals Shady Email Practices by Former DOE Loan Advisor Jonathan Silver; Abound Solar Blames China for its Demise (posted Thursday, July 26, 2012)
  12. How Democrats Say "Crony Corruption" in Spanish: Abengoa UPDATED VERSION (posted Wednesday, August 8, 2012
  13. Beacon Bust Tied to Obama Bundler and VP Hunter, the Infamous Washington Fixture, James A. Johnson (posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012)
  14. NextEra Energy: Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans; CEO Sits on President Obama's Jobs Council (posted Saturday, August 18, 2012)
  15. Obama’s Green Cronies Made DNC Cameo: Bundlers and Big Donors Tied to Billions of Stimulus Funds (posted Friday, September 21, 2012)
  16. Special Report Part One: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. (posted Monday, October 15, 2012)
  17. Special Report Part Two: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. (posted Monday, October 15, 2012
  18. Where are the 5 Million Green Jobs Candidate Obama Promised? (posted Monday, October 15, 2012)
  19. Green Alert: Tracking President Obama's Green Energy Failures (posted Saturday, October 20, 2012)
  20. BREAKING: Newly Released House Oversight Emails Incriminate White House in Green-Energy Loan Lies (posted Thursday, November 1, 2012)
  21. Busting Open Obama Energy Department's Den of Deception (posted Monday, November 5, 2012)
  22. DEVELOPING: Department of Energy Facing "Corruption" Lawsuit, Shocking DOE Emails, and the $8.4 Billion ATVM Program's "Favored Five" (posted Friday, November 23, 2012)
  23. The Green Five: Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Jobs Council Members; Part One, 10/31/12 DOE Emails Prove White House Pressure on $1.3 Billion Loan to General Electric Wind Project (posted Sunday, December 23, 2012)

 

The Green Corruption Files: 2013 with 22 posts 

  1. Tuesday, January 8, 2013 –– Bank of Obama: John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins, The Mother of All Green Energy Stimulus Money Winners
  2. Monday, January 21, 2013 –– Climate Hawk Senator John Kerry and His Green Inside Deals
  3. Tuesday, January 22, 2013 –– Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption
  4. Thursday, February 7, 2013 –– Obama's Jobs Council Closed: Mega-Rich Member Penny Pritzker "Rumored" for Commerce Job, “Related” to Two Large Green Corruption Stories 
  5. Friday, February 22, 2013 –– Citigroup’s Massive 'Green' Money Machine 
  6. Thursday, February 28, 2013 –– Wall Street Walks all over the Obama White House 
  7. Friday, March 22, 2013 –– Left-wing Billionaire George Soros: Obama’s "Agent of Green"
  8. Monday, April 1, 2013 –– SoloPower: Another Department of Energy “Junk Loan” Teetering with Over $250 Million of Taxpayer Money
  9. Thursday, April 11, 2013 –– Newly Bankrupt Chinese Solar Producer Suntech, Stimulus Tax Credit Winner and Contractor to Energy Department’s $337 million Junk Loan: a Tiny Fraction of Obama’s “Green Outsourcing"
  10. Wednesday, April 24, 2013 –– Failing Fisker Auto Finally Faces House Oversight Hearing: Chairman Jordan Exposes Another DOE Junk Loan, Declares, "Fisker should have never received taxpayer money”
  11. Thursday, May 9, 2013 –– Americans Bothered By the Way our Government Spends Taxes: Billions Burned on Obama's Green Energy 
  12. Wednesday, May 29, 2013 –– Smart Gird, Dirty Devices: With "friends" in the White House, Silver Spring Networks linked to at least $1.3 billion of smart-grid stimulus grants 
  13. Monday, June 10, 2013 –– Transparency Alert: HHS, DOL, and EPA NOT the Only Agencies Where Top Obama Appointees are Using “Secret Emails” to Conduct Govt Business… What a bout the Energy Department?
  14. Saturday, June 15, 2013 –– The Green Corruption Files Snags Special Gig on AACONS' Radio Broadcast
  15. June 30, 2013 –– Nuclear Crimes and Misdemeanors
  16. Saturday, July 13, 2013 –– Nuclear Disaster: $10.33 billion in energy loans pressured by the White House and POTUS approved, now at risk
  17. Wednesday, July 24, 2013 –– Subsidizing Obama’s Algae: Its advisors and allies 
  18. Monday, August 19, 2013 –– Billions of Obama biofuel bucks funded "not so shovel-ready" risky projects, fueled by more green corruption
  19. Friday, September 13, 2013 –– Top D.C. Lobbyist McBee Strategic Consulting “opened the spigot of green corporate welfare;” then billions of stimulus cash flooded the firm’s energy clients
  20. Saturday, September 28, 2013 –– Virginia Governor Dem Candidate Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech Auto: small eco-car, big green scam?
  21. Tuesday, October 15, 2013 –– The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten 
  22. Saturday, November 16, 2013 –– Underneath Senator Harry Reid’s Clean-Energy Dirt: Career politician directly linked to over $3 billion in green energy stimulus loans

Marita Noon 21 Columns on the Green-Energy Crony-Corruption Scandal, which began in June 2012

  1. Crony Capitalism and President Obama: How the System Really Works (originally published: 6/10/2012)
  2. Obama’s Green-Energy Crony-Corruption (originally published: 6/29/2012)
  3. More Obama Green Energy Corruption (originally published: 7/6/2012)
  4. Senator Harry Reid’s Part in Green-Energy Crony-Corruption (originally published: 7/14/2012)
  5. The First Solar Swindle (originally published: 7/21/2012)
  6. How Democrats Say “Crony Corruption” in Spanish: Abengoa (originally published: 8/4/2012)
  7. Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loans (originally published: 8/17/2012)
  8. Obama Never Admits Green Energy Failures (originally published: 9/30/2012)
  9. Romney to Obama: “You Pick the Losers” (originally published: 10/7/2012)
  10. Obama’s Green Energy Jobs Promise: 355 Jobs and Counting (originally published: 10/14/2012)
  11. Emails Catch White House Lie on Green-Energy Loans (originally published: 11/1/2012)
  12. Busting Open Energy’s Den of Deception (originally published: 11/4/2012)
  13. Exclusive: DOE Corruption—Appointed and Elected Officials Should Face Prison Time (originally published: 11/25/2012)
  14. Inside Deals Mar John Kerry for State (originally published: 1/21/2013)
  15. Wall Street Walks on The White House (originally published: 2/24/2013)  
  16. Obama Creates More Wealth for Green Crony Soros (originally published: 3/31/13)
  17. On Earth Day, Let’s Waste More Money (originally published 4/22/13)
  18. Fisker: a free ride to make flashy cars in Finland (originally published 4/28/13)
  19. A six-pack of scandals (originally published 5/19/13)
  20. The dirty politics of “clean” energy (originally published 7/28/2013)
  21. The Macker—deal maker, not a car maker (or even a job creator) (originally published 9/29/13)
  22. Harry Reid's Personal Green Goldmine (originally published 12/9/13)

 

About Us

Christine Lakatos

I'm the mother of two terrific daughters; an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer with over 30-years experience in the health and fitness industry; diet book author; and retired bodybuilder with many titles under my belt, including an American Gladiators contestant back in 1990.

The Green Corruption Files began as a result of my research that was prompted in 2009, and ultimately marked me as a contributor to the political book, Killing Wealth, Freeing Wealth How to Save America’s Economy and Your Own –– Authors; Lee Troxler and Floyd Brown, and released May 2010. Two months later, I coined the phrase in my three-part series entitled, "Obama’s Political Payback: Green Corruption," which was first published at Blogcritics Magazine. 

Since 2011, I proceeded with my political research, specifically in this area, for Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily senior staff reporter and as well as Peter Schweizer, the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), whose work has been featured on 60-Minutes, and just about everywhere that counts –– both are New York Times bestselling authors of numerous books.

Just last month, Dr. Corsi, in his article, "U.N. milks 'warming' claim to spend half-trillion-plus: Despite evidence of bad science, failure of 'green' energy,'" cited my work...

Researcher Christine Lakatos has created a website, GreenCorruption.blogspot.com, dedicated to exposing Obama administration corruption in funding $150 billion in green initiatives from 2009 through 2014. The funding included both stimulus funds and non-stimulus funds, promoting ultimately failed green energy projects that were tied to prominent Democratic Party politicians and contributors.

My short stint with Schweizer began after the release of his bombshell book, Throw Them All Out, which devoted an entire chapter to this green energy scam: Chapter 5, "Spreading the Wealth...to Billionaires."

By the end of 2011, it became clear that green corruption was a massive scandal on many fronts: "the largest, most expensive and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American History." However, it wasn't until April 2012 that I launched my blog in order to unleash the entire scoop, which was  prompted by the March 2012 House Oversight report titled, The Department of Energy’s Disastrous Management of Loan Guarantee Programs –– "a devastating indictment of the Obama administration’s 'green' energy cronyism." This not only validated my 2010 theory of corruption on the clean-energy front, it was the beginning of the realization of a  much broader scandal. So, with my subsequent research, I then went into high gear and released my first file entitledGreen Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism.

Just this month, the Reason Foundation released a study by Victor Nava and Julian Morris, "detailing the role political connections and lobbying played in securing [the DOE 1705 ] loans." Their Policy Brief, entitled "Stimulating Green Electric Dreams – Lobbying, Cronyism and Section 1705 Loan Guarantees," demonstrated that "the Department of Energy’s stimulus loans went to 'junk' grade investments and firms that spent the most lobbying."

While Reason's analysis focused on the lobbying efforts behind these loans (my 2012 examination was solely on the cronyism), "the report also highlights taxpayer-backed loans given to companies with ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Vice President Al Gore, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and a company founded by former Maine Gov. Angus King, who is now a U.S. Senator," which included using our July 2012 work as a source –– only in two places, but it's still a big deal for us.  

“Ideally, the government would get out of the business of funding speculative energy projects like Solyndra,” said Victor Nava, co-author of the report and policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

Still, when the Solyndra bankruptcy story broke in September 2011 –– FBI raids, bundlers, DOE Advisors, "Fifth Amendment," and all –– most of the media ran with it, which carried on for a while. In fact, green energy cronyism was a hot topic during the 2012 election, even for the GOP, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and many others, including conservative leaning commentators like Sean Hannity, who championed exposing this scandal.

Since the 2012 election has come and gone, most have dropped the ball on this important issue that impacts every American taxpayer and our energy uses. Not to mention that the president's clean-energy agenda has been used to fuel cronyism, corruption, and corporate welfare, while demonstrating how our government is run by Wall Street, special interests, Big Money, and in this particular case, Big Energy and Big Venture Capitalists –– all with friends in high places –– rather than what's good for our country.

The lack of attention to this green energy scam could be due to the fact that more gripping and deadly scandals have since emerged –– and even though they have swarmed the Obama White House for some time, most of them didn't heat up until 2013. Those include the Benghazi cover-up; the IRS profiling; the Department of Justice "secret surveillance" of reporters; and as of late, the lies behind ObamaCare.

Nevertheless, as fate would have it, in June 2012, Marita Noon, energy expert and columnist at Towhall.com, took the plunge. We immediately began our collaboration, which enabled my work to explode. What started as a regular American citizen expressing concern over how "green stimulus money was being used and abused," has turned into a mission: To expose one chunk of this Green Corruption scandal at a time.

In just a year's time, The Green Corruption Files went from a few hundred hits a month to 400 a day, to 4000 a month. Nineteen months later, we hit over 100,000 page views, and now we are well over 103,000. Today will be my 49th post, meanwhile, Marita has tackled 22 columns on this scandal, which is a direct result of my research, yet with a special touch and an occasional twist –– plus a much more diverse and expansive platform. 

Marita Noon is the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts have made Marita “America’s voice for energy.” Marita is also a columnist for Townhall.com and a regular contributor to The Heartland InstituteThe Energy TribuneConservative Action Alerts, and EPAAbuse.com. Additionally her writing can be found in numerous newspapers and websites.

Here's how Marita explains it...

Our partnership with researcher Christine Lakatos has been one of our most popular initiatives. Together we’ve done the most thorough expose on the Obama Administration’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Marita has written eighteen specific columns based on Lakatos’ research as presented on her blog entitle The Green Corruption Files — which is funded as a project of CARE. Our cooperative efforts have drawn the attention of Rush Limbaugh. His 2012 December Limbaugh Letter cited our list of failed green-energy companies and linked to The Green Corruption Files.

Besides Marita's extremely valuable and far-reaching exposure, The Green Corruption Files has been featured or cited at The Daily Caller, Fox Nation, GOP USA, Hawaii Free Press, Frontpage.com, Institute for Energy Research, Real Clear Energy, California Political News and Views, Blogcritics Magazine as well as USAActionNews.com. While we've gained traction across the Internet –– even places and publications you'd least expect –– Green Corruption has also been featured at organizations like the Patriot Action Network, Tea Party.org, and American c2c. (NOTE: most of these can be found on the side panel here on my blog site.)

Our collaboration has prompted quite a few high-profiled interviews which include The Daily Caller (March 31, 2012), The American Free Press (May 25, 2013), The Rodger Hedgecock Show (May 28, 2013, Marita live in the studio, but on Rodgers several times), and African American Conservatives (June 11, 2013).

Check out Marita's June 2013 Newsletter to learn more, and her list of audio recordings on the Green Corruption scandal as well as her expertise on energy issues in general. You can also find us both tweeting at @energyrabbit and @calfit32, as well as sharing on Facebook.

Two women –– a citizen & an energy columnist –– join forces on one mission: to expose one chunk of the Green Corruption Scandal at a time.

Our deepest appreciation goes out to the support of buddies like Bamboo Bob, our families' encouragement (even the liberal ones), and others that have helped this cause either by listening to my ranting, or visiting, reading, sharing, publishing, and financing our work.

Moreover, due to the financial support of Marita Noon's organization C.A.R.E. and a few direct donors, we were able to embark on this important work; however, we are still seeking donors, because there is much more to unleash, including updating the long list of clean-energy failures. At the end of 2012, I calculated that as many as 50 Obama-backed green energy companies were bankrupt or troubled, but I have since tracked more.

We also have yet to unleash the Department of Energy's Dirt Dozen; additional junk loans and cronyism; the SolarCity scam; revisiting the auto loans; lack of DOE accountability and transparency, and more. Furthermore, with the Green Bank of Obama ready to dole out more taxpayer money, we're ready to track and report on which companies or projects are chosen as winners.


Final thoughts....

Alarmingly, our environment has been hijacked by uber-rich individuals, crooked politicians, and an assortment of left wing extremists who are fueled by greed and power attached to a radical agenda to bring about “global governance,” “redistribute the wealth,” and put the progressive movement –– big government, social justice and the death of capitalism –– on the fast track. Under the guise of “saving the planet,” these players, who are all interconnected in a variety of ways, are transforming our climate into something more sinister –– a scam of epic proportions.

Wake up America; we've been robbed!

What's most frustrating –– downright outrageous ––  is that the "green corruption" suspects (and this entire money laundering scam) have escaped any repercussions, so we can anticipate that  clean-energy dirt will continue to surface. And, we must endure in our efforts to expose the eco-radicals, hypocrites, corrupt politicians, special interest groups, lobbyists, as well as the ultra-wealthy that enjoy special political access and influence, and all those behind (and whom financially benefit from) the Obama administration's massive, deceptive and expensive green energy agenda.

SPECIAL NOTE: This was first published on December 15, 2013 as Green Corruption in Review: Clean energy, dirty moneyAnd without funding (or commitments) by the end of December, sadly, this will be final post.

Thanks, -c

 

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4063756135?profile=originalNext February, we will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). You know, President Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree that was sold to the American people as a means to save our economy from the brink of disaster and create American jobs. 

As the former-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in 2010, when she and her left-wing minions were forcing the Affordable Care Act on the American people, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

Quite the pathetic statement, however, it is eerily true for us American citizens, because we are either kept in the dark, lied to, or manipulated as to what our government is up to. And once any large piece of legislation is passed, time is what enables us to grasp its impact –– good or bad, corrupt or mismanaged –– and calculate the cost to us hard-working American taxpayers. History has already proven that our government has grown too large, too intrusive, and too expensive.  

To better understand this piece of the "green energy" scandal, let me remind my fellow Americans that President Obama promised to have, and claims to be, the most transparent administration in history. Yet here we are over fours yeas later with David Sanger, the New York Times reporter who has spent two decades reporting in Washington, slamming this theory by proclaiming that the Obama administration is the "most closed, control-freak administration" he's ever covered, reported POLITICO this month.
As if many of us didn't have that sentiment already, especially in the midst of a series of serious scandals that hit the White House this year. More so, when we learned that political appointees within the Obama administration, across several agencies, including the Energy Department, and recently the IRS, have been using secret or personal email accounts to conduct official government business. But secrecy is not the only thug tactic operating inside this administration: they have been known to intimidate inspector generals, as told by Gerald Walpin. "But I learned, through being fired by the Obama administration, that performing one’s responsibilities as one should, and potentially adversely affecting the administration’s image, is not the way to keep one’s job," Walpin wrote this past June.

This brings me to today's Green Corruption File, "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten," which is the underbelly of this scandal. First is the deception: other than the overall "save the planet" manipulation, Americans were misled as to the real purpose of the stimulus package. Secondly, the Obama administration's "RAT maneuver" (and those behind it) leaves us with speculation (some will say proof) of premeditation and intention in regards to potential shenanigans with the stimulus funds. Last but not least, the "ten green stimulus authors" (yet there could be more) that I have uncovered and will expand upon in the third section of this post, were allowed to ensure that their "green" interests were represented in the stimulus bill, thus cashing in at the tune of tens of billions of tax dollars.

The RAT in the Recovery


What most don't know, not even the majority of Congress, is that there was a RAT hidden deep inside the 1,073-page stimulus bill, which was drafted by the Obama transition team and congressional aides.

Entitled the Obama-Biden Transition Project, it employed approximately 400 people and it was comprised of Obama bundlers and campaign contributors as well as lobbyist and those that operate inside Washington’s egregious revolving door. In the mix was a squadron of Center for American Progress (CAP) experts, the billionaire George Soros-funded liberal think tank. Within this transition group, we also find many that eventually operated inside this clean-energy scheme, of which I'll highlight later.

"From the first debates over the stimulus bill, the White House has promised unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability," noted U.S. News in 2009, even appointing Vice President Joe Biden as the nation’s stimulus spending cop, Stimulus Sheriff Joe, who ultimately went MIA.


Quite the contrary, and it all started when Team Obama starting planning their trillion-dollar spending spree, because “deep inside” the 2009 Recovery Act was a RAT, an attempt to suppress potential investigations, and only a few news outlets caught it in February of 2009: the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner.
As legislation was moving at rapid speed, and Congress continually failed to read the bills, the Obama administration had placed a “far-reaching and potentially dangerous provision." The creation of the RAT Board (Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board) was supposed to be “an oversight panel headed by a White House nominee.” 

The controversial provision emerged in a January 2009 draft of the bill prepared by Obama's transition team officials and members of the House Appropriations Committee, of which at that time it was labeled by the White House as “critical to prevent waste and corruption.” This RAT board gave them the authority to ask, “That an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.”
 
Did you get that? An Obama appointee could dictate what to investigate and what investigations they wanted to squash. 

According to The Examiner...
When Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, a longtime champion of inspectors general, read the words “conduct or refrain from conducting,” alarm bells went off. The language means that the board — whose chairman will be appointed by the president — can reach deep inside a federal agency and tell an inspector general to lay off some particularly sensitive subject. Or, conversely, it can tell the inspector general to go after a tempting political target. …”
Senator Grassley (Republican from Iowa), also warned, "This is a dangerous provision that will hamper oversight, restrict transparency, and damage the independence of inspectors general."

Subsequent concerns arose, with Senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat from Missouri), who was alarmed by the sentence that allowed "the panel to order an inspector general to stop an investigation." As reported by The Post in February 2009...
The group representing federal inspectors general recommended that the entire disputed provision be deleted from the legislation, according to David R. Gray, counsel to Phyllis K. Fong, chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. 
Senate negotiators changed the board composition. While the president would appoint the head of the panel, the rest of the members would be inspectors general. 
House and Senate negotiators also added a line proposed by McCaskill saying that the final decision on whether to proceed is up to the inspector general. "The language sends a very clear message that the IG is in the driver's seat," she said.

As you can see, eventually lawmakers revised the original bill, and allowed “the watchdog agencies to reject the panel's decisions.” But only after they were BUSTED, leaving many wondering why another layer of bureaucracy? Worse, why would a panel be given that kind or power in the first place, power that was not entirely stripped away.

At that time, they named the former Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney, who helped uncover the Jack Abramoff scandal, as the head. Yep, we got a Stimulus Czar, and more taxpayer money going out the door: "The bill allotted about $350 million in oversight measures, including $84 million for the creation of an oversight board," as documented by U.S. News. Mr. Devaney has since retired, and in December 2011, President Obama appointed Kathleen S. TIghe Chair of the Board, with eleven Inspectors General from various federal agencies that serve with her. 

Moreover, “Per the Recovery Act, the Board's Recovery activities were supposed to end on September 30, 2013. However, in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 to assist states and individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Congress stipulated the Board provide oversight of the funding through 2015.”

The irony here is that the RAT Board's stated goals are “to provide transparency of Recovery-related funds and “to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and mismanagement.” While I can't speak for the entire stimulus bill, I know that tucked inside was $100 billion that Team Obama carved out for their big clean-energy push (save the planet funds). Money that I have been following since 2010, which has not only led to plenty of fraud, waste, and mismanagement, but also abuse, cronyism, corruption, and failure.

Most critically is that this “RAT” maneuver only leaves speculation of premeditation and intention in regards to potential shenanigans (an understatement) with the stimulus funds, and the daunting question, what has the RAT Board done about the massive pile of clean-energy dirt? 

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 
& Its $100 billion renewable energy earmark 

Shortly after President Obama began his reign as our 44th president, in February 2009, he signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This was a massive economic stimulus bill –– among the biggest in history –– that was sold to the American people as a means save our economy from the brink of disaster and create American jobs.  

By the beginning of 2012, revelations revealed the real intent behind Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree ("walking around money"): it was “a key tool for advancing the Obama administration’s clean-energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.” In fact, the 2009-Stimulus package was jammed-packed full of clean-energy provisions, of which about 10 percent of the monies were earmarked for renewable energy. 

It's important to point out that the $100 billion in stimulus funds is not the only money being used to fuel the Obama administration's efforts to save the planet using other people's money.  I'd say it's closer to $150 billion to date, and counting, because they continue to dish out more. In short, other departments handing out "green" include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program, and we even find that there is a "Green War" being waged: "the Department of Defense has launched more green energy initiatives than any other federal agency and many are duplicative and wasteful," as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Another means where huge corporations and Obama's "green" pals get taxpayer money is through the taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), who "has a Congressional mandate to support renewable energy and has been directed that 10% of its authorizations should be dedicated to renewable energy and environmentally beneficial transactions."

Additionally, the president's new Climate Action Plan, announced in July of this year, calls for releasing "$8 billion in loan guarantees for advanced fossil fuel and efficiency projects, and strengthen the Better Building Challenge to increase building efficiency 20 percent by 2020." Meanwhile, the "Obama administration is ready to restart the controversial automotive loan program designed to kick-start the development of alternative vehicles." This is the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program that holds authority to award up to $25 billion in direct loans. 
Last fall, I chronicled how there were over 100 applicants for this section of the DOE's loan program, yet only the "FAVORED FIVE" were granted ATVM loans totaling $8.4 billion. Three of the five loans are directly tied to President Obama and the other two, both Ford Motor Co. and Nissan, were heavily engaged in negotiations with the administration over fuel economy standards for model years 2012- 2016 at the time DOE was considering their applications."
The ATVM is part of the Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program (DOE LGP) which has been a main focus throughout my work since April 2012. This is a program that consists of three separate entities: Section 1703Section 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM), and has thus far guaranteed $34.7 billion of taxpayer money. Both Section 1703 and the ATVM programs were established during the Bush administration, and Section 1705 was created by the 2009-Recovery Act.

This is the same Energy Department program which the Green Corruption Files has exposed over and over how at least 90 percent of the winners have meaningful politically connections (bundlers, top donors, fundraisers, etc) to the president and other high-ranking Democrats –– in many cases, to both. It also brought you big alternative energy losers such as Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Vehicle Production Group, SoloPower, Nevada Geothermal, and Fisker Automotive, flushing billions of tax dollars down the toilet. Yet there are billions more still at risk, and we're keeping an eye on these DOE projects: AREVA and its $2 billion, Georgia Power Company and its $8.33 billion, NRG Energy, Inc. (BrightSource) and its $1.6 billion, First Solar and its $3 billion, and others.

Still, the Energy Department's loan program is not the only place where we find taxpayer-funded clean-energy losers. At the end of 2012, I calculated that "as many as 50 Obama-backed green energy companies were bankrupt or troubled." In May I revisited this area, with my new numbers reflecting that 25 are bankrupt, and there are four about to go under. Then, if we keep those that were having issues the same (at 29), the latest taxpayer-funded clean-energy failure list is about 60 –– with almost half bankrupt. Stay tuned for a new investigative report on this topic in the near future. 
Continue reading "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten" at The Green Corruption Files...
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On Friday October 26, 2012, President Obama told a local Denver, Colorado news anchor that decisions 4063718159?profile=originalmade in the loan program office are “decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.” 

 

Southern Company’s Vogtle Project Subsidized with $8.33 Billion of Taxpayer Money: Pressured by the White House (photo right courtesy of Inhabitat.com: President Obama's February 2010  announcement for Southern Company's $8B in federal loan guarantees) 

But let’s go back to the past: on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, Loan Program Office (LPO) contractor Paul Barbian sent an email to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) analyst Kelly Colyar, James C. McCrea, Senior Credit Advisor of the Loan Programs, as well as other DOE Officials.

With a subject line of “Vogtle: Deadline set by Secretary, Barbian writes, “Nick Whitcombe called me a few minutes ago (7:00 PM eastern). He told me that Dave Franz, Susan Richardson, and he had been called to the Secretary’s office and told to “agree” to the term sheet with OPC by Friday, Dec. 4, and to agree to the term sheet with MEAG by Dec 9. The time pressure is coming from the White House, according to Nick." Note: The DOE Official is Nicholas Whitcombe, the former Acting Director of the Advanced Technologies Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM).

This particular email was released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 31, 2012, which was accompanied by a summary memorandum and other material that contradicts the president's claim that "decisions" were made solely by the Department of Energy (DOE). In fact this is not the only case where the White House, President Obama as well as Vice President Joe Biden were actively involved in the DOE deal making –– a bombshell part of the Green Corruption Scandal that despite the fact that it was ignored by the media, Marita Noon and I immediately broke this story on November 1, 2012. Our headline read Emails Catch White House Lie on Green-Energy Loans, whereas I personally read and studied over 150 emails, which revealed a series of questionable practices, including coercion, cronyism, and cover ups.

 

In February 2010, "the Department of Energy offered a conditional commitment for an $8.33 billion loan guarantee to support the construction of the nation’s next generation of advanced nuclear reactors," referred to as The Vogtle Project. This loan guarantee was offered to Southern Company and its partners [Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG)] to build two nuclear reactors in Georgia, but according to recent reports, "the award has yet to be finalized.”

Eleven days ago I discovered that the Vogtle Project is in worse shape than I had documented this past May, adding to a long list of Obama’s taxpayer-funded clean-energy failures, of which we've tracked more than 50, with at least half bankrupt. On July 2, 2013, “Taxpayers for Common Sense released a report that pointed to Southern Company as the next project with potential to blow up in the federal government's face,” documented Kevin Glass at The Daily Caller.

 

According to this report: DOE Loan Guarantee Program: Vogtle Reactors 3&4, “On top of construction delays and litigation, the oversight and management of the construction of reactors 3&4 has been questionable." The report goes on, “As a result of the escalating construction costs of the Vogtle facility, most financial rating agencies are downgrading their assessment of the partners involved in the project.”

 

Since the February 2010 DOE proposal, Taxpayers for Common Sense notes that...

 ...In June 2010, the project partners accepted DOE’s offer. Since then, the Department of Energy has extended its $8.33 billion loan guarantee offer multiple times. Worse, “documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act after years of effort reveal wide-ranging negotiations between the Office of Budget and Management, Department of Treasury, and the Department of Energy on what the appropriate credit subsidy costs should be. Years of closed-door negotiations have allowed loan guarantee partners to craft a deal that heavily benefits them and exposes taxpayers to even greater risk.

 

What I can also divulge from that Halloween email dump regarding this particular project is that on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 there was a meeting with Peter Orsag (former Director of the Office of Management and Budget) and Carol Browner (Al Gore's crony and former Climate Czar, now at the Center for American Progress, another huge player in this green energy scheme), which was requested by OMB and DOE “to work through issues that come up in the Loan Programs.”

Former DOE Loan Advisor Jonathan Silver and Chris Otness, Assistant at the Loan Programs Office, prepared the briefing, and it included a few familiar projects like Abengoa, Blue Mountain, and UniStar. However what struck me as odd is that OH Rep Democrat Dennis Kucinich –– a member of the House Oversight Committee, and as I reported last Julyadores Mr. Silver, and has been adamant that there is NO DOE scandal –– is found on page seven of that meeting outline. Maybe Kucinich was looking out for taxpayers...

#4. Kucinich Update, ISSUE: "Peter Orsag and Rep. Kucinich met about two weeks ago to discuss the Congressman’s request for additional information on our credit scoring process and the specific numbers around Vogtle." After a few notes, this meeting outline ends with a RESPONSE: "DOE and OMB lawyers will talk this week to discuss next steps. Kuchinich's letter addressed to you on this topic is now closed per General Council's Office."

Tim Carney: “Beneficiaries of Obama's policies bankroll inauguration” includes Southern Company
“Major corporations profiting from Obama policies [bankrolled] President Obama's official inaugural committee. While we know the names of the donors to Obama's inaugural, we don't know much more, because Obama is once again trampling his promises of transparency,” reported Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner this past January.
According to Carney, "Southern Co., one of the country's largest energy companies, gave $100,000 to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC)," and that “Southern Co. is the biggest beneficiary of Obama's push for loan guarantees for nuclear power plants, with an $8.3 billion guarantee in the works for a new Georgia plant” –– a main focus of this file. 

Carney further notes, "Of course, this undermines Obama’s talk about battling the special interests and getting corporate money out of politics — again. But it’s interesting because of Southern’s relationship with the federal government, and Obama’s agenda on climate change." And it turns out that "Southern has received stimulus grants and other federal funds [part of the global warming push], adding up to over $825 million over the years, for smart grid, coal gasification, and carbon capture."

After a quick glance at USASpending.gov, as of July 2013, the current amount is $826, 616, 524. While some of the transactions don't seem to match Southern's firm, the total is 135, and this figure includes some that predate the Obama administration. Yet what's startling is that this dollar amount is for federal grants alone –– free taxpayer money going to this giant energy company, the majority from the Department of Energy.

Recently, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) took aim at the president's new climate agenda, which circumvents Congress and as stated by Reason.com, "ambitiously seeks to control nearly every aspect of how Americans produce and consume energy." IER's issue in this case is that President Obama's "alleged all-of-the-above energy policy includes large taxpayer subsidies for so-called clean-coal technologies, including carbon capture and storage."

 

If you've been paying attention, and what the IER is referring to is that part the new climate plan includes Obama's proposed $8 billion in federal loan guarantees relating to "decarbonizing coal" –– fossil fuel technologies to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. It seems that even some "greenies" aren't too happy about this: "The proposal would fund schemes such as waste heat recovery and carbon dioxide capture, however it has unsurprisingly received criticism as it would draw focus away from green technology projects such as renewable energy and electric vehicles,"wrote Inhabitat.com.

 

Yet here we find another clean-energy failure, and begin to connect more cronyism dots.  Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, launched a project in 2010 (a 582-MW lignite-to-gas-to-electricity), which was subsidized with taxpayer money: $270 million grant from the Department of Energy and $133 million in investment tax credits approved by the IRS. The Kemper Power Plant–– complete with carbon capture –– according to the IER, was "once touted as a showcase for clean-coal technology, but is now officially a boondoggle."

Obviously, Southern Company benefited from the energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act as well as past and potentially new clean-energy legislation, even raking in huge amounts of taxpayer money. And as they continue their huge lobbying presence, Southern has plenty of political power to ensure a victory at every turn, despite any risk to the American taxpayer.


Energy Giant, Southern Company: Heavy Hitter Lobbyist and Big Donor to Both Political Parties 
Taxpayers for Common Sense reported, “Last year, Southern Company spent far more than any other electric utility on lobbying the federal government, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It spent $15,580,000 in 2012, or roughly $42,000 a day, in order to help strong arm a deal when their financials and the project all point to a bad investment for taxpayers.”

Labeled by Center for Responsive Politics as a “heavy hitter,” Southern Company, one of the nation’s biggest electric utilities, serving nearly 4 million customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, lobbying price tag has been close to that rate for many years. Furthermore, “46 out of 62 Southern's lobbyists in 2012 have previously held government jobs.”

Southern Company, through individuals, PACS, and their affiliates gives significantly more money to Republicans than Democrats, and in 2012 donated to both Mitt Romney ($51,350) as well as President Obama ($12,080), yet in 2008 they gave Senator Obama $25,752. And let's not forget, as recorded earlier in this post, that Southern also bankrolled President Obama's 2013 Inauguration.

While there are fourteen members of Congress (six Democrats and eight Republicans) that own shares of stock in Southern Co, one of the most notable stock holders is one of the richest members of Congress: Secretary of State John Kerry, whereas he has owned Southern stock  for a while –– with a dip in 2009, and as of 2011 the value listed is $1,001 to $15,000.

"For years, Kerry [a leader in the crusade against global warming] has invested millions in a number of green energy companies that have benefited from the president’s efforts to aggressively subsidize the industry with taxpayer dollars," wrote the Washington Free Beacon in 2012.

Meanwhile this past January, prior to Senator Kerry's promotion to Secretary of State, we unleashed my research: Climate Hawk Senator John Kerry and His Green Inside Deal, documenting Kerry's influence on the 2009-Recovery Act. More specifically he “played a key role in securing energy tax provision increases to include a long term extension of provisions that provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and tax credits for conservations.” However, it was Kerry's timelyinvestments into the Venture Capital (VC) firm Kleiner Perkins, home of the climate changeevangelists duo and President Obama's climate cronies: the mega rich John Doerr and Al Gore, who both enjoy political access and influence, and that made a killing on the stimulus package, which caused alarm for many of us.

More than fifty percent –– at least 36 of the 66 listed as of December 2012 –– within Kleiner Perkins  greentech portfolio have benefited from loans, grants, and special tax breaks, of which my December 2012 tally confirms that Kleiner Perkins raked in at least $1 billion in clean-energy government subsidies, the majority coming from 2009-Recovery Act –– a piece of legislation that both Kerry and Doerr participated in crating. Then if you factor in Kleiner Perkins' collaboration with Al Gore's London-based Generation Investment Management (GIM) that number increases significantly, putting the figure up to at least $10 billion from the taxpayer-funded Green Bank of Obama.

Kerry seems to average about twelve percent of his published assets in "energy & natural resources," and with a quick glance, besides Kleiner Perkins and Southern Company, we find that there are numerous large corporations that are tied to massive amounts of renewable energy funds (the "green") that was shoveled out of the 2000-Stimulus bill: such as BP, Bank of America,Citigroup, Exelon Corp, General Electric, and Google –– all TOP 2008 Obama donors, with a few again in 2012. However, we would have to analyze the timing on these stock transactions and dig further to make any future assumptions in regards to Kerry's green inside deals.
 
The $2 Billion French Nuclear DOE Deal: POTUS Approved 

Even though we mostly cover green energy, my last post exposed a huge Nuclear Crime Story, which occurred under both the Bush and Obama administration’s watch, and today I'll continue with nuclear corruption, of which the Energy Department's loan program places in the clean-energy section.
To get a better sense, it's important to understand that Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 "authorizes the U.S. Department of Energy to support innovative clean energy technologies that are typically unable to obtain conventional private financing due to high technology risks." These technologies include: "biomass, hydrogen, solar, wind/hydropower, nuclear, advanced fossil energy coal, carbon sequestration practices/technologies, electricity delivery and energy reliability, alternative fuel vehicles, industrial energy efficiency projects, and pollution control equipment."

Thus far the Obama administration, through the 1703, has awarded $10.33 billion for two projects: the France-based company AREVA, and Georgia Power (energy giant Southern Company), of which in November 2012, I had warned that they were both suspect for cronyism and corruption, and by the end of 2012, AREVA's Eagle Rock Enrichment facility made it on my 2012 Green Energy Failure Alert List (in the troubled category), and by May of this year, both were added to that same grouping. (NOTE: The asterisk is proven cronyism and corruption).
  • AREVA* –– $2 billion went to fund the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF) in Idaho Falls, ID, which is supposed to support 310 permanent jobs, with 1,000 temporary construction. While this agreement was confirmed in May 2010, as of May 2013 they are still struggling to get this project off the ground.
  • Georgia Power Company* –– In February 2010, $8.33 billion was awarded for Plant Vogtle project to support 800 permanent and 3,500 temporary construction jobs. In May 2013, I found that they were still having financial issues, yet we can now confirm that it is much worse than I had reported.
In October 2012, I had made a big deal out AREVA, the French state-owned nuclear giant, due to the fact that they have an indirect connection to Doerr and Gore's VC firm Kleiner Perkins, and that we are enriching the French with American tax dollars.

On February 8, 2010, Ausra Inc. –– a Kleiner Perkins investment that “develops and deploys utility-scale solar technologies,” also a GIM investment –– was acquired by AREVA. Plus Ausra, now AREVA Solar Inc. was awarded a $14 million 1603 grant for "solar electricity" in California two weeks later. Maybe not a smoking gun, but I have also noted the many issues surrounding this $2 billion DOE transaction, starting with the rumors of AREVA “suspending its Idaho uranium enrichment plant,” which circulated in late 2011, and that AREVA's CEO Luc Oursel did confirm: “the company has been hit by financial problems that will affect the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility and others worldwide.” Further, according to John Stossel's 2012 Green Energy Myth, “Shareholders of AREVA lost over 60% of their money in 2011."

This past November, AREVA caught my attention again when I found more damning evidence in the House Oversight bombshell emails, implicating then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu and his commitment on the UniStar project (they were seeking an $8.7 billion DOE loan for their Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant) to Steny Hoyer when he was the House Majority Leader in 2010.

It turns out that EDF Group, "one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe" that snagged $204,986,935 of free taxpayer money  and AREVA, "ranked first in the global nuclear power industry" (both a tiny fraction of "Obama’s green outsourcing"), are both partners of UniStar Nuclear Energy. In full disclosure, so far, this $8.7B transaction seems to have been squashed, but not before emails that demonstrate a rushed process that was derailed by the 7th floor, and others.

This was a fast-tracked process imposed by President Obama, yet before Congressional Oversight hearings in 2012, it was denied by DOE Officials. Nevertheless, these emails proved that they used these "rushed" tactics to push through AREVA's transaction, and President Obama, despite what he told the American people prior to the 2012 election, was actively involved in many of the Energy Departments' deal making process, including AREVA’s $2 billion deal.
In an email dated September 1, 2009, James C. McCrea, Senior Credit Advisor of the Loan Programs at the Department of Energy wrote, "Re the rushed process, I agree. What makes it far worse is that we are doing our analysis, preparing the term sheet etc. (not ETC!!) before the project has really gelled. In the commercial financial world, this transaction [AREVA] would not be ready for real financing discussion/term sheet preparation for at least a year." 
From an email dated March 1, 2010 from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan Origination to LPO Credit Advisor McCrea and others:
“Jonathan just said at our staff meeting that, opposite the message received on Thursday, AREVA is now a “go” (seems on Friday POTUS himself approved moving it ahead).”
From an email dated October 30, 2010 from DOE Loan Program Office (LPO) Credit Advisor Jim McCrea to LPO Executive Director Jonathan Silver: “I am growing increasingly worried about a fast track process imposed on us at the POTUS level based on this chaotic process that we are undergoing...by designing the fast track process and having it approved at the POTUS level (which is an absolute waste of his time!) it legitimizes every element and it becomes embedded like the 55% recovery rate which also was imposed by POTUS.”

Fast forward to today: this POTUS approved $2 billion loan may be at risk, because on May 23, 2013, the Associated Press announced, "French company won't set date for Idaho nuclear facility," noting that "work on the $3 billion Eagle Rock enrichment plant was meant to start in 2011. That was delayed to 2012, then 2013 and 2014. Now, AREVA says only that the facility remains a priority but that it would be imprudent to give a ground-breaking date amid unresolved talks with financing partners."
Department of Energy Loans: Halloween 2012 Emails Prove Participation and Pressure by the President 
As we exposed on November 1, 2012, and since, these shocking emails and documents –– both Appendix I and the 350+ page Appendix II that the House Oversight Committee obtained from current and former DOE employees and contractors, many of which had been withheld by the Department of Energy for more than a year prior to their October 2012 release –– are a treasure trove of Intel. They prove that President Obama and the White House were actively involved in pressuring and participating in the approval process of these loans, whereas since 2009 they have spent $34.4 billion of taxpayer money, funding 33 projects.
Throughout these email interactions we find plenty of references to the president, POTUS, the "7th floor," and "the Hill." There were even high-level meetings with Valerie Jarrett, "rahm," and Carol Browner –– just to name a few. On four projects: Abengoa, Abound, First Wind, and Beacon, email dated June 25, 2010, states, "DOE is moving with 'the fierce urgency of now,'" and references to "WH intervention" and "significant WH support." 

Besides email interactions that showed inter-fighting between the DOE, OMB and Treasury, and the fact that DOE Officials were trying to change the loan application policies in the middle of the process, these emails also exposed the cozy relationships DOE Officials had during the loan review process with loan applicants CEO's, lobbyists, and investors, etc. It's no surprise that they had meetings and calls with DOE Officials and Energy Secretary Chu, but there are documented meetings and calls with the president, VP, and WH as well as plenty of "green fraternizing" going on –– bike riding, coffee meetings, sleepovers, "beer summits," Al Gore parties, dinners, Democrat fundraisers, and so on.

The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program (DOE LGP) has been a main focus throughout my work, and it’s worth repeating that it consist of three separate programs: Section 1703 (discussed above), Section 1705, and the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM). Both Section 1703 and the ATVM programs were established during the Bush administration, meanwhile, Section 1705 was created by the 2009-Recovery Act, the trillion-dollar spending bill that was touted as a means to save our economy and create jobs.
Needless to say –– gimmicks and hype aside, of which we have documented many times how the Obama administration has tracked their so-called green jobs –– if you take the DOE's own accounting in looking at just the 1703 and 1705 DOE loans you find that "renewable energy projects cost US taxpayers $26 billion for only 2,300 permanent jobs, which is $11.5 million per job," reported The American Enterprise Institute this past May.
Moreover, it should be noted that while we've been tracking the $100 billion renewable energy earmark tucked inside the trillion-dollar spending bill, known as the stimulus, and subsequent dirt that accompanied (including all of the DOE's loan power), there were additional stimulus funds that were appropriated to the Energy Department. This includes $11 billion for Grid Modernization, the $5 billion Home Weatherization Program, the $6 billion Nuclear Waste Clean Up, as well as $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration projects, $2 billion for research into batteries for electric cars, $500 million for Green Jobs Training, and funds that went to various State Energy Programs, and so on.

But there were other stimulus "created or saved" programs such as the 1603 Grant Program –– another green government giveaway that was created by the 2009-Recovery Act. The 1603 is administered by the Treasury Department where billions in favored-businesses are given tax-free cash gifts, of which as of the end of 2012, they recorded 8275 awards, totaling $15,964,130,442. This program was also touted as a jobs creator (saved and supported, not created), yet most of the so-called green job gains, if any, are temporary. Worse is that in 2012, we found out that Section 1603 grants for renewable energy does not even include job creation among its primary objectives.
Others impacted by the stimulus package were the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) as well as the fact that the 2009-Recovery Act awarded the Office of Energy Efficiency (EERE) $16.8 billion for its programs and initiatives. And taxpayer-funded government agencies were also given "green initiative” money from the stimulus, who then dished it out their favored "green" projects. One example is the Environmental Protection Agency who in February 2009, "released $6 billion to individual states for clean water programs."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program, funded through the energy title of the farm bill, which was first introduced in 2002, also provides government-backed loan guarantees to support renewable energy, as they did with Range Fuels and others, since 2009 for about $1.02 billion. In the Range Fuels case, which received a $76 million federal loan from the Bush administration in 2007, and over $80 million from the Obama administration in 2009 ($46 million DOE grant and a $40 million USDA loan guarantee), eventually went bust in 2011.
Another means where huge corporations and Obama's green cronies get taxpayer money (corporate welfare and crony capitalism) is through the taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), who "has a Congressional mandate to support renewable energy and has been directed that 10% of its authorizations should be dedicated to renewable energy and environmentally beneficial transactions." Two green energy failures come to mind here: First Solar and SolarWorld, who both enjoy key political connections, and snagged their "faire share" of stimulus funds.
That being said, my quest to track President Obama's clean-energy funds (taxpayer money)  –– $100 billion from the stimulus as well as other green energy money that is being used to push through his massive and radical climate change agenda, while rewarding his allies, can be a difficult task. But what I can confirm is that The Green Corruption Files does provided the most comprehensive and current record of clean-energy failures as well as the dirt that accompanies: cronyism, corruption and criminality as well as waste, fraud and abuse.

Our 2012 Green Energy Failures tally was 52 –– 23 bankrupt and 29 troubled –– capturing the attention of The Daily Caller and many other conservative news outlets, even gracing the pages of Rush Limbaugh "letters." This past May, I revealed a new bankrupt list: 25 that have gone bust, with four about to go under. Stay tuned, as my new accounting is in the works with predictions of a newclean-energy failure that could hit 60. But for the sake of keeping my research organized and focused on today's feature, the Department of Energy's $34.4 billion, below I'm listing the Obama administration's clean-energy failures just from DOE's Loan Guarantee Program, which is three down, four about to go under and seven in trouble for various reasons, the majority financial. Ironically, just last month, Former Energy Secretary Chu told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview to expect more green energy companies that got government-backed loan guarantees to go bankrupt.

 BANKRUPT
  1. Solyndra*: In September 2009 Solyndra, once the poster child for the president's clean energy initiative that is now art, received $535 million 1705 DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011. What started as an unworthy investment, snagged a 2010 White House endorsement, only to become a PR nightmare that included a loan restructuring (an apparent violation of the law) and even a plot to hide their troubles from the 2010 midterm glare. Solyndra became a cautionary tale of sorts: a failed Obama green investment, one of the first to go kaput, unethical executive bonuses included, leaving in its wake FBI raids, and a trail of resignations and damning emails –– all evidence that President Obama's "clean" energy is dirty: The Green Corruption Scandal. But the Solyndra Saga (only the tip of iceberg) continues, because just this week, Reuters reported, "The founder of bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra will likely avoid criminal charges even if charges are brought against other former executives of the company."
  2. Beacon Power*: In August 2010 they snagged a 1705 DOE loan for $43million. Additionally, Beacon received at least $25 million in grants from the DOE and the state of Pennsylvania for a 20-megawatt plant in that state, plus $2.2 million from the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) –– created in 2007 under the Bush administration, whose funding was increased under the Obama administration. Bankrupt: October 2011
  3. Abound Solar*: Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and in December 2010 was awarded a $400 million 1705 DOE loan under Obama. Additionally, Abound was awarded a $9.2 million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Abound went down in June 2012 but "a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation revealed that Abound solar was selling faulty solar panels that routinely underperformed and even caught on fire. The company reportedly knew its panels were faulty prior to receiving taxpayer dollars and may have misled investors in order to keep the company afloat until federal aid came in," which by October 2012, prompted a criminal probe. Abound is still in the news, because not only did they rip off American taxpayers, they left a toxic waste dump –– hazardous material left behind in their Colorado facilities, but as of late, the clean up is almost complete.

On the Verge of Going BUST and BAILOUTS
 As of May 2013 with some current updates 
  1. SoloPower*: On April 1st I had ranted about SoloPower and its $197 million loan DOE "junk loan," from the stimulus-created 1705 program, and the fact that they also got $40 million from the State of Oregon. Additionally, "SoloPower also received a $20 million state tax credit, which it sold at a discount to other taxpayers in exchange for cash." Then on April 22, the Oregonian’s headline read: “SoloPower moves to power down Portland factory, gut remaining workforce.” But lo and behold, as I was preparing this post (July 10), the Oregononian reported that "SoloPower has defaulted on a $10 million loan," of which it seems that is one of the loans that came from the Oregon Department of Energy, marking this as another major setback and continued cloud hovering over this project as well as over $250 million in taxpayer money.
  2. Nevada Geothermal Power Company, Inc.*: In September 2010, Nevada Geo was awarded a $98.5 million loan guarantee that came from the 1705 for the Blue Mountain project to build a geothermal power plant, plus $69 million in federal stimulus-funded grants. In October 2012, I noted that in July 2012, the Washington Times reported that the power at Nevada Geothermal (NGP) was dimming and may be the next green energy bankruptcy. At the end of September 2012, Bloomberg followed up: NGP "may transfer ownership to a lender after projecting the facility will produce less power than expected." And sure enough NRG's Blue Mountain got another bailout, as their first was from the Energy Department in 2010 when they approved this $98.5 million loan –– a fact we noted last summer when we covered Senator Harry Reid’s part in green-energy, crony-corruption. In April of this year, financial news reported that Blue Mountain had owed almost $200 million to its private lenders, and that NGP "has completed the sale of the Blue Mountain Geothermal Project to funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners, LLC, the mezzanine lender for the project, pursuant to an equity and collateral transfer agreement." We'll have to check to see if they will be paying back the taxpayers, but they did get a makeover, and as of April 3, 2013 NGP changed its name to Alternative Earth Resources Inc.
  3. Fisker Automotive*: We covered the April 24, 2013 Congressional Hearing and Fisker's $529 million ATVM loan. And according to DelawareOnline.com this past June, "Gov. Jack Markell gave Fisker a package of $21.5 million in state taxpayer grants and loans to come to Delaware and continues to cut checks for utility bills inside the Newport-area plant, which was shuttered by GM in 2009." Most are declaring that Fisker is about to crash, and a full report can be found in my postFailing Fisker Auto Finally Faces House Oversight Hearing: Chairman Jordan Exposes Another DOE Junk Loan, Declares, "Fisker should have never received taxpayer money.” Meanwhile, Co-founder and Former Executive Chairman Henrik Fisker is circling the globe to figure out how to salvage Fisker Automotive, even collaborating with foreign tycoons. Hmm, it leaves one wondering what Al Gore is doing to save his auto investment.
  4. Vehicle Production Group (VPG)*: I was one of the few that covered VPG's March 2011 $50 million ATVM loan with ties to Obama bundler and "VP Hunter," the infamous Washington fixture, James A. Johnson, whose firm Perseus portfolio lists two more taxpayer-funded bankruptcies: Beacon Power and Evergreen Solar (also listed in this report). Then on May 9, the Hill reported, "A natural-gas van company [VPG] awarded a $50 million Energy Department (DOE) loan has suspended operations and laid off roughly 100 workers, according to press accounts."

TROUBLED 
As of October 2012, updated May 2013 and July 2013
(with a full report in the works)
  1. AREVA* –– $2 billion via the 1703 to support the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility (EREF) in Idaho Falls, ID, which was the focus of this report and includes up-to-date data.
  2. Georgia Power (Southern Company)* –– $8.33 billion via the 1703 for Plant Vogtle project, which was the focus of this report and includes up-to-date data.
  3. NRG Energy, Inc. (BrightSource)* –– $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the 1705 (for the Ivanpah Solar Project), which is supposed to "enable BrightSource Energy and its partners—NRG and Google — to build the world’s largest solar thermal facility in the Mojave Desert. Many times we exposed the fact that this shady DOE $1.6 billion loan was a bailout, and how it had been plagued with financial issues and problems, including putting endangered desert tortoises at risk of being murdered.
  4. First Solar* is tied to $3 billion in 1705 DOE loans: the Exelon (Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, the NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (Desert Sunlight), and the NRG Solar, LLC (Agua Caliente). First Solar was also the recipient of a very suspicious Export-Import bank transaction. We documented The First Solar Swindle last summer, their financial woes, as well as the three projects listed here. Some additional work was added this year and can be found in my "Bank of Obama" and "Left-wing Billionaire George Soros: Obama’s Agent of Green" posts. However, in all fairness, it seems that First Solar is doing better, and on May 6, 2013, CNN Money predicted "Brighter days for First Solar." So there is a probability that I'll remove First Solar from this problematic list, however, we'll take a peek at our $3 billion of taxpayer money –– these three projects and whatever other funding they received.
  5. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (Genesis Solar)* –– an $852 million partial loan guarantee (from the 1705) to support the development of the Genesis Solar Project, a 250 MW parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. In October 2012, I had documented Genesis' environmental issues, and they have endured massive flood damage. This past April, it was reported that their mirror manufacturer, Flagbeg Solar (another taxpayer subsidized green energy company) went bust, which could have a negative impact on this project. However, clouds still hover over this and other California solar projects –– and that's according to my personal local newspaper, the Desert Sun. But we'll keep and eye on this one, because spokesman for the Genesis project stated in April, that it is just over 43 percent complete, and the "project will come online in two phases, half at the end of 2013 and the other half in late 2014."
  6. SunPower Corp.* / NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch) –– $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the 1705. Since NRG bought the CA Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo from SunPower, this mess was already documented in my October report, however, the project itself has faced its own environmental issues –– as in the fact that they have taken over the home "to 34 endangered and threatened species, as well as designated core habitat for three animals: the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox and giant kangaroo rat." We'll dig further into this one and report back.
  7. Nissan, which in January 2010 received $1.45 billion loan from the ATVM program, and part was to retool its Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility for assembly of the all-electric LEAF vehicle. On November 15, 2012, the Detroit News reported, "Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn finally admitted the automaker will not meet its sales target for its all-electric Leaf — in another sign of the broad struggle of the electric vehicle industry." But it as of May 2013, it seems the Leaf is, at least, doing better than the Chevy Volt –– GM's (the $49.5 billion bailout) electric car that is experiencing its own share of dangers (engine compartment fires) and financial woes.
During the course of my research I discovered, and Marita Noon and I have chronicled in complete detail, that 90 percent of the Energy Department's loans have meaningful political ties to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats –– Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid to five alone, meaning that we have proven cronyism and corruption*.  Political buddies which primarily comprise of Obama's campaign backers, bundlers, top donors as well as liberal allies. Adding to the mix are those with access and influence that have financially benefited from the stimulus package and its $90 billion of taxpayer funds, which includes members of the president's former Job Council; those that helped craft the 2009 Recovery Act; and at least a dozen inside the Energy Department. Throw in powerful left-wing organizations and billionaires; high-powered lobbyists and special interest groups as well as Wall Street, Big Corporations, Big Energy, Big Wind, and Big Venture Capitalists, and you'll discover that the scope and size of this clean-energy scheme is MASSIVE.

Since April 2012, we’ve covered the majority of the "DOE's junk loans” that were steered to 26 projects, and we even tackled the ATVM program with its “Favored Five,” but we still have two more green-energy, crony-corruption stories to release from the 1705 Section:
  • Exelon (Antelope Valley Solar Ranch) –– Rating BBB- by Fitch; Sept 2011 for $646 million
  • Prologis (Project Amp) –– Rating BB by Fitch; Sept 2011, over $1.1 billion (or $1.4 billion)
Now, we can officially add Section 1703 of the DOE's Loan Guarantee Program to this massive and deceptive Green Corruption Scandal –– both the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility and the Vogtle Project, of which their troubles have placed $10.33 billion of taxpayer money at risk, even as the Energy Department considers handing out billions more through the 1703 to favored, yet risky renewable energy projects.

Keep in mind that these two nuclear projects are in addition to the other five loan guarantees that are experiencing various difficulties documented in this post. Add in the three bankruptcies as well as the four that are about to go under, and that establishes that over 42 percent of the Energy Department's 33 projects ($34.4B) could ultimately be President Obama's new clean-energy failure statistic, and that's NOT factoring in other programs and agencies that have dished out billions of tax dollars to save the planet.

Disastrous!
NOTE: This post was published at The Green Corruption Files on Saturday, July 13, 2013, and in case you missed my June 30th FILE, "Nuclear Crimes and Misdemeanors": it's another huge piece of this scandal that was too lengthy to repost. Thanks, Christine. 

Two Women –– one Citizen & one Energy Columnist –– join forces on One Mission: to expose one chunk of the Green Corruption Scandal at a time.
Read more…

Organizing for Action: Obama's Recycled Political Machine Pushing Climate Change, Raising Unlimited Cash from Special Interests, and Selling Access 4063680240?profile=original

“Obama, who long cast himself as an ardent opponent of big money in politics” –– even scolding the Supreme Court's ruling on campaign finance reform during his 2010 State of the Union address –– in mid January unleashed his recycled political machine that is pushing on issues that range from climate change to immigration reform to women’s health.

According to Politico, “The president and his allies declared it would be powered by grassroots activists and change politics from outside Washington.”

Not so fast.

If you read the fine print, “[this nonprofit group] shows how disturbing its work really is. Its name is Organizing for Action (OfA), and if its initials seem familiar, that’s because the group is the direct descendant of Obama for America, the president’s campaign organization in 2008 and 2012, noted the left-wing New York Times –– and it's an organization with many of the same Obama strategists, but without the restraint of limited donations.

"It stinks," slammed the Washington Post in an op-ed titled, "The temptation of dark money" –– "judging by recent reports, Organizing for Action should be renamed Paying for Access," because they are raising large sums of money by offering advisory board positions with "the privilege of attending quarterly (and secret) meetings with the president."

It's pretty obvious what access and influence buys in Washington DC these days, but now the Obama Team is openly selling access. Is that even legal?

Or maybe it's just "change we can believe in."

With a massive address list of 20 million, they are circulating emails claiming, "Organizing for Action's mission is to put power back into the hands of the American people. That's why we won't accept a single dollar from corporations, PACs, foreign donors, or lobbyists."

Meanwhile, Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager and the OfA national chairman, and Jon Carson (OfA Director) were traveling across the country “meeting with members of the Obama 2012 National Finance Committee, who are being pressed back to work to find support for the new organization” –– even ”hitting up Hollywood studio executives, California energy investors and Chicago business titans,” reported the Post in February. And in its first days, Organizing for Action "[had] closely affiliated itself with insider liberal organizations funded by mega-donors like George Soros and corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Citi and Duke Energy,” noted Politico in late January.

However, after much criticism, the Washington Free Beacon recently reported, "OFA pledged not to accept donations from corporations and foreign individuals or groups," but will still accept donations from labor unions.

Hmm, we'll see about that.

In my last exposé, Citi’s Massive 'Green' Money Machine, I revealed Citigroup's large footprint inside the Obama White House as well as this green-energy scheme, chronicling their connection to approximately $16 billion of “green” stimulus deals. Meanwhile, I’ve highlighted Duke Energy a few times: Duke’s CEO Jim Rogers and his "2012 DNC Cameo" as well as the money behind it, however, fresh information shows that Duke Energy has more stimulus funds to account for. 

Still, there is a much bigger player to expose at this time: the left-wing billionaire George Soros: Obama’s "Agent of Green."

Labeled by the Right as "the single most destructive leftist demagogue," there has been much said and written about the politically powerful George Soros. Along with his deep-rooted shadowy agenda, we know that Soros funds numerous left-wing organizations, including radical environmentalism groups like the Tides Foundation. Most identified are the “anti-Fox” outlet Media Matters, the extremist Moveon.org as well as Obama’s left arm, Center for American Progress (CAP).

As Soros continues to bankroll the Left's far reaching progressive plans, he's more interested in the bottom line, which is evident by his own words, “I am basically there to make money. I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do.”

True to Soros' nature, he’s cashing in at the Bank of Obama, despite what it's doing to our economy. Starting with the fact that Soros was involved in crafting the trillion-dollar so-called "Recovery Act," which President Obama signed into law in February 2009. A massive economic stimulus bill –– among the biggest in history –– that was sold to the American people as a means save our economy, however, recent revelations reveal the real intent behind the stimulus package; a key tool for advancing clean energy, of which at least ten percent was earmarked for that purpose –– it was packed full of "clean energy provisions." 

 

But what has followed is nothing but pure dirt (cronyism and corruption) including the fact that "in the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock-buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus," including twelve alternative energy and utility companies.  And, after three weeks of intense research, I found that through these twelve, and other timely investments in renewable energy, Soros' green tab exceeds $11 BILLION of stimulus money –– and you, the taxpayer, footed the bill. Keep in mind that this tally is not factoring in the huge profit Soros is making off of these investments.

Most aren’t aware of Soros’ additional links to the president that date back as far as 2004, and how he is key villain in this Green Corruption scandal.

As of late, Daniel Greenfield of Frontpage.com took aim, “George Soros has leased the White House as a summer home for eight years, and appointed a number of his stooges to Cabinet positions, including Chief of Staff.”

In January, President Obama’s named former CAP Senior Fellow Denis McDonough (a deputy national security advisor and a longtime aide to the president) as chief of staff to the White House, to replace outgoing Jack Lew, who is set to take over Timothy Geithner's post as Treasury Secretary. Marita Noon (energy columnist at Townhall.com and my cohort in unearthing the vast amount of clean-energy dirt seeping through our current administration), and I recently completed a collaboration of Mr. Lew and Citigroup: "Wall Street Walks all over the Obama White House."

Daniel Greenfield explains it best, “Denis McDonough’s appointment as Chief of Staff is probably the biggest win for the Soros Lobby since the Obama victory…the George Soros funded Center for American Progress, which is the criminal brain behind the Frankenbody of Obama Inc.”

Subtly put, Edwin Chen of Bloomberg in 2008 described CAP as "an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals," of which, at that time, a squadron of CAP experts worked with president Obama's transition team along with CAP's president and founder, John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

CAP, on my radar since 2010, is closely aligned with the Obama White House, and last summer we gave some insight into the Podesta Group's lobbying connection to SolarReserve and its $737 million in Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees, which is also a Citigroup investment, and part of the stimulus created 1705 loan program, the DOE's "junk bond" portfolio.

Looking deeper, you’ll find many CAP associates inside Obama’s 2009 Green Team: both former Climate Czar Carol Browner and the self-proclaimed communist turned CNN contributor, Green Jobs Czar Van Jones. Meanwhile others from CAP had posts inside the Department of Energy like Steve Spinner, a two-time Obama bundler and former DOE Loan Programs Advisor. They are all central to this green-energy scheme, which fit into different categories: "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Eight" as well as the "DOE Dirty Dozen."

We've already unleashed four of the "gang," including General Electric through the 2008, 2009 DOE Electricity Advisory Committee, which includes other green stimulus winners like NextEra Energy and American Electric Power (AEP) –– the former we've covered and the latter we'll get to in this post.

On our journey, we've exposed John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and our new Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry's part. Now we tackle George Soros, who not only heavily backed candidate Kerry in 2004, but also funds the Apollo Alliance –– a left-wing organization who exerts powerful influence on the views and policies of the Obama administration, of which I had alerted to in 2010 that boasted of writing Obama's trillion-dollar spending spree, and will revisit again.

Further in our "gang of eight" is the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) that we noted in our Citigroup columns, and eventually we'll get to TJ Glautheir and McBee Strategic Consulting. Adding to the immense corruption, the "DOE Insiders" and CAP's green-energy, crony-corruption complete stories are still in the works.

Soros Funds Obama Victories

Soros has long, deep and shady ties to the Democratic Party, more specifically, Hillary Clinton, yet Soros jumped into the political arena with Barack Obama as early as 2004, and donated to his Senate run. "Soros and his family gave Barack Obama $60,000. This does not include money that Soros was able to funnel to so-called 527 groups (Moveon.org, for example) that have also been politically active; nor does it include money that Soros was able to raise from tapping a network of friends, business associates, and employees," revealed Ed Lasky news editor of American Thinker in 2007.

Soros helped bankroll an Obama victory in 2008, making it on Forbes' Obama's Billionaire" list;

however, Soros' overall political funding statistics are startling, as reported by the New Yorker in February 2012.

Over the past thirty years, no benefactor has contributed more to the Democratic Party and other liberal groups than Soros, the billionaire chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, a hugely lucrative hedge fund. In 2004, he contributed more than twenty-three million dollars, a record at the time, to Democratic groups aiding John Kerry’s ultimately unsuccessful Presidential bid. In 2008, he was one of the three largest campaign donors to either party, as he gave five million dollars to help make Barack Obama President.

But the king of contributions wasn’t done there, and in September 2012, Soros pledged $1.5 million in donations to a trio of super PACs backing President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Soros and his family even made it on the Center for Public Integrity list of biggest financial backers of election 2012, ranking #18 with total contributions to super PACs at $5.1 million –– of course all pro-Obama and pro-Democrat.

Besides Soros arming the Democratic Party with a large campaign war chest, he has donated some $5 billion of his fortune to left-wing non-profit groups through the Open Society Institute, which as Michelle Malkin says, "is committed to Soros’ militant ideology of toppling the fascist tyranny of the United States, which he says must undergo de-Nazification in favor of justice."

In the summer of 2010 I had written about the cap-and-trade scheme as well as the Soros-funded Tides Center/Foundation participation, which involved the Chicago Climate Exchange and an array of Obama connections; climate crusaders; and radical environmentalist and conservation groups. Additionally, built-in to this scheme at the time were players like Richard Sandor, Al Gore's Generation Investment Management (GIM), Goldman Sachs, as well as the Joyce Foundation and Obama's Senior Advisor and Assistant, Valerie Jarrett. Looming in the midst are two powerful billionaire forces: the "global warming guru" Maurice Strong, and of course, George Soros, of which according to Canada Free Press, both "were working on anti-American schemes as far back as 2006."

There is much more tell about Apollo, but a newly released investigation by Watchdog.org, reveals troubling information about the Tides Foundation, listing big-name liberal donors and the fact that "from 2009 to 2011, the government has given Tides some $28 million in grants paid for by American taxpayers."

And what do taxpayers get for that 28 mill? 

"Liberalism’s most ambitious agenda" –– a laundry list of programs, of which at the conclusion, Watch.org states, "significantly it’s become a meeting place of two potentially warring factions of the Left — labor and environmentalists." Meanwhile, "Tides officials logged 92 White House visits last year," and "Perhaps Tides’ biggest coup was using its Apollo Alliance Project to help draft Obama’s massive stimulus bill."

As I warned in 2010, "our environment has been hijacked," and now we have President Obama vowing to confront climate change in his second term. This time he's armed with a political propaganda machine, a powerhouse of left-wing Big Green groups, plenty of high-powered clean energy lobbyists, and wealthy "green cronies" with access and influence. 

Throw in a new "Climate Cabinet" –– which thrills most environmentalists –– with the likes of Climate Hawk John Kerry as Secretary of State, Climate Czar Heather Zichal as well as the Center for American Progress four-year lease of the White House. Plus, those inside the Obama administration that are directly benefiting from "green" (Citigroup and Goldman Sachs come to mind), be prepared for regulations and legislation that will in some form or another resemble cap-and-trade and demands for additional funds to bankroll Obama's efforts to save our planet.

Furthermore, the president's choice of Gina McCarthy –– labeled as "Obama's Green Quarterback" –– to head the Environmental Protection Agency most say is a signal that the president "plans to make climate change a larger part of his environmental agenda." With Ernest Moniz set to run the Energy Department, don't expect "green corporate welfare" to end either. "Both nominees fit nicely into the pragmatic mold of Obamanomics, seeking to increase government's role in the energy sector with the cooperation of business," writes Timothy Carney, Senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner.

 

Soros Helped Craft the 2009-Recovery Act; Then Went on Stock-Buying Spree

Most relevant to this piece of the Green Corruption scandal is Soros' timely investments, which included twelve alternative energy and utility companies.

Just after the release of Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster 2011 bestseller, one of the most damning revelations featured in Throw Them All Out aired on Stephen K. Bannon's Victory Sessions –– in an interview that starred Schweizer and Wynton Hall of Breitbart.com.

Billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called “stimulus” money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program.

While we know that George Soros has visited the White House on at least five occasions since Barack Obama became president, possibly more, Schweizer gives specifics, "Mr. Soros met with Mr. Obama’s top economist, [Larry Summers, another "green crony"] on February 25, 2009 and twice more with senior officials in the Old Executive Office Building on March 24th and 25th as the stimulus plan was being crafted. Later, Mr. Soros also participated in discussions on financial reform."

Then Schweizer reveals, "In the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock-buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus."

  • Soros doubled his holdings in medical manufacturer Hologic, a company that benefited from stimulus spending on medical systems
  • Soros tripled his holdings in fiber channel and software maker Emulus, a company that wound up scoring a large amount of federal funds going to infrastructure spending
  • Soros bought 210,000 shares in Cisco Systems, which came up big in the stimulus lottery
  • Soros also bought Extreme Networks, which, months later, said it was expanding broadband to rural America “as part of President Obama’s broadband strategy”
  • Soros bought 1.5 million shares in American Electric Power, a company Mr. Obama gave $1 billion to in June 2009
  • Soros bought shares in utility company Ameren, which bagged a $540 million Department of Energy loan
  • Soros bought 250,000 shares of Public Service Enterprise Group, 500,000 shares of NRG Energy, and almost a million shares of Entergy—all companies that came up winners in the Department of Energy taxpayer giveaway that produced the Solyndra debacle
  • Soros bought into BioFuel Energy, a company that benefited when the EPA announced a regulation on ethanol
  • Soros bought Powerspan in April 2009. Just weeks later, the clean-energy company landed $100 million from the Department of Energy
  • In the second quarter of 2009, Soros bought education technology giant Blackboard, which became a big recipient of education stimulus money
  • Soros also bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe and CSX, both beneficiaries of Mr. Obama’s plans for revitalizing the railroads
  • Soros bought Cognizant Technology Solutions, which scored stimulus funds in education and health care technology
  • Soros also bought 300,000 shares of Constellation Energy Group and 4.6 million shares of Covanta, both of which landed taxpayers’ money through the stimulus, the former of which bagged $200 million

In Throw Them All Out, Schweizer catalogs several more of Mr. Soros’ trades and says that, while “it is not necessarily the case that Soros had specific insider tips about any government grants,” nevertheless, Soros’ “investment decisions aligned remarkably closely with government grants and transfers.”

Whether Mr. Soros’s involvement in private White House meetings influenced which companies received stimulus money is unclear. What is certain, writes Schweizer, is that “crony capitalism favors the politically active, and the manipulative. It does not favor one party over the other. It does not care about policy. It just knows how to make money off any policy — your tax dollars, leveraged to the rich.”

Just After the February 2009 Stimulus, Soros Forms New Climate Change Group and Launches Green Growth Fund, Plus Quantum Strategic Partners. Both Silver Lake and Quantum Cash in on Stimulus Funds 

Soros, who manages funds through various accounts in the US and the Cayman Islands, owns shares in financial companies and banks that include Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and so on. However, as noted, in early 2009, just after the trillion-dollar stimulus bill was crafted and passed (February 2009), with 10% earmarked for alternative energy (almost $100 billion tax dollars), Soros dove into renewable energy –– and from what I gather, financial services tops Soros' interests, yet energy is second with his "sector weightings" at 6.1%.

In addition to the timely investments divulged in Schweizer's book, in 2011 Reuters reported that Soros, through various funds had invested in green companies including "U.S. solar panel maker First Solar Inc (another part of Green Corruption that I'll get to in a bit) and Chinese solar company JA Solar, according to U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filings. At the same time, his funds have investments in sectors that environmentalists complain about, such as coal company Peabody Energy Corp and oil company InterOil Corp, according to filings.”

Besides spending billions to fund left-wing, radical environmental groups, Soros, in the fall of 2009, announced his plan to invest $1 billion in clean energy (climate change), and formed and financed ($10 million a year for 10 years) an “advisory group’ called Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), which states they are “an independent, not-for-profit organization with long-term support from financier and philanthropist George Soros.”

At that time, Soros had this to say, “The problem of global warming is primarily a political problem at this point.” Adding, “The science is beyond dispute, but how do we achieve the objectives we all know are necessary? That is a political problem.”

Later in early 2011, Soros teamed up with the private equity firm Silver Lake Kraftwerk to invest in “the energy and resource sectors,” of which he hired folks from Kleiner Perkins (KPCB) –– the Venture Capital firm of John Doerr and Al Gore that I've tackled quite a few times.

Also in 2011, Soros' Quantum Strategic Partners led a $25 million investment round "into a start-up that aims to cut electricity waste, the latest addition to the billionaire investor's green-energy portfolio," reported Reuters. Soros jumped into this venture with existing investors KPCB, Google Ventures, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital. The company Transphorm, based in Goleta, California, received $9 million in stimulus grants, of which details can be found in my extensive research on KPCB Greentech Portfolio that secured all kinds of loans, grants and special tax breaks (federal and state) –– tied to at least $10 billion of Obama's taxpayer funded green-energy spending spree.

NOTE: From what I gather, there is the Quantum Fund with familiar big green winners, and Quantum Strategic Partners is an investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management, and are the lead investor in Crystal Financial, however, they also are investing in green, and I have yet to locate a Quantum Strategic Partners cleantech portfolio. 

But the big catch for Soros was Cathy Zoi.

Zoi, an Al Gore acolyte, who is also one of the “DOE dirty dozen” tied to billions of clean-energy stimulus funds, is the former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Cathy Zoi, who oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billion in green-energy stimulus funds in her Department of Energy post" at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) –– a post which began in April 2009, and later she briefly filled the role of Acting Undersecretary for Energy, yet in March 2011, she jumped the DOE ship to work for Soros.


In February 2012, Silver Lake Kraftwerk and others invested $81 million into the California solar firm SolarCity –– a solar firm that I covered in my February post, “Obama's Jobs Council Closed: Mega-Rich Member Penny Pritzker "Rumored" for Commerce Job, “Related” to Two Large Green Corruption Stories.”

The SolarCity story includes other billionaire players and Obama donors like Elon Musk, Nicholas J. Pritzker, Al Gore's firm Generation Investment Management LLP as well as Obama Wall Street buddies: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Adding to the sleaze, as of December 2012 SolarCity was under a federal prove regarding their $341 million in grant, and looking deeper I found 27 1603 grants for "USB SolarCity Master Tenant," which ranges over 15 states, totaling over $88 million. This means that SolarCity snagged approximately $429 million of tax-free cash.

Soros Green Stimulus Stock Winners

Number 1: NRG Energy 

NRG Energy CEO David Crane Thoughts on $5.2 Billion of Taxpayer Money, "It is just filling the desert with panels." 

As stated, just after the stimulus was passed in February 2009, Mr. Soros bought 500 shares of NRG Energy, and as of the latest data I could find (the end of December 2012), his current shares are 866,137, which according to Insider Monkey is valued at $19,912,000.

Interesting enough, President Obama’s other billionaire buddy Warren Buffett along with Mr. Soros –– both revered "as legendary figures in the investment world of our times" –– seem to gravitate toward the same stock ideas, but “the investment styles of the two are night and day different.”

Buffett too is heavily invested in NGR Energy, is connected to First Solar, and they both stand to benefit from key energy decisions coming down legislative pipeline: both on the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline; while Soros and T. Boone Pickens in the passing of the NAT GAS Act.

When I get to the rest of Soros "green stimulus stocks" in this post, I'll share more on Pickens and the NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380), which died with the 112th Congress, and was referred to Committee.

Meanwhile, there is another ploy that should be pointed out that was reported by Breitbart.com, which cites more Soros Fund Management natural gas investments. But also, President Obama in April 2012, in order to expedite the natural gas boom, "decided to form an inter-agency natural gas council run by Cecilia Muñoz, a former community organizer with La Raza and White House bureaucrat with deep ties to George Soros."

But I digress a little...

 

NRG Energy Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the country's largest and most diverse power generation portfolios that includes coal, nuclear, gas, wind and solar generation, of which we know they are in cahoots with Citigroup.

NRG's highly paid president and CEO since 2003 (and stock owner), David Crane had this to say back in 2011, “I have never seen anything that I have had to do in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk than these projects.” “It is just filling the desert with panels,” he added. 

Crane was referring to how NRG and its partners secured $5.2 billion in federal loan guarantees, plus hundreds of millions in other subsidies for four large solar projects.

While Crane is a friend of the Clintons, which is one reason why, in September 2010, NRG made a $1 million contribution through the Clinton Global Initiative to deliver solar power to Haiti. Crane did in fact place his bet on Hillary Clinton during her 2008 run for the presidency, but later, and along with other NRG executives, sided with then-Senator Obama. In fact, according to OpenSecrets.org, since 2004 NRG Energy has donated $1,191,047 to both political parties, primarily to Republicans in 2006, however, the shift that went to blue in 2008 and 2010 is quite amusing, with top five candidate donations going to Democrats, including President Obama –– with the exception of David Dewhurst (R-TX)..

In October 2012 the Heritage Foundation reported on more NRG favoritism, where they "received the go-ahead from the Interior Department to produce wind energy off the coast of Delaware, despite doubts that the project in question will actually materialize." But the bias has been flowing out of the Department of Interior since Obama took office in 2009, and began pushing his green agenda –– a discovery Marita and I chronicled in our Special Seven series last summer, which included many favored DOE loan recipients.

Lachlan Markay goes on to unravel Kathleen McGinty, Director at NRG Energy and a “protégé of the former Vice President Al Gore; her White House influence; and subsequent visits to key environmental officials.

In fact Gore acolytes have infiltrated the Obama administration, and we've already uncovered the former vice-president's extraordinary "carbon foot print" inside the Green Bank of Obama. It turns out that Gore is also an Obama White House visitor, and we know about two of them. In December 2009, President Obama met with Gore in the Oval Office in advance of his meeting with business and environmental leaders at the White House regarding the Copenhagen conference, and Gore also visited the Obama White House on April 8, 2010. 

Keeping it in the NRG family, President Obama snagged the support of Jason Few's wife when Arvia Few became a bundler for his re-election campaign. According to the Washington Free Beacon, "Mr. Few became senior vice president of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2008. He was named president of Reliant in May 2009 when NRG Energy acquired Reliant for $287.5 million [and abruptly left the company in October 2012]. Mr. Lew currently serves as executive vice president and chief customer officer of NRG Energy.

In an analysis of the DOE Loan Program by Veronique de Rugy (an extremely significant report I'll revisit in a bit), as of June 2012, "Reliant Energy and Reliant Energy Tax Retail LLC, two NRG Energy companies, reported receiving at least 37 grants under the ARRA," of which we know that in late 2009, Reliant Energy was among 100 winners that came out of the $3.4 billion of smart grid stimulus grants for just under $20 million.

Where are the other 36 grants for Reliant?

More digging required... but another NRG company, "Green Mountain Energy, received two grants under the ARRA in the second quarter of fiscal year 2011." Furthermore, "NRG will also be eligible to receive $430 million from the Department of the Treasury" –– in addition, many NRG companies have already benefited from the 1603 grant program, which was created under the 2009-Recovery Act "to support the deployment of renewable energy resources."

 

Still, SolarCity, Reliant, and Green Mountain are nothing compared to NRG's overall footprint inside the Green Bank of Obama.

 

Both NRG Energy and Crane are aggressively pushing clean energy, and according to Mark Gunther of GreenBiz.com in 2011, "[Crane] is passionate about the climate crisis –– he was active in USCAP, the failed big biz-big green coalition that lobbied for federal regulation of greenhouse gases." So passionate that since 2000, OpenSecrets.org records that NRG Energy has spent $10,356,000 in lobbying efforts, and $2,500,000 in 2012 alone. And that  "5 out of 14 NRG Energy lobbyists in 2012 have previously held government jobs."

Whether we can credit George Soros, David Crane, NRG executives or their lobbying money –– most likely an "all of the above" strategy –– there is no doubt that NRG Energy has "access and influence," as reflected in the sheer volume of green government subsidies. Moreover, it is clear that those that hire lobbyists and make campaign contributions have a much better rate of return on investments than those that don't.

To continue reading, click here...

NOTE: This is another rather lengthy post, thus I've changed the title of my blog to The Green Corruption Files. Please feel free to continue reading and review the rest of "Soros Stimulus Stock Winners," including NRG Energy's part in Green Corruption  –– (a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company) and its subsidiaries that were the recipient of most of 1705 stimulus loans: $5.2 BILLION of taxpayer money and counting.  

Beware: most of these renewable energy and utility firms lead to more crony, corruption players and stories, confirming the size and scope of Obama's "green corruption" scandal –– the largest, most expensive and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history.

 

Read more…

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Photo From Penny Pritzker News 

Penny Pritzker, left, with former Federal Reserve
Chairman Paul Volcker, center, and President Barack
Obama, right, at a May 20, 2009 meeting of the
Economic Recovery Advisory Board

 

President Obama’s Jobs Council Down: Five Raked in Billions of Green Stimulus Funds, Including Billionaire Penny Pritzker 

If you haven't heard the latest on the jobs front, just two years and four meetings later, President Obama closed down his Jobs Council last Thursday. A day later, unemployment "ticked up to 7.9 percent, and remains higher than it was when Obama took office and has consistently been higher than the 7 percent mark the White House promised it would not cross if Congress passed the so-called stimulus package taken up during the president's first months in office,” reports U.S. News & World Report.

 

“Obama is reportedly irked by the fact that the jobs council has recommended lifting regulations rather than creating new ones. Since the American people obviously did not hold Obama accountable for his economic failures as president, he is now going to focus on other issues: climate change, gun control, abortion, and immigration,” writes Breibart News.

 

Since its creation, the members have pushed for renewable energy subsidies. In October 2011, these Obama advisors issued a report calling for among other things, “a new federal financing program to attract private investment for clean energy projects via loan guarantees and other tools.” This request is on top of the $80 billion of "green earmarks" that has been flowing out of the 2009-Recovery Act as well as other agencies fueling clean energy projects like the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), etc. Furthermore, the Obama administration fires up new climate legislation and mandates, which benefits special interest groups while adversely affecting American families.

 

So we say goodbye to Obama’s Jobs Council –– a panel full of "deep-pocket Democratic donors and high-profile financiers" of Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, noted ABC News in 2011. Meanwhile several were Obama campaign bundlers and it included its share of union representatives like AFL-CIO’s left-wing "elitist" Richard Trumka.

 

During its February 2011 implementation, The Wall Street Journal pointed out, "The group is long on White House regulars, golf partners and meal guests." A jobs panel by the way –– those that have been advising the president on how to create jobs and grow the economy, of which many were recruited from President Obama's February 2009 Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) enacted by an "executive order" –– whereas the majority are known for “job outsourcing.

 

If you’ve been following any of my Green Corruption stories, since December I’ve been unraveling a new series "Spreading the Wealth to Obama's Ultra-Rich Jobs Council," exposing the five panel members that have received billions of “green” funds, the majority coming from the 2009-Recovery Act. So far I’ve covered Jeffrey Immelt, John Doerr, Lewis Hay, and today I will tackle the Hyatt heiress that raised more than $900,000 for Obama's two campaigns –– billionaire Penny Pritzker, also "rumored for Commerce Job" –– although recent reports show it could soon become a reality.

 

 

Obama’s Last Commerce Secretary

This is the same position that was held by John Bryson –– entangled in a huge piece of this Green Corruption scandal –– who was BrightSource Energy’s chairman of the board prior to his appointment as Secretary of Commerce with the Obama White House in May 2011. Although Bryson resigned in June 2012 following some mysterious auto accidents, his and the current BrightSource CEO John Woolard's political influence was no mishap.

 

Bryson has ties to the left-wing organization the Apollo Alliance as well as the politically powerful billionaire George Soros –– both helped craft the stimulus package, a trillion-dollar influx of taxpayer cash that eventually bailed out BrightSource. The firm was part of an intense push in 2011 that involved meaningful Democrat connections –– donors, investors, and stakeholders –– and correspondences with President Obama as well as the White House and Department of Energy Officials.

 

Throw in the fact that BrightSource has an array of investors that happen to be high-powered Obama donors like Goldman Sachs, Google, BP Alternative Energy, and VantagePoint Capital. Add in Bernie Toon, who served then-Senator Joe Biden as his Chief of Staff, who became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy on March 6, 2011, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for guaranteed success. And it doesn’t hurt that many of the parties involved frequented the White House during the DOE loan review process.

 

Despite the fact that BrightSource was one of 22 (out of 26) projects from the 1705 loan guaranteed program –– created under the 2009-Recovery Act –– which were rated as "junk bond" status, that didn’t sway the DOE in the least. Because on April 11, 2011, the DOE announced the finalization of $1.6 billion in loan guarantees for BrightSource’s Ivanpah project, which created a whopping 1000 construction and 86 permanent jobs. These were projects that were funded by the DOE with  $16 billion of taxpayer money, of which we can confirm that over 90 percent are politically connected to the president and other high-ranking Democrats –– some both.

 

However, the BrightSource push started as early as September 2009, as reflected in the House Oversight leaked emails that were unleashed late October 2012 –– a treasure trove of "inside DOE Intel" –– which not only confirms the above shady scenario, it implicates more BrightSource executives and stakeholders, DOE officials as well as Obama’s Green Team and several in Congress from the Democrat side.

 

In the 350+ page Appendix II, I found ongoing interaction and pressure from the heavy weight K Street firm McBee Strategic Consulting, which substantiates Timothy Carney's (the Examiner) statement, “K Street is the epicenter of this green-industrial complex, and ground zero might be the firm founded by Democratic revolving-door earmark lobbyist Steve McBee.” Carney goes on with an interesting discovery; McBee ­­[a cap-and-trade pusher] “reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare.”

 

The “BrightSource Billion Dollar Shady DOE Deal,” which also received special treatment by the Department ofInterior (part of our “Special Seven Series” last summer), plot thickens because along with Google and BrightSource, “NRG is the lead investor (sometime in October 2010 during the time of their DOE loan process) of the 392 MW Ivanpah project currently being developed in southeastern California's Mojave Desert.”

 

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The NRG piece to this green deal was underreported, as was the fact that NRG Energy Inc. (BrightSource) is "the number one  recipient of most the 1705 loans."  If you’re not aware, NRG is connected to George Soros, an Obama donor and 2009-Recovery Act advisor, who "in the first quarter of 2009, went on a stock buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus," including NRG Energy –– a huge revelation featured in Peter Schweizer's blockbuster 2011 release that rocked the Washington establishment, Throw Them All Out, which I touched upon last May when NRG Energy landed on the DOE Cronyism Hot Seat. More damaging details in the works, but I digress…

 

 

Billionaire Penny Pritzker

Penny Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel and Pritzker family fortune, was a key fundraiser for Barack Obama's presidential run in 2008. She’s the CEO of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, and ranked in Forbes 400 list among the wealthiest in America. Also from the PERAB, Pritzker was one of the “elect members” of the president's Jobs Council, whom wears many liberal hats, including many prominent positions like the 2008 National Finance Chair of the Barack Obama for President campaign and co-chair of the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, yet played a less significant role in Obama’s 2012 reelection.

 

Ms. Pritzker is related to the Telsa Motors $465 million loan and its 1500 jobs via the fact that –– besides Obama bundlers, big donors, and DOE insiders –– another Tesla investor is another billionaire Nicholas J. Pritzker, partner at Tao Ventures and senior development advisor for Hyatt Hotels Corp, also a donor to Obama and a cousin of Penny Pritzker –– both from Chicago.

 

Created under Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program (ATVM) –– not part of the 2009-Recovery Act –– holds authority to award up to $25 billion in direct loans, however, thus far the Obama administration has approved five loans worth $8.4 billion of taxpayer money.

 

In 2011, IWatch took notice into the DOE's "risky $1 billion bet on two politically-connected electric car builders," stating, “To date (2011), records show, more than 95 percent of applicants are still awaiting approval or have been rejected.” And that “both companies have political heavyweights behind them.”

 

This was a story had alluded to in 2010 and elaborated on in November 2012 –– “Cruising Down the Green Cronyism Road,” where I tracked the $8.4 billion of ATVM money to the "favored five." At that time, Marita Noon, energy columnist at Townhall.com  –– my cohort in exposing this massive Green Corruption scandal  –– and I were given an exclusive regarding XP Technologies, an ATVM applicant, which filed a lawsuit against the federal government citing “corruption and negligence.” Three have direct ties to the president: Telsa as well as Fisker Auto, which is an investment of another Jobs Council member, John Doerr (you can find my full report that I released a few weeks ago, “Bank of Obama: John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins, the Mother of All Green Energy Stimulus Money Winners.”)

 

The one that slipped through the cracks is the $50 million ATVM loan that went to Vehicle Production Group and is part of the “Beacon Bust Tied to Obama Bundler and VP Hunter, the Infamous Washington Fixture, James A. Johnson” narrative that I shared last summer. Meanwhile the other two, Ford Motor Co. and Nissan, were heavily engaged in negotiations with the Obama administration over fuel economy standards for model years 2012- 2016 at the time DOE was considering their applications."



The Telsa Tale

Weeks to go before the 2012 election, “the DOE restructured its $465 million loan to the electric-car company to make sure it didn’t run out of cash,” reported the National Review Online. And toward the end of 2012, things were looking bad for Telsa, “Given the ugly state of Tesla’s finances — and the company’s sky-high valuation: almost $4 billion — it will rank among the top candidates in Silicon Valley for a 2013 stock collapse, unless it receives significantly more cash next year,” says The Wall Street JournalMarket Watch. Thus Telsa made it on my 2012 Green Energy Failure Alert List (total at 52), and we'll keep watch to see where Telsa lands.

 

While Pritzker’s connection appears to be minute, the "Telsa Tale" is gigantic with an array of Democrat cronies, including big Venture Capitalists with close White House ties and a few former and current DOE Insiders.

 

Tesla’s founder and CEO, billionaire Elon Musk, "is a hearty political contributor who has primarily backed Democrats, including Obama." Musk has other companies that raked in millions of “green” tax dollars, and last December one of them became part of a trio of solar companies that are “under investigation for potentially inflating costs in order to draw down more money from a stimulus-funded loan program –– all three boast investors with significant ties to the Obama White House,” as reported by Lachlan Markay on the Heritage’s Foundry.

 

The one relevant to this Green Corruption account is SolarCity, of which Mr. Nick Pritzker is also an investor, and we’ll get to them in a bit.

 

Meanwhile Steve Spinner, former DOE Loan Programs Advisor (from April 2009 to September 2011) –– known for his role in the Solyndra saga, who made a special DNC 2012 cameo –– is a two-time Obama bundler, and was an advisor to Telsa before he joined the Obama camp. In the mix we find Steve Westly, former Telsa Board member, the Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, a DOE Insider, and another Obama crony who made a DNC cameo. Tesla Motors prime backers also include a major fundraiser for Obama; Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are two more investors that pumped money into Tesla Motors. Later, Goldman Sachs, the number two 2008 Obama donor, with their DNA all over "green," handled the Tesla Motors IPO.

 

But in my “Bank of Obama” piece I laid out quite a few Venture Capitalists tied to Kleiner Perkins that snagged a string of loans, grants and special tax breaks for their clean energy investments –– noting how large percentage of portfolios won big green money. All have direct connections to President Obama in the form of bundlers, donors and special buddies, and two have also invested in Telsa; The Westly Group and Vantage Point Capital Partners.

 

However, the bigger story may not be found in a green car, but in solar panels…

 

The SolarCity Story

As I stated earlier, the same Telsa investors, Mr. Musk and Mr. Pritzker are also investors in SolarCity, while Elon Musk is the chairman of the board, and recently purchased a 20,000-square-foot estate in Bel Air for $17 million.

 

As reported by the Washington Post mid December, “SolarCitySunRun and Sungevity have received subpoenas from the Treasury Department’s office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits the firms tapped for performing work. The probe seeks to determine whether the companies accurately reported the market value of their costs when applying for federal reimbursement, which was calculated at one-third of the costs” –– a probe that started for SolarCity sometime in July 2012, and was confirmed via the filing of their initial public offering (IPO) in October 2012, of which "Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp. led SolarCity’s IPO."

 

According to Fox News, “Together, the three companies reportedly have claimed more than $500 million in taxpayer support,” while SolarCity has applied for $341 million in grants. This was from the same program that I had written extensively about in my Big Wind story a few weeks ago, another green government cash freebie blowing out of the stimulus package. The 1603 Renewable Energy Grant Program –– a relative of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), and to date, the Treasury Department has doled out $16 billion, where approximately one-quarter has been shipped to foreign corporations, meanwhile the rest is fueling corporate welfare here in the United States as well as the egregious practice of crony capitalism running rampant in this administration.

 

What's not widely known is that SolarCity was a DOE loan applicant, seeking $275 million, and made it through the first phase. However, in the end (September 2011), it was rejected –– SolarCity said "The [Solyndra] scrutiny prompted the agency to request additional information," and apparently they couldn't get it done in time.

 

Ironically a month earlier (August 2011), this loan was a GO...

Inside the 10/31/12 House Oversight emails that I briefly highlighted when I touched upon BrightSource's billion-dollar DOE deal, in the 350+ page Appendix II we find a few email interactions in August 2011 regarding the SolarCity transaction.

  • Jonathan Silver, former Executive Director of the Loans Programs Office at the Department of Energy (from 2009, and resigned in early October 2011)
  • Peter O'Rourke: Senior Advisor to the Executive Director Loan Programs Office U.S. Department of Energy

O'Rourke writes to Silver –– subject: strong; dated August 2, 2011 –– "Matt said that Strong will not be eligible for 1703, per the WH and Poneman (Daniel B. Poneman is the Deputy Secretary of Energy since April 20, 2009)... this is going to be a disaster. They will delay so that we can't close by Sept 30, and it's not going to get 1703. I'm really uncomfortable with how this is being handled, from a reputation and other standpoints."

 

Two days later, O'Rourke writes again to Silver and cc's Matt Winters (Matthew Winters is the Department of Energy Policy Advisor) –– subject line: update –– "I've been told that the WH will call tomorrow and tell the DOE that Strong is a 'go' and should move as quickly as possible. Will believe it when see it."

That same day, Silver responds at 10:49PM, "Perhaps our additional efforts paid off. They can't hate us much more than they do. Its so much fun to end run them."

 

O'Rourke counters at 11:19 PM, "between you/Matt/s2 and SolarCity's major push, it was a very effective." NOTE: If S1 = Secretary Chu, then I'm assuming S2 = Poneman


The "Strong" referenced here is SolarCity's "Project SolarStrong™ –– "a plan to provide solar power to up to 120,000 military housing units, and create up to 300 megawatts of solar generation capacity." However, in November 2011, "Armed with the documentation and rationale for this project, SolarCity found a willing partner in Bank of America for $350 million" (Bank of America/Merrill Lynch were both on the 2008 Obama Top Donors list).  The bailed out bank –– bogus bonuses and all, Bank of America is "the second biggest recipient of federal assistance, which racked up $336.1 billion in federal help," recently revealed by CNBC. However, what most don't know is that Bank of America also has quite a few "green" project winners in their vault as well, of which I had alluded to in May 2012, but there is much more to tell.

 

While SolarCity's $275 million DOE deal fell apart due to the 2011 Solyndra "red flags," we do know that as of December 2012, "SolarCity currently benefits from tax credits totaling as much as 30 percent of the cost of these systems," notes Bloomberg. Moreover, as documented, SolarCity has applied for $341 million in grants, but I found 27 1603 grants for "USB SolarCity Master Tenant," which ranges over 15 states, totaling over $88 million. With this type of tally, it's difficult to say exactly how much tax-free cash SolarCity has received or will be given in the future.

 

Prior to entering the federal probe spotlight, SolarCity had already lined up hundreds of millions in solar funds from investors and various partnerships, which are big players in this green-energy scheme. Besides Bank of America's November 2011 entry, and sometime before July 2010, former vice president and future first "carbon billionaire" Al Gore's firm Generation Investment Management LLP became part of the SolarCity family.

 

Later, in February 2011, Citi "jumped solidly into the residential solar installation market by agreeing to back $40 million in solar installations by SolarCity." In between, SolarCity has developed partnerships with a few other stimulus winners like PG& EGoogle, San Jose's GreenWaste Recovery, and they even teamed up with Telsa (along with an $800,000 California grant).
Enter in another liberal billionaire bigwig to the list of SolarCity kin...

 

In February 2012, Silver Lake Kraftwerk and others invested $81 million into the California solar firm SolarCity, which is significant to this Green Corruption series. Silver Lake is the VC firm of billionaire liberal financier George Soros (mentioned earlier under NRG Energy) that "employs former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Cathy Zoi, who oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billion in green energy stimulus funds in her Department of Energy post" at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) –– a post which began in April 2009, and later she was briefly Acting Undersecretary for Energy, yet in March 2011, she jumped the DOE ship to work for Soros.

 

Zoi, an Al Gore acolyte, is reportedly on the shortlist to replace "$8 a gallon gas" Energy Secretary Stephen Chu –– a resignation that was publicly announced last Friday, yet rumors have emerged tagging a very disturbing list to replace Chu that would make your head spin. Besides Zoi, other Green Corruption villains floating around are Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy, Kathleen McGinty, another protégé of of Al Gore, a director at NRG Energy, and so on.

 

While Zoi's time at the DOE was tainted with quite a few "conflicts of interest," there are at least a dozen current and former DOE Insiders that are affiliated with winners of green money, and I've exposed about half so far –– a huge piece of the Green Corruption scandal in the works. What’s relevant to our “jobs council” part is the fact that Citigroup is also a major SolarCity investor –– a Big Bank that was the #7 top Obama donor in 2008 and the fact that Obama is close buddies with quite a few former Citigroup executives.

 

Lachlan Markay notes, “Michael Froman, a close college friend of Obama’s, managed Citi’s alternative investment portfolio until he left for a top White House post in 2009. Froman was key to the President’s 2008 election effort, connecting him with major donors in New York’s financial industry. Froman also served on Obama’s 2008 transition team.” But we have another member of Obama’s expired jobs council to report on, Richard Dean "Dick" Parsons, Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. (from 2009 until he announced stepping down in March 2012).

 

Moreover, President Obama's choice to replace Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary has been quite amusing with Breitbart News recently pointing out the absurdity, “Jack Lew, a man who in 2009 bagged a $950,000 bonus after his bank, Citigroup, received billions in a taxpayer-funded bailout." And it looks like my calculations for Citi was way off, where in my opening of this series I had stated, “the "Too Big to Fail" Citigroup, a TARP recipient received $45 billion in government bailout funds.” But CNBC tells a different story, and recently announced them as the number one Big Bank to snag federal aid, “In total, Citigroup received $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees."

 

While President Obama decries the "fat cats," it’s obvious to any informed citizen, he’s full of “hot air,” not only by rewarding them for failure like Citi and Bank of America as well as his jobs council, the president is using clean energy as a means to payback his bundlers, mega-donors, and supporters. Doubling down on hypocrisy, “Obama, who long cast himself as an ardent opponent of big money in politics,” is when he unleashed his recycled political machine in mid January. " The president and his allies declared it would be powered by grassroots activists and change politics from outside Washington,” yet, “In its first days, Organizing for Action has closely affiliated itself with insider liberal organizations funded by mega-donors like George Soros and corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Citi and Duke Energy,” writes Politico.

 

In closing Part Four of "Spreading the Wealth to Obama's Ultra-Rich Jobs Council," we can confirm that Ms. Pritzker's –– via her cousin “Nick'" –– Green Tab is close to $1 billion for just two projects –– that we know of, and SolarCity is a confirmed stimulus winner. This is further evidence that this so-called jobs advisory panel has their hands in the green cookie jar, and the only commerce transpiring is for the wealthy that have friends and relatives in high places –– those with political access and influence.

 

Stay tuned for Part Five, the final installment, where we take a look at Richard Dean "Dick" Parsons, Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. (from 2009 until he announced stepping down in March 2012), who is also part of this multimillionaires club. Citigroup, like Goldman Sachs, was a top Obama donor, has close ties to the president, and holds key positions inside the White House –– has their DNA all over this green-energy scheme. I’ve tracked four large clean energy projects that have snagged huge amounts of stimulus funds, but in the meantime here is a recap of the Jobs Council's clean-energy dirt.

  • Part One: Job Czar Jeffrey Immelt –– 10/31/12 DOE Emails Prove White House Pressure on $1.3 Billion Loan to General Electric Wind Project / Green Tab: at least $3 Billion, the majority from stimulus funds 
  • Part Two: Bank of Obama: John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins, The Mother of All Green Energy Stimulus Money Winners / Green Tab: Tied to $10 Billion, the majority from stimulus funds 
  • Part Three: Lewis Hay CEO of NextEra Energy profiting off of various loans, grants and other energy subsidies –– Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption / Stimulus Green Tab: at least $3 Billion 

 

One Woman (sometimes two), One Mission, One Green Corruption Piece of the Scandal at a time...

The Green Corruption Blogger

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Despite Harm to the Environment and the Economy, Fiscal Cliff Deal Fuels Continuing Corporate Welfare 4063656008?profile=original


The new year began with “fiscal cliff” midnight drama and fantasy, and the wind-production tax credit (PTC), despite its negative impact on our environment and economy, packaged as a job creator and measure to save the planet, made its way into H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 –– a piece of legislation that was hyped as for the American people, yet it included a number of key tax extender provisions for special interest groups. “Congress extended wind energy tax credits worth billions of dollars in the last-minute deal hammered out by Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, a move decried by free market organizations as corporate welfare,” writes the Washington Free Beacon.

Crammed through in the dark of night behind closed doors –– where the Senate was given minutes to read the bill, and the House caved under White House threats –– and with support of many Republicans –– the looming and controversial (PTC) that many high-powered energy corporations have taken advantage of, rely heavily upon, and were fiercely lobbying for, was revived once again.

"The wind industry hired a team of heavyweight lobbyists with cozy connections to Capitol Hill and the Obama administration to ensure the survival of the tax credit, the Washington Examiner’sTimothy P. Carney reported," more specifically K Street firm McBee Strategic Consulting, of which I've found over and over in my green corruption research.

NOTE: “The Lucky Seven Stimulus Authors” are those that helped craft the 2009-Recovery Act and have financially benefited, of which I have already covered General Electric, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, Senator John Kerry, which I wrote about last week. I have given mention to billionaire George Soros as well as the left-wing organization the Apollo Alliance, with TJ Glautheir and McBee Strategic Consulting topping off my list. Full report soon to be released.

“Congress first enacted the wind energy PTC in 1992 and has renewed it seven times since,” even as part of the 2009-Recovery Act. The Institute for Energy Research counts the hidden realities of the PTC extension, noting that "The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the one year extension will cost American taxpayers over $12 billion." "But that figure doesn’t begin to represent the full cost of wind power,” including the detriment to ratepayers. And if Big Wind gets its way over "the next six years, then the PTC would cost over $50 billion."

Unknown to the American public is another green government freebie blowing out of the stimulus package. The 1603 Grant Program –– a relative of the PTC, which is part of President Obama’s trillion-dollar spending spree –– is administered by the Treasury Department, where billions in favored-businesses are given tax-free cash gifts. This program was also touted as a jobs creator (of course saved and supported), yet most of the so-called green job gains are temporary.

According to energy.gov, “The Section 1603 program was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the deployment of renewable energy resources. The 1603 program offered project developers the option to select a one-time cash payment in lieu of taking the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the Production Tax Credit (PTC), for which they would have otherwise been eligible.”

Last week, the Energy and Commerce Committee released an “in-depth report on its ongoing investigation into the implementation of President Obama’s green energy stimulus spending,” exposing a shocking detail; “foreign corporations have received approximately one-quarter of $16 billion spent on 'Section 1603' renewable energy stimulus program.”


The report, “American Taxpayer Investment, Foreign Corporation Benefit,” states that as of December 5, 2012, “nearly $16 billion in federal funds (ironically, the same amount as the Department of Energy’s 1705 risky loan portfolio) has been awarded under this program,” of which “approximately $10.8 billion (68%) of the total amount in Section 1603 grants awarded was for wind and another $3.8 billion (24%) was for solar projects.”

Furthermore, “President Obama’s FY 2013 Budget proposes extending the Section 1603 grant program for another year, to include property with a construction start date of 2012.”

What’s funny is that as I was preparing my Big Wind findings, at the end of December 2012 I had downloaded the 1603 awards spreadsheet, which records 8275 awards, totaling $15,964,130,442. Moreover, tucked neatly inside the fiscal cliff deal is where we find the 1603 again ––– now part of the two-month delay on sequestration. This means that there was no “immediate reduction in 1603 cash grants from the Department of Treasury. However, this 1603 reduction can still happen on March 1, 2013 if Congress does not enact another extension or strategy to avoid sequestration.”

Now we know President Obama's priority for his second term –– he's dead set on pushing a fierce and radical climate change agenda and funding green energy with taxpayer money, no matter the cost or consequences. So, we’ll anticipate March; follow the president’s budget; and watch for future requests for stimulus funds as well as earmarks tucked away in unread legislation coming down the green pipeline, but for now we'll go back in time to the president’s job council…


Lewis Hay Chairman and Chief Executive officer of NextEra Energy, Inc.: Part of President Obama’s Multi-millionaire, Billionaire Jobs Council Club  

Lewis “Lew” Hay, III is executive chairman of NextEra Energy, Inc., and it is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.” Despite the fact that Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain in 2008,” he quickly learned which side his power company could generate the title of the "Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans." Hay too joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011, along with the other two I have tackled in this series, “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Job Council” –– Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt CEO of General Electric has raked in $3 billion and counting, meanwhile John Doerr, along with his “climate buddy" Al Gore's, VC firm Kleiner Perkins is tied to at least $10 billion of stimulus funds. Both General Electric and Doerr were key contributors to what went into the 2009 Stimulus.

In my opening, I had stated that “NextEra Energy’s Green Money” was at least $2.3 billion, but that’s just from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 1703 Loan Guarantee Program, of which I recorded in another green energy, crony corruption post last summer. We’ll revisit the DOE and Big Wind, but for now there is more you should know about NextEra…

NextEra Energy, Inc. is one of the oldest, third largest, and arguably one of the most solid power companies in the world, with “2011 revenues [that] totaled more than $15.3 billion.” And NextEra Energy Inc. has two primary subsidiaries: 

  • Florida Power & Light is the third largest electricity producer in the US, of which a September 2009 report states: “it's a political dynamo, making millions in political contributions and lobbying assiduously to achieve its goals."
  • NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator of energy from sun and wind resources in North America. The company also has the third largest fleet (8) of nuclear powered electricity generating plants in the United States.


NextEra: Biggest User of the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit 

As a follower of NextEra, I found a fascinating analysis by John Fund of the National Review Online which states, “Begun 20 years ago to spur the construction of wind-energy facilities that could compete with conventional fossil-fuel power plants, the tax credit [PTC] gives wind an advantage over all other energy producers. But it has mostly benefited conventional nuclear and fossil-fuel-fired electricity producers. The biggest user of the tax credit is Florida-based NextEra Energy, the nation’s eighth-largest power producer. Through skillful manipulation of the credits, NextEra from 2005 to 2009 'paid just $88 million in taxes on earnings of nearly $7 billion,' Businessweek reports. That’s a tax rate of just 1.25 percent over that period, when the statutory rate is 35 percent.”


Wind Turbines Kill 440,000 Birds Each Year 

Moreover, Fund gives us an astonishing and heartbreaking look at the “carnage inflicted on Mother Nature," quoting Paul Driessen of the Washington Times, "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese, and other birds every year in the U.S., along with countless insect-eating bats.”

Sadly, Fund states, “The actual numbers are probably far higher. The turbine blades of the nation’s 39,000 windmills move at 100 to 200 miles per hour and can mow down anything that gets in their path.” “Over the past 25 years, turbines at Altamont Pass, Calif., alone, have killed an estimated 2,300 golden eagles leading to an 80 percent drop in the golden-eagle population of southern California.”

Ironically, when you read the fine print, as exposed by the Manhattan Institute, who calculated “The Real Costs to Taxpayers in Subsidizing Big Wind,” –– federal taxpayers (under former President Bush and now Obama), in effect, are subsidizing the killing of federally protected birds.”

Where are the environmentalists and Rachel Maddow screaming bloody murder? The chirps are light, and prosecution is non-existent because our “federal government looks the other way as wind farms kill birds, but haul oil and gas firms to court” –– all the while the Obama administration protects Big Bird at all costs.

But then again, Big Wind, to many like the Telegraph, is the most corrupt industry in the world –– “without the lies it tells as a matter of course and without the cosy stitch-ups it arranges with regulators and politicians at taxpayers' expense, it simply would not exist.”


Much more to this huge Big Wind story–– continue reading...

Here are the rest of the topics I've covered: 

  • Gone With the Wind: Wind Energy Grants Gone Overseas and to the Politically Connected, Including NextEra
  • NextEra: A Gust of other Stimulus Grants 
  • NextEra: Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loans 
  • A Twister of Sweetheart Deals Found in the Department of Energy’s Four Risky Wind Projects 

This was Part Three of "Spreading the Wealth to Obama's Ultra-Rich Job Council: The Green Five" 

Part One10/31/12 DOE Emails Prove White House Pressure on $1.3 Billion Loan to General Electric Wind Project

Part TwoBank of Obama: John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins, The Mother of All Green Energy Stimulus Money Winners

Stay tuned for the final installment where we take a look at Billionaire Penny Pritzker as well as Richard Dean "Dick" Parsons, Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc –– both part of Obama’s Multi-millionaire, Billionaire Jobs Council Club.

 

Signing off for now, THE Green Corruption blogger...

 
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341.jpgAt the end of September, Marita Noon and I began to expose the various failures of Obama’s green-energy expenditures (mainly from the trillion dollar, 2009-stimulus package where over $90 billion was earmarked for "green") –– projects and firms that have gone bankrupt (confirming 15 with more on our radar). A hot topic that became part of the first presidential debate where after President Obama pressed Mitt Romney for supporting tax cuts for oil companies, Romney reminded Obama that he put $90 billion into failing green companies like Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla, and Ener1. “I had friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers,” Romney cleverly added.


We then we moved on to those that are functioning, but facing difficulties –– struggling either financially, while some environmentally, still others laying off workers, and quite a few on life support (approximately 20). 

 

Lastly, we addressed the "5 million green jobs that Candidate Obama had promised in 2008," of which Team Obama is now claiming victory, however, as we noted, the math doesn't add up, nor does the gimmick accounting –– recycled ones; those that already existed –– used by the Obama administration's Labor Department.


While in Marita's Townhall.com columns we placed an * after the project/company’s name to indicate a political connection (cronyism and corruption), in my subsequent blogs I expanded upon our efforts, and plugged in my research, listing those critical ties. 


In our three-part series, two focused directly on the failures, and our sums were 15 bankruptcies and 20 troubled (a total of 35 with over 65% having meaningful Democrat political connections –– bundlers, donors, supporters, etc). Yet, considering the rapid speed of these "green" bankruptcies and issues (about 10 that I read about just last week), I'm compiling new totals here, which will include a new and updated list by the Heritage Foundation dated October 18, 2012 –– President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures –– with their total of 36 (updated later with a number of 34). And most listed at The Heritage and ours are very similar, however, they have some we don't and vise versa.

 

New calculations: 22 bankrupt, 25 troubled, equals a new "Obama green-energy failure" list total of 47. And so far, at least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money is either gone or still at risk, and the majority was funneled to Obama and Democrat cronies –– I can confirm that over 62% are political connected.

 

BANKRUPT

  1. Solyndra*: Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011
  2. Abound Solar*: Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and was awarded a $400 million loan under Obama in December of 2010. Abound was awarded a $9.2-million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Bankrupt: June 2012
  3. Beacon Power*: Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011 
  4. A123 Systems*: Received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant. Filed for Bankruptcy October 16, 2012, and two companies are seeking to buy A123; Johnson Controls and the Chinese firm Wanxiangis. 

  5. AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*: Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.
  6. Amonix*: Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012 
  7. Azure Dynamics*: Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012 ––  HF ADDITION: states $120 million
  8. Babcock & Brown: Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009
  9. Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar: Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.
  10. Ener1*: Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.
  11. Evergreen Solar, Inc.*: Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011 
  12. Konarka Technologies Inc.: Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.
  13. ADDITION Range Fuels*: Range Fuels: $162.25 million in government commitments since 2007, of which $64 million came from a USDA Biofuel loan in 2010 alone, despite financial and technical difficulties, and opposition inside the USDA. 
  14. Raser Technologies: Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011. 
  15. SpectraWatt*: Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011
  16. Stirling Energy Systems: Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing September 28, 2011
  17. Thompson River Power LLC: Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.
  18. HF ADDITION: Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million); in our unconfirmed list
  19. HF ADDITION: Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million);
    in our unconfirmed list
  20. HF ADDITION: Nordic Windpower* ($16 million)
  21. HF ADDITION: Satcon ($3 million) As reported by the Heritage Foundation October 18, 2012, "A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week." 
  22. HF ADDITION: Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981) ($6 million); in our unconfirmed bankrupt list


TROUBLED

  1. Fisker Automotive* –– $528.7 
  2. Tesla Motors* –– $465 million 
  3. AREVA acquired Ausra Inc.* –– $2 billion  
  4. BrightSource Energy* –– $1.6 billion 
  5. First Solar* –– $3 billion, plus suspicious Export-Import bank funding 
  6. Nevada Geothermal* –– $78.8 million, plus $69 million in federal stimulus-funded grants
  7. NextEra Energy Genesis Solar Project* –– $681.6 million
  8. SunPower Corp.* (California Valley Solar Ranch project bought by NRG Energy*) –– $1.2 billion DOE loan guarantee
  9. AltaRock* –– $6 million, $25 million, plus $1.45 million 
  10. Bloom Energy* –– $5 million
  11. CH2M Hill* –– $2 billion 
  12. Chevy Volt* –– $151 million, $105 million, plus other stimulus funds HF ADDITION: GreenVolts ($500,000) - I'm assuming this is the Chevy Volt
  13. ECOtality Inc.* –– $126.2 million  
  14. Johnson Controls –– $299 million

  15. Montana Alberta Tie Line –– $152 million of federal financing (some reports say $161 million) 
  16. National Renewable Energy Lab* –– $200 million
  17. Schneider Electric –– $86 million
  18. Serious Material (Serious Energy)* –– $548,100   
  19. Solar World Industries America –– $4.6 million  
  20. ADDITION: Solar City* –– Got a $275 million conditional guarantee (DOE) that was later rejected. Besides some financial issues, Solar City was subpoenaed in July as part of a federal probe of the Treasury grant program. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon (October 18, 2012), SolarCity, is currently being audited by the Internal Revenue Service and investigated by the Treasury Department’s inspector general amid allegations that the firm misrepresented the value of its investment when applying for stimulus grants. So it looks like Solar City" has applied for approximately $325 million in these stimulus grants, according to the SEC filing." So, loan rejected, but the grant is larger (as are the political ties) –– we'll keep an eye on this story.
  21. Solar World Industries America –– $4.6 million
  22. HF ADDITION: Vestas ($50 million)
  23. HF ADDITION: LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million, part of the Recovery Act, and millions worth of special state tax breaks based on job creation of all things) LG Chem is another green company that President Obama touted during his visit at the LG Chem battery cell production site in 2010.  This is an amusing story that was recently brought to my attention –– according to Wood TV, Michigan (October 18, 2012), "Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies." Now, their story (more scandalous than what I posted here) is under investigation by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board –– an oversight agency for the federal stimulus program, what I call the RAT Board –– another huge part of this green corruption scandal.
  24. HF ADDITION: Navistar ($10 million) 
  25. HF ADDITION: Mascoma Corp.* ($100 million)

 

Department of Energy Collateral Damage

  1. Aptera Motors 
  2. Bright Automotive
  3. Solar Trust*

 *Denotes companies/projects with confirmed cronyism and/or corruption.



The is the complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies by The Heritage Foundation, October 18, 2012 (updated later to reflect 34)  –– President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

  1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*
  5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)
  7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  10. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
  12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*
  13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
  15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  16. Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  17. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  18. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  19. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  20. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  21. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  22. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  23. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  24. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
  25. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  26. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
  27. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  28. Vestas ($50 million)
  29. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
  30. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  31. Navistar ($39 million)
  32. Satcon ($3 million)*
  33. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
  34. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

 

HERITAGE CORRECTION:

Figures for four companies have been updated: Beacon Power received $43 million from the U.S. government, not $69 million as originally reported. Azure Dynamics received $5.4 million from the federal government, not $120 million as originally reported. Compact Power Inc. received $151 million as part of the stimulus, not $150 million as originally reported. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group received $700,981 in government funding, not $6 million as originally reported.

 

The following companies have been removed from the original list: AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy, LSP Energy and Uni-Solar did not receive government-backed loans, based on additional research. The National Renewable Energy Lab did received $200 million in stimulus funding, but it is a government laboratory.


NOTE: My blog reflects the Heritage "corrections," however, I kept in AES and the National Energy Lab –– and we initially had four unconfirmed bankruptcies:

  • LSP Energy
  • Mountain Plaza Inc.
  • Olsen Crop Service/Olsen Mills
  • Willard & Kelsey Solar Group

 

 

So far, at least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money is either gone or still at risk, and the majority was funneled to Obama and Democrat cronies 


As you can see tracking President Obama's failed green-energy expenditures is like aiming at a moving target, and calculating the exact dollar amount is even more difficult to pinpoint. This is partly due the fact that companies/projects received multiple green government subsidies that weren't recorded or tracked properly (federal and state loans, grants and special tax credits, and from various programs and agencies). Also, some of these firms were given a loan guarantee, yet didn't have access to the entire amount,  prior to their bankruptcy.  However, as a ballpark figure, I'd say that at least $15 billion that we know of at this time. And here's why...


I had purposely listed the bankrupt and troubled from the Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program (DOE LGP) first. Since 2009, the DOE has guaranteed $34.7 billion – 46% through the 1705 ($16 billion of which 90% are politically connected), 30% through the 1703 ($10.3 billion—AREVA and Georgia Power), and 14% through the ATVM ($8.4 billion and 3 of the five loans are tied directly to Obama).


Marita and I covered eleven companies from the DOE LGP (Solyndra, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Fisker Auto, Telsa Motors, AREVA, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal, NextEra Energy's Genesis Solar Project, and SunPower/NRG Energy's California Valley Solar Ranch), noting that from that program alone, close to $10 billion of taxpayer money is already gone, while, as you can see, some is still at risk. What's interesting to note is that of the "26 loan guarantees under the 1705 program, of which the DOE doled out in excess of $16 billion, “23 of the loans were rated “Junk grade” due to their poor credit quality, while the other four were rated BBB, which is at the lowest end of the 'investment' grade of categories.”


Meaning that the DOE had already put the majority of that $16 billion into excessively risky investments. And to add insult to taxpayer injury, the driving force behind these decisions weren't based merit as the DOE would have you believe –– obviously it was cronyism and corruption. My April 2012 analysis of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform March 2012 report confirmed that over 90% have meaningful political ties to President Obama and high ranking Democrats, or both, which gives credence to Congressman Ryan's jab to the so-called "Stimulus Sheriff," Vice President Joe Biden during the VP debate, "$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups." Ryan went on to call the Obama green-energy expenditures what it is, "crony capitalism and corporate welfare."


In case you missed our Obama Green Energy Failures, Three Part Series:

 

PS: If anyone cares to add up these failed green-energy expenditures, drop me a line and I'll post it on my blog. Thanks, Christine @calfit32@gmail.com; THE Green Corruption blogger.

Read more…

esq-vice-presidential-debate-photo-2012-xlg.jpgPART THREE, Special Report: Obama, the Green Loser

Obama's Green Jobs Promise: 355 Jobs and Counting

October 15, 2012

Continued from...Special Report Part Two: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. –– Obama Green Energy Investments: Troubled 

And, Special Report Part One: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. –– Obama Green Energy Investments: Bankrupt

In Thursday night’s Vice Presidential debate, the Administration’s green agenda was, once again, part of the verbal sparring. The exchange ended with Congressman Ryan’s unanswered question: “Where are the 5 million green jobs…?” Moderator Martha Raddatz cut him off mid-question, steering the conversation elsewhere: “I want to move on here to Medicare and entitlements. I think we've gone over this quite enough.” 

Ryan didn’t finish his question. Vice President Biden wasn’t pressed into an uncomfortable answer that would have wiped the smile off his face. 

Had Ryan not been interrupted and been allowed to finished the question, he likely would have continued: “…Candidate Obama promised in 2008 when he pledged to jumpstart the economy with an influx of green jobs. Many times, he specifically stated: ‘I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create 5 million new energy jobs over the next decade—jobs that pay well; jobs that can’t be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid; jobs building the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow, not in Japan, not in South Korea but right here in the U.S. of A. Jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years and help save the planet in the bargain. That's how America can lead again.’ Where are those green jobs?”

Had Biden answered, he might have tried the same line Obama used in the 60 Minutes interview clip that didn’t air on national television: “We have tens of thousands of jobs that have been created as a consequence of wind energy alone”—though that hardly adds up to 5 million. Try as he might, Biden couldn’t have smiled his way through a recitation of green jobs created through the proposed $15 billion a year. It is not a happy story. In fact, through the 2009 stimulus, more than $15 billion a year was allocated for green energy projects—which in his four-year term would have added up to $60 billion. Instead, while the numbers quoted vary, $80-90 billion has been made available for green energy projects.

With the assistance of researcher Christine Lakatos, I have been chronicling Obama’s stimulus-funded green energy failures. First we looked at the companies that have gone bankrupt, and then those that are heading that way—or, at least, have financial issues. Within those reports, we frequently addressed specific green jobs failures. For example, regarding Fisker, the electric car made in Finland, we say

ABC reported: ‘Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright, new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs.’ Those jobs didn’t materialize—at least not in America. … Two years after the loan was awarded, the Washington Post stated that Fisker ‘has missed early manufacturing goals and has gradually pushed back plans for U.S. production and the creation of thousands of jobs’… Now, in 2012, Fisker Automotive is laying off staff in order to qualify for more government loans. So, President Obama’s ‘green’ energy stimulus was supposed to create jobs; now it’s destroying jobs so that companies can get more stimulus?” 

About now-bankrupt, and under-investigation for fraud, Abound Solar, we wrote

“President Obama, in July 2010, praised Abound Solar, which was to make advanced solar panels … He believed these plants would be huge job creators: ‘2000 construction jobs and 1500 permanent jobs.’ In December 2011, CEO Craig Witsoe called Abound Solar the “anti-Solyndra” saying that his company is “doing well and growing.” However, just months after that optimistic report, Abound Solar filed bankruptcy…” 

Due to the various loans, grants, and subsidies, it would take an investigative team made up of dozens of people to ferret out each and every true green-energy job that was created, absent that, we are hitting the high points in attempt to answer Ryan’s question: “Where are the 5 million green jobs?” 

Short answer, even optimistically—and perhaps deceptively, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) news release, only 3.1 million green jobs were created. To reach this number, BLS counts jobs that “were associated with the production of green goods and services,” specifically those which “are found in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.” It is important to note that most of these 3.1 million jobs are primarily pre-existing jobs that have been reclassified as “green.” Once those existing jobs were shifted into the green column, through three-quarters of 2011 only 9,245 new “green” jobs were generated when the White House touts generating over 200,000 new jobs by 2010.

The House Oversight Committee wondered, just what are those jobs that are “associated with the production of green goods and services?”

On June 6, 2012, at a House Oversight hearing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) questioned BLS Director John Galvin on his agency’s green jobs numbers. Through Galvin’s reluctant responses (he didn’t want to be there), we learned that the Obama administration’s labor department counts oil lobbyists, bus drivers, garbage men, etc., as green jobs—shameful, embarrassing, deceptive. According to how BLS rates green jobs, I have a green job. I qualify under several headings. After all, I do education and public awareness on environmental issues. Next time I am at a social event, where I am asked the inescapable: “What do you do?” I’ll respond: “I have a green job.”

Complete details can be found in a report on the “Green Job Myth” from the Institute for Energy Research (IER). It states: “the green-job definition is extremely broad and includes both direct and indirect jobs.”  Each of the following would qualify:

  • A person who sweeps the floor in a solar-panel manufacturing facility
  • A driver of a hybrid bus
  • A school bus driver
  • An employee who fills the bus with fuel
  • An employee involved in waste collection or water and sewer operations
  • A clerk at a bicycle repair shop
  • A manufacturer of rail cars
  • An oil lobbyist whose company is engaged in environmental issues
  • An employee of an environment or science museum

Now that we know what the BLS constitutes as a green job—even recycled ones; those that already existed—we’ll look at the billions of taxpayer money spent on green jobs. We’ll focus specifically on just two programs: the Loan Guarantee Program and the Renewable Energy Grant Program.

On June 19, 2012, Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, testified at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearings on the Loan Guarantee program. Within her thorough assessment of the program, she states: “since 2009, Department of Energy has guaranteed $34.7 billion in loans, 46 percent through the 1705 loan program, 30 percent through the 1703 program, and 14 percent through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.” And, that “some 2,378 permanent jobs were claimed to be created under the program. This works out to a potential cost per job of $6.7 million.” 

The 1603 Grant Program was implemented as part of the Obama stimulus, and is administered by the Treasury Department, with the goal of reimbursing eligible applicants for a portion of the costs of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income. Basically, 1603 gives billions in favored-businesses, tax-free cash gifts that do not have to be paid back.

The June 19, 2012 Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on “The Federal Green Jobs Agenda,” highlighted the “gimmick” accounting method used by the BLS. Testimony revealed that a multi-billion dollar stimulus program, the section 1603 grants for renewable energy, does not even include job creation among its primary objectives—which obviously contradicts the purpose of the 2009 trillion-dollar Obama stimulus package.   

Congressional Research Services expert, Dr. Molly Sherlock, deflected direct questions regarding the total jobs created by the 1603 program. “If you’re looking at the direct jobs, this one estimate has direct jobs created at 3,666 in the construction phase, and direct jobs created at 355. Direct jobs would just be the construction jobs and the ongoing operations and maintenance jobs. But if you wanted to look at the supporting jobs in other industries then you’d want to look at the other figures.”

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) pressed on: “I just want to know how many jobs were created.” Sherlock admitted: 355 jobs created a year, for $10 billion—which comes out to about $28 million per job.

These two programs have created a combined total of 2733 jobs (a recent Bloomberg Business Week tally of all green jobs through any program cites a total of 28,854 jobs) and are spending an approximate average of $9.1 million per job. (At this rate, to create the 5 million promised jobs, we’d have to spend $45 trillion—not the $150 billion proposed.) I’ll quote Obama Campaign Official Stephanie Cutter here: “It’s really impossible to do the math.” 

But, at least, as the 2008 campaign promise stated, these are “jobs that can't be outsourced,” right? Wrong.

There are plenty of green jobs going overseas and taking our money with them. According to CNS News, “The Obama administration allowed millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds to go to foreign companies, despite recent statements by President Barack Obama that he opposes ‘shipping jobs overseas.’” 

Billions from the 1603 Grant Program went to foreign wind turbine manufacturers—of the 8,317 turbines installed at major wind projects that received 1603 awards, 4,513 turbines (54.3%) came from foreign manufacturers.

Fisker Automotive received a $529 million ATVM loan that went in part to build their expensive Fisker Karma car in Finland, and according to ABC News, “Fisker may never build electric cars in the US.” Meanwhile, First Solar received over $3 billion from the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program. During the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing, Issa surmised that First Solar is “not an American company.” It turns out that the numbers don't lie because CEO Mike Ahearn admitted: “in sheer numbers, most of our fulltime [employees] are outside the US.” 

Just a few examples of helping our economy by creating green American jobs. So much for “made in the USA.”  

Before his departure, Obama’s routed green jobs czar, Van Jones, approved a $5 billion home weatherization program that supposedly outfitted homes (mainly for the economically disadvantaged) with the latest green technology in order to reduce energy prices. This was another part of the 2009-stimulus, which in February 2009, Obama declared: “We're going to weatherize homes, that immediately puts people back to work and we're going to train people who are out of work, including young people, to do the weatherization.” Three years into the program, all we got was excessive waste, fraud and abuse, plus more cronyism and corruption—no “Americans back to work.” In fact, “evidence gathered by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (Weatherization Program) is a stunning example of a management failure which has wasted billions of dollars, done little to achieve energy savings, and may have put people’s lives and homes at risk. While the program may have been a “failure” in terms of the stated goal, Obama’s pals back in Chicago came out winners.

But there are other examples of total inefficiency on the dollars/jobs ratio—interestingly these can be found in another program designed to improve energy efficiency: Retrofit Ramp Up. This program, from the DOE, used “stimulus dollars to have homes insulated and made more energy efficient.” Perhaps Biden remembers inviting Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to the White House as a part of the Retrofit Ramp Up program. Seattle was one of 25 communities to receive a $20 million dollar slice of the $452 million program.

According to a report in The Blaze, the retrofit program used “Stimulus dollars to have houses insulated and made more energy efficient. The plan was to funnel cash into local economies with the intent to create good-paying green jobs while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. … Seattle’s $20 million dollar allocation was projected to create some 2000 “green jobs” and retrofit at least 2000 homes.” However according to Seattle’s KOMO TV, Seattle’s green jobs program is a bust. One year after McGinn joined Biden at the White House, KOMO reports: “Seattle's numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.”

You might be surprised to know that $500,000 of the taxpayer-funded stimulus spending went to a PR firm to “run a barrage of ads on White-House friendly cable programs.” The ads promoted the green jobs training program. The cable shows? “According to government records, the Labor Department paid the money in late 2009 to a company that negotiated a media buy on MSNBC's ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ and ‘The Rachel Maddow Show.’ The ad was set to run more than 100 times –– 14 times a week for two months,” yet “the official online entry on the contract listed zero jobs created as a result of the payment.”

There are other stories, such as the one reported by USA Today, in which, according to a government report, $500 million in green job training grants reached just 10% of its job-placement goal. Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates defends the initiative, citing that “it was never designed to provide immediate results.” One grant recipient, Jeffry Lewis of Pathstone Corp., a Rochester, N.Y. non-profit that spent $2.3 million of its $8 million grant and had trained only 25 people, “conceded that job placements have been much slower than anyone would have liked.”

Then, there is the story from Fox News on a whistleblower, who says his college won millions in federal grants to train workers for green jobs that didn't exist.

Seattle’s KOMO may have most aptly summed up the entire 2008 green-jobs campaign promise: “Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.”

I don’t think so.

There is one other part of the 2008 campaign promise that I must address. Obama talked about these jobs of the future: “jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid … Jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East.” I have to point out that jobs “building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid” do nothing, absolutely nothing, to “help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East.” Wind and solar produce electricity—with which Middle Eastern oil has virtually no connection (unless you tie in the failed electric car efforts). We have enough coal, natural gas, and uranium within our borders to provide for our electrical needs for centuries to come. Connecting electricity generation and Middle Eastern oil is at best a marketing campaign, at worst: a scare tactic. To “help eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East,” we need to develop our abundant domestic oil resources, not subsidize wind and solar. 

While millions of Americans were preparing to watch the debate, I was part of a group gathered in a restaurant to watch the debate between New Mexico’s senatorial candidates: Republican Heather Wilson (my former Congressman) and Democrat Martin Heinrich (my current Congressman). Toward the end of our local debate, Heinrich accused Republicans of turning “their back on the jobs of the future.” With the history of the “jobs of the future,” as Obama called them in the 60 Minutes clip, the Republicans have been wise to turn their backs and run far, far away.

Where are the 5 million green jobs? Just another Obama failed promise, one that costs taxpayer billions of dollars. 

This is another collaboration by Marita Noon and Christine Lakatos –– this three-part series was originally posted at Townhall.com, yet more research is presented here at the Green Corruption Blog, in both Parts One and Two here...

  1. Special Report Part One: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. –– Obama Green Energy Investments: Bankrupt 
  2. Special Report Part Two: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc. –– Obama Green Energy Investments: Troubled
  3. Special Report Part Three: Where are the 5 Million Green Jobs Candidate Obama Promised?
Read more…
viewpoints.jpg
Lewis Hay, III and President Obama NexEra Energy Viewpoints  

Through this special series on green-energy crony-corruption, we’ve been highlighting specific examples of green-energy loan guarantees and grants. What connects each of these cases is that they received fast-tracked approval from the Department of Interior (DOI) for their projects. Of course, they also have many other dots that connect, such as key players with White House visits, raising funds for Democratic campaigns, and serving within government agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE) or as an appointed member to President Obama’s Jobs Council.

Now we come to the last of our “special seven” series. Like those before it, it contains many inside players and funding from various “stimulus” government programs. While Lewis Hay (the CEO of NextEra Energy) with his White House involvement and friendship with former Florida Governor Charlie Crist make for some juicy details in the NextEra story, we’ll begin with a brief background that will help put this next piece of the green-energy crony-corruption scandal in perspective.

 

NextEra Energy, Inc. is one of the oldest, third largest, and arguably one of the most solid power companies in the world, with “2011 revenues [that] totaled more than $15.3 billion.” It is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.”

 

NextEra Energy Inc. has two primary subsidiaries:

  • Florida Power & Light is the third largest electricity producer in the US (about which a September 2009 report states: “it's a political dynamo, making millions in political contributions and lobbying assiduously to achieve its goals”).
  • NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator of energy from sun and wind resources in North America. The company also has the third largest fleet (8) of nuclear powered electricity generating plants in the United States.

 

Money 

With its wealth and widespread influence, the DOE gave this huge energy conglomerate nearly $2 billion of taxpayer money, which includes the two risky projects listed below, plus hundreds of millions more in various stimulus grants.

 

Desert Sunlight: $1.2 billion

In September 2011, the DOE approved a $1.2 billion loan guarantee for the junk-rated Desert Sunlight project in California. A day after the loan was approved, First Solar, the project developer/owner sold Desert Sunlight to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. and GE Energy Financial Services. Both CEO's are on President Obama's Job Council: Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jeffrey Immelt of GE.  NOTE (and correction from the Townhal.com column): GE is another top Obama donor, donating $529,855 to his 2008 campaign, while they have raked in more than $3 billion of stimulus money, and counting.

 

Genesis Solar Project: $681.6 million

But as we reported in the beginning of this series, the Desert Sunlight Project is not the only large DOE “risky” loan that NextEra secured. NextEra Energy Resources also received $681.6 million from the DOE for its Genesis Solar project in Blythe, California. This was one of the few DOE 1705 loans that were not considered junk rated, as S&P placed it at a “lower medium grade.”

 

Environment 

 

Remember that the common denominator of these “special seven” projects was a “fast-tracked DOI approval?” The policy has come back to bite the projects.

 

According to the Los Angeles Times (LAT), “The $1-billion Genesis Solar Energy Project has been expedited by state and federal regulatory agencies that are eager to demonstrate that the nation can build solar plants quickly to ease dependence on fossil fuels and curb global warming. Instead, the project is providing a cautionary example of how the rush to harness solar power in the desert can go wrong—possibly costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and dealing an embarrassing blow to the Obama administration's solar initiative.”

 

The problem is the “expedited” process may endanger the whole project. The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform’s March 20, 2012 report says, “To expedite site approval, NextEra opted for a less thorough process.” As a result, the site “encroached on the habitat of the endangered kit foxes.” NextEra had to move the foxes prior to grading the site. “Ultimately, seven foxes died from NextEra’s removal process.”

 

Additionally, there have been concerns of desert tortoises and a “prehistoric human settlement.”

 

But warring factions within the environmental movement also plague the NextEra Genesis Solar project.

 

A small environmental group, the Wildlands Conservancy, raised $45 million to preserve 600,000 acres of the Mojave Desert—with the intent that it would be protected forever. The LAT reports, the Wildlands Conservancy bought the land and deeded it to the federal government only to have 50,000 acres of that bequest opened up for solar development. April Sall, the organization’s conservation director says, the group is “watching this big conservation legacy practically go under a bulldozer.” Sall’s group and others are feeling “burned by the rush to build solar projects.”

 

The small environmental groups are trying to fight utility-scale solar projects while the big national groups, such as the Sierra Club, have “scolded” some of the local chapters for opposing the projects. A national office directive instructed local chapters to “fall in line.”

 

Michael O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, says that “the problems threaten the entire project” and “the project could become uneconomical.”

 

If that were to happen, the LAT explains, “80% of the project's outstanding loans would be covered by the federal government, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would begin shopping for another renewable energy company that was interested in leasing the property. If there were no takers, the scarred land would be restored with reclamation bond funds.”

 

Smart-Grid and Wind Energy Grants  

 

In October 2009, Florida Power & Light (FLP) was awarded the maximum grant amount of $200 milllion for Energy Smart Florida. Interestingly, this is connected to Silver Spring Networks, one of Kleiner Perkins shining green companies, where John Doerr (another jobs council member that was influential in what went into the energy-sector of the 2009-stimulus) and Al Gore are partners, of which their 2008 $75 million investment had scored over $700 million.

 

The DOE started dishing out billions from the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program (part of the stimulus plan) in August 2009 and awarded select utility companies for particular smart-grid projects––close to sixty percent of Silver Spring “customers” were winners.

 

In fact, Florida Power and Light, Silver Spring, General Electric, and a few others have joined forces on a Smart Grid Miami project, which was announced in 2009.

 

(Note: if you are not familiar with the Smart Grid, Brian Sussman’s book Eco-Tyranny offers an overview which includes this: “President Obama cleverly sold it like this: ‘We want to invest in the next-generation of high-speed wireless coverage for 98 percent of Americans. This isn’t just about a faster Internet or being able to friend someone on Facebook. It’s about connecting every corner of America to the digital age.’ The digital age Obama spoke of is the age of Big Brother monitoring your carbon footprint. The Smart Grid’s interactive broadband capability will enable your home’s PCT, HAN, and smart meter to be connected and communicating with your utility provider. Once complete, the utility company will be your government-sponsored Big Brother, constantly monitoring and regulating your carbon footprint. With a bureaucratic keystroke any electrical device in your home could be selectively turned off—or on—without your approval.”)

 

Also, you'll be “blown away” by the billions ($4.4) of “wind energy grants” that blew out of the stimulus package back in February 2010. General Electric is connected to at least 26% of these wind energy grants as the “Turbine Manufacturer.” NextEra is the “project owner” and the recipient of a $99.9 million grant for a wind project in Colorado.

 

Politics 

 

So, NextEra Energy, a multi-billion dollar company with a CEO who’s paid multi-millions, gets government grants and loan guarantees worth billions for risky projects that you and I wouldn’t have voluntarily invested in that even the environmentalists can’t agree on.

 

Despite the fact that NextEra CEO Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain,” Hay quickly learned which side his bread was buttered on. (FPL employees and PACs have been known to give generously to both sides including $18,800 to Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.) On October 8, 2009, Hay dined at the White House in an intimate lunch “with President Barack Obama and a handful of other Fortune 500 executives.” Hay reportedly “boasted to the president about FPL Group’s environmental achievements and Florida Power & Light’s plans to open the nation’s largest solar power plant.” He also “discussed his belief that forward-looking, clean-energy policies are vital to America’s economic recovery and FPL Group’s strong support for legislation to combat global warming and strengthen America’s energy security.”

 

The opportunity to grandstand obviously worked. Later, in the same month, Hay’s FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Aracadia, Florida, provided Obama with the perfect backdrop for his announcement about the “nation’s biggest investment in clean energy.” The press release from the White House said: “President Barack Obama today announced the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history, funding a broad range of technologies that will spur the nation’s transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system. … The $3.4 billion in Smart Grid Investment Grant awards are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.”

 

While the announcement regarding the smart-grid grant disbursement was like “Christmas morning” for the 100 recipients, FPL received the maximum $200 million grant, as previously addressed, “to buy 2.6 million new smart utility meters to be placed in homes over the next two years and invest in other technology aimed at cutting energy costs.” And those risky loan guarantees issued to NextEra for the Desert Sunlight and Genesis Solar projects were approved after Obama’s “stimulus PR swing” appearance at FPL’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center.

 

Hay and FPL have a long history of political contributions and have a “cozy relationship” with career politician former Governor Charlie Crist—Republican turned Independent to run against Marco Rubio in 2010, only to lose. In June 2009, FPL and its executives donated more than $36,000 to Crist’s Senate campaign, and Hay was an invited guest at Crist’s December 2008 wedding. While, we don’t know if Hay actually attended the Crist wedding, we do know that he donated to Marco Rubio’s 2010 campaign––what a difference two years make.

 

Thomas Saporito, an energy consultant and former FPL employee is quoted as saying: “It certainly appears to me that Gov. Crist and certain PSC Commissioners have a very cozy relationship with FPL at a time when FPL is seeking an unprecedented $1.3-billion dollar rate increase.” Crist announced his opposition to FPL's rate hike but objections were limited to a press release and a few comments to reporters.

 

President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness4063559941?profile=original

 

Keeping with the “cozy relationship” model of doing business, Hay joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011—of which at least five members have direct ties (two indirect) to firms that were awarded billions of clean-energy stimulus money and four are confirmed Obama donors.

 

A Jobs Council by the way –– those advising President Obama on how to create jobs and grow the economy ––  "is full of deep-pocket Democratic donors and high-profile financiers of Obama’s re-election campaign," as reported by ABC News in October 2011. 

 

Since the creation of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the members have pushed for renewable energy subsidies. In October 2011, these Obama advisors who’ve financially benefited from green energy projects—such as Hay—issued a report calling for among other things, “a new federal financing program to attract private investment for clean energy projects via loan guarantees and other tools.”

 

Hay is just one of the many Council members with green energy connections. Citigroup’s Richard Parsons with ties to SolarReserve, as well as Penny Pritker, who wears many liberal hats, including those close to the president. Pritker brings along her relationship to the $465 million DOE ATVM loan that went to Telsa Motors, which also has quite a few other interesting ties, like Steve Westly, Obama bundler and DOE Advisor. We also find GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and its $3 billion of green-government subsidies, as well as John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, who has Al Gore as a partner –– where as of 2010 we find that more than fifty percent of its Greentech Portfolio had received money from the energy-sector of the stimulus package and through other government programs approved by the Obama administration.

 

These Jobs Council members, also known for their “job outsourcing” –– and others like DOE Insiders and the Stimulus Authors –– who’ve benefited from the deal making, deserve a more thorough (forthcoming) exposé. We’ll call it “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Wealthy Jobs Council Members.”

 

Author’s note: Thanks to Christine Lakatos, the Green Corruption blogger, for research assistance. Unless project-specific funding is raised, this will be the last in the green-energy crony-corruption series.

 

============

Published at Townhall.com August 17, 2012 as Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loans -- the final installment of our Special Seven Series, whereas: 

  • “Seven solar (two of which are geothermal) companies received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, NextEra Energy Resources, Ormat Nevada, and SolarReserve,” as reported by the Washington Free Beacon in April 2012. 
  • Each of these seven companies received billions of DOE funds under the 1705 loan program as well as renewable energy grants from the Treasury Department—despite “junk bond” status. 
  • Christine's research of the DOE's 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, which she reported on in April 2012 –– Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism, noted that 90 percent have "meaningful" ties to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats –– or both.
  • We found these Special Seven on that DOE "junk" bond  portfolio, of which all have connections to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats like Senator Harry Reid that has ties to at least four. 
  • Moreover, these 90 percent have plenty of Obama and Democrat "cronies" in the mix:  bundlers, donors, investors, operatives, lobbyists, aides, buddies, relatives, and so on. Throw in some White House appointees, staffers as wells as DOE Insiders (former and present), and you've got yourself a tangled web of "green" cronyism and corruption. 

That said, there is much more to expose...

Read more…

20081030_Al_gore.jpgWe are about to close with the final two installments of this Special Seven series––the renewable energy (mainly solar) firms that not only received billions in Department of Energy (DOE) loans and federal grants, but those that received “preferential treatment” from the Department of Interior to lease federal land in a no-bid process, meaning that they were approved without “adequate vetting.” Whereas the review process for establishing an oil and gas lease on federal land can take up to five years, some of these favored green-energy projects were pushed through in less than a year.

Our first five chapters on Solar Reserve, BrightSource Energy, Nevada Geothermal, Ormat Nevada (the two Nevada companies were featured in one report), and First Solar; revealed a convoluted and tangled trail of political ties in each of these green-energy crony-corruption cases.

This chapter looks at the Spanish company Abengoa that received more than $2.8 billion in loans and grants—making them the second largest recipient of the $16 billion doled out through the DOE 1705 loan guarantee program.

From the introduction of this serialized book, the thumbnail says:

Abengoa has two solar projects: Solana and Mojave Solar. Solana’s Fitch rating is BB+. Just before Christmas, 2010, the company received $1.45 billion from the DOE for a solar thermal plant, to use parabolic trough technology in Gila Bend, AZ. Mojave Solar’s rating was BB. Yet the company received $1.2 billion in September 2011 for its solar assembly collection project in San Bernardino County, CA. Abengoa has connections to California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.


In addition to the two solar projects listed above, Abengoa also has a biofuel project located in Kansas, which Fitch rated CCC, that got a $132.4 million loan in August 2010.

As a report on Abengoa from the Institute for Energy Research says: “It’s true, a loan guarantee is not the same thing as an explicit subsidy. So long as Abengoa Solar doesn’t default on its loans, the US taxpayer hasn’t kicked in anything. Nonetheless, the whole reason Abengoa Solar had to get the guarantee from the government is that no private lender thought the risk was worth it. It is not ‘costless’ for the US taxpayer to be on the hook in this fashion.”

So how did such a poorly rated, non-American company get billions in US taxpayer loan guarantees? Can you say “crony corruption?” In short, Abengoa has a cadre of cronies in high places which includes Al Gore, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and, of course, President Obama—plus, many others whose names you’ve probably never heard of.

Friends in high places

In 2007, Gore’s UK-based Generation Investment Management (GIM) bought a stake in Abengoa. He has extolled Abengoa for years, visiting “the largest solar platform in Europe” (operated by Abengoa) in October 2008 and delivering a high-powered speech at the company's Spanish headquarters in October 2010. GIM Advisory Board Member Mario Molino also serves on Abengoa’s Advisory Committee. GIM was started in 2004 by Al Gore and several Goldman Sachs’ big wigs, including David Blood, Mark Ferguson, and Peter Harris. (Note: Goldman Sachs was a top Obama donor in 2008.)

images.jpgBill Richardson is who got me chasing this whole green-energy crony-corruption scandal in the first place as my column addressing his crony capitalism is how I got connected with Christine Lakatos—who’s been researching this for years. Here in the middle of the Abengoa story is my former governor! Richardson has long been a supporter of solar energy, giving now-defunct Schott Solar $16 million in New Mexican state funds—so it is appropriate that he be involved here, too. Under President Clinton, Richardson served as the Secretary of Energy—leading the DOE—for three years. President Obama tapped Richardson to be his Secretary of Commerce but personal scandals kept him from passing the vetting—he withdrew his nomination. (Remember, John Bryson—former CEO of BrightSource—did become Secretary of Commerce.) With this vast résumé, Abengoa CEO Manuel Sanchez Ortega, felt that Abengoa was “extremely fortunate” to have Richardson’s “extensive knowledge of the renewable energy sector and his background in public policy” join Abengoa’s Advisory Board in March of 2011—which is reportedly a paid position. Richardson’s policies while Governor benefitted Abengoa. One of Abengoa’s DOE loans came through after Richardson joined the Advisory Board.

My introduction teased California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s involvement in Abengoa. Admittedly, direct connections are minor: she wrote a letter to the DOI on behalf of Abengoa asking the DOI to speed up the permitting process for accessing private land for DOE loan guarantees. One of the projects is in California, so advocating for it would seem reasonable. However, her husband, Richard Blum, is Chairman and President of Blum Capital, an equity investment management firm with investments in bio-fuel companies and Abengoa has a bio-fuel company—though, so far, no Blum investments in Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas, LLC have been found. Feinstein has been accused of arranging to have the US Navy buy bio fuels from her husband, so a connection to Abengoa would not be unexpected. Feinstein is no stranger to conflict of interest and PG & E may be the bigger player in this story, as they are one of her largest campaign donors (2010 & 2012), and they have a contract to buy California’s required renewable energy from Abengoa—along with five other projects that got DOE loans. One last Feinstein/Abengoa link: Fred Morse—Senior Advisor of US Operations for Abengoa. Dr. Morse, who interestingly was a member of the New Mexico CSP Task Force, donated $1000 to Feinstein.

 
                             The "Green Corruption" Plot Thickens with Pacific Gas & Electric 

According to The Washington Free Beacon... Pacific Gas & Cronyism: Politically connected utility plays corporate bully, makes bank on green energy

PG&E maintains a strong political presence in Washington, D.C., having spent $81.4 million on lobbying since 2008. The company’s political action committee has given nearly $380,000 to Democrats since 2008, more than double the amount it gave to Republicans during that same time. PG&E corporate officers and board members have given tens of thousands of dollars to President Obama and other Democrats since 2007.

The company is actively involved in California politics as well, primarily in support of Democrats. In 2010, PG&E gave more than $1 million to Democratic candidates, and more than $645,000 to the California Democratic Party. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) received $31,580.

Former PG&E employees currently hold, or previously held, high-ranking government positions at the state and federal level, furthering the company’s influence.


Further, remember those condemning emails exposed by the House Oversight Committee during their May 2012 hearing when questioning John Woolard, CEO of BrightSource. Whereas, Woolard had emailed Matt Rogers, who was then Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy for the Recovery Act and played a significant role in disbursing funds to renewable energy companies. That particular email stated, "Darbee at PG & E talked directly to Obama about the program's challenges and the bad situation it puts him in." Now, "Darbee" refers to Peter Darbee, then-CEO and chairman of Pacific Gas and Electric, and it looks like he had communications with the president, it just remains to be seen how many times and about how many of these energy projects. 

After all, "in large part due to statutory requirements under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard," PG& E has an "invested interested" in getting these renewable sources going. "PG&E is the sole purchaser of power from a number of green energy projects financed with taxpayer dollars. Six solar projects [Abengoa and BrightSource are just two] that will sell power to PG&E have received a combined $5.5 billion in taxpayer-backed DOE loans, nearly one-third of the total funding allocated for the program in the stimulus package."



                                                               Back to Abengoa
 
Lobbyists

Fred Morse provides a perfect transition to the lobbyists and their connections, as Morse is a lobbyist for Abengoa with DOE roots. Morse was Executive Director of the White House Assessment of Solar Energy as a National Resource, serving in the Nixon, Carter, and Regan administrations and is thought of as Abengoa’s most credentialed conduit to policymakers. He currently sits on the board of various solar industry groups.

While Morse may be the “most credentialed conduit,” he is not the most interesting story. The "most-interesting" moniker would have to go to either Mark Rokala or Santiago Seage—you decide.

Before joining Abengoa, Seage was a partner with McKinsey & Company (another 2008 Obama donor)—where Jonathan Silver, the former executive director of the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, started his career and Matt Rogers, a former senior adviser on the Recovery Act, was an executive. When Rogers left the DOE in September 2010, he returned to McKinsey & Company at their San Francisco office.  A handful of McKinsey & Company executives sit on Obama’s Jobs Council. Making the connections more provocative, we find that Silver held parties for Gore.

Abengoa’s lobbying efforts are headed up by Mark Rokala, a founding member of Cornerstone Government Affairs—which has received $870,000 from Abengoa in lobbying fees. Rokala came to Cornerstone from the PMA Group, which was shuttered in 2008 following a pay-to-play scandal—in which late Democratic Rep. John Murtha directed $137 million in government contracts to PMA clients, which in turn donated $2.37 million to Murtha and other Democratic congressmen who sat on the appropriations committee. PMA’s president, Paul Magliocchetto, is serving a 27-month federal sentence for illegal campaign contributions. Rokala has been a lobbyist for more than 20 years, the last seven in energy policy, and has served as legislative assistant for a Democrat senator.

Abengoa spent $540,000 on lobbying efforts for just 2011, with $160,000 going to Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Jobs

More than $80 billion was earmarked for green energy in the 2009 stimulus package—which was sold to the American people as a means to stimulate the economy and create jobs. So, what kind of bang for our buck did we get from the $2.8 billion we gave to Abengoa? The Institute for Energy Research reports “the DOE’s own fact sheet claims that the Solana project has created 1,700 temporary construction jobs, while yielding a permanent 60 jobs ‘created or saved.’ Simple division shows that the $1.45 billion guarantee therefore works out to $824,000 per job (when we include the temporary construction ones), and a whopping $24.2 million per permanent job ‘created or saved.’ The numbers are similar for the more recent Mojave Solar project. For a guarantee of $1.2 billion, the DOE estimates it will create 830 temporary construction jobs, and will ‘create or save’ 70 permanent jobs. This works out to $1.33 million per job (including temporary ones), and $17.1 million per permanent job.”

The report from the March 20, 2012, hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee looking into the green-energy, crony-corruption debacle says this about the loans to Abengoa: “A single Spanish firm, Abengoa…reveals excessive risk. … making this concentration of investment in one  company  speculative and highly questionable.”

Solyndra-chart-2-580.png

What is truly questionable is why did the DOE take “excessive risk” in giving $2.8 billion to a Spanish firm? The answer is friends in high places. Abengoa got a good return for its investment. They spent hundreds of thousands in lobbying fees, hired some big guns like former Governor Bill Richardson, and made friends with the likes of Al Gore—and what do they get in return? $2.8 billion in American taxpayer dollars.

What have your friends done for you lately?

Author’s note: Thanks to Christine Lakatos, the Green Corruption blogger, for research assistance.

 

This is Part Five of the Special Seven Series, Obama's Green-Energy, Crony, Corruption brought to you by Marita Noon and Christine Lakatos with the final installment to be published this week. However, we are just getting started –– stay tuned because there is much more Green Corruption to be exposed...

Read more…

width=What struck me from last week's Oversight Committee hearing over "the Administration’s Bet on Abound Solar,” and its cost to the taxpayers, wasn’t the fact that Abound blamed China for its demise, a very misleading “jobs chart” used as Obama campaign propaganda, or the “from shovel ready to Shanghais” visual aide. It was Jonathan Silver, former DOE loan advisor, whom in 2010, became a “person of interest” –– along with at least a dozen other “DOE Insiders” –– in my “green corruption” research, of which I will be exposing in the very near future.


Jonathan Silver, Former Executive Director of the Loans Programs Office at the Department of Energy (DOE)

Silver, who resigned in early October 2011, amidst the "Solyndra $535 Million Saga" (FBI raid and all) –– even testifying in September 2011–– was also one of the “stars” of the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing. This was part of the BrightSource Energy story that Marita K. Noon and I wrote about a few weeks ago. Yet, we were not the only ones that picked up on the details surrounding the email exchange between the CEO of BrightSource John Woolard and Silver, during the time they were seeking final approval of their $1.6 billion DOE loan.

Woolard, on behalf of John Bryson (then-BrightSource chairman, who later became Obama’s Commerce Secretary) reached out to Silver, asking for “help” with a drafted email, which was intended for White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. The email included other requests: “the need for a commitment” as well as “guidance and support” from the White House, however, according to testimony from Woolard, it was never submitted.

Well, I had wondered, did Silver ever help edit that email? Oh yes he did –– "modest edits" from his private email account, which was made known during Silver's testimony last Wednesday. We also discovered that Silver has known John Bryson for many years, and has visited the White House over 70 times. Those visits did include a couple (or a few?) meetings with Energy Secretary Chu and Mr. Daley. However, Silver informed the Committee that the discussions at the White House were "general" in nature, mainly about the "logistics" of the DOE loan program, and not specific to any deal.

But more compromising Silver emails surfaced during the July 18th Oversight hearing, introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in his opening statement, and expanded upon during the course of the hearing. A remarkable hearing that revealed “shady” email practices by Mr. Silver and others "inside" the DOE.

Emails disclosed that just days prior to Silver’s September 30, 2009 interview with an array of DOE officials, for the DOE advisory role that he was about to embark on, including Steve Isakowitz, chief financial officer at the DOE, Matt Rogers, a senior adviser on the Recovery Act, and a few others, Silver invited Isakowitz and Rogers to a party he and his wife were hosting to promote Al Gore’s environmental advocacy group, the Alliance for Climate Protection.

“At the risk of seeming presumptuous, I want to mention that my wife and I are holding a small event for Al Gore at our home this coming Thursday evening, October 1,” Silver wrote to Isakowitz. Silver went on to explain that Gore would be speaking about his Alliance for Climate Protection and a projected called RePower America.

According to email transcripts provided by The Washington Free Beacon, Silver continued, “Repower America advocates and invests in energy efficiency, clean renewable energy sources, a unified smart energy national grid and clean air technology, and I thought you and/or Matt Rogers might find the conversation interesting. You are both welcome to join us.”

Isakowitz replied, “Thanks for the invite but I need more details.” Of which Silver later responded, “It’s a reception (not a fundraiser, although that is the obvious longer-term goal) at our home." “I expect there will be about 40 people or so, generally folks we know who are interested in this issue and have the capacity to write significant checks and a couple of others with professional involvement in the topic.”

Ultimately, Isakowitz declined to attend the event.

More astonishing, Silver seemingly had a “habit” of using his personal email account to “handle” DOE business, where he would forward emails from his DOE account to his personal email, and then respond from his personal email account. Now, Mr. Silver reasoned that it was out of “convenience,” however; this practice clearly violates the Federal Records Actof 1950.

When questioned by (R-SC) on how pervasive this practice was; Silver responded with, "Not terribly," then followed, "I received tens of thousands of emails while I was in the program." Congressman Gowdy then inquired about the percentage. Silver stated, "I don't know the answer to that..."

During his testimony, Silver asserted that he had turned over all of his DOE correspondences (government documents), yet it was only after the House Oversight Committee requested them. Still, this leaves us with many critical questions. Why did Silver handle DOE business in this fashion –– convenience or concealment? Is g-mail better than DOE e-mail? Did he forget his DOE password? I don’t know.


But what I do know is that "ultimately" the decisions to issue loan guarantees –– the majority of which were “junk rated,” including Abound Solar –– “fell on the shoulders of the DOE.” Chairman Jordon goes on, “To a large degree this decision [the Abound risky loan] rested with the two individuals testifying here today, the former and current heads of the DOE’s loan program office: Mr. Silver and Mr. David Frantz,” both of which strenuously defended, and even praised the loan guarantee program throughout the hearing.

"These two political appointees at the front lines of the loan program were responsible for safeguarding taxpayers from undue risk, and they failed in that task," Jordon went on. In the case of Silver, Jordon insisted, “Instead of protecting taxpayers, evidence has emerged that he actively aided companies in pushing through their loan guarantees, despite the risk to taxpayers.”

During House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-CA) opening statement, he too expressed his grave concern over the email practices within the DOE, of which he declared, "Jonathan Silver and others were scheming to ensure that the right people got their loan guarantees, and in fact many of the emails are clearly outside the element of pure merit and public accountability.”

Also, "for nearly two months" the House Oversight Committee has been requesting that Secretary Chu come back to testify and explain developments uncovered by the House investigation, and thus far “Chu has been unwilling” to show.

After Issa acknowledged Mr. Silver and his attorney’s cooperation, he expressed his frustration over the Obama administration's attempt at blocking their "legitimate discovery.” Issa expanded, "The DOE specifically tried to prevent us from getting these documents, asking Mr. Silver’s attorney (ordering him effectively) to deliver the documents to them so they could limit and redact them –– so they could decide what Congress was entitled to."

Silver’s background is quite impressive, as Ranking Member Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will attest to. As noted by Barron's Magazine (in 2010), Silver had been a managing partner at Core Capital Partners in Washington. "Coincidentally, one of his colleagues there was Tom Wheeler, a 2008 Obama bundler." Even Peter Schweizer, in Throw Them All Out, recorded Silver's association to Wheeler, adding that Silver formerly served in the Clinton administration, and that he is a “strict partisan when it comes to his own campaign contributions, the recipients have all been Democrats.” Plus, I guess in between those Al Gore parties, –– Mrs. Silver “served as a financial director for the Democratic Leadership Council.”

Silver has held key positions in business, finance and government, including McKinsey & Company –– another 2008 Obama donor –– and its Global Institute, a firm that seems to have acquired quite a few White House positions under the Obama administration. Even Silver’s former “DOE cohort” Matt Rogers came from McKinsey & Co., and after Rogers left the DOE in September 2010, he returned to McKinsey & Co. at their San Francisco Office.

Which brings me to an interesting observation; where have all the DOE advisors and officials gone? You know, the “DOE Insiders” that I referred to at the beginning of this article, where plenty of “VC Guys” and “Gore Acolytes” held key positions –– a dozen on my radar, where at least ten are connected to billions of green-government subsidies.

Ironically, many have fled since their 2009 appointment, even Steve Isakowitz and Matt Rogers as well as Steve Spinner, Cathy Zoi, Kristina Johnson and others –– a vital piece to the Green Corruption scandal, which will be tackled once I get through the DOE “junk bond” Portfolio.

Side Note: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was a big winner of government clean-energy funds, where Al Gore is a partner with his buddy John Doerr –– both campaigned for Obama in 2008. Billionaire Doerr, not only helped shape what went into the energy section of the 2009 economic stimulus package, but sits on members of President Obama’s Job Council, and served on the President Obama’s 2009 Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB).

Gore's Kleiner Perkins is a firm that I began to unravel in 2010, stressing that over 50 percent of their Greentech Portfolio secured all kinds of loans, grants, and special tax breaks –– placing them in an "elite green society;" yet it’s a firm to eventually revisit, because since 2010, they have tripled their "investments" and there is much more to expose.

Abound Soar

Although Jonathan Silver stole my attention in the recent House Oversight hearing that ironically seemed to be lacking in committee members, Abound Solar deserves some notoriety. Abound is now the third major bankruptcy recorded from the $16 billion 1705 Loan Guarantee Program –– and they won't be the last. A DOE portfolio, where "23 of the loans were rated Junk grade due to their poor credit quality, while the other four were rated BBB, which is at the lowest end of the investment grade of categories.”

To get you up to speed on Abound, just over two years ago, during his weekly radio address, President Obama touted Abound Solar as a huge jobs creator project, stating that it would create "2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs" between Abound's two plants in Colorado and Indiana. Then in December of 2010, Abound Solar was awarded a $400 million loan guarantee from the 1705 DOE Loan Guarantee Program, despite the fact that in November 2010, it was rated “B” by Fitch: highly speculative, worse than Solyndra’s rating of BB-. And in July 2011, Abound was awarded $9.2 million loan from the Export-Import Bank, you know, the federally funded bank that makes riskier loans financed with taxpayer money.

Since the end of February of this year, troubling Abound reports circulated; massive layoffs and a compelling case for a pay to play scheme surfaced, causing more energy headaches for the DOE and the White House. When March came, the House Oversight investigation confirmed that cronyism most likely ruled the Abound loan. May rolled around with another green energy Oversight hearing, including the appearance of then CEO Craig Witsoe, explaining Abound troubles, but no mention of a bankruptcy on the horizon. Because two months later (Jun 28, 2012), Abound went down!

This was after Witsoe, in December 2011, made sure to inform American taxpayers that his company was the “anti-Solyndra." Well, the silver lining may be that the taxpayer loss will only be about $70 milllion, but what about that $9.2 million?

During the course of the hearing, Abound blamed China for their demise. As reported by The Washington Times, Witsoe told the committee, “With over $30 billion in reported government subsidies, Chinese panel makers were able to sell below cost and put Abound out of business before we were big enough to pose a real competitive threat to China’s rapidly growing market share.”

However, Witsoe forgot to mention, “While cheap imports from China have crippled much of the U.S. solar panel market, Abound’s problems appear to have been rooted in the quality of its own products, the competitiveness of its business model and its inability to retain top talent,” as documented this month in The Daily Caller by Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter for Colorado Watchdog.

Cronyism Abounds

Congressman Jordon asserted (as he has done at previous green energy hearings), "The close political and financial ties many of these companies had to the Obama administration are remarkable," and Issa labeled it as a "scandal, that will go on..."

Yet, the House Oversight Democrats perceive a different scenario; Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), called the Republican questioning "an alleged conspiracy in search of the facts." Meanwhile Congressman Kucinich "sees no scandal at all," and was more concerned about China's "solar panel selling plot" than the DOE's shady email practices.

In full disclosure, according to Bloomberg (confirmed during this hearing), Abound Solar "is also backed by Invus Public Equities Advisors LLC, which was co-founded by Raymond Debbane, who has donated to Republican candidates including Representative Darrell Issa." Also, "Abound, formerly known as AVA Solar won part of a $60 million grant" under the Bush administration.

Well, I wasn't born yesterday. The Republican Party is not immune to crony capitalism. In the summer of 2010, I covered a high profile venture capitalist who got his foot in the green door under the Bush administration, a firm I will revisit due to their close relationship to the Obama administration. However, there is a much larger cronyism, corruption scandal going on here, as presented in my April 2012 release, Department of Energy junk loans and cronyism; and plenty more to expose in the coming weeks.

Through months of analysis of just one DOE program (the 1705 Loan Guarantee, created by the Obama administration via the 2009 stimulus package), I found that over 90 percent have meaningful ties to President Obama (at least 16), and other high ranking Democrats, or both. Senator Harry Reid alone is connected to four. This study included the March 2012 House Oversight investigation coupled with years of my personal research.

Still, the Abound loan didn’t come without its share of Democrat political ties, as illustrated within the pages of the House investigation, released March 20, 2012:

Abound Solar has ties to Democratic politicians at the federal level and the state level in Colorado. Bohemian Companies, LLC, founded by Pat Stryker, became an early investor in Abound Solar (at the time AVA Solar) in October 2008. In addition to the initial funding, the CEO of Bohemian Companies, Joseph Zimlich, has served as both a director and a board member of Abound Solar. Pat Stryker is a major Democratic donor who Forbes included on its 2011 list of top liberal spenders. In 2008, Stryker donated $50,000 and bundled $87,500 for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, and has given $35,800 to the 2012 Obama Victory Fund. Abound Solar also developed ties to Congressional Democrats. The company hired then Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski’s nephew Russell as its vice president for marketing. Abound Solar supported the 2009 cap and trade bill in the House of Representatives and funded an advertisement thanking then-Colorado Democratic Congresswoman Betsy Markey for her vote in favor of the bill. At the state level, then Democratic Colorado Governor Bill Ritter strongly supported Abound Solar and its application for a DOE loan guarantee. When Energy Secretary Chu visited Colorado, Governor Ritter handed Secretary Chu a letter urging him to approve Abound Solar’s loan guarantee because it would allow the company to expand and hire new workers.
No jobs here; not even a CEO.

No Smoking Gun Found at Abound; What About those "Burnt" Emails?


While this piece of the clean energy dirt received little media attention, a few reports have claimed, “no smoking gun found at the Abound hearing,” which leaves me pondering if maybe they skipped the hearing and went to a “Silver Gore Party.”

What about those "burnt" emails found at the Abound scene?

 

Chairman Issa appeared on Fox News the day after the July 18th hearing, and summed up a few key points that he had sternly addressed during the hearing. When asked about Abound, here is what Issa had to say, “Thanks for covering yet another failed solar project –– one that again went outside the bounds and the rules for making the loan, and the American people are paying for it.”
Issa went on, “I think the most important thing that we saw was the discovery of Jonathan Silver and his various other Department of Energy employees deliberately producing an outside web of private emails in which they exchanged documents, strategized on how to get these loans approved, and so on…”

What do you think they are doing?

Issa’s answer, “I say it was pretty transparent, they’re being opaque…by circumventing these systems, they’re taking things out of what is statutorily required to be there…”

As we wait for additional green energy House Oversight hearings, anticipating more Silver Emails to surface out of the abyss, stay tuned. Marita over at Townhall.com, and I will be completing the final installment of the Special Seven series, and I will be preparing to expose the Dozen DOE Insiders.

Next though, is the other DOE loan that went bankrupt, besides Solyndra –– The Beacon Bust, another DOE risky loan worth $43 million of taxpayer money. And you'll never guess which Obama bundler is connected to that one.

This is Part Three of DOE “Junk” Loans and Cronyism, exposing the over 90% that have “meaningful” ties to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats –– or both! Plus, layoffs, pay to play, cronyism and a lack of disclosure make Abound Solar another good example of the green corruption problem. More at the Green Corruption blog, and tons more in the works, like the DOE Insiders, including the fact that at least a dozen are tied to firms that received billions of (taxpayer) stimulus dollars.

Read more…
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(L-R) President and CEO of the Center for American Progress John Podesta,

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

So far our chronicle of the green-energy crony-corruption story, has focused primarily on the connections the players have to President Obama. This chapter stars Senator Harry Reid. When looking at the whole story, it’s important to note that Senator Reid “led passage of the $814 billion stimulus bill and worked to include the loan guarantee program to help finance clean-energy projects”—projects to which, as we will show, he is connected.

In a DOE press release, Reid actually bragged about how he included the green loan guarantee in the stimulus bill: “As I led passage of the stimulus bill, I worked to include the loan guarantee program to help finance clean energy projects” that will “bring us closer to energy independence.”

We’ve already unveiled two of these expensive and politically explosive projects through our Special Seven series––those that received the touted loans as a part of the stimulus bill (even though they were rated as “non-investment” grade) and grants, as well as “special” Department of Interior treatment. As the “Special Seven” moniker indicates, there are more companies and/or projects to reveal.

Before we start on the new information, here’s a highlight of the previous players’ specific connections to Senator Harry Reid—the focus of this chapter.

Last week, we exposed BrightSource Energy that received a $1.6 billion DOE loan. BrightSource’s executives donated almost $4000 to Reid’s 2010 campaign, including $2400 from the CEO John Woolard, who in September 2010, along with Peter Darbee, then Chairman of PG & E, hosted a fundraiser for the majority leader in his corporate offices.

The week before, we uncovered the fact that a couple of SolarReserve (with its $737 million loan) board members are big Democrat donors, including contributions to Obama’s 2008 campaign as well as Senator Reid. The Washington Free Beacon divulged, “…Nevada Geothermal, Ormat Nevada, and SolarReserve—are located in Reid’s home state. Executives from all three companies have donated to Reid and his fellow Democrats, contributing more than $58,000 since 2008.”

However, what you are about discover is that the two projects we’ll profile in this chapter have similar direct ties, some sly connections to the Senator, and some stinky consequences.

Nevada Geothermal Power 

First we’ll look into Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) as recent news exposes that its power is dimming. NGP may be the next green-energy bankruptcy.

Here’s the NGP thumbnail presented in the introduction to the green-energy crony-corruption story:

Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) holds leasehold interests in six geothermal projects located in the Western United States. They hold a BB+ rating and received a $78.8 million loan, guaranteed by the DOE, in September of 2010. Executives from NGP contributed in 2008 to Harry Reid’s campaign. 


Additionally, since 2009, NGP was the recipient of more than $69 million in federal grants, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

The New York Times reports: “Reid was instrumental in securing that financing for Nevada Geothermal.” The NYT noted: “Mr. Reid has taken the nascent geothermal industry under his wing, pressuring the Department of Interior to move more quickly on applications to build clean energy projects on federally owned land and urging other members of Congress to expand federal tax incentives to help build geothermal plants, benefits that Nevada Geothermal has taken advantage of.” You might think Reid has altruistic motives, such as creating jobs for his state, however, as the NYT points out: “Mr. Reid has received some support from the industry, in the form of at least $43,000 worth of campaign contributions from the geothermal industry since 2009, according to an analysis of federal campaign finance records.” The “campaign contributions” could be why, in a 2010 press release, he declared “Northern Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of geothermal energy.” 

Despite the flowery rhetoric, at the time the DOE approved the conditional loan guarantee in September 2010, they were well aware of NGP’s “well-documented” financial difficulties. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) called the loan a “bailout”—which “violated the spirit and, quite possibly, the letter of the law” and provided “an opportunity for private industry to exit an investment, deleverage and transfer the extraordinarily high default risk to taxpayers.”

Less than a year after the loan was issued, leading accounting firm Deloitte & Touche did an audit of NGP and concluded: “significant doubt” about Nevada Geothermal Power’s “ability to continue as a going concern.” The company’s vital signs are not looking good: it “has incurred net losses over the past several years, has an accumulated deficit of $44.0 million and an anticipated inability to retire its long-term liabilities.”

The project continued to have “operational and financial problems.” In the October 2011 NYT article, it states: “Executives expressed confidence that they can recover” and that “the government investment is not at risk.” As CEO Brian D. Fairbank stated: “We’re doing OK.”

During Fairbank’s “Green Energy Gamble” May 16, 2012 testimony before the HOGRC, he spoke “about the many good things occurring at Blue Mountain” and stated that they “remained bullish on the future of geothermal resource potential” at Blue Mountain. However, the future of Nevada Geothermal is looking dim, it still faces financial problems, and the company’s internal auditors have questioned whether it can stay in business.

The audit report states: “NGP has incurred $98 million in net losses over the past several years, has substantial debts and does not generate enough cash from its current operations after debt-service costs.”

With the audit completed in March 2012, one as to wonder how much did Fairbanks actually know about the status of NGP during that May 16 testimony when he claimed he “remained bullish?”

Another angle, in that DOE press release, both Secretary Chu and Senator Reid praised the potential job creation of the NGP project. Chu said: “Our support for the Blue Mountain project is part of the Administration’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions while creating clean energy jobs,” and Reid: “clean energy projects like Blue Mountain geothermal that will put Nevadans back to work...” In conflict with these claims, the HOGRC report states: “It was known to him [Secretary Chu] at that time [of the press conference], however, that the loan would not create a single job, but instead would simply refinance an existing loan, despite DOE’s claim that it would create over 200 jobs”

Instead of using the loan as Title XVI, Section 1602 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, requires: “Recipients shall use grant funds in a manner that maximizes job creation and economic benefit,” the loan was used to pay off a creditor. According to the Washington Times report, “At the time the Energy Department announced its conditional approval of the guarantee, Mr. Issa said NGP would have defaulted on a loan from TCW Asset Management Co., then its primary lender, ‘had DOE not swooped in to save the failing company with taxpayer money.’ A committee report said the loan did not finance any new construction and ‘did not help to create a single job.’”

So, Senator Reid received money from the geothermal industry, he, apparently, then pressured the DOE to fund projects in Nevada based on the false promise of job creation—which he knew was not accurate at the time. Instead of creating jobs, Reid’s advocacy actually “bailed out” his cronies—that is really corrupt.

Ormat Nevada 

But the story continues. As we reported in the introduction, Kai Anderson, a lobbyist for NGP’s partner corporation, Ormat Technologies, Inc., is a former Senate aide to Harry Reid. Ormat’s CEO Paul Thomsen is another former Reid aide. Additionally, according to the Washington Times, “Mr. Fairbank denied knowing or lobbying Mr. Reid, but the House Oversight Committee said Ormat Inc., which was paid $80 million to build NGP’s Blue Mountain plant, has ‘strong ties’ to the senator.”

The thumbnail of Ormat in the introduction reads as follows:

Ormat Nevada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ormat Technologies, Inc., whose website touts “green energy you can rely on.” They have an S&P rating of BB and received $350 million in partial loan guarantees. Ormat’s lobbyist Kai Anderson and Director of Policy and Business Development Paul Thomsen were both former senate aides to Harry Reid and donors to his campaign.

The May 2012 HOGRC report expands the connections: “During Senator Reid’s 2010 reelection campaign, Thomsen starred in a campaign ad for Senator Reid to advertise the benefits of Ormat’s loan guarantee for Nevada. In addition to Anderson and Thomsen, Ormat’s President, Yoram Bronicki, gave thousands in political contributions to Senator Reid. The strong ties between the company and the Senate Majority leader raise questions about whether the DOE acted in the best interests of the American people when it approved the loan guarantee.”

Yoram Bronicki is the son of Ms. Yehudit Bronicki (also known as Dita). She is CEO and Director of Ormat Technologies. In addition to the $350 million loan guaranteed by the DOE with John Hancock in aggregate principal amount, Ormat Technologies’ projects received more than $200 million in various DOE grants.




The 2010 campaign ad, starring former Reid staffer Thomsen, heralded “Geothermal means 16,000 Nevada jobs… Harry Reid saw the potential before just about anybody else.” With projects like NGP, it seems those jobs have never materialized and the reason Harry Reid was such a soothsayer is the same reason a fortune teller tells you what you want to hear: you are holding the money. With the geothermal industry “contributing more than $58,000 since 2008” and, in just these two stories, receiving $700 million in loans and grants, they’ve gotten an amazing return on their investment. In the bad economy, the best way to grow your money just may be to invest in green energy—just make sure you have friends in high places.

All this, and it does nothing to “bring us closer to energy independence.” Geothermal—and wind and solar—power generates electricity. America is already electricity independent. We have enough coal, natural gas, and uranium to power us for centuries! We even export coal, we have so much.

So why are we killing good-paying jobs in the coal industry, preventing thousands of union jobs the Keystone pipeline would create, and potentially putting thousands out of work with a pending ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction, for the supposed jobs in green energy—when we are already electricity independent? These green-energy projects can only raise the cost of electricity and waste public money, while the energy sources the administration’s efforts are killing or blocking can actually reduce costs—without taxpayer investment.

The green-energy crony-corruption story is explains it all.

Author’s note: Thanks to Christine Lakatos, the Green Corruption blogger for research assistance.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and much more...

This is Part Three of Obama's Green-Energy, Crony Corruption and The Special Seven, a collaboration between Christine and Marita and exposed first at Townhall.com. In case you missed any of the explosive parts.
Part Two: More Obama Green Energy Corruption covers BrightSource Energy ($1.6 billion DOE loan)
Part One: Obama’s Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption covers SolarReserve ($737 million DOE loan)
The INTRODUCTION gives an overview of the Special Seven: Eco Scare Scams Raise Obama Campaign Cash

Also, on the Green Corruption Blog, exposing this entire scandal.

Read more…
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Since the finalization of three DOE loan guarantees at a price tag of over $3 billion of taxpayer money, First Solar has "experienced serious financial problems," in October 2011 fired their CEO Robert Gillette (replaced by former CEO and company founder Mike Ahearn), suffered from declining stock value, and back in April 2012, you guessed it, "laid off 2,000 workers and closed factories." If that wasn't bad enough, now in May, "the firm announced a massive round of furloughs," but it gets more convoluted... 
 
Follow the Obama Bundlers and Donors –– First Solar Investors
First Solar was an early investment of Goldman Sachs, the number two Top Obama Donor  that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign –– not to mention the Obama administration "is infested" with Goldman Sachs executives.


Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee –– Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 Obama bundlers. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2009, Obama’s Wall Street Buddies, "Ms. Scully raised $100,000, but didn’t make any large donations personally; Mr. Heyman bundled $50,000 in donations, including a $10,000 contribution he made and Goldman executive, David Heller, donated $25,000."


GoldmanSacs_Environmental+Markets_2011.jpg
NOTE: JPEG is what I found during my research in 2010 and 2011 (Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets),
which is no longer available on the Goldman Sachs site.



Also, in Peter Schweizer’s New York Times bestseller, Throw Them All Out, is recorded more interesting data on First Solar. For example, another First Solar investor is billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who was a 2008 Obama bundler, and the CEO of First Solar, Michael Ahearn, "gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats."




Troubled First Solar Under Extreme Oversight Heat,  Including its CEO Michael Ahearn
Speaking of Mr. Ahearn, during the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing, CA Representative Darrell Issa surmised that First Solar is "not an American company." It turns out that the numbers don't lie because Ahearn admitted, "in sheer numbers, most of our full time [employees] are outside the US." Yep folks, the majority of the jobs that the DOE funded with taxpayer money are going oversees.  


More outrageous information came out of a brutal "House Oversight" confrontation, where Mr. Ahearn, admitted to selling over 700,000 shares in August 2011, of which he personally raked in a whopping $68.5 million! Yet, according to HumanEvents.com, this has been going on for a while, "between 2008 and 2012 –– a period when First Solar’s stock value dropped by almost 95 percent –– Ahearn sold over $450 million of his own company’s stock."  


Yet, two weeks after this hearing, where Ahearn had told members of the House Oversight committee that his company “remains financially strong and well positioned to execute through the current market environment," First Solar announced that they have "furloughed half of the 240-person workforce at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One (AVSR1) power plant near Los Angeles" as reported by The Washington Free Beacon –– FIRST SOLAR FURLOUGH.
 
Oh, but as Fist Solar sinks and taxpayers lose, the CEO Ahearn is not the only one cashing in. Another Obama ally, a member of  “Patriotic Millionaires” (a group of wealthy Obama supporters backing the president’s effort to raise taxes on high-earners), is "Ultra-wealthy Obama supporter Whitney Tilson" –– again unraveled by The Washington Free Beacon just today. It turns out that "One of the few “winners” in Tilson’s portfolio was his short position in First Solar, a company on the brink of collapse despite receiving more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration." 


And, the DOE is not the only government agency that played favorites with First Solar...


First Solar has been facing scrutiny by the Senate Budget Committee over the fact they are part of the "Special Solar Seven" that in March 2009 "received fast-tracked approval by the Department of Interior (DOI) to lease federal lands in a no-bid process," story also tracked by The Washington Free Beacon.  As reported last week by the Washington Examiner, "Lawmakers fear that several politically connected green energy companies received special treatment from the Interior and Energy departments due to their relationship with Obama. [Last November], they focused their inquiry on six companies in particular: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, NextEra Energy Resources and SolarReserve." However, as of late, President Obama's Interior Department –– Interior Secretary Ken Salazar –– is "following the same playbook" as Energy Secretary Steven Chu: "stall, and give Congress as little information and documentation as possible." 
 



First Solar and Energy Secretary Chu's "DOE's Junk Bond Portfolio"
First Solar is not directly in the "DOE junk bond inventory" that I reported on in April (Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism ––..., but are they are linked to three of the projects on that list. 
  1. Agua Caliente, Arizona –– Rating BB+ by Fitch, Aug 2011 for $967 million –– was purchased by NRG Solar, LLC, and a subsidiary of NRG Energy. It turns out that the plant would supply power to PG&E, and be made with panels from the Temp-based First Solar inc. See my NRG and George Soros post, BREAKING: NRG Energy on the DOE Cronyism Hot Seat, Also Tied to Geo... Also, electricity from Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co, (another Big Energy firm making BANK off of green energy, including government subsidies that just so happens to be politically connected to the president and the Democrat party)
  2. Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch, Sept 2011 for $646 million –– was purchased by Exelon Corp, yet First Solar, which developed the project, "will build, operate, and maintain the project." Interesting that Exelon Corp. was another 2008 Obama donor, and the AVR project has a 25-year purchase power agreement from PG&E as well.
  3. Desert Sunlight, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch; Sept 2011 for $1.2 billion (or $1.46 billion –– was sold to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy s.... Yet, the September announcement also states that, "First Solar will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements." Coincidentally, both CEO's are on President Obama's Job Council, Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jeffrey Immelt of GE (another top Obama donor, donating a whopping $529,855 to his 2008 campaign and reaping billions of green-energy dollars), and there is much to report on both GE and NextEra, in the near future. 
Initially, the DOE had granted conditional loans guarantees to three First Solar projects totaling over  $4.5 billion, yet First Solar's Topaz project located in San Luis Obispo, CA (for $1.5 billion) was not finalized. Later the Topaz project was purchased by (Obama buddy") Warren Buffet for $2 billion, and somehow the Agua Caliente project ended up snagging that $967 million loan guarantee, thus giving First Solar over $3 billion of green-government loans.
 
First Solar came under extreme heat in the House Oversight Investigation –– "The First Solar Scheme" (pp. 29-38), noting a series of violations and application misrepresentation as wells as "persistent pressure" with even a "threatening" letter to Jonathan Silver documented. And Silver, the former DOE Loan Adviser, according to WSJ Barron’s Magazine (July 10, 2010), had been a managing partner at Core Capital Partners in Washington. Coincidentally, one of Silver's colleagues there was Tom Wheeler, another Obama-Biden fund 2008 bundler. While Silver was supposed to help Chu accelerate loan reviews, he resigned from the DOE this year, amidst the Solyndra Scandal.
 
Also, within the pages the report released last month by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, evidence emerged "indicating that DOE manipulated analysis and strategically modified evaluations in order to get the [First Solar] loans out the door."
 
 
Goldman Sachs DNA all Over "Green" 
Besides First Solar, there are two more Goldman investments that happen to be on the "DOE junk bond list" that received government loans:
  • Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs), which had a "B Rating" by Fitch, in September 2011 snagged a $90.6 million DOE loan for a solar site in Colorado. 
  • U.S. Geothermal, Inc (Malheur County, Oregon) with a "BB Rating" by S&P, in February 2011 got a $97 million DOE loan. Schweizer' book notes that Goldman Sachs is the second largest shareholder of U.S. Geothermal. Yet, in 2010 I found more green-government subsidies for U.S. Geothermal...

Since my 2010 and 2011 research, it seems that Goldman Sachs' website has gone through a makeover, and their “Environmental Markets Financing and Advisory ” section clients include at least two green firms that stand out immediately. Both were also recipients of millions of DOE money and have meaningful connections to President Obama, the DOE, and Democrats


While this opens up a need to unveil more "Big Green Favored Portfolios," and much more, here is a snippet:
  • Tesla Motors IPO: Obama Bundler and DOE Advisor, Steven Westly snagged a $465 million ATVM DOE loan (one of five), and in 2011 was tagged as the "Green bundler with the golden touch." While IWatch points to "a trail of [green] loans, grants and tax breaks," I found more –– as of January 2012, over 40% (and counting) of The Westly Group portfolio were winners in the "Obama's Green Spending Spree."
  • Amyris, Inc. IPO: Not only is this company a Westly investment, but also a Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures investment –– both comprise of "heavy-weight" Obama supporters, whose firms snagged multiple green-government contracts, another trail we will expose in due time. Also, according to Peter Schweizer, "California Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband invested $1 million into Amyris Biotechnologies just weeks prior to the company receiving a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE)." 

Furthermore, it has been reported that Goldman Sachs is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for Solyndra, and in June 2009, SpectraWatt, another Goldman Sachs investment, received a $500,000 grant from National Renewable Energy Lab via the stimulus. However, SpectraWatt filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but not before giving "five company executives, including Richard J. Haug, SpectraWatt's President and COO, six-figure 'insider payments' totaling more than $745,000," a very disturbing trend that seems to accompany many taxpayer-funded green firms that go bust!   
 

Back in 2009 –– since the passing of President Obama's Taxpayer Funded Stimulus Spending Spree, of which over $80 billion was earmarked for alternative energy –– is when I began following the green money. At that time, I uncovered some riveting revelations and connections about Goldman Sachs. But what I found most fascinating came from Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone Magazine piece and video, where he exposed Goldman Sachs' "long-standing and very deep ties to the Democratic Party," and their "long history of putting their former employees in Democratic administrations."

 

Much more on this huge piece of the Green Corruption scandal –– CLICK HERE to continue...

Read more…

Friday, April 24, 2009

Athletic budget cut update #21 - Beavers chopping east! and west?

The latest budget news has Oregon State Director of Athletics Bob DeCarolis suggesting that if their recently announced fund raising efforts are not successful the Beavers may be forced to drop teams.

To be sure, fall's exact enrollment numbers won't be in for a few more weeks, as students can still enroll or unenroll from classes.  Nonetheless, preliminary numbers suggest Oregon schools have used stimulus dollars and tax measures to make way for tens of thousands of new students this fall.

Oregon state agencies, click here for prime award data

 

 

OSU
For Oregon State University in Corvallis, where the brother-in-law of the current U.S. President coaches basketball, record enrollment has translated to longer lines and greater competition for everything from classes to parking places.

OSU officials say they expect an estimated 24,000 students this year – marking another record enrollment year. Student registrations have grown gradually over the school's 142-year history. However, within the past three years the pace has increased dramatically.

Why the jump? According to The Oregonian, OSU joins other Oregon universities trying harder to retain students. This comes after the newest numbers show one in five freshmen usually quit in the first year. The O also reports such universities as OSU are hiring additional support staff: enlisting more advisers, tutors and mentors and expanding programs to help students manage everything from course load to finances.

This comes as OSU spends its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, including $252 million in federal research grants and contracts earned in 2009. The school's website reports the $252-million amount is "more than that received by all other Oregon public universities combined."

Some of the funding for expansion also came from state stimulus dollars. These funds were approved for "capital construction" projects as part of Oregon Senate Bill 338. For example, OregonLive.com reported that $500,000 in state stimulus money paid for part of a $3.7 million renovation of OSU's Gill Coliseum, where the Beavers play basketball.

The Gazette-Times reports OSU's anticipated 9.2 percent jump from fall 2009's record of 21,969 students would put OSU on track for the school president's envisioned enrollment of 30,000 to 35,000 students by 2025.

Read more…