doe (19)

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…

4063705832?profile=originalPresident Barack Obama's –– who promised to have, and claims to be, the most transparent administration in history –– “political appointees are using secret government email accounts to conduct official business,” The Associated Press found. This ranges across several government agencies, including the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), the Labor Department (DOL) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

Just after the release of this information, Kathleen Sebelius came under fire about her emails, of which the AP published as KGS2@hhs.gov with her public email address of Kathleen.Sebelius@hhs.gov. When confronted by Fox News about the report, Sebelius denied any secrecy, “There is no secret email account, there’s a public email and a private email, and they’re all FOIABle, they’re all available.”

 

As the denials pile up, the White House shifts the blame, citing it as a practice used by previous administrations. However, the scale and scope across the government and this administration remains a mystery, because transparency is nil: “Most federal agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees' email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) more than three months ago,” noted Fox News. According to the AP report last week, they are waiting for at least ten agencies to respond, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Treasury, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Commerce and Agriculture, of which "all have said they are working on a response to the AP.”

 

Former EPA Head Lisa Jackson’s Alter Ego, the Fictitious “Richard Windsor,” Wins Awards

 

This is just the latest in a slew of government officials that we can confirm who have been using suspect email practices, which adds to the lack of transparency within the Obama White House. As you may recall Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA –– chosen by Obama in 2009 –– used an “alter ego” as her email account to conduct government business.

 

In the fall of 2012 the name “Richard Windsor” triggered an environmental alarm –– what POLITICO called “an inadvertent ruckus for an agency already under fire from conservatives.” It “spawned a host of accusatory news reports and questions from lawmakers, all of them implying that Jackson was trying to dodge congressional oversight and public records laws by using a private email account under a fake name.”

 

A fake person, whom by the way, the White House knew about since at least February 2010, and now we learn "he" won several EPA awards.  The National Review divulged, "Documents released by the agency in response to a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that, for three years, the EPA certified Windsor as a "scholar of ethical behavior." The agency also documented the nonexistent Windsor’s completion of training courses in the management of e-mail records, cyber-security awareness, and what appears to be a counter-terror initiative that urges federal employees to report suspicious activity."

 

Needless to say, refutation is the usual response by the Obama administration in any wrongdoing (whether alleged or factual), and in some cases selective amnesia is their method of deflection. In this case, the EPA claimed that Jackson’s public account, jackson.lisap@epa.gov, was inundated with “1.5 million emails in fiscal year 2012.” Adding to their justification, “EPA administrators have been assigned two official, government-issued email accounts: a public account and an internal account,” EPA said in a statement to POLITICO back in November 2012. “The email address for the public account is posted on EPA's website and is used by hundreds of thousands of Americans to send messages to the administrator. The internal account is an everyday, working email account of the administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials.”

In the midst of this heated environment, Ms. Jackson resigned in December 2012 (and now works for Apple), and by January it became clear that the EPA email scandal was worse than most had originally thought. Brietbart.com put it best, "We’re not talking about some alias to be used for personal correspondence but a totally false identity in whose name official business was allegedly conducted created specifically to avoid federal record-keeping and disclosure requirements. And none of this would ever have been uncovered were it not for the courage of a still anonymous whistleblower and the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) Christopher Horner, an attorney with the legal smarts and experience needed to unravel it all."

 

As early as April 2012, the EPA Intel came to light by Mr. Horner, who is also the author of The Liberal War on Transparency, "research for which uncovered a climate of deceit and obstruction at EPA." Eventually it sparked congressional inquiries, an inspector general investigation as well as a federal court order for the EPA to turn over “the first installment of some 12,000 secret, previously undisclosed emails.”

 

In January 2013, the EPA provided emails all right, but none that included Jackson’s alias. The next two batches released in February and March of this year were no better, as one set was “heavily redacted” and the other turned out to be a partial document dump. NOTE: a very incriminating timeline regarding EPA's "Richard Windsor" Email Scandal can be found at CEI, yet here we are over a year later, and we're no more closer to the truth.

 

Jackson, a "friend" of former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones (both far-left radical environmentalists), promised “environmental justice” and referred to this government agency as “Obama’s EPA” –– an agency whereas the president gave the largest budget in EPA history at the tune of $10.5 billion taxpayer-dollars, as well as a tremendous amount of "ECO power," of which the EPA has abused.

 

Nevertheless, what’s key here is that Jackson's fictitious email wasn’t used for recipe swapping or recycling tips. From what I gather, "Richard Windsor was used to conduct official business with environmental pressure groups, other special interests, and top staffers." The Daily Caller News Foundation also reported, "the Windsor account had also been used to correspond with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack — who was using a secret account of his own — and outside environmental groups." Additionally, there was another EPA official who used a private email account to correspond with environmental groups in an attempt to "shield communications with environmental activists from public disclosure," documented The Daily Caller in January.

 

Evidence also emerged and was reported by Human Events in December 2012 which stated, “the existence of 12,000 emails (those court order ones) had either addressed to or authored by “'Richard Windsor'” included one of four key words submitted by Horner for a search –– coal, climate, endanger and MACT, a mercury rule expected to have a devastating impact on the coal industry and coal-fired electricity plants and raise rates for consumers."

 

Jackson was also in charge of other important issues like how to control so-called greenhouses gases, setting fuel standards for automobiles and approving an ethanol-based fuel. We also know that Jackson and the power allotted the EPA, (oops Obama's EPA), who is strongly aligned with President Obama's expensive and ongoing left-wing "climate change" agenda, was used to circumvent Congressional approval. For example, in 2009, the Obama administration was “unable to sell cap-and-trade as a job creator,” knowing that Americans see it as a job killer and a costly energy tax. So in December 2009, the Obama administration decided to go through the EPA to move their climate agenda via the Clean Air Act, ruling that “greenhouse gases threaten public health and the environment” and six key greenhouse gases were listed, including carbon dioxide (C02), opening the “regulation door” to carbon emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources.

 

EPA: Out with the “Richard Windsor” and in with "Obama's Green Quarterback," Holding the "Lack of Transparency" Football 

 

“Richard Windsor” may be off the team –– awards and all –– but as of late, Chris Horner has gone after EPA senior official, Gina McCarthy, who runs the EPA’s clean air division and in March was nominated by the president to replace outgoing chief Lisa Jackson. 

 

The charge: CEI filed a lawsuit that “alleges EPA has not provided the records or a substantive response to a late April Freedom of Information Act request, which covers dates McCarthy testified between 2009 and 2012.”

 

The Hill reported on this story at the end of May, of which the CEI alleged, “McCarthy regularly used text messaging as an alternative to email for work-related communications.” Not to mention McCarthy was apparently warned by a senior EPA official to “cease using that function on her PDA, due to concerns about the propriety of her texting about Members of Congress specifically on days when she testified before either the House or Senate.”

 

However, McCarthy, in April 2013 told Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee who was vetting her nomination, “I do not conduct business through personal email.” McCarthy is also on the record as stating that she doesn’t conduct business over instant messaging, either: “One good thing about being 58 is I don’t know how to use them,” McCarthy said. “I have never used an IM. I don’t know how.”

 

Widely known as Obama’s “green quarterback,” McCarthy hit some roadblocks on her way to head the EPA, including a boycott by senate Republican members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, because she had refused to answer their questions about transparency in the agency. Needless to say, a week later (May 16) McCarthy was approved by the Senate committee, and as reported by the Washington Post, this was "after what Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) described as significant steps forward on transparency issues important to the GOP."

 

Is there confusion on texting vs. instant messages? Or maybe McCarthy has since learned how to IM. I don't know, but we'll keep tabs on this part of the EPA scandal, because as of this month, McCarthy's path forward to heading the EPA remains murky, as does the transparency within this agency and many others.

 

 

July 2012 House Oversight Hearing Revealed Shady Email Practices by Former DOE Loan Advisor Jonathan Silver

 

I'd love to compare notes with Chris Horner on the Green Corruption scandal, because according to Human Events, Horner also acknowledged that fourteen separate private email accounts helped solidify the Solyndra green energy deal that costs taxpayers over $500 million. The Solyndra Saga was just the beginning of President Obama's clean-energy failures (billions wasted) and crony capitalism run amok, of which I've been tracking for some time. I recently tallied 25 taxpayer-backed green energy firms that have gone bankrupt, and with an equal amount troubled.

 

Last summer I was one of the few that took issue with the fact that the former Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Advisor, Jonathan Silver, during his time at the DOE, participated in extremely shady email practices that included helping his “friends” get DOE loans, of which I discovered when viewing the July 18th Oversight hearing as well as chronicling the green corruption suspects since 2010.

 

A scandal that also comprises of internal DOE email correspondences (some from whistleblowers) going as far back as the passing of President Obama's 2009 trillion-dollar stimulus package, of which last fall we busted open the Energy Department's "Den of Deception," proving coercion, corruption, cronyism, and cover ups.

 

What astonished me was that Silver used 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 Act of 1950 (at least the spirit of the law). Worse, these particular Obama appointees don't have an issue with lying to Congress while under oath, and have gone unpunished –– as is the case of Mr. Silver.

 

When questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) at the July 18th hearing 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), but as usual, it was only after the House Oversight Committee demanded them. During this hearing we also discover that the Obama administration had attempted to block their "legitimate discovery" in this particular case (as they stonewalled on most of the DOE inquiries led by the House Oversight). In fact the DOE specifically tried to prevent them from getting these documents, of which Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa's (R-CA) explained, "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."

 

Obviously, the DOE was obstructing transparency, but still, this left me 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 we do know is that this flies in the face of an administration that promised and promotes “unprecedented levels of transparency” and openness...

 

 

A day after the July 18th hearing, Chairman Issa appeared on Fox News, and summed up a few key points that he had sternly addressed during the hearing. When asked about Abound (another taxpayer-funded failure accompanied by its share of cronyism and corruption), 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 was asked

 

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…”

 

In closing...

Yep, the Obama administration is circumventing not only our Constitution, but evading government systems that were put into place to protect the American people against tyranny and enforce transparency while ensuring we have the proper mechanisms to keep our government accountable, which encompasses our elected officials, political appointees and their staff.

 

It's alarming the number of scandals plaguing the Obama White House, from Fast and Furious to Green Corruption (the DOE, DOI and EPA) to top officials engaging in shady email practices. Eventually we were faced with the Benghazi cover-up, the IRS political profiling, and the DOJ's chilling media meddling.

 

The most current and unprecedented controversy impacts every American, no matter what side of the political isle you're on, and our right to privacy. I'm referring the secret court order that allows the NSA to collect the metadata of Americans' phone calls for months at a time as well as operation PRISM –– justified by, yet goes beyond national security –– which began under President Bush in the wake of 9/11 and continued with the Obama administration.

 

However, Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian and the one who broke "the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history," firmly warned that the Obama administration "has taken a warped and distorted view of the PATRIOT Act [now on steroids]," which I find horrifying, only to surmise that instead of a "war on terror," it has morphed into a "war on freedom."

 

While some of these scandals are deadly and disgraceful, others shed light on the political favoritism that runs across many government agencies, and now we search and find that many of these same agencies and others conduct government business in secret.

 

Worse, if it wasn't for watchdog groups like Chris Horner's, whistleblowers, a handful of media doing their job, Congressional oversight, and citizens speaking out, we wouldn't know about this raging "secret" email scandal running wild within the Obama administration. In fact we'd be in the dark about most of what our government is up to, which is a sad indictment of where we are as Country: a government that is too big, too expensive, and too intrusive, and as of late, has become too corrupt, abusive and secretive.

 

Even those on the Left had to cede, including President Obama's former campaign advisor, David Axelrod, whereas in an attempt to shield Obama from the IRS scandal had this to say, "How could Obama know what his underlings were doing when the government’s so big?"

 

While this statement makes the case for smaller government even bigger, more insightful words came out of Becky Gerritson's testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, whose Tea Party group was one of those targeted by the IRS abuse, "...And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place...”

 

In fact our government has it all backwards: instead of punishing government officials and employees for their proven misdeeds, abuses, and crimes, they crucify brave whistleblowers. No matter what side is in power, "we the people" should raise up along side the Becky's of our nation, and remind our government that America was founded and formed "with a government of the people, by the people, for the people."

 

We must stand firm, and demand punishment for those that abuse their power, and ensure that unwarranted and illegal secrecy STOPS, because there is a reason people do things in secret –– they usually have something to hide, and you never know, tyranny may be "lurking just around the corner"...

 

Two Women (one citizen & one energy columnist) join forces on One Mission: to expose one chunk of this Green Corruption scandal at a time.

Read more…

4063694634?profile=originalSPECIAL NOTE: This was first published at Townhall.com as
"On Earth Day, Let's Waste More Money," and at the Heartland Institute on April 24, 2013, by Marita Noon –– my cohort in exposing President Obama's clean-energy dirt. However, considering additional taxpayer-funded green energy issues have emerged, I'll make be some adjustments as well as updates.

Following Ms. Noon's column I'll be amending our 2012 list of taxpayer-funded green energy failures, of which at that time I had documented 52 (23 bankrupt and 29 troubled) ––  at least $15 billion of green taxpayer money either gone or at risk. With additional research, by the summer of 2013, we may hit a new total of 60, marking the billions burned on Obama's green energy agenda as outrageous! 

                 Americans Bothered By the Way the Government Spends Taxes

Every year, April 15 is tax day, and that day has come and gone –– with most Americans feeling the sting. A while ago, the morning’s news shows featured last minute tax tips and other tax-related information. In case you missed the new poll that was discussed... When asked: “Thinking about paying taxes, which one of the following bothers you the most?” Surprisingly, “What you pay” received the lowest response, while the “Way the government spends taxes” was the highest. “Feeling that some don’t pay fair share” was near the top and “Complexity of system and forms” was near the bottom.” So people understand that it takes money to run the government and generally don’t object to paying their taxes. It is what the government does with that money that frustrates us.

When asked about the way government spends taxes, responders were likely thinking of the green-energy crony-corruption spending on flawed ventures like Solyndra and the, now, fifty-plus other green-energy embarrassments that received taxpayer dollars as a result of President Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill (as well as other green-energy funds) that poured nearly $100 billion into the pet projects of his donors.

Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011. It was just the bellwether; the first of many to come.

A year later Christine Lakatos and I profiled nearly 20 green-energy stimulus-funded companies that had gone bankrupt. The next week, we highlighted the other bookend: “companies/projects that received funding from various loan guarantee programs (LGP), grants, and tax incentives. These are projects that are still functioning, but are facing difficulties.” One of those troubled companies was A123 Systems. One week after our report, A123 filed for bankruptcy. Nearly two months later, A123 waspurchased by a large Chinese auto parts maker that has renamed the lithium-ion battery company B456.

Update: A123/B456’s biggest customer is another company on our troubled list: Fisker Automotive—manufacturer of the $100,000+ electric sports car made in Finland—is now facing bankruptcy itself after efforts to find a Chinese investor “stalled.” And we covered the April 24, 2013 Congressional Hearing: Failing Fisker Auto Finally Faces House Oversight Hearing: Chairman Jordan Exposes Another DOE Junk Loan, Declares, "Fisker should have never received taxpayer money”

Wait. In his 2008 campaign, didn’t Obama promise to “create five million new energy jobs over the next decade––jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced”? But our taxpayer dollars created jobs in Finland and have benefited a Chinese company—Obamanomics outsourced. No wonder the “way the government spends taxes” tops the list. And most have no idea that the Obama administration is responsible for steering billions of our tax dollars from the stimulus and other clean energy programs to foreign-owned entities, of which big chunk was doled out in the form of free cash via the 1603 stimulus grant program.

But there’s more—new news the poll respondents probably didn’t even know about.

One day after the poll was taken, CNN Money reports: “China’s Suntech Power has put its largest subsidiary into bankruptcy.” What they don’t mention is that China’s Suntech Power benefited from Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill—receiving a $2.1 million credit from the Energy Department’s stimulus-funded Advanced Energy Manufacturing (48C) Tax Credit. (Suntech was included in our 2012 “troubled” list.) In her blog, The Green Corruption Files, Lakatos states: “according to the Heritage Foundation, in November 2012, Suntech shed some employees, claiming that it was the ‘U.S. International Trade Commission’s 35.95% tariff on Chinese solar panels that was partially responsible for the 50 impending layoffs at its Arizona production facilities.’” Suntech was even blamed for the Solyndra debacle. In December 2011, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported: “China’s major solar panel companies—whose low-cost products led some American factories to close, helped create the Solyndra controversy, and spawned talk of a trade war—were bankrolled in the United States by the world’s largest investment banks.” Those “investment banks” include some the same ones we have profiled in our previous reports that have deep ties to the Obama campaign and administration, and many green-energy projects that received loans, grants, and special tax breaks representing billions in stimulus money.

Suntech has more interconnections. Arizona’s Mesquite Solar Project, which received $337 million in taxpayer money despite its non-investment grade rating by Fitch, was to be built with Suntech’s solar panels and the power was to be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric—which has strong political presence in Washington, DC, and connections to billions in stimulus funds. California’s PG&E, a company with “an extensive network of former high-ranking employees holding influential positions in government agencies at the federal and state level, has benefited handsomely from government financing of green energy projects.” The most controversial former PG&E employee to hold an influential government post is Cathy Zoi, a former energy analyst for the company, who we profiled in our report on George Soros.

There is much more that can be found in Lakatos' Suntech report.

Another sparsely reported solar-power embarrassment was covered by Fox News on the same day the aforementioned poll was taken. “SoloPower, which makes thin-film solar panels at a new plant in Portland, OR, opened September 27 with an upbeat ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local and state politicians gushed about the company eventually operating four production lines and creating 450 well-paid green jobs.” After its grand opening just months ago, SoloPower’s power is waning: “The first production line was never completed,” and “in January, the company had a round of layoffs.”

This is not a surprise to those of us who watch the green-energy crony-corruption scandal. SoloPower was one of the worst-rated loans. One month before it received a $197 million loan guarantee to “support the retrofit of an existing building to operate a thin-film solar panel manufacturing facility in Portland, OR,” Standard and Poors (S&P) gave SoloPower a credit rating of CCC+.

As uncovered and exposed by Lakatos on April 1st regarding SoloPower, the March 2012, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report titled “The Department of Energy’s Disastrous Management of Loan Guarantee Programs” which states: “S&P predicted that SoloPower will fail to meet its debt obligations.” DOE emails, released on October 31, 2012, reveal that James McCrea, Senior Credit Advisor at the Loan Programs Office, called SoloPower “a completely uninspiring project.”

Yet, in addition to the $197 million of US taxpayer money SoloPower was given from the DOE through the 1705 LGP, this European firm also received $40 million from Oregon taxpayers. Then in December 2012, “despite unfulfilled job and production promises and signs the Portland solar panel factory was sliding even further behind,” Oregon officials tripled the “taxpayer’s stake,” said the OregonianBusiness Oregon approved a $20 million tax credit for SoloPower—which SoloPower then exchanged for $13.5 million in cash. After a management shake-up, Fox News reports, SoloPower is “trying to raise money by selling some of its equipment through a third party and is attempting to restructure its $197 million federal loan guarantee.”

Update: On April 22, the Oregonian’s headline read: “SoloPower moves to power down Portland factory, gut remaining workforce.”

With the bad credit rating, the “uninspiring” label, and poor performance, why did SoloPower receive federal, state, and city funding—ultimately paid by the taxpayers? Because as the Oversight Committee report states: “What SoloPower lacked in economic value, it made up for in political connections.”

Suntech and SoloPower are just two recent stories; part of a long list of bankrupt and/or “troubled” politically connected green-energy projects.

When President Obama released his FY2014 budget, it included new spending of nearly $1 billion “to support deployment and long-term development in the clean energy industries.” Renewable Energy World appears gleeful. “It’s been said before and it bears repeating that Obama has done more for solar than any previous US President.” And: “The support of the federal government has led to an explosion in the amount of solar across America.” Do you think?

In contrast, Tom Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, pointed out that the budget “represents the administration’s desire to double down on bad energy policy.” And, “calls for fast-track permitting for renewables” while never mentioning the Keystone pipeline. Pyle concludes his comments by saying: the President “hopes that the American people will forget the failures of the past four years, higher gasoline prices, skyrocketing electricity rates, bankrupt renewable firms, and billions in wasted taxpayer money on politically connected industries.”

No wonder the “way the government spends taxes” tops the list of taxpayer’s frustrations. Perhaps if “government’s inability to learn from its mistakes” had been on the list, it would have been the number one choice.



                                             OBAMA'S GREEN ENERGY BANKRUPTCIES
                                                               as of May 2013 

Our 2012 Green Alert: taxpayer-funded green energy failures list placed the total at 52 –– 23 bankrupt and 29 troubled, with at least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money either gone or at risk.
Today I will only be updating our green energy taxpayer-backed bankrupt list, and over the summer I'll be evaluating the 29 projects or firms, which I had documented as having issues: financial, project delays, environmental, corruption probes, and otherwise. This will ensure that we give an honest assessment, tally and dollar amount. But at this point in time, while I can remove a few –– some into the bankrupt column, others are doing worse, and some are doing better –– there are more to add.

We can now remove Suntech out of the troubled category and place them in our bankrupt list. Meanwhile we can't officially add SoloPower and Fisker to our bankrupt list, but we've moved them to our new category: "On the Verge of Going Bust and Bailouts," which includes taxpayer-funded companies that were financially struggling to stay alive, and eventually got "bailed out" (the majority by foreign companies).
Then there is the story of how "America's most storied Fortune 500 corporation, Honeywell, "created a mere 10 jobs with a $25 million grant (to be used by Honeywell's UOP subsidiary to build a biofuels technology demonstration plant in Oahu, Hawaii) under President Obama's economic stimulus program in 2010" –– a cost of $2.5 million per job. And why is the DOE "withholding records on a Wyoming carbon-capture project that snagged almost $10 million in economic stimulus grants from the DOE?" It's undergoing a legal investigation.

Additionally, we can give more data on my list of taxpayer-backed green energy companies that were in distress. One in particular is Bloom Energy, which I had reported received $5 million in taxpayer money, but it was more like $70 million in federal grants and $200 million in funding from the state of California. It turns out that in February of this year, they were "fined for illegally paying employees in pesos."


While GM's Chevy Volt, "the poster child for President Obama's push to electrify America's auto fleet," is still suffering from a poor performance, there is a more positive case to share. This past February, Telsa Motors made an encouraging announcement at an event, "Tesla will pay off our Department of Energy (DOE) loan five years early, twice as fast as required by the original 2010 loan agreement signed by Tesla and the DOE."

This came despite reports that have painted a different scenario and grim future for Telsa. In October 10, 2012: The DOE restructured its loan to Tesla and in December 20, 2012, Market Watch reported, "Tesla will need more loans to stay afloat in 2013." As of late, Forbes noted another key issue; "The problem with putting $465 million of taxpayer money at risk to back Tesla is that producing this particular toy for the rich does absolutely nothing to further the ostensible goals of the program, which are fighting climate change and achieving energy security."

We'll give Telsa the luxury of removing them from our troubled category, but they'll stay on our radar –– after all this is Steve Westly's investment, the Energy Department's buddy, and Obama's "Green bundler with the golden touch." So it shouldn't be too difficult to track.

Our new numbers as of May of 2013 reflect 25 bankrupt, three about to go under, and if we keep those that are having issues the same (at 29), then by the time I complete my new investigative report, the latest taxpayer-funded green energy failure list could hit 60 –– with almost half bust.

What a difference six months makes...

If you are one of those Americans "bothered" by the way our government spends your taxes, then you may want continue reading this post. You'll be able to view the documented details of President Obama's billions in green energy failures, which includes more bankruptcies, billions going overseas, the green jobs gimmicks and expense, plus much more –– visit the Green Corruption Files.
Read more…

A jaw-dropping revelation came to light in December 2011 by the Trib Total Media, yet it was ignored by the media and even missed by those of us watching the solar world unfold. 4063686434?profile=original

China's major solar panel companies — whose low-cost products led some American factories to close, helped create the Solyndra controversy and spawned talk of a trade war — were bankrolled in the United States by the world's largest investment banks.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, USB Investment Bank and others raised $6.5 billion for seven young Chinese solar panel makers in the mid-2000s by underwriting their securities on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, a Tribune-Review investigation has found.

 

The Trib goes on, "It's not clear how the idea of using offshore tax havens to get listed on U.S. exchanges developed. But the Trib learned through SEC reports how Chinese solar companies grabbed onto the idea." The first was Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., now the world's largest solar company. It began operating as a Chinese company in May 2002, and by 2004 reported sales of $85.3 million..."

 

However, Bloomberg News reported last week, "Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) [was] forced to put its Chinese solar unit into bankruptcy last month, "becoming the latest casualty of a painful slump in the global solar industry,” wrote Townhall.com. But Bloomberg noted that Suntech "began that slide into insolvency in 2009 when customers linked to the founder couldn’t pay their bills and the company booked the sales as revenue anyway, regulatory filings show."

 

What most don’t know is that Suntech is a tiny fraction of "Obamanomics Outsourced," whereas his administration is responsible for steering billions in stimulus funds (and other "green" money) to foreign companies and shipping green jobs overseas. This is clearly a broken 2008 energy campaign promise, but worse, a violation on how the 2009 trillion-dollar stimulus package was sold –– to create jobs and grow the economy here in America.

And I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade –– jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced; 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 in ten years and help save the planet in the bargain. That's how America can lead again.

Senator Barack Obama, October 27, 2008

 

Oh NO, he didn't...

 

Last fall, Marita Noon (energy columnist at Townhall.com and my cohort in unearthing the massive amount of clean-energy dirt) and I debunked the president's 5 million energy jobs target as well as the his administration’s labor department's ludicrous claims on what constitutes a green job –– from oil lobbyists, to bus drivers, to garbage men, and so on.

 

Furthermore, if you've been following my blog (now the Green Corruption Files), you know that since 2009 I've been tracking President Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus spending spree, of which at least $90 billion was earmarked for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and doled out through various programs and agencies.

 

For a year now I've been covering the Department of Energy's (DOE) Loan Program, more specifically the stimulus-created 1705, whereas over $16 billion of taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects; of which 23 were junk rated –– as revealed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012.

 

The DOE’s "junk bond" portfolio (the entire $34.4 billion loan guarantee program for that matter) is where you’ll discover that 96 percent of the firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors) to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats; or both –– with five to Senator Harry Reid alone.

 


The Mesquite Solar Project and the $337 Million DOE "Junk" Loan 

 

Over a week ago, I submitted an update, noting that we've covered all but three out of the 26 DOE "junk bond" portfolio, which included the Mesquite Solar project. What's interesting is that this was the ONLY DOE excessively risky loan that I could not locate a direct connection to the Obama White House or any "green crony."

 

But once again, we find that despite the fact that the Mesquite Solar I, LLC (Sempra Mesquite) project received a non-investment grade rating by Fitch in August 2011, our Energy Department went ahead and awarded them a $337 million loan guarantee for a solar power plant in Arizona that is scheduled to be up sometime in 2013, which projects that it would create more than 300 construction job and 7 operating jobs.

 

Hold up…

 

Let's go back to early 2010 when Suntech had been awarded a $2.1 million credit from the Energy Department’s stimulus-funded Advanced Energy Manufacturing (48C) Tax Credit, and according to the Heritage Foundation, in November 2012 Suntech shed some employees, claiming that it was the "U.S. International Trade Commission’s 35.95% tariff on Chinese solar panels was partially responsible for the 50 impending layoffs at its Arizona production facilities" –– thus Suntech ended up on my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List, in the troubled category.

 

But a year before Suntech's troubles were made public (remember their slide into insolvency began in 2009), and in the midst of the September 2011 solar hoopla, Bloomberg News reported that the Mesquite project (with $337 million of taxpayer money), would be purchasing its solar panels from the China-based Suntech Power Holdings Co. Also, Sempra Energy, California’s third-largest utility (a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2012 revenues of approximately $10 billion), will sell electricity from the Mesquite Solar 1 plant to California’s largest utility, PG&E Corp., under a 20-year contract –– adding two more to our list of BIG ENERGY (General Electric, NextEra Energy and NRG Energy) that are making big money at the "green" Bank of Obama.

 

Pacific Gas & Electric Packed with Green Cronies and Invested Interest in $7.7 Billion of Stimulus Funds 

 

PG&E maintains a strong political presence in Washington, D.C., and is actively involved in California politics as well.  We’ve already highlighted their Democratic "cronyism footprint," of which much of it was exposed by the Washington Free Beacon last March: “Pacific Gas & Cronyism: Politically connected utility plays corporate bully, makes bank on green energy...”

 

It turns out that "former PG&E employees currently hold, or previously held, high-ranking government positions at the state and federal level, furthering the company’s influence," of which we know that Peter Darbee, then-CEO and chairman of PG&E, wasn't shy about using his leverage with President Obama on at least the $1.6 billion BrightSource Energy DOE deal.

 

The most controversial former PG&E employee to hold an influential government post is Cathy Zoi, a former energy analyst for the company, who also served as chief of staff for environmental policy under President Clinton and was CEO of Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. Zoi was the former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, and oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billion in green-energy stimulus funds in her DOE position 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.

 

We've already labeled Zoi as one of the “DOE dirty dozen" –– those inside the Energy Department with ties to tens of billions of clean-energy stimulus funds. However, in March 2011, Zoi jumped the DOE ship to work for left-wing billionaire George Soros, Obama’s "Agent of Green," whom just last month I chronicled his dark money and how he has bankrolled Obama victories since 2004After discovering Soros' part in crafting the 2009-Recovery Act and his early 2009 series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisors, as usual, I followed the money.

 

Soros' suspicious 2009-first quarter stock-buying spree was a huge winner –– a big portion (that we know of) benefited from the federal stimulus, including twelve alternative energy and utility companies. Add in more Soros clean-energy investments, and I concluded that his "green tab" exceeds $11 BILLION of stimulus (taxpayer) money, with the entire Cathy Zoi Green Corruption story still left to tell.

 

PG&E may have gotten the "cold shoulder" on the their smart-grid grant requests, but with their high-powered connections all the way up to the president and inside the DOE, PG&E won a significant amount of stimulus money: at least seventeen transactions to date and over $55.4 million. Better yet, PG&E has an invested interest in "six solar projects that will sell power to PG&E, which have received a combined $5.5 billion in taxpayer-backed DOE loans," as exposed by the Washington Free Beacon, however, I found $7.7 billion.

 

#1. Agua Caliente Solar Power Project located in Yuma, Arizona, of which "PG&E will purchase the project’s power and deliver it to customers in California." Project by NRG Solar: $967 million loan guarantee

 

#2.  BrightSource Energy development located in Baker, CA, of which "electricity from the project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Company (SCE)." Project by NRG Energy, Inc. (BrightSource): $1.6 billion loan guarantee

 

#3. California Valley Solar Ranch of which the 250-megawatt is under construction in eastern San Luis Obispo County, and "is generating clean, reliable solar power for transmission over PG&E’s utility grid." Project by NRG Solar and SunPower is still involved: $1.237 billion loan guarantee

 

#4. Desert Sunlight Project located in Riverside, CA, with the PPA (purchase power agreement) listed as Southern California Edison and PG&E. This is a First Solar Project that is co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America: partial guarantee of $1.46 billion

 

#5. Genesis Solar Energy Project located in Riverside County, CA of which "power from the project will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric Company." Project by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC: partial guarantee of $852 million loan

 

#6. Mesquite Solar 1, LLC located in Maricopa County, AZ, of which Bloomberg News had reported at the time the DOE loan was approved, "Sempra will sell electricity from the Mesquite Solar 1 plant to California’s largest utility, PG&E Corp., under a 20- year contract." Project by Sempra Mesquite: $337 million loan guarantee

 

#7. Mojave Solar located in San Bernardino County, CA, of which at the time of the DOE loan approval (September 2011), "Abengoa signed a power-purchase agreement with PG&E to buy the energy produced by the project for a period of 25 years." Project by the Spanish firm Abengoa Solar, Inc.: $1.2 billion loan guarantee

 

Suntech, Bankrolled by Early Goldman Sachs and other Big U.S. Banks

As revealed in the beginning of this story, Goldman Sachs and other Big Banks here in the United States bankrolled Suntech, and this year in my January post on Kleiner Perkins (John Doerr and Al Gore), I highlighted some of Goldman Sachs' "green."

 

But old information came to light by the Trib Total Media, leading to more "Wall Street Solar" corruption: "Goldman Sachs (Asia) was with Suntech all along. A branch of the investment bank bought 10.8 million shares of Suntech BVI for $2.31 a share. When Suntech switched to the Cayman Islands to go public, Goldman Sachs (Asia) followed, grabbing an 8.66 percent ownership share of the solar company."

 

In 2010, along with old PDF file (April 2011) of Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets (link no longer valid), I had alerted to the fact that Goldman Sachs was cashing in on the "green" stimulus, and as my research developed, I found their DNA all over this green-energy scheme.

 

Then in 2012, I dug deeper I chronicled the Kleiner Perkins and Goldman Sachs connections as well as various renewable energy stimulus winners including, "The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle," which involves three of the DOE's junk loans.

 

Besides their investment in First Solar, Goldman Sachs received two large loans from the 1705 DOE "junk bond" portfolio: Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC for $90.6 million and U.S. Geothermal, Inc for $97 million –– the former a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs.

 

While U.S. Geothermal snagged millions more in green subsidies, through the Cogentrix transaction, Goldman Sachs cashed in every step of the way –– and their "green cronies" too. This was a striking detail that I found when reviewing the June 19, 2012 House Oversight Hearing, where the CEO of Cogentrix Mr. Robert Mancini testified.

 

Even without extensive research, we find that Goldman Sachs is tied to many other clean-energy projects that received loans, grants and special tax breaks from the Obama administration, and what I've tracked so far are billions of stimulus money that go beyond the four listed above. They are also credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for the highly publicized bankrupt Solyndra, and in 2010, handled the IPO of both Tesla Motors and Amyris. Other than Solyndra, we find more Goldman stimulus winners that have gone bust: SpectraWatt, Nordic WindPower, and now we place Suntech into the bankrupt category –– all taking millions of taxpayer money down the drain.

 

Also, with a quick glance at that PDF file, there are many more, of which you can find more details in my January post, and all but two (Cogentrix and U.S. Geothermal) that I've personally tracked are on my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List.

 

But it seems, that Goldmanites are not done, and in May 2012, they announced their plan "to channel investments totaling $40 billion over the next decade into renewable energy projects, an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001," wrote Reuters. This mean that Goldman Sachs will be pursuing more government aid, and they have a "friend" in the White House that is willing to oblige...

 

Despite, the rhetoric and deception, President Obama has his fair share of "Wall Street Buddies," which gave him $16 million for his successful 2008 campaign and dished out more in 2012.

 

We've already established that Goldman Sachs was a top Obama donor (#2 as a matter of fact), giving more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign coffers. Also, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee, Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 bundlers.

 

Even though Goldman Sachs turned "red in 2012," supporting Mitt Romney, Goldman employees participated as top donors for President Obama's re-election, and Heyman bundled for Obama again in 2012.

 

Moreover, according to Open Secrets, "47 out of 51 Goldman Sachs lobbyists in 2012 have previously held government jobs." And now find that the infiltration of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup executives inside the Obama administration is extraordinary, even shaping his economic policy, however, more amazing is their footprint inside green energy and the tens of billions of taxpayer money that followed.

 

And “the "Too-Big-to-Fail" Citigroup –– the nation's third-largest bank that snagged the largest amount of federal bailout money, was the #7 top donor to candidate Obama with a few executives lined up as campaign bundlers, and Cit's massive 'Green' Money Machine is even too big to list here, but I unleashed it this past February, which tie them to approximately $16 billion of clean-energy money paid for by the taxpayers.

 

 

Sempra: More Solar, More Taxpayer Money 

 

As mentioned, the Mesquite solar project is owned by Sempra Energy of San Diego, a Fortune 500 Company, and one the “big-three" utility companies in California, and in 2011, I had noticed Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, of which their "Energy Solutions" have projects in solar, wind and natural gas.

 

Other than the Mesquite Solar Project and its $337 million DOE loan, in December 2010, Sempra announced the completed construction on the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the U.S. called the Copper Mountain Solar facility, located in Boulder City, Nevada, of which the usual Green Corruption culprits are involved: PG&E and First Solar.

 

Delen Goldberg of the Las Vegas Sun had this to say in April 2011, "The federal government gave Sempra Generation about $42 million in tax credits, 30 percent of the price tag for Copper Mountain," which cost $141 million –– and the stats at that time on Copper Mountain were as follows:

  • Temporary construction jobs created: 350. Not bad.
  • Nevadans employed: 262. That’s a good share.
  • Solar power coming to Nevada: 0. Zip.
  • Parts manufactured in Nevada: 0. Zilch.
  • Permanent jobs created: 5. That’s not a typo.
  • State incentives developer Sempra Generation received: $12 million. That’s not a typo, either.

About a year later (March 21, 2012 to be exact), President Obama made a special visit using Copper Mountain as "an impressive backdrop" –– now at 10 jobs –– to celebrate his green energy efforts, whereas even Reuters had to cede that "the millions of green jobs Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment –– still above 8 percent in March" –– not much better now at 7.7 percent, yet as I predicted, the president is demanding new "green" spending.

 

Sempra in Cahoots with BP, another Top Obama Donor: Where We Find More "Green" Taxpayer Money 

 

Now, "formerly known as entities Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Pipelines & Storage have now been realigned under Sempra International." But after a few hours of digging in 2011, I found that Sempra is in cahoots with British Petroleum (BP) on a number of green ventures, more specifically, all five of their wind projects, and of course the majority are using GE wind turbines, another Big Energy White House buddy, making bank off of "green” stimulus money.

 

Like the entire Big Wind industry, BP subsidiary BP Wind Energy took advantage of the then expiring "provision that had previously been extended by President Obama’s politically unpopular 2009 stimulus" (AKA the 1603 Grant Program), reported the Los Angeles Times in early October 2011. This was for the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm, located in a wind-rich region near Wichita, Kansas, and is a joint venture of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy, of which Sempra says, "The 419-megawatt (MW) project will be the largest wind farm in the state of Kansas when complete."

 

As you probably know, Congress’ January “Fiscal Cliff” bill renewed the PTC for 2013, and tweaked it so that money would be available to any project breaking ground by the end of the year. And to give you an idea on how BP will make out on the Kansas project alone, "Each of BP’s turbines will receive a 2.2 cent tax credit for every kilowatt-hour generated during the first 10 years of operation –– about $1 million per turbine –– adding up to $274 million for BP," recorded the Reactor.

 

Just last week, Big Wind got an early Christmas present: "The Internal Revenue Service adjusted the Wind Production Tax Credit for inflation — an increase that will cost taxpayers $545 million dollars, according to the Institute for Energy," reported the Daily Caller.

 

Hold up...

 

Ironically April has been a very energetic month so far, because also last week more wind blew up the airwaves. With quite the "wind portfolio" (16 wind farms across nine states), BP is abandoning wind –– a story Marita Noon covered in her Sunday column at Townhall.com.

On April 3, BP announced that it was selling its US wind assets — estimated to be worth $1.5 to 3.1 billion. The announcement stated that BP has decided sell the US wind energy business “as a part of our continuing effort to … re-position the company for sustainable growth” and that it would “unlock more value for shareholders.” 

Surprised?

 

Apparently, speculation has been surfacing that BP "is slowly losing faith in the renewable energy sector," and according to the Christian Science Monitor, "[BP] exited the wind sector in Europe, and then near the end of last year announced that it would also sell its solar business." Yet, the motivating factors behind this BP move are "part of a continuing effort to become a more focused on oil and gas, and in part, "by the company's need to sell about $38bn of assets to help finance the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010."

 

 

Climate Change Radical,  Big Oil Investor, Obama Bundler and Billionaire Buddy, Tom Steyer


Still, BP's renewable energy ventures won plenty of green-government subsidies from the Obama administration, and they have an advocate close to the White House, "Climate  Change Radical" Tom Steyer, of which last September I took notice and wrote a blog entitled, Obama’s Green Cronies Made DNC Cameo: Beneficiaries of Billions of Taxpayer Money," highlighting Obama bundler and billionaire buddy, Tom Steyer.

 

As divulged by the Washington Free Beacon in September 2012, "Steyer is reportedly one of the backers of Greener Capital, which invests in alternative fuel companies that benefit from the anti-oil policies of the Obama administration. Steyer is also the founder and senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management, a $20 billion hedge fund that ranks as one of the largest of its kind in the world," and they stand "to profit from government policies that increase consumption of natural gas."

 

The Beacon goes on to give more interesting tidbits about Steyer being a Goldman Sachs protégé of Robert Rubin, but what caught my attention was this: "a successful investor, Steyer knows to hedge his bets. His fund owns millions of dollars worth of shares in Big Oil companies such as BP [970,000 shares as of the end of 2013]."

 

Hold up...

 

Did I mention that Mr. Steyer retired from Farallon Capital Management at the end of 2012, and according to Forbes, "sold his stake in the hedge fund firm to his partners?" And did you know that Steyer is also anti-keystone? So much so that early this month Politico reported, "The former hedge fund trader-turned-philanthropist is bankrolling a far-flung political operation pushing environmental causes and candidates, including his pricey effort to torpedo the Keystone XL oil pipeline."

 

OK, so we have a ferocious "greenie" that invested in Big Oil, and besides BP, "among the oil and gas companies that Steyer and Farallon financed and got rich from were Energy Partners, Ltd., Link Energy LLC, Halcon Resources Corporation, Devx Energy, Inc., and a gold mining company named Global Gold Corporation," recently recorded by Darwin Bond-Graham at CounterPunch.org.

 

This reminds me of a vegan –– and activist against meat eaters –– who gains their wealth by investing in slaughterhouses. Too graphic, but definitely we see a hypocrite here, and possibly now Captain Planet meets Robin Hood.

 

Steyer's firm may only be a BP shareholder, but they have plenty of "green" that stand to benefit from Obama's radical and expensive climate change agenda, and already have. Besides Steyer's money raising efforts, he has "considerable influence in the White House," as pointed out by the Washington Post. From Steyer's wealth and political connections that have "played a critical behind-the-scenes role in helping shape the country’s national energy policy” to the fact that "he has spoken with President Obama about how to pursue climate and energy policy in a second term." Steyer was even considered as a replacement to outgoing Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

 

Mr. Steyer also has strong and expensive connections to the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress (CAP), who is closely aligned with Obama and has taken over key White House positions. CAP is heavily engaged in this green-energy scheme, and they have been on my radar since 2010, which I've mentioned in several of my Green Corruption files –– most recently in my post: Left-wing Billionaire George Soros: Obama’s "Agent of Green," however, the entire CAP Green Corruption piece of this scandal has yet to be exposed.

 

In the meantime, Steyer's bundling bucks never ended, and even though Obama won a second term, this month Steyer hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for our "Campaigner in Chief," even defending the president's efforts to save our planet.

 

Moreover, despite President Obama's anti-oil and gas rhetoric, he doesn't seem to mind taking their cash. Because according to Politico in 2010, Obama was the biggest recipient of BP donations over the past twenty years.

 

Obviously, BP has invested big in clean energy, and it is not limited to their wind projects with Sempra. BP Alternative Energy has other projects and companies in their portfolio that have raked in tons of stimulus funds –– at lease six that I know of.

 

GMZ Energy that received $8 million from the DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program funded by the 2009-Stimulus, and $11 million from the DOE and DARPA. But the big catch was BrightSource Energy, of which BP is an investor, and we've shed light on BrightSources' $1.6 billion shady deal quite a few times, including my recent "George Soros post" with much more dirt to share in the near future. [#1 and 2]

 

Still, as exposed by California Watchdog in August 2010, "The federal government is giving a joint venture involving oil giant BP millions of dollars in stimulus money to build a power plant on farmland near the tiny Kern County town of Tupman."[#3]

 

BP is also "benefiting from a $308 million federal grant over several years for the cutting-edge power plant on cotton and alfalfa fields seven miles from the western edge of Bakersfield. More than half of the money, $175 million, is coming from stimulus funds. The rest is coming from another federal program." Apparently, the DOE gave this grant in 2009 to Hydrogen Energy California, a joint partnership of BP and the multinational mining firm Rio Tinto –– a project considered by the Right as a waste of taxpayer money, with mixed reviews by environmentalists. [#4]

 

The Goshen North Wind Farm is a 50:50 joint venture between BP Wind Energy and Ridgeline Energy, LLC. BP Wind Energy is operator with a site location approximately an 11,000-acre site located some 10 miles east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. It seems that this Idaho wind farm listed as Goshen Phase II LLC on March 17, 2011 snagged 78,055,029 1603 cash grant [docket #2641]. [#5]

 

BP Solar unit of BP PLC (based in London) received $11.7 million in 48C credits, despite the fact that this project is creating jobs overseas, aligning them to others greenies that are outsourcing so called green jobs –– promoting more "Obamanomics Outsourced." [#6]

 

Obamanomics Outsourcing More Green

 

Now, Sempra may have chosen Suntech, the Chinese solar producer as their contractor, and we can't directly blame the president, however, Suntech is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obamanomics Outsourced...

 

Back in February, we said good-by to President 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.

 

I’ve already unraveled the series "Spreading the Wealth to Obama's Ultra-Rich Jobs Council," exposing the five panel members that have raked in tens of billions of “green” funds (directly and indirectly), the majority coming from the 2009-Recovery Act. More insulting is the fact that this fired Jobs Council is "packed with outsourcing companies."

 

Also, as emphasized in my Big Wind Story "A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption," the Energy and Commerce Committee “in-depth report on its ongoing investigation into the implementation of President Obama’s green-energy stimulus spending,” states that as of December 5, 2012, nearly $16 billion in federal funds has been awarded under the 1603 Grant Program –– which does not factor in regional or state funding –– “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.”

 

Nevertheless, the most shocking aspect is that "despite skyrocketing debt, and the "Obama green and recovery promises," the committee found that approximately one out of every four dollars of $16 billion spent on “Section 1603” Renewable Energy Stimulus Program" went to foreign-owned entities.

Just this week we find out that despite the sequester, the DOE awarded "more than $1.2 billion in cash payments to renewable energy projects by the Department of Energy and the Treasury" –– more free money through the 1603 grant program. However, the expensive 1603 program is not the only place where we find that the Obama administration has been outsourcing clean-energy stimulus funds, energy money, and green jobs.

 

NOTE: This list is compliments of the GOP, created sometime in July 2012, and reflects duplications of the foreign entity owned wind projects that I just outlined above, however it looks like they missed British Petroleum (BP). I also took the liberty of placing the list alphabetical order, and made some additions and updates for those transactions that are familiar to my research*.

 

In keeping with my green energy topic, non-renewable energy outsourcing transactions have been deleted.

 

Hold up...

GOP, what's up with ALL THE CAPS?


China:

STIMULUS FUNDS

North Carolina-Based LED Maker Cree Inc. Received Over $39 Million Through The Stimulus And Later Opened Its First Plant In China. Over Half Of The Company's Employees Are Now Located In China And Cree's CEO Says The Company's Strategy Is "Cree Chip, China Heart."

 

LOAN GUARANTEES

Sempra Received A $337 Million Loan Guarantee For An Arizona Solar Plant. The Solar Panels Will Be Supplied By SunTech, A Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturer.

 

JOBS COUNCIL

  • General Electric Cancelled An Order From Wind Turbine Manufacturer ATI Casting In Order To Get The Parts Cheaper From China. After ATI Offered To Match The Price, GE Still Refused The Order. ATI Was Forced To Layoff 302 Workers Due To The Move.
  • General Electric Has Also Been Criticized For Using Chinese Made Wind Towers Over American Towers At The Stimulus Funded Shepherds Flat Wind Farm In Oregon.

STIMULUS FUNDS

Solar Power Industries Received A $5.4 Million Stimulus Grant Before Laying Off American Workers Based On An Increased Reliance On Imports From China.

 

STIMULUS GRANTS*

A123 Systems received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant, and filed for bankruptcy October 16, 2012. In January of this year, China's Wanxiang Group Corp. won U.S. government approval and acquired A123 Systems Inc. for a $256.6 million bid.

 

Smith Electric Vehicles –– another Obama touted green investment –– received $32 million in federal grants from the stimulus package. However, since 2009 they have "racked up $128 million in losses," and in February 2011, Smith Electric Vehicles announced a potential partnership (signed a letter of intent) with Wanxiang Group, one of the largest non-government owned companies in China that was on a "green USA buying spree." Then in September 2012, struggling, and "short on cash," Smith Electric scrapped its IPO to “pursue private financing opportunities.” Not sure if they are China-owned yet, but the USA is.

 

CLEAN ENERGY TAX CREDITS*

MiaSolé received two Advanced Energy Manufacturing tax credits totaling $101.8 million from the Obama Administration in January 2010, see my Summer 2010 report on Kleiner Perkins, yet it also a VantagePoint investment. In October 2012, "struggling" and "desperate" MiaSole agreed to be sold to China's Hanergy Holding Group for $30 Million, which is considered to be dirt cheap.

 

Recently, the Washington Free Beacon added more outsourcing to this story, which is coming from another taxpayer-funded program that not only hands out tons of "green loans" but also instigates more corporate welfare and crony capitalism.

 

"The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is financing the purchase of solar panels from a manufacturer now owned by the Chinese that had previously attracted investments from prominent Democrats..." "Ex-Im approved a loan to an Indian developer who wants to buy solar panels from MiaSolé, a California-based solar panel manufacturer. A bank spokesman said the loan amount has not been issued yet, as the financing terms are still under negotiation."

 

Denmark:

STIMULUS GRANTS*

Subsidiaries of Danish wind mill maker Vestas received $51.6 million in stimulus grants to build U.S. based factories, and they have announced plans to layoff 180 U.S. workers and possibly another 1,600 by the end of the tear. Well, it seems Vestas kept their promise, because in October 2012, "[they] cut more than 800 jobs in the United States and Canada this year and may be forced to lay off another 800 employees in North America."

 

STIMULUS GRANTS

The Windy Flats Project Began Construction Before The Stimulus Was Passed, Received A $218 Million Stimulus Grant And Used Wind Turbines Assembled By Seimans In Denmark.

 

STIMULUS FUNDS

Danish Catalyst Company, Haldor Topsoe, Received A $25 Million Stimulus Award For The Construction Of A Demonstration Scale Biorefinery.

 

Dominican Republic:

STIMULUS FUNDS

Parago Used Stimulus Funds to Hire Hundreds of Workers in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic to Administer a Renewable Energy Appliance Rebate Program.

 

El Salvador:

STIMULUS FUNDS

Parago Used Stimulus Funds to Hire Hundreds of Workers in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic to Administer a Renewable Energy Appliance Rebate Program.

 

Finland:

LOAN GUARANTEES*

After receiving over $500 million loan guarantee (from the ATVM program), Fisker Automotive is producing their $100K luxury electric sports car in Finland. However, Fisker, which has been having issues for a while, just this month was reported that "160 Fisker employees were let go, and 53 employees will stay on to manage further negotiations with the Department of Energy and a potential sale of assets."

 

Furthermore, according to Gigaom.com, "The news follows reports that Fisker has hired a law firm to advise it on bankruptcy options. It owes a loan repayment to the Department of Energy this month, and has been cutting costs and furloughed its employees last month. The company hasn’t made a car since the summer of 2012."

 

However, it seems that Gigaom has their GPS on Fisker, and in February 2013, they too (like many of Obama-selected green firms), were seeking Chinese assistance, "Fisker Automotive is reportedly weighing investment and acquisition offers from Chinese auto tech companies. Bloomberg reports that there’s a $350 million offer for 85 percent of the company from Chinese state-owned car maker Dongfeng Motor Corp, and Reuters reports that China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (which owns Volvo) has another offer for a majority stake with a deal between $200 million and $300 million."

 

We'll keep our eye on this one because "Congress set hearing on Fisker troubles for April 24, 2013."

 

France:

CASHING IN

French Wind Farm Developer EnXco Pulled In Over $69 Million In Cash Grants Through The Stimulus' 1603 Program.

 

LOAN GUARANTEES*

In May 2010, the DOE offered AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC a conditional commitment for a $2 billion loan guarantee to support the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Idaho Falls, Idaho. This loan was part of the 1703 loan program, and while AREVA is a France-based company that offers technological solutions for nuclear power generation with worldwide presence, at least the jobs are here in the USA. We think...

Germany:

STIMULUS GRANTS

E.ON Climate & Renewables Received Over $440 Million In Stimulus Grants For Wind Farms That Began Construction Before The Stimulus Was Passed.

 

STIMULUS GRANTS

At Least 25 Wind Turbines For Stimulus Funded Projects Were Supplied By German-Based Nordex.

 

Great Britain:

STIMULUS FUNDS

$39 Million In Stimulus Funds Went To Navistar For Electric Delivery Trucks That Are Manufactured In Coventry, England.

 

STIMULUS GRANTS

British Private-Equity Firm Terra Firma Received Over $40 Million In Stimulus Funds Through An American Wind Consortium It Bought Just Days Before The Stimulus Funds Were Awarded.

 

India:

STIMULUS GRANTS

India-Based Suzlon And Its Subsidiaries Installed Over 200 Wind Turbines Under Obama's Stimulus Grant Program With Most Of The Materials Coming From Its Operations Overseas.

 

Indonesia:

STIMULUS FUNDS

The EPA Gave A $1.5 Million Grant To Indonesia To Reduce Air Pollution In Jakarta.

 

Italy:

STIMULUS FUNDS

Brevini Wind Was Given A $12.75 Million Tax Credit To Build A Facility To Manufacture Wind Turbine Gearboxes In Indiana. Over Two Years Later The Company Has Only Hired 70 Of The 450 Workers Promised And The Company Has Announced They Do Not Expect To Be Operating The Facility Until Late-2013.

 

CASHING IN

Italian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Pulled In Over $84 Million In Cash Grants Through The Stimulus' 1603 Program.

 

Japan:

STIMULUS GRANTS

Japanese-Subsidiary Eurus Energy Received $91.4 Million In Stimulus Grants For A Wind Farm Completed Before The Stimulus Was Passed And Used 180 Turbines Manufactured Overseas By Mitsubishi.

 

Luxembourg:

STIMULUS FUNDS

Luxembourg-Based ArcelorMittal's Subsidiary Received $31.5 Million In Stimulus Funds For A Waste Heat Recovery Unit.

 

Malaysia & Germany:

STIMULUS LOAN GUARANTEES*

First Solar was privy to $3 billion through the 1705 loan guarantee program for three projects, plus suspicious Export-Import bank funding. Then during the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing, CA Representative Darrell Issa surmised that First Solar (Germany 560, Ohio 280, and Malaysia with 1680 jobs) is "not an American company." It turns out that the numbers don't lie because CEO Michael Ahearn admitted, "in sheer numbers, most of our full time [employees] are outside the US."

 

Mexico:

STIMULUS LOAN GUARANTEE*

SunPower admitted that some of the solar panels for the $1.2 billion stimulus backed California Solar Valley Ranch would be manufactured at their facility in Mexico rather than their facility in California.

 

UPDATE: Despite SunPower's well-known financial issues, and the fact that it was under a shareholder suit alleging securities fraud and misrepresentations, just days (September 2011) before the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program’s deadline, along with four other solar companies, its $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the DOE was approved.

 

SunPower never directly got the DOE cash because they sold the California Valley Solar Ranch to NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company, of which NRG and its subsidiaries was the recipient of most of 1705 stimulus loans ($5.2 billion of taxpayer money and counting). But SunPower is still involved in this project and stands to profit if it succeeds.

 

STIMULUS FUNDS

ABB Inc. Received Over $16 Million in Stimulus Funds to Create Green Energy Manufacturing Jobs, the Company Has Laid Off Workers in the U.S. and Transferred Work To Mexico.


Russia:

STIMULUS FUNDS

Ener1 Received Over $118 Million In Stimulus Funds To Produce Vehicle Batteries. After Going Bankrupt, It Was Acquired Outright By A Russian Investor, Sparking Security Concerns Surrounding The Company's Work for The U.S. Military.

 

South Korea:

STIMULUS FUNDS*

Two South Korean companies –– LG Chem and Dow Kokam –– were given $303 million to produce car batteries in the U.S., but then brought in foreign workers. Local unions have criticized the company for filling jobs with foreign workers. The DOE has admitted that 11 of the 18 contractors on site are Asian firms.

 

STIMULUS GRANTS

The Gulf Wind Project Received A $179 Million Stimulus Grant And Sourced The Parts From South Korea, As Well As Japan And Mexico.

 

Spain:

STIMULUS LOAN GUARANTEES*

The Spanish company Abengoa 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.

 

STIMULUS FUNDS

Spain-Based Iberdrola Renewables Received $1.5 Billion In Loans And Grants And Claimed It Created Over 15,000 American Jobs But The Company Only Has 850 U.S.-Based Employees

 

STIMULUS GRANTS

Madrid-Based EDP Renewables Received Over $100 Million In Grants For Their Wind Farms and Announced In September 2011 That They Were Planning To Lay Off 10% Of Their North American Workforce.

 

Switzerland:

Swiss-Based Landis+Gyr Received Over $50 Million In Stimulus Contracts For Their Smart Grid Meters. Cathy Zoi, A Former Obama Energy Department Official, Held Over $250,000 Worth Of Stock In The Company As They Profited From Her Department's Policies. Zoi Had Previously Served As An Executive Director At Landis+Gyr Before Joining The Obama Administration.

 

Thailand:

BAILOUT FUNDS

After Taking A Taxpayer-Funded Bailout, General Motors Opened A $200 Million Plant In Thailand To Supply Diesel Engines For The Chevrolet Colorado Pickup Truck.

 

Vietnam:

JOBS COUNCIL

General Electric Opened A $61 Million Factory In Hai Pong To Produce Wind Turbine Components. GE's CEO Jeffery Immelt Chairs The President's Jobs Council And The Company Has Received Over $1.2 Billion In Stimulus Funds.

 

In closing...

If we dug deeper, we'd find much more, however, I'm sure you get the point. But is this just another tally in Obama's long list of broken promises? 

It's much worse than that. Whether the Obama administration is sending green jobs to Finland, Malaysia, or Mexico and billions of our tax dollars to Spain, Britain, and even China, it's more evidence that this administration –– Congress for that matter –– doesn't give a damn about our economy. Obviously, the president's clean-energy dirt has fueled corporate welfare and crony capitalism, and the massive amount of "green outsourcing" is pure deception and an insult to American taxpayers and those of us seeking jobs.

Stay tuned for more Green Corruption Files...

Two Women –– one Citizen & one energy columnist –– join forces on our "mission" to expose one piece 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

Read more…

4063622086?profile=originalBenghazi isn’t the only White House cover up being exposed through leaked emails. State Department staffers aren’t the only career officials being blamed for President Obama’s inexperience, questionable judgment, and obvious cover up. A similar saga has just been exposed in the latest chapter of the green-energy crony-corruption scandal.

On October 30, The Daily Caller ran a feature titled: As many as fifty Obama backed green energy companies bankrupt or troubled. The piece cited the work Christine Lakatos and I did in our three-part “green-energy failures” series released in October. Immensely popular, the DC article was picked up by numerous sites, including Fox Nation and GOPUSA. That night, Newt Gingrich was on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Sustren. After discussing the incriminating Benghazi emails, he pointed to another possible “October surprise.”

Gingrich teased: “The other big story, I think, that is going to break, is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar-power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the President, in the solar-panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week.”

His sources were dead on. The next day, Wednesday, October 31, at 1:30PM ET, we received a tip regarding the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s release of more than 150 mails, equaling hundreds of pages of convicting evidence, accompanied by a five-page “Memorandum” with the following subject line: “Update on Committee’s Oversight of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program: New Emails Show President Obama, Senior Administration Officials Misled American People about Role of President and White House in Program.”

Through the research and writing we’ve done, Lakatos and I were confident that there was direct involvement, after all, of the 26 loans (of which the majority were "junk" rated) issued through just the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program to 21 firms, virtually all of them had meaningful political ties (bundlers, donors, supporters, etc.,) to the White House and other high-ranking Democrats. Despite the obvious connection, President Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement. As it has done with Benghazi-gate, the White House, this time through Senior Advisor David Plouffe, while on Meet the Press (October 30, 2011), shuns responsibility for something politically uncomfortable: “decisions about the loan program were made by career officials in the Department of Energy on the merits.”

steven-chu-solyndra.gi.top.jpg

Likewise, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, while testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in November of 2011, stuck to the talking points when, referencing the Solyndra debacle, under oath, he said: “I am aware of no communication from the White House to the Department of Energy saying to make the loan or to restructure.” More recently, March 2012, before the House Oversight Committee, Chu claimed: “we looked at the loans on their own merits.” At that same hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), pressed Secretary Chu on nine of the firms that received loans, revealing their political connections. Chu countered that the loans were based on “merit.” Yet Jordan was perplexed, “so if you weren’t helping your buddies, and you were basing your decisions on the merits of the loan, how do you explain the fact that 23 of 27 recipients of the loan guarantees were rated as junk status investments?” Jordan concluded, “If it wasn’t your political buddies, it had to be incompetence.”

Also under oath, in the July 18, 2012, Oversight Hearing specifically addressing Abound Solar (now bankrupt and under investigation for securities fraud, consumer fraud and financial misrepresentation), former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office (LPO), Jonathan Silver stated, “Because I am no longer at the department, I do not have access to the analysis done for the Abound project. As a result, I cannot comment in detail about the transaction, but what I can do however, is give you a flavor for what we try to do on this, and every project… The loan would have gone through multiple reviews independent of the loan program’s office, including detailed reviews by career credit professionals at DOE, and career staff at OMB, Treasury, and the National Economic Council.”

Silver then emphatically informed the Committee, “This loan––like all the loans underwritten by career professionals, supported by outside specialists –– it was reviewed by career professionals from multiple executive branch offices.” “It was not rushed, the review took place over several years.” “It was not given to friends –– indeed no one in the Loan Program had any idea what individuals were involved in this [Abound] or any other transaction, nor did we care.” The questioning continued. Silver was asked if he saw any evidence of pay-to-play during his tenure. Silver’s response: “None whatsoever, sir—as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly, into these companies.”

During the October 11 Vice Presidential debate, when Paul Ryan challenged him on the oversight of the “$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors,” Vice President Biden sang the same tune: “His colleague runs an investigative committee, spent months and months and months going into this. Months and months. They found no evidence of cronyism.”

Just last week, October 26, 2012, President Obama continued the ruse, when he told a Denver, Colorado news anchor that decisions made 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.”

Clearly the stories were coordinated, and were contrary to the obvious conclusions a thinking person would draw—which prompted the Oversight Committee to probe further. However, until the leaked emails were made public on Thursday, we had no proof. We needed the smoking gun.

The tale-tellers, at the least, “misled the American people,” behaved unethically, and may well be guilty of perjury.

Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy

The emails revealed that Secretary Chu may well have perjured himself—though as Jordan implied, he may just be incompetent. We’ve written extensively on the interaction of decision-makers in the Administration and its “buddies.” In the March 2012 hearing, Jordan asked specifically: “Did the White House call you about, talk to you about any of these…did someone from the White House talk to you, the Chief of Staff, someone from the White House, talk to you about these respective companies, involving these individuals?”

Our research shows involvement of then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley in the BrightSource loan—one of the projects Jordan was asking about.

The new emails show Chu personally issued orders to prioritize a project favored by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer—Unistar.

Email #13 shows that Silver wrote to Chu’s Chief of Staff in a December 10, 2010, email: “since Aldy [White House staff Joe Aldy] personally promised the edf management group [one of the sponsors of the Unistar loan guarantee project] that he would lead an interagency review of this topic, we should tell him that he should be the one to call and deliver the news.”

Email #14: “there has been a commitment from S1 [Secretary Chu] to Steny Hoyer on this.”

Email #15: “Just came down from the Secretary’s office. He is adamant that this transaction is going to OMB by the end of the day.”


LPO Credit Advisor Jim McCrea (possibly the source of this massive email leak, as his name is one of the most consistent in the email text), had hesitation about the project, stating in Email #16: “Ordinarily, over an issue like this, I would refuse to sign the credit paper and refuse to send it to OMB tomorrow but given the direct order I was personally given by S1[Secretary Chu]…”

Didn’t someone say the loans were not politically motivated and were based solely on merit? Oh, yes, it was the President who said: “they have nothing to do with politics.”

 
jonathansilver-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg

Jonathan Silver, Former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office

Silver (reported to be an Obama bundler and Democratic donor) resigned in early October 2011, amidst the Solyndra scandal. His claim that loan reviews took place over “several years” and that loans were not “given to friends” is perjurious.

First, the loans couldn’t have been reviewed over “several years.” Obama wasn’t President until January 2009. The Stimulus funds were made available in February 2009. And, the Solyndra $528 million loan guarantee (September 2009) was the Obama administration’s first, as part of the 2009 stimulus package. Solyndra was also the first company to go bankrupt in September 2011. Clearly, there was no “several years” in there.

While logic and simple math tell us that the loans were not reviewed over “several years,” the emails prove the rushed process. In the 350+ page Appendix II, the very first email is from McCrea to Silver (dated June 15, 2010)—subject line: 28 day clock. In it he complains about things being rushed. He opens with “I do not have a good sense of why the DOE and OMB agreed to a 28 day clock following Solyndra...” Though by the end of the page-long email, McCrea seems to concede: “I am not sure that the 28 day process is really as much of a constraint as it might appear at first glance.”

Again, we covered Silver’s involvement with many key players including John Woolard, CEO of BrightSource Energy. Silver is very well connected, having served in the Clinton Administration, he parties with Al Gore, was a frequent White House visitor and participated in meetings with Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Silver used his personal email account to conduct DOE business. But there is no hard proof there.
  
The following eight paragraphs is a revision from our original post with additional information

Also found in Appendix II, early on (December 2009), way before the DOE finalized the $1.6 billion loan guarantee for BrightSource Energy (April 2011), we find that there was a strong push by Silver and others  inside and close to the energy department in getting this loan approved . 

 

We find a very suspicious email exchange about BrightSource that included CEO Woolard, Joshua Bar-Lev, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for BrightSource, and the lobbying firm representing BrightSource, McBee Strategic Consulting  –– as well as some unknown "energy-Democrat-tied participants": 

We discovered that in 2009, Steve McBee alerted the masses with the following...

 "Wanted to let you know that the BrightSource application appears to moving apace at OMB and has a fighting chance of getting over to DOE..." "DOE is another story. We are hearing that despite a strong push by Silver, Spinner, Rogers and others internally, the process is getting sideways by any number of bureaucratic hold ups and there is now real potential for consideration of the project to slip until next year...[or"redeployed to China]" "ANYTHING you guys would be willing to do with DOE in terms of moving the process would be deeply appreciated."
Joshua Bar-Lev in response says, "Do you all think we should have vantage point insist on mtg with chu or silver or rodgers? Should John and I try to fly out for something similar? Looking for some game changer but perhaps we’ve done all we could. Is dc shut down by the snow or is there some impact we could make? Joshua"


NOTE: We've covered Silver, Steve Spinner and Matt Rogers (all former DOE advisors) in previous posts, as well as Silver's "shady email practices." The “DOE Insiders," where plenty of “VC Guys” and “Gore Acolytes” held key positions –– a dozen on my radar, where at least a dozen on the "green corruption" radar, including these three. 

Time out for a minute...as noted during Silver's testimony this past July, he made this denial: “...as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly into these companies.” 

So the question remains, if Silver nor anyone else knew, why would anyone seek help from Vantage Point? Who knows? But what we do know is that Vantage Point Partners is the majority stakeholder in BrightSource, and Sanjay Wagle was a principle. Wagle just so happens to be the “renewable energy grants adviser” at the DOE under Secretary Chu.

While we know that Silver had cozy relationships with quite a few of those seeking green-energy funding (like Al Gore and Woolard), the following emails confirm that lobbying the White House and the Vice President’s office achieves results, not only with getting a loan approved, but clearing obstacles with the Department of Interior (DOI) that put their entire billion-dollar project at risk.

Email #5, drafted by Bright Source CEO John Woolard for then-Board Chairman John Bryson to send to then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley: “This project is now at significant risk due to delays in permitting at the Department of Interior…”

Email #6, from Wollard stated: “we are making good progress in DC. Whitehouse [sic] does seem to be very focused on this issue, in fact it is being elevated through the office of political affairs as well as VP Bidens- so we are starting to get them focused on the massive political risk- it helps that Bloomberg called Ivanpah ‘Obama’s energy project’ so it does have their attention.”

Email #7, two weeks later, BrightSource got what it wanted: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued their revised Biological Opinion, prompting the Bureau of Land Management to issue a new notice to proceed allowing continued construction at Ivanpah units 2 and 3.”

The BrightSource case reeks of political connections, yet we are supposed to believe the loans “had nothing to do with politics.”

Joe Biden, Vice President

Biden’s denial comes from his one debate of this campaign season, about which Diana Furchtgott-Roth writes for Real Clear Markets: “In Thursday's vice presidential debate, Joe Biden denied any ‘cronyism’ in the award of Energy Department grants and loan guarantees to encourage the development of renewable energy. Plus, he asserted that government-assisted green energy projects had a better ‘batting average’ than do projects backed by investment bankers. Just one problem: Neither of Biden's assertions was true. Plus, the Vice President himself had a role in the cronyism.”

Email #6, proves her point: “…It is being elevated through the office of political affairs as well as VP Bidens…”
Then there is Email #4: “Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.” Additionally, as we addressed, though not revealed in the emails, Bernie Toon, who served then-Senator Biden as his Chief of Staff, became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy.


The White House and President Barack Obama

President Obama did keep himself somewhat isolated—having made fewer denials and being involved in fewer emails, however, he cannot be omitted from the discussion, as he was clearly party to the loan approvals. Plus, the emails show that DOE officials were pressured by the political interests at stake.

Email #1, from McCrea to 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.”
Email #2, from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan Origination to McCrea: “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).”
Email #3, from Silver to McCrea, encouraging him to remind a Treasury official of White House interest in now bankrupt Abound Solar: “You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound.”


Despite Obama’s claim that the decisions regarding the loans had “nothing to do with politics,” it is clear that they had everything to do with politics—and not just his own. Loans were used to bolster Senator Reid’s re-election chances in the tight 2010 race.

Email #8, McCrea wrote: “Since this is not going to go into the DOE, and just to be clear, the translation is: Reid may be desperate. WH may want to help. Short term considerations may be more important than longer term considerations and what’s a billion anyhow?”
Email #9, Silver wrote: “I need some stats on how many projects we have funded or have in DD [due diligence] as a percentage of totals.  Reid is constantly hit at home for not bringing in the federal dollars.”


If all of this were a novel, or better yet a dramatic feature film, we’d find it most entertaining. We’d leave the theater shaking our heads at the gall of the movie’s starring actor. Instead, this full-color story (White House, green energy, Silver connections) leads to red ink—money borrowed from China that the US taxpayer will be paying back for generations. 

The coercion, corruption, cronyism and, cover up of the President's pet projects is really a horror flick, after all, the emails were released on Halloween. Each one of us is a victim of an expensive trick.

Article first presented at Townhall.com written by columnist Marita K. Noon, Busting Open Energy's Den of Deception, November 4, 2012 –– as a follow up to our BREAKING this story on October 31, 2012:

Research by Christine Lakatos THE Green Corruption blogger.

Read more…

When he is confronted about the failed green-energy loan program, President Obama deflects blame—pointing to “career bureaucrats” in the Department of Energy (DOE) who supposedly approved the loans that have become an embarrassment to the White House. 

 


For months, along with researcher Christine Lakatos, I’ve been reporting on, first, the junk-bond rated projects (such as Solyndra) that received fast-tracked approval from the DOE and, then the failed and troubled stimulus funded companies. Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg. 


Embarrassment after embarrassment has come to light as the projects touted as the hope for America’s future have filed for bankruptcy, sent money and jobs overseas, and faced technical difficulties.


According to GAO March 2012 statistics (and emphasized in the June 19th Congressional hearing), "For the 460 applications to the Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), DOE has made loan guarantees for 7 percent and committed to an additional 2 percent."


And of the 26 projects that got the loans, 22 were junk-bond rated—meaning private investors wouldn’t fund them. So why did we, the taxpayers?


Of the 26 loans issued through just the 1705 LGP to 21 firms, virtually all of them have meaningful political ties (bundlers, donors, supporters, etc). Our research showed that at least 90% of the projects had close ties to the White House and other high ranking Democrats. Despite the obvious connection, President Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement—preferring to blame “career bureaucrats” who could take the fall with no political consequence.


In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, testified that, “We looked at the loans on their own merits.” Also, back in November 2011, he said: “I am aware of no communication from White House to Department of Energy saying to make the loan or to restructure.”


Just last week, on October 26, President Obama affirmed Chu’s position when he said: “Decisions made 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.”


However, late Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a new report of “over 150 emails that contradict statements by the President, Secretary Chu, and White House and DOE officials.” The emails reveal a series of questionable practices, including coercion, cronyism and, cover ups.


The Committee has been asking for the emails and additional testimony since the Solyndra story broke in September of 2011, but the DOE has been refusing to cooperate. Emails were finally leaked from former DOE employees. Some of the incriminating evidence includes the following:

 

  1. 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).”
  2. From an email dated June 25, 2010, LPO Executive Director Jonathan Silver encourages LPO Credit Advisor Jim McCrea to remind a Treasury official of White House Interest in now bankrupt Abound Solar: "You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound.”
  3. From an email dated September 9, 2010 from LPO Credit Advisor McCrea to
    DOE contractor Brian Oakley: "Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.”

These emails are just a snippet of the 150 emails we are reviewing as a part of the just-released report. We have reported on each of the projects listed above and will report further.


We know that the Obama Administration operates from a “culture of corruption,” now we see that there is also a culture of deception within the White House walls. The White House green lies are bigger than innocent, little white lies; they are expensive green lies that have produced $34.7 billion in red ink for the taxpayers.


The Obama green energy program is the largest, most expensive, and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history.

 

Back Story


As I was busy being "proud of myself" for making it on The Daily Caller (October 30th) with a "hit" piece featuring my "Obama Green-Energy Failures," I heard Newt Gingrich "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” (Fox News Channel). Lo and behold, Gingrich had this to say, after noting that the rumor [more incriminating Benghazi emails were forthcoming], if true, would have a substantial impact on the presidential election, Gingrich pointed to another possible “October surprise” in the coming days.


“The other big story, I think, that is going to break is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the president, in the solar panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week,” Gingrich added.

 

The next day, I received the above bombshell Intel in my inbox around 4:30 PM, and I was immediately in contact with Marita via emails, text, and on the phone –– thus we threw up this breaking news at Townhall.com [Emails Catch White House Lie on Green-Energy Loans], divulging just a snippet of data into the 150 internal emails released by the House Oversight Committee on October 31, 2012: Emails Contradict President Obama, Administration Officials on Energy Dept. Loan Program.

 

Cronyism*


Besides the obvious contradictions, coercion, and cover up, since April this year, we had already chronicled many of the green-energy, crony-corruption stories –– the driving forces behind the majority of the loans that flew out of the DOE. In fact the three firms/projects found in the "smoking gun" emails released by the House Oversight Committee –– that we decided to highlight in our breaking story –– we had already reported on since April 2012.

 

AREVA acquired Ausra Inc.* –– $2 billion (covered in my 2010 Green Corruption piece, and then again October 7, 2012 with Marita in our Romney to Obama: “You Pick the Losers." column


In March 2010, this Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) investment that “develops and deploys utility-scale solar technologies,” was acquired by AREVA Inc, the French state-owned nuclear giant. Two months later, in May of 2010, the DOE offered AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC a conditional commitment for a $2 billion loan guarantee (from the 1703 LGP) to support the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Idaho Falls, Idaho. As rumors of AREVA “suspending its Idaho uranium enrichment plant” circulated in late 2011, AREVA 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 Green Energy Myth July 2012 tally, “Shareholders of AREVA lost over 60% of their money last year [2011]. Why did we enrich the French? Who knows, but it's awfully fishy when we find our usual green cronyism suspects hovering around "government green" like vultures—Kleiner Perkins, where John Doerr and Al Gore are both partners and 2008 Obama supporters. Meanwhile billionaire John Doerr –– considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor" by New York Magazine –– influenced the 2009-stimulus, sits on the president's job council, and in February 2011 hosted a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president. He just so happened to rake in billions of stimulus money for his KPCB clean-energy portfolio, including Fisker Automotive listed above. Other investors in Ausra close to Obama are Khosla Ventures and Gore's Generation Investment Management firm, but let's leave those cans of worms closed for now. 


 Ausra Connections:

  • As mentioned Kleiner Perkins as well as Al Gore's Generation Investment Management firm (GIM) also tied to 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.
  • Khosla Ventures, where billionaire Vinod Kholsa, another big VC winner in the green taxpayer funded giveaway, that includes Ausra (listed here), Coskata that snagged a $250 million DOE loan as well as Nordic WindPower (also a Goldman Sachs investment) for $16 million, plus more. Vinod Khosla, an affiliated partner of Kleiner Perkins, whose firm Khosla Ventures has also invested in some of the same companies as Kleiner Perkins, which include; AltaRock Energy Inc., $25 million grant from the stimulus; Amyris Biotechnologies, $25 million grant from the stimulus; and Mascoma Corporation has received state and federal grants from the DOE since 2006, totaling over $170 million and as recent as 2008, received another $49.5 million in funding from the DOE and the state of Michigan. According to Scwheizer's Throw Them All Out, "Kholsa had been the head of Obama's India Policy Team during the 2008 election and contributed to Democratic candidates. 



Abound Solar* (covered in my July 25, 2012 piece, and then again with Marita in our September 30, 2012 Obama Never Admits Green Failure column)

 

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

 

President Obama, in July 2010, praised Abound Solar, which was to make advanced solar panels in two locations: Colorado and Indiana. 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 “doing well and growing.” However, just months after that optimistic report, Abound Solar filed bankruptcy—blaming cheap imports from China. Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter for Colorado Watchdog found that “Abound’s problems appear to have been rooted in the quality of its own products, the competitiveness of the business model, and its inability to retain top talent.”

 

Abound Solar UPDATES

 

Abound Connections
Those that gained financially and politically:

  • 2008 billionaire heiress Pat Stryker, early investor in Abound (then AVA); 2008 Obama bundler and Democrat donor (and Obama donor for 2012)
  • Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski’s nephew Russell
  • Then-Colorado Democratic Congresswoman Betsy Markey (tied to cap-and-trade) 
  • At the state level, then Democratic Colorado Governor Bill Ritter strongly supported Abound Solar and its application for a DOE loan guarantee, gave letter to Secretary Chu.
  • Republican ties: 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.


Shepherds Flat* (I covered in my July 2012 piece entitled, General Electric Making “Bank” off Obama's “Green” Stimulus Money; Over $3 Billion and Counting


EXCERPT: 

General Electric, CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Chair of Obama’s Job Council and the Billions They Raked in Through the 2009 Obama Stimulus Package 

Whereas General Electric (GE) is a heavy donor to
both Republicans and Democrats, and Immelt himself "plays the role of typical corporate donor who hedges his bets on both sides of the fence," in 2008, GE gave the Obama campaign $529,855, marking them a top Obama donor. Nevertheless, GE is a major player on the clean-energy scene as well as in this green energy scheme. Even The New York Times recognized GE’s “green power,” noting that in 2009, GE lobbied Congress to help expand the “clean-energy subsidy programs, and it now profits from every aspect of the boom in renewable-power plant construction,” including “hundreds of millions in contracts to sell its turbines to wind plants built with public subsidies.” In fact, you'll be "blown away" by the billions of "wind energy grants" that blew out of the stimulus package back in February 2010, of which GE is contracted to at least 26% of them as the "Turbine Manufacturer."

In late 2009,
it was reported that GE became "one of the newer smart meter players," and that they "had been working with utility Oklahoma Gas & Electric on a 6,600 smart meter trial, and had procured "a contract with Pepco Holdings (PHI)," which received Smart Grid Investment Grants totaling $168 million. GE also has a big contract with Florida Power and Light," also the recipient of a $200 million stimulus grant.

Yet, this is just the beginning of the GE "green bucks"...


While
a recent "news flash" was published by the Republican National Committee, confirming via Recovery.gov that "General Electric received over $1.2 billion worth of stimulus loan guarantees, awards, contracts and grants" (the majority of which were for renewable energy projects), they missed billions more. Two large 1705 loan guarantees that I had outlined in April of this year, as well as a forthcoming $490 million cash grant and a $54.6 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Add in some smaller government subsidies and awards for a multitude of green projects, programs, and through some of their "green alliances," that I found during my 2011 research, and GE's "green tab" exceeds $3 billion in direct (some indirectly) taxpayer cash, and counting. ;

Let's take a look at GE's two projects from the
1705 Loan Guarantee Program, both of which are included the DOE's risky investment portfolio.

  • 1366 Technologies Inc, Rating B by Fitch, Sept 2011 –– $150 million
  • Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC –– Rating BBB- by Fitch; Oct 2010 for $1.04 billion (or $1.3 billion)

GE sponsored the Caithness Shepherds Flat, and also supplied the project with 338 wind-turbines. On top of the $1.3 billion loan, the Caithness project is set to receive a cash grant of $490 million from the Treasury Department once those turbines start turning.

Later,
another close associate of, and big donor to the president invested in Caithness. As uncovered by Peter Schweizer in his book, Throw Them All Out, "Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama.” Still, Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman, was an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is a member of the president's Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST). Interestingly, Google’s $814,540 contribution to Obama’s campaign made it the fifth largest donor in 2008. As of late, Google has aimed its "search engines" at green technology, many of which have received government "help" –– BrightSource, Solar City, Telsa Motors, and others, but we’ll stay focused on GE.

The House Oversight, March 2012
investigation reveals internal memos of concern over the fact that the Caithness Shepherds Flat project was receiving “an excessive amount of public subsidy (where grants, tax credits and loan guarantees provided 65% of the funding for the project), and that private parties did not have sufficient ‘skin in the game.’”

Further, it goes on to state, “Four months after the DOE approved the Caithness loan, President Obama named Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, as the Chairman of Obama’s Job Council” –– a council
stacked with Democratic donors, and several Obama bundlers, both for the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

It also discloses “General Electric’s broad access to loan guarantees,” and it gives a very illuminating account. “Since Immelt’s appointment as Chair of the Job Council, two additional government-backed transactions have occurred." "First the poorly rated 1366 Technologies, sponsored in part by GE, received a direct $150 million loan commitment from the DOE for its solar manufacturing plant." Second was the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that loaned $54.6 million to Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) "to purchase thirty new General Electric ES44AC diesel-electric locomotives" –– a loan that raised red flags in the House investigation. 


More to come...


However, another incriminating factor that struck me in the new report (memo) released by House Oversight is that "DOE officials were aware of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s tough reelection in 2010 and moved projects that were important to Senator Reid forward." 

  • In a December 5 2009 email, Loan Program Office Senior Credit Advisor Jim McCrea forwarded an article about Senator Reid’s reelection campaign to LPO contractor Paul Barbian and stated: “Since this is not going to go into the DOE, and just to be clear, the translation is: Reid may be desperate. WH may want to help. Short term considerations may be more important than longer term considerations and what’s a billion anyhow?” 
  •  In a May 4 2010 email, LPO Executive Director Jonathan Silver wrote in an email “I need some stats on how many projects we have funded or have in DD [due diligence] as a percentage of totals.  Reid is constantly hit at home for not bringing in the federal dollars.”
  • Throughout 2010 LPO emails indicate that projects in Nevada were prioritized because they were “high profile,” “tied to larger events,” or because they had Senator Reid’s support.  These projects included the $343 million SWIP project (Email #10, attached), the $98.5 million Nevada Geothermal project (Email #11, attached), and the $737 million SolarReserve Tonopah project. 

 

This is another part of the Green Corruption scandal brought to you by Marita and I in July 2012, Senator Harry Reid’s Part in Green-Energy Crony-Corruption. However, speaking of Jonathon Silver and Secretary Chu, they are both implicated in these newly released and damning email dumps –– both on my Green Corruption radar since 2010, along with at least a "Dozen DOE Insiders."

And in April 2012, Chu in my Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism, noting that in a gripping line of questioning, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan confronted this issue head on during that same hearing where he pressed Secretary Chu on nine of the firms that received loans, revealing their political connections. Chu countered that the loans were based on merit. Yet Jordan was perplexed, “so if you weren’t helping your buddies, and you were basing your decisions on the merits of the loan, how do you explain the fact that 23 of 27 recipients of the loan guarantees were rated as junk status investments?” Jordan concluded, “If it wasn’t your political buddies, it had to be incompetence.”


At first glance, we have plenty more cronyism and corruption to piece together with these "smoking gun" emails (and we will), and 100's of more emails to read. Still, it would be a worthy endeavor to investigate if Silver or Chu perjured themselves (or any other CEO as well as any former or current DOE Official for that matter), during any of the (five) House Oversight Committee hearings that have been conducted since 2011 –– my hunch, yes!


Stay tuned...

Read more…

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…

My reflection of both the Republican and DemocraticNational Conventions, from Tampa to Charlotte, with even the fact-checkers having to be fact checked, has been focused on green: renewable energy and taxpayer money.


Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan "slammed President Barack Obama over Solyndra during his acceptance speech." Not surprising considering the ads coming from the Romney camp, hammering away at the Obama administration's failed energy policies along with the crony capitalism charges leveled, a compelling case which the mainstream media is hell bent on either ignoring or shielding the president from.

Ryan declared, “It cost $831 billion –– the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government,” referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was sold to the American people, guaranteed by the Obama administration; as a means to stimulate a dying economy and create jobs. “It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their worst,” Ryan reinforced.

Conversely, President Obama made a series of energy claims, including renewable, during his acceptance speech, framing his energy policies as a success, and doubling down on his commitment to invest in clean energy.

Additionally, Obama denounced corporate welfare for oil companies at a convention that according to The Center for Public Integrity, was funded by “deep-pocketed corporate donors,” and one year to the day after Solyndra declared bankruptcy.

Steve Spinner: Obama Bundler and Former DOE Loan Programs Advisor 4063582204?profile=original

More amusing perhaps is the fact that the DNC rolled out the red carpet for the president's buddy, Steve Spinner, Obama bundler and former top advisor at the Department of Energy (DOE). Spinner, well known for his involvement and influence (ongoing investigation and internal emails prove) to the ill-fated, politically connected Solyndra, was spotted on the DNC stage, yet bolted for the exit as ABC news made several attempts to interview him.

Over the past two years, it has become perfectly clear that the Solyndra saga, once the poster child for the president's clean energy initiative, has morphed into the template for Obama's green corruption scandal: political payback. Yet, as most concluded a while ago, Solyndra is only the tip of the iceberg.

While this saga warrants an entire chapter, Spinner's part has been widely reported, including the fact that his wife's law firm was representing the California solar company, In October 2011, ABC News reported, "Allison Spinner's law firm, Wilson Sonsini, received $2.4 million in federal funds for legal fees related to the $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra."

Further, it is generally known that George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire and another Obama bundler, was a 35 percent owner of Solyndra. In 2009 (at a Rotary Club event), Kaiser admitted  he, "...was trying to get as much of Obama's giant stimulus payout as possible." It turns out that Mr. Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted that huge September 2009 DOE loan. Also, top Solyndra officials made their fair share of visits to the White House (20 visits between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011), as reported by The Daily Caller in August 2011.

An insulting aspect came when we found out that then-CEO Chris Gronet bragged, “The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” –– reports The Heritage Foundation this year. However, Solyndra executives didn't have much to say two years later, as they invoked their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions asked by the House Energy Committee.

What most don't know is that Fitch rated the Solyndra loan non-investment grade back in 2009, as revealed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012. Even so, Solyndra was not the only excessively risky loan doled out by the DOE. Through the DOE’s 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, over $16 billion of taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects; of which 23 were junk rated.

In a twist of fate, the DOE’s junk bond portfolio is where you’ll discover that 90 percent of these firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors) to President Obama (at least 16) and other high-ranking Democrats; or both, with four to Senator Harry Reid alone.

But the Solyndra saga continues...

As Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pushes for more Solyndra emails, the high-powered list of players caught up in this drama, from inside the DOE all the way to the White House, is already long and the details are so convoluted that I can only anticipate a reality show to air soon.

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 Obama's "clean" energy is dirty.

Solyndra was a client of Goldman Sachs, and is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser,” Bloomberg notes. Goldman Sachs, as I discovered long ago, has their DNA all over this green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Goldman Sachs was the number two top Obama Donor that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign. Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 finance committee and two were bundlers for his 2008 campaign.

In addition to Spinner, Kaiser, Solyndra executives, and Goldman Sachs, we can add David Mann, a lobbyist and Obama Super Pac donor, who lobbied for Solyndra, to this saga. Recently The Washington Free Beacon (a great source for this scandal) uncovered that Mann was granted significant access to the White House, “He met with White House officials four times in under two years between 2010 and 2012.” The Beacon goes on, “Solyndra is the most prominent of Mann’s failed clients, but it is far from the only one.”

Moreover, GOP substantiated research informs us that, "every Obama Chief Of Staff, staffers across numerous agencies, government watchdogs, even Solyndra investors knew that the risks were too high for taxpayers."

Solyndra, which came from humble junk beginnings, now has its place in history: an art exhibit at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, at the price tag of half a billion taxpayer dollars.

Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group: Obama Bundler Serving on Energy Secretary Chu's Advisory Board
 
4063582136?profile=originalNow, it's unclear why former Vice President Al Gore's presence was missed at the DNC (climate change drama possibly), especially since he was a strong Obama supporter in 2008. Also, Gore's firm, Kleiner Perkins, along with his friend and partner, billionaire John Doerr, considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor" by New York Magazine, who in February 2011 hosted a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president, raked in billions of stimulus money for their clean-energy investments. The conflict runs deeper, as Doerr sits on the president's job council, and early on ultimately shaped what went into the energy section of the 2009 Obama stimulus package.

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

Stay tuned...

Read more…
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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…

4063556436?profile=originalAs I mentioned at the end of my Abound Solar report, this piece of the green corruption scandal will cause your head to explode! Beacon Power Corporation is one of the three renewable energy projects funded with $16 billion worth of excessively risky loans by the Department of Energy (DOE), which have since gone bankrupt.

I also covered the July 18th House Oversight hearing that revealed (amongst other things), shady email practices by former DOE Loan Advisor Jonathan Silver.

In fact, this is Part Four of DOE “Junk” Loans and Cronyism, exposing the 90 percent that have "meaningful" ties to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats –– or both! As previously pointed out, there were 460 applications submitted, and only 7 percent were winners. It turns out that 21 firms represent the 26 projects (the 7%) that were funded by the DOE's 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, of which 23 were "junk" rated.

Of course if you ask the DOE, they were all based on "merit."

Beacon Power Corporation is on that DOE “junk bond" portfolio with one of the worst ratings –– CCC+ conducted by S&P in April 2010 that incorporated their anticipated $43 million loan guarantee.

As revealed in the March 20, 2012 House Oversight investigation, “Before its demise, Beacon Power relied on funding from the federal government. DOE gave Beacon Power over $25 million in grants. However, the largest investment came when DOE announced a conditional $43 million loan guarantee to Beacon Power on July 2, 2009, to create a 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York.”

Despite the fact that S&P ran two default scenarios with dismal conclusions, and its own internal analysis, the DOE “ignored these warnings and finalized the loan guarantee in August 2010.” And, as predicted, just over a year later, Beacon went bust!

Unlike Solyndra ($535 million) and Abound Solar ($400 million), it wasn’t a huge loan, yet as you will see, this story consists of at least $170 million of taxpayer money –– not exactly chump change. Nonetheless, like Solyndra (Ener1 and SpectraWatt, to name a few) Beacon Power had the nerve to pay their executives bonuses in the midst of their fall. According to ABC News, “In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan” –– and the ink wasn't even dry yet.

The Infamous Washington Fixture, Jim Johnson

Most of you may be familiar with Beacon Power, maybe even the details I have just outlined. But did you know that Beacon Power is connected to the infamous Washington insider, James A. Johnson? Also known as Jim Johnson, “a fixture of establishment Washington, with ties to Wall Street and "a major presence in Democratic politics for more than two decades."

Wall Street was a major supporter of Obama in 2008. Despite the president's anti-Wall Street rhetoric and contrary to popular perception, they are still giving "big cash" to Obama's 2012 reelection bid. Johnson came from Lehman Brothers and serves on the Board of Directors of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., both top 2008 Obama donors that have also cashed in on "green" (renewable energy government money) –– Goldman Sachs with their DNA all over this green corruption scandal.

But there’s more…

Johnson “was listed as a campaign fundraising bundler for Obama in the 2008 race and committed to raising $200,000 to $500,000 for the upcoming [2012] presidential race,” as reported by The Washington Post in 2011. The Post goes on, "Johnson had supported Obama as a young senator," and "personally donated $55,400 to Obama’s two presidential campaigns, including a $35,800 check listed on Aug. 29 [2011] to Obama’s reelection effort."

Furthermore, Johnson headed Obama’s vice presidential selection committee in 2008. However, news surfaced that Johnson resigned his Obama VP vetting role amidst criticism over his part in the Countrywide Financial scandal. Ironically, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Team Obama condemned Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for its Countrywide connections.

Johnson is no stranger to scandals. This is the same Mr. Johnson that ran Fannie Mae for almost a decade (1990 to 1999), as Vice Chairman to Chairman and CEO, another scandal of epic proportions that “centers around Johnson!" This plot, from what I gather, “helped sink the American economy,” costing taxpayers about "$153 billion, thus far.”

A scandal –– as articulated by a 2011 New York Times Op-Ed by David Brooks, stemming mainly from the book Reckless Endangerment –– that implicates "dozens of the most respected members of the Washington establishment.” Whereas, “Johnson and other executives kept $2.1 billion for themselves and their shareholders. They used it to further the cause –– expanding their clout, their salaries and their bonuses.” Yet, “only two of the characters in this tale come off as egregiously immoral. Johnson made $100 million while supposedly helping the poor,” while former Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank kept his head in the sand.

Can anyone tell me why there have been no indictments here?

Johnson is not immune to “controversial executive compensation decisions in recent years” either that not only included those in the private sector, but inside Fannie Mae. As reported by The Washington Post back in 2008, “The accounting manipulation for 1998 resulted in the maximum payouts to Fannie Mae's senior executives –– $1.9 million in Johnson's case –– when the company's performance that year would have otherwise resulted in no bonuses at all.”

Still, these executive bonuses have been off President Obama's "attack radar," as are the energy firms that received government funding from his administration, which are implementing the same shameful bonus rewarding practices.

Perseus Energy & Technologies Portfolio: Three Green Stimulus Sweetheart Deals, Two Went Bust; Also Stands to Benefit from Nat Gas Act

While Mr. Johnson escaped Obama’s VP vetting table, he made it to Obama’s green-energy table. In 2001, Johnson joined the private banking firm Perseus, LLC (a $2 billion private equity fund in Washington) as the Vice Chairman. However, his executive biography is no longer on the Perseus site, but can be found at his Goldman Sachs bio (and I have a hard copy).

Beacon Power Corp. and Evergreen Solar, Inc. are Perseus portfolio companies listed as Energy and Energy Technology investments, of which both were winners of stimulus money and went bankrupt.

The Beacon Bust

As mentioned, Beacon Power Corp. received over $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million that was announced in July 2009, and solidified in August 2010 –– only to go bust in October 2011.

The Beacon Bust connection is not limited to Mr. Johnson. As revealed in the House Oversight investigation, and told by The Daily Caller in 2011, “Beacon Power’s CEO and president [F. William “Bill” Capp]" and other executives donated generously to Obama and other Democratic Party candidates.

We've established Johnson as a 2008 Obama bundler, and is reported be bundling for the president again, while personally donating to both of Obama's campaigns. However it's important to note that "Perseus officers have donated $120,700 to Obama and the Democratic Party’s top three fundraising committees since the 2007-08 election cycle."

The Evergreen Solar Shut Out

Evergreen Solar, Inc., now Evergreen Solar (China) –– “one of the Obama administration’s pet ‘green energy’ projects" –– apparently received "stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies." However, we don't know exactly how much or when. But we do know that in 2008, Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick made a speech to congratulate the expansion of Evergreen Solar in his state, touting the partnership as “what we must do to grow our economy and save our planet.” Further, we know that Evergreen collected a "$58 million financial aid package from the Patrick-Murray administration to support Evergreen’s $450 million factory."

The problem with tracking just how much taxpayer money Evergreen collected is that at the time their bankruptcy was publicized in August of 2011, the data went missing from federal records. Nevertheless, in April 2009, the White House announced Evergreen as a “green jobs creator," claiming that the Recovery Act was working  –– they were noted as a beneficiary of federal ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), stimulus funds,” as dug up by David Mastio at the Washington Times.

Also, Governor Patrick cited Evergreen Solar as receiving stimulus money, while the state of Massachusetts had put out a press release, naming Evergreen Solar’s involvement with a project funded by the stimulus. Evergreen Solar put out its own press release in October 2010, noting that their panels were all compliant with the ARRA and could be used by projects funded by the stimulus.

A few news publications did pay homage to some of the stimulus awards while broadcasting Evergreen Solar’s demise –– they filed for bankruptcy in August of 2011, reporting 800 USA job losses, while moving their "green jobs" and entire company to China.

How much taxpayer money did Evergreen Solar take down the bankruptcy tubes (or to China)?  News Busters Tom Blumer, "unreported and impossible to track," best answers that question.

VPG Gets ATVM Loan and Green Car Cronyism

In March 2011, the Vehicle Production Group (VPG Holdings LLC), "a Miami start-up that is manufacturing wheelchair-accessible cars and taxis” received a $50 million ATVM loan from the DOE.

October rolled around, and "Surprise! Another Obama bundler benefits from 'green-tech' subsidies." Finally, The Washington Post connected the green corruption dots to the infamous Mr. Johnson, “An investment firm whose vice chairman has been an adviser and fundraiser for President Obama saw one of its portfolio companies win approval this year for $50 million in loans from the administration’s clean-energy loan program.”

However, the other two –– The Beacon Bust and Evergreen Solar Shut Out –– were sorely missed by the media, a piece of the green corruption scandal that I've been sitting on for over a year now.

With seventeen companies listed on the Perseus Energy & Technologies Portfolio, I'm sure if we dug deeper, we'd fine more than three. On the other hand, there is one that struck me –– Clean Energy Fuels Corp., T. Boone Pickens’ alternative energy company. I remember digging up some research about Pelosi and Pickens.

Oh yeah, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi owns stock in that company, and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. stands to be the biggest beneficiary of passage of the Nat Gas Act that, so far, was voted down by the Senate in March of this year. This is another piece of legislation that will not only benefit those listed here (Mr. Johnson too), but others like George Soros, another major Obama connection and green corruption player –– both noteworthy stories, but for now we'll stay in the "green car cronyism" lane.

Johnson's firm Perseus was the winner of one of the five ATVM loans that were finalized by the DOE –– part of the DOE loan program, totaling over $34.7 billion of taxpayer money. Of those five, three have close Obama connections. In the summer of 2010, right after I began to follow the "green" stimulus money, I covered two of them. Eventually others took notice like iWatch in late 2011, "Energy's risky $1 billion bet on two politically-connected electric car builders."

They include Fisker Automotive for $529 million to build cars in Finland (haven't a few gone up in flames and what about those layoffs?), which is a Kleiner Perkins investment where John Doerr and Al Gore are partners. Doerr by the way, is not only an Obama donor, but is positioned on Obama's Job Council and had influence on what went into the energy-sector of the 2009-simulus package. Meanwhile Telsa Motors that received $465 million (as of late, had some design problems) is an investment of the "Green Bundler with the Golden Touch," Steve Westly (The Westly Group). Mr. Westly, of course, is a DOE Advisor.

Both of these firms are part of what I call the "elite green group" –– those Obama cronies raking in billions of taxpayer money through a multiple of green-government subsidies approved under the Obama administration, mainly from the 2009-stimulus package. This is a group that I have referenced in various parts of this scandal, and I will eventually expose a complete compilation, in order to grasp the extent of favoritism at play here.

But for now, I'll continue with the DOE “Junk” Loans and Cronyism, exposing the 90% that have "meaningful" ties (bundlers, donors, etc) to President Obama (at least 16) and other high-ranking Democrats –– or both, four to Senator Harry Reid alone!

Although, I have completed some of these "green" cronyism, corruption cases, exposing President Obama's clean-energy dirt piece by piece –– General Electric and Abound Solar here on Blogcritics, there is much more. In fact, Marita Noon, columnist at Townhall.com, and I have chronicled the Special Seven: Abengoa Solar, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, Ormat Nevada, SolarReserve, BrightSource Energy, and NextEra Energy Resources (Genesis Solar project).

Next up is the Solyndra Saga –– once the poster child for the president's clean-energy initiative, quickly morphed into the template for Obama's "green corruption" scandal (political payback). Yet, as most concluded a while ago, Solyndra is only the tip of this "corrupt" iceberg.

I hope the Obama Team has life jackets.

First published on Blogcritics Magazine, and it made top billing in politics:

Beacon Bust Tied to Obama Bundler and VP Hunter, the Infamous Washington Fixture, James A. Johnson

At least three green stimulus sweetheart deals went to companies of Jim Johnson’s private banking firm Perseus, where two went BUST, taking over $100 million of taxpayer money down the bankruptcy toilet and USA jobs to China...

Now at Green Corruption –– the place where this entire scandal is being exposed piece by piece until the 2012 election.

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…