On Friday October 26, 2012, President Obama told a local 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.”
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 July, adores 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
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 timely
investments 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
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
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
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
, 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 new
clean-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.
- 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."
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 post, Failing 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.
- 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."
As of October 2012, updated May 2013 and July 2013
(with a full report in the works)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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
Two Women –– one Citizen & one Energy Columnist –– join forces on One Mission: to expose one chunk of the Green Corruption Scandal at a time.
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.