Saturday, July 12, 2014

SolarCity: Subsidizing the Left’s ‘green’ millionaires and billionaires

FAST FRIENDS: SolarCity chairman billionaire Elon Musk with
 President Obama [Photo by Watchdog.org].
 




As the 2014 midterms approach, the White House and Democrats are heating up their "class warfare" campaign rhetoric, which now comes in all shapes and sizes, claiming their agenda props up the middle class, while professing their allegiance to the poor.

Even as many Americans are aware of these particular falsehoods, we must continue to lift the veil off of the Left's deception. We must remind the masses that the president and the Democratic Party are in bed with the rich, and are champions of crony capitalism and corporate welfare, crushing the middle class, while using the poor as pawns in their political game.

The latest recycled tactic headlined during President Obama's 4th of July speech in Georgetown where he called for “economic patriotism," which was another ploy to divide our nation during what is supposed to be a time of unity. Here's just a flavor:
We could be doing so much more if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top or trying to score political points, or purposely trying to gridlock Washington, and just tried to get some things done to grow the economy for everybody. We could do so much more if we just rallied around an economic patriotism, a sense that our job is to get things done as one nation and as one people.
Economic patriotism would say that instead of protecting corporations that are shipping jobs overseas, let’s make sure they’re paying their fair share of taxes, let’s reward American workers and businesses that hire them. Let’s put people to work rebuilding America. Let’s invest in manufacturing, so the next generation of good manufacturing jobs are right here, made in the USA. (Applause.) That would be something to celebrate on the 4th of July. (Applause.)
Freedom doesn't ring inside "economic patriotism," because at its core it's code for a much bigger government. Worse, the Daily Caller adds: “Free-market advocates and conservative populists, however, say the close cooperation of business and government is 'crony capitalism' that enriches the wealthy and impoverishes the middle class."

In analyzing the entire speech, the president also targeted Republicans as the reason behind a failed and scandal-ridden administration. But that's par for the course: deny and deflect by blaming the opposition, former President George Bush, or anyone else for that matter. And if that doesn't work, then mock those that dare question.

Unfortunately, we can expect this type of rhetoric to rage on in the coming months with key Democrats moving forward by demonizing and demolishing anyone that disagrees with their agenda –– even when it's unconstitutional, costly and no matter the overreach or how radical. These tactics range from the "the GOP demanding dirty air and dirty water," the so-called “war on woman” and all the way to race and religious warfare. The Left may have publicly shelved "social justice" and "environmental justice" –– although the latter is deeply embedded inside the Obama White House –– but they haven't given up entirely on their “income inequality" (class warfare) messaging, which as of late, has been given a makeover, using terms such as President Obama's "economic patriotism." Stay tuned as they reload with "economic inequality," "economic opportunity” and “fair shot" –– or whatever sticks and moves voters in their direction, giving the Left more power to destroy our Republic.

If we go back to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union address, he complained about a “dangerous and growing inequality” in the U.S., using the word "inequality" 26 times. However, as brought to the light this past March by George Will (well-known columnist, journalist, and author), is that the Democratic Party has an "income inequality problem," starting with the fact that "Democrats’ policies make income inequality worse."

Back in March too, “Liberal Washington Post writer Greg Sargent even suggested this strategy [pimping “income inequality”] is part of the reason” for Senator Harry Reid’s relentless and embarrassing attacks on the Koch brothers.

What’s most hypocritical is that while Reid continues his "Koch addiction," he is another one of those career politicians whose wealth was made off the backs of American taxpayers. Meanwhile, presidential Democrat front-runner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom is reported to have "an average net worth of over $15 million," has been on a "poor me" campaign –– even as she reportedly received a $14 million advance for her most recent book, Hard Choices; charges outrageous speaking fees; and rakes in big bucks from Wall Street.

These are just two examples of the countless out of touch politicians running our country. Are they really that clueless or is this a strategy?

What's for certain is that the Left won't admit that they are in bed with the rich. Take for example liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, who back in February, "pledged to spend up to $100 million in the 2014 election cycle to get federal and state level candidates [Democrats] to enact anti-global warming legislation." In fact here's a little perspective by Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post: "The left is up to their armpits in third party money, union money, billionaire money and SuperPAC money." Moreover, what about the Hollywood cash, lobbyists' loot as well as left-wing dark money (all from the wealthy) making its way into Democrat's campaign coffers. 

Regardless of reality, Democrats continually deny their fair share of wealthy cronies, many of which have been paid handsomely from the Obama regime. More specifically the green energy policies along with tens of billions of taxpayer cash –– energy policies that, by the way, hurt the poor and middle class, while killing jobs.

President Obama's "save the planet slush funds" is priced at $150 billion through 2014 on green initiatives, which factors in both stimulus and non-stimulus funds. And recently, it was revealed by the Daily Mail, how "environmentalists [Natural Resources Defense Council tied to billionaire Steyer] were allowed to draft Obama's White House energy policy" –– his 2012 aggressive and controversial Climate Action Plan, which calls for more clean-energy spending and environmental power.

Those benefiting aren’t just regular rich folks. They are those that bankrolled Obama’s campaigns: big bundlers, members of his National Finance Committee, and large, and current donors to the Democratic Party. The Obama administration, with “green” loans, grants and special tax credits, has been subsidizing millionaires and billionaires, predominately from the Left, whose each individual "carbon footprint" is bigger than my entire city –– and all with friends in high places, gaining more wealth off the backs of hard-working American taxpayers.


THE SolarCity STORY 

Today’s Green Corruption File will focus on one such case study: SolarCity has major big wigs –– mostly Democrat supports and donors –– in their corner, which includes ultra-rich individuals, top lobbyists and powerful left-wing organizations, as well as Big Energy, Big Banks and Big Venture Capitalists.

Since I've covered SolarCity many times, which goes as far back as February 2013 in my post "Spreading the Wealth to Obama's Ultra-Rich Job Council Members," to my regular readers, some of this information may be redundant. My last insight into this green company was in March of this year, documenting SolarCity as a client of the Podesta Group as well a donor to Center for American Progress in my piece: "Podesta Power and Center for American Progress: The dark, driving force behind the president’s massive green energy scheme."
But there's more...

What began with an “interrupted” stimulus loan approved by the White House, has led to federal probes, questionable business models, as well as customer “horror stories” and high energy bills –– all from a green energy company that has received hundreds of millions of taxpayer money, and while dependent upon government subsidies, they are gaining more wealth because of government assistance.

In fact, SolarCity, according to Reuters, had a "successful market debut" when they launched their initial public offering (IPO) in December 2012, and since then it's been a hot energy stock. But is there trouble in paradise? "Is the Recent Spate of Insider Selling for SolarCity Corp Bad News?" –– ponders some investor magazines.


THE SolarCity SUBSIDIES 

Since September 2009: Solar City has snagged anywhere from $514 million to $1 billion in grants and special tax breaks 

According to California Watchdog.org this past February:
SolarCity [from September 2009 to March 2010], has accepted more than $11 million in federal stimulus funds to make its business run. But the real public support appears elsewhere. Because SolarCity technically owns the energy systems it installs, SolarCity — not the homeowner — earns the federal tax break intended as an incentive to go solar. So far the company has earned $411 million in such tax breaks. The company also may earn additional income on state subsidies.
From what I gather, this $411 million is from the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is in essence the federal business energy investment tax credit available that was expanded significantly by the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), enacted in February 2009, further expanded the credit. The ARRA, known as the trillion-dollar stimulus package, is where as most know, approximately $100 billion was earmarked for renewable energy.

As explained by the Hawaii Reporter, this tax credit "allows homeowners who install solar panels to write off 30 percent of the costs, in an effort to encourage Americans to go green."

The article goes on:
Most solar panel customers purchase a panel and receive the tax credit without fanfare, but SolarCity offers 20-year leases on its panels instead of selling them. Because the company retains ownership of the panels even after they are fixed on customers’ roofs, it can take advantage of a loophole in the ITC and deny the customer of his tax credit. SolarCity pockets the 30 percent tax break every time it installs a panel...
Basically, SolarCity "exploits loopholes to pocket federal tax breaks intended for homeowners who install solar panels, which is not technically illegal," Jason Stverak notes. Needless to say, as these green companies continue to employ these types of shady business models, they are not only pocketing taxpayer money, there are reports that SolarCity is also "leaving their customers with needlessly high energy bills" –– the opposite of how clean energy (spending tens of billions of tax dollars) has been sold to the American people.

But that's not the end of SolarCity's taxpayer rip off...

At the end of 2013, I had tracked down 33 federal grants from the 1603 Program, which is another stimulus idea that hands out free taxpayer cash. These stimulus grants were awarded to SolarCity and USB SolarCity Master Tenant in 2011 and 2012, ranging across 15 states, totaling over $92 million.

Although Tori Richards, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter who keeps close tabs on SolarCity, wrote the following at Human Events on June 26, 2014:
As one of the nation’s largest solar contractors and recipient of nearly $1 billion in tax subsidies and grants, SolarCity has imported millions of panels from Chinese companies during the past eight years in its quest for market dominance. The company’s unique leasing program leaves SolarCity as the owners of its customers’ rooftop systems, and that means SolarCity reaps the tax incentives.
So, it seems that thus far SolarCity, through green energy grants and special tax breaks, since 2009, from the Obama administration's green money and polices (some extended) has raked in anywhere from $514 million to a $1 billion. And did you get that? SolarCity is importing panels from China.

August 2011: SolarCity’s $275 million stimulus loan in was a “go” via the White House

What's not widely known is that SolarCity was in line to get a $275 million DOE stimulus loan. This is the same Energy Department loan program that The Green Corruption Files has been tracking since the beginning. In short, from 2009 until September 2011, they doled out 32.4 billion in loans, mostly junk status due to their poor credit rating, to 31 clean-energy projects. Winners have been those with meaningful political connections to the president and other high-ranking Democrats and/or their friends.

This program alone brought us five complete failures to date: Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Vehicle Production Group, and Fisker Automotive –– with many still in the shadows. And, in calculating the other renewable energy giveaways (mainly from the stimulus package), there are over 32 Obama-backed green energy companies that have gone under, costing taxpayers over $3 billion, and counting.

Additionally, on the "troubled list" are five bailouts and 22 green energy companies/projects that are ready to bite the dust. This does not take into account the various taxpayer-funded green energy programs that have also failed miserably, nor my bombshell story on the "law-breaking, American hating" Spanish conglomerate, Abengoa, that was subsidized with over $3.6 billion in stimulus loans and grants from the American taxpayer.

But none of that has stopped this administration from approving and subsidizing green energy projects. In fact they have just heralded that they are ready to dole out billions more. This month, the Energy Department "made a provisional commitment to a $150 million loan guarantee for the Cape Wind offshore wind power project in Massachusetts." Also, it's been reported that Cape Wind secured a "$780 million tax credit" at the end of the year from the Production Tax Credit (PTC). 

This is another "dirty" clean-energy deal, starting with the fact that apparently, "despite safety concerns" this project was pressured by the White House; then fast-tracked and given the green light in 2010 by then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Needless to say, this fits into the pattern of wind deals as chronicled in my 2013 post, noting the carnage, cronyism and corruption. Cape Wind, whose CEO is apparently ultra-rich, has the "support" of the Left in droves: Environment and Health Organizations, Labor Business Trade and Consumer Organizations as well as key Democrat politicians. And like most of these "green" government crony deals, the controversial Cape Wind project is expensive, high risk, and is destined (or already has) to become dependent on government subsidies.

While some have predicted that "Cape Wind is another Solyndra boondoggle in the making," The Hill recently took notice: "Not only would Cape Wind burden taxpayers and ratepayers with its high costs, it would outsource jobs abroad." Again, this is the opposite of how the Obama administration and his minions spun their green revolution: Green energy is supposed to save the planet and create millions American green jobs.

Back to SolarCity and their $275 million DOE deal, dubbed SolarStrong. Due to the Solyndra "red flags" it fell apart just prior to the (stimulus) loan program's deadline in September 2011. Ironically a month earlier (August 2011), this loan was a GO...

Inside House Oversight emails which The Green Corruption Files has been exposing since their release on October 31, 2012, is where we discovered the coercion, collusion, and cover-ups operating inside the Energy Department. In the 350+ page Appendix II, there were a few email interactions in August 2011 regarding this SolarCity transaction that included two DOE officials (listed below) and contradicts President Obama's 2012 claim that "these are decisions [the loans], by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”
  • 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 
EMAIL dated August 2, 2011, O'Rourke writes to Silver with the subject, "strong..."
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 Matthew Winters, whom was the Department of Energy Policy Advisor at that time, with the 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.
NOTES: 
  • If S1 = Secretary Chu, then I'm assuming S2 = Poneman
  • The "Strong" referenced here is SolarCity's Project SolarStrong™, which was a "plan to provide solar power to up to 120,000 military housing units, and create up to 300 megawatts of solar generation capacity."

SolarCity's RISE... and FALL? 

SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk attends Solarcity’s IPO 
at the NASDAQ stock exchange on Dec. 13, 2012, in Manhattan, New York.
Because of American taxpayers, government mandates, and some will argue a shady business model; SolarCity has risen to new heights. As I mentioned, they launched their initial public offering (IPO) in December 2012 [SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY)], which included "underwriters Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch."

In her Wall Street Journal piece, "How Government Is Making Solar Billionaires," almost a year after their IPO, Allysia Finley, opens with, "Welcome to SolarCity, the latest booming green company that has never recorded a profit."

She also goes on about its founder: 
In addition to being the chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla, Mr. Musk is the largest shareholder in both companies. The increase in their stock prices has raised his net worth by more than $5 billion over the past year.
Ms. Finley also describes the SolarCity business model:
The company's base is a 30% federal tax credit that accrues to investors who provide upfront financing for the rooftop panels that SolarCity installs for customers at no charge. Customers "lease" the panels from SolarCity by paying for the solar power they generate, which is priced below their utility's retail rate. 
Customers, however, must sign a contract agreeing to cede "any and all tax credits, incentives, renewable energy credits, green tags, carbon offset credits, utility rebates or any other non-power attributes of the system" to SolarCity. The tax credits are passed on to its investors...
Moreover, she notes the various and never-ending state and local incentives that also supports SolarCity. For example rebates, access to school district "green funds," as well as how they benefit from the "net metering" policies that 43 states, including California, have adopted.

Lastly, Finley writes, "SolarCity and its competitors also implicitly benefit from energy policies like renewable mandates, fracking moratoriums and greenhouse-gas regulations that drive up electricity prices and enable the company to charge its customers more for solar power..."

Just a typical case study in the how the Obama administration rewards his friends, not only with taxpayer cash, but stacking the deck with left-wing policies –– thus the rich get richer and the Left gains more power, leaving the poor and middle class in the dark... pretty soon literally!

While SolarCity celebrates it success (they are getting rich!), you'll find plenty of outside praise such as this 2013 piece by Time Magazine: "A Solar Power Success Story" and GreenTechMedia, "The Numbers Behind SolarCity’s Success."


Still, it hasn't been sunshine and lollipops, even as they continue to have dark days. Besides some of the damaging information already presented in this blog, shadows lurk over SolarCity, as reflected in the following headlines, which includes predictions of a fall.
  • October 14, 2012: Carney: Green stimulus profiteer comes under IRS scrutiny
  • December 14, 2012: Feds Investigate Stimulus-Backed Solar Companies With Political Ties
  • November 20, 2013: Solar firm linked to Obama donors could be 'next Solyndra,' senator warns
  • February 26, 2014: Customers tell horror stories of solar company that gets $422M in tax dollars
  • March 3, 2014: SolarCity skyrocketing stock dependent on government tax giveaways
  • March 20, 2014: SolarCity $166 million in the red after losing $55 million in 2013
  • April 7, 2014: Feds to troll SolarCity books while company seeks another $14.6M
  • May 21, 2014: SolarCity Is Not A Wise Investment At This Stage Of The Solar Game
  • June 13, 2014: Solar City: Tax Subsidies For Them, Big Bills For Hawaii
Two key issues followed by Watchdog.org are important to share. The former is that a "pair of investigations by the Treasury Department and the Justice Department," since 2012 (maybe earlier), "have been looking into claims that SolarCity inflated its cost of goods in order to collect larger tax credits." Unfortunately, there have been no updates on the status of these investigations. Meanwhile, the latter problem for SolarCity entails "shoddy installation, poor customer service and hidden fees."

But there are questions too: Why did two SolarCity Corp executives recently reduce their stake in the company; CEO  Lyndon Rive and the company’s EVP Seith Weissman? What happens if these green energy government subsidies were to end? I can't answer the former question, but the latter seems unlikely, because SolarCity is stacked with many high-powered entities, which is detailed next. 


THE SolarCity PLAYERS 

Billionaire Elon Musk 

SolarCity, a "full-service solar power system design, financing, installation and monitoring services," was started by Peter Rive along with his brother and CEO Lyndon Rive. Their cousin, billionaire Elon Musk, is SolarCity's chairman and largest shareholder. According to Bloomberg Business Week, "The Tesla Motors (TSLA) founder and chief executive helped conceive of the idea for the solar company while driving with his family to Burning Man, and SolarCity has big ties to the electric-auto maker. Tesla supplies batteries and battery pack technology that SolarCity has turned into storage systems for its customers."

Musk, a prominent Obama supporter, is infamous for his role as co-founder of Pay Pal as well as Tesla Motors that in January 2010, snagged a $465 million ATVM loan –– another so-called cleantech success story, yet Tesla "also took a $10 million grant from the state of California and relies on tax credits to sell its cars and occasionally turn meager profits."

While the Energy Department will continually tout Tesla as a Big Win (they paid back the loan early and we got 1500 jobs out of the deal), Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage.com, shared some reality this past May: "Tesla loses $50 million [in the first quarter of 2014] and gets $250 million in environmental wealth redistribution."

Plus, as documented by Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner, "Musk has benefited from more than half a billion in Obama export subsidies." While these funds were for his rocket company SpaceX, the monies are still taken from U.S. taxpayers via another federal subsidy called the Export-Import Bank of the United States, of which many green companies have already tapped into. And while this bank is currently on the hot seat, possibly the chopping block, guess who's protecting this massive means of corporate welfare and crony capitalism?  The Left


Ultra-Rich Top DC Lobbyists, McBee Strategic Consulting (2009 - 2010) and The Podesta Group (2012 to current) 

From 2009 to 2010, SolarCity employed McBee's lobbying expertise, of which they snagged $350,000 for two years of work. However in 2012, they switched to another infamous "green" lobbyist, the Podesta Group, and are currently listed as a client with Podesta at this time.

Since 2002, McBee Strategic Consulting has financially supported both sides of the political isle, with a huge increase in campaign contributions in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 cycles. However they have given predominately, and more significantly to Democrats.

In 2011, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner shined some light on this firm, whom is "hailed" as one of the top lobbyists in D.C.: "McBee... reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare." Carney later states, "With McBee's former boss being a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, McBee Strategic used to be an earmark factory. After Obama's election, though, McBee pivoted to green energy and saw revenues soar in 2009."

In my September 2013 Green Corruption File, it documents those revenues as well as research that reflects 31 McBee energy clients with 19 (over 60 percent) that received green government subsidies under the Obama administration, totaling approximately $13.7 billion of taxpayer money, which not only includes SolarCity, but also the notorious Solyndra. Additionally, with only two clients (Honeywell and Tesla) that were hired prior to 2009, when the Recovery Act was approved, I calculated that from these 31 energy clients, McBee Strategic Consulting "green energy kickbacks," at that time were close to $9 million. Hardly chump change.

Tony Podesta, on the other hand, dubbed "The Lobbyist" by Newsweek, is the founder and Chairman at the Podesta Group, which he started with his brother John in 1987. John Podesta is currently President Obama's special advisor, and will be addressed in the next section. 

As documented by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Podesta Group's lobbying income went from $16,070,000 in 2008 to $25,780,000 in 2009, and has since significantly increased. Not to mention that Tony Podesta personally receives extraordinary amounts of money per hour.

Even though news hit in early 2013, that the married super lobbyists, Heather and Tony Podesta, separated, they are both –– via different firms –– are tied to numerous Obama-backed clean-energy deals, which includes SolarCity, are documented here.

Powerful Left-wing Think Tank, Center for American Progress (CAP): SolarCity CAP donor since 2013 

Center for American Progress (CAP) is the Soros-funded left-wing think tank, which has deep-rooted ties to the Clintons, and is closely aligned with the Obama White House. In fact, a squadron of CAP experts worked with the president's transition team, and they've been “reportedly highly influential in helping to craft White House Policy, including their dark participation, other than their "recommendations" inside the stimulus package. 

CAP has major foothold inside the Obama administration that is not just limited to Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff and John Podesta, the "executive power" czar. CAP "Fellows," which of course, were also bundlers for Obama's 2008 campaign –– even bundling again in 2012 –– have been operating inside this green energy scheme since the beginning. 

With a $42 million annual budget, CAP characterizes itself as "an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action." Yet, according to left-leaning Huffington Post, they've "been a vocal voice for this president's policies in the media and on the Hill. But their area of highest visibility is advocacy for a clean-energy economy where John Podesta has personally led the effort."

Just glancing over at CAP's Climate Progress blog provides evidence of this. And true to form, they prefer using fear and hype, while mocking anyone that questions climate change. It's also an obvious mouthpiece for the White House.

In late 2013, when CAP finally revealed its corporate donors, the list of 58 included "a broad sampling of corporate interests, from tech firms and automakers to health-care companies, big banks, retailers and trade associations," reported the Washington Post. But that's not all. The Green Corruption Files found that of the CAP donors in the "renewable energy business," that at least 17 raked in tens of billions of tax dollars from the Green Bank of Obama, including SolarCity, which has been a CAP donor since at least 2013.

This and much more can be found in my post, "Podesta Power and Center for American Progress: The dark, driving force behind the president’s massive green energy scheme."


Highly Influential Special Interest Group, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE): SolarCity Member (unknown time) 

American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a group representing over 650 companies and various clean-energy organizations, membership dues are based on an organization's annual revenue, and they charge anywhere from $850 to $15,250 per year.

Their agenda states that they are "dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy." However, while they promote renewable energy and CAP's Climate Progress blog, in realty they're a "lobby powerhouse" full of deep-pocketed backers and influence over legislation. As reported by PJMedia a while back, “Michael Eckhart, president at that time, (now at Citigroup) and the ACORE membership "helped design the Department of Energy grant programs” that partly offset the loss of tax equity financing arrangements."

SolarCity has been a member of ACORE for some time, but it's unclear at what point they aligned with them –– as is which grant program ACORE "helped design," because there are numerous ways that the Energy Department doles out green money. One of the biggest stimulus handouts is coming out of the 1603 Treasury Program, which as of March 2014, has dished out $21.6 billion of free taxpayer money.

What we confirm is that in late 2011, ACORE ensured that the 1603 was extended through 2012 –– a program of which many of their members have financially benefited, including SolarCity. As recorded earlier, since 2009, SolarCity has raked in anywhere from $514 million to a $1 billion in grants and special tax breaks, which includes $92 million, between 2011 and 2012, from this particular stimulus grant program.

This and more is documented my October 2013 Green Corruption File, "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten."


More Big Wigs & Obama Pals Invest in or Partner with Solar City (chronological order by date) 

AP Photo / former Vice President Al Gore endorsing
presidential nominee Barack Obama in 2008 



#1) Al Gore's firm Generation Investment Management (GIM): Sometime before July 2010, became an investor in SolarCity

Al Gore's firm GIM, was an early investor in SolarCity, when in July 2010, they announced a new, "$21.5 million round of private financing," noting that Generation Investment Management LLP was an "existing SolarCity investor..."

Also, GIM was reported to be a major stockholder, which is reflected in this Insider Monkey article, "Hedge Funds Are Crazy About SolarCity Corp (SCTY)," published in September 2013: 
Out of the hedge funds we follow, Generation Investment Management, managed by David Blood and Al Gore, holds the biggest position in SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY). Generation Investment Management has a $159.8 million position in the stock, comprising 3.1% of its 13F portfolio.
Most know Gore's part in the global warming hype and hypocrisy, but it's much more than that. Case in point is Gore and his pal John Doerr, President Obama's wealthy climate cronies, of which Gore campaigned for Obama, while Doerr has been a major supporter and donor to the president. Doerr even wrote the energy-sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, and was a member of President's Obama's Jobs Council for years.

While Gore's net worth in 2013 was a measly $200 million, Doerr, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, net worth is much higher: Forbes pegs it at $3.4 billion, placing Doerr at #23 of the 2014 "Midas List of Tech's Top Investors."

Both Doerr and Gore are partners at the big VC firm Kleiner Perkins –– a firm that is also in collaboration with the London-based Generation Investment Management (listed above).  Between the two companies, and as of January 2013, The Green Corruption Files found their "green tab" to be close to $10 billion. This is found in my post, "Green Bank of Obama: John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins, scores billions in 'green fund'" –– yet at that time, I missed SolarCity. 

#2) PG&E Corp: Financial partnership with SolarCity, January 2010

On January 20, 2010, SolarCity announced its partnership with Pacific Venture Capital, LLC, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation: "a $60 million in tax equity financing for solar installations for U.S. homes and businesses." The press release continues, "The investment — funded by PG&E Corporation shareholders — is expected to allow SolarCity to install more than 1,000 solar systems for U.S. homeowners and businesses via the company’s SolarLease® and Power Purchase Agreement financing options. SolarCity’s financing options allow homeowners and businesses to adopt solar power with no upfront investment and to save money from day one on energy costs."

This utility giant is a strong Obama and Democrat donor that happens to be all over this "green" scam. Not only did they have direct influence over the DOE stimulus loans, they are jam-packed with Washington "green cronies," including Cathy Zoi, who is the "most controversial former PG&E employee" to hold an influential government post. Zoi, an Al Gore acolyte was a DOE Insider from 2009 until 2011, and she is not only tied to PG&E but other stimulus winners.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon in 2012, "PG&E has become an aggressive buyer of power supplied by solar, wind, and other renewable sources, in large part due to statutory requirements under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which mandated that 20 percent of the utility’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2010 — and 33 percent by 2020."

The big win for this huge energy corporation is that they have an invested interest in seven Energy Department stimulus loans worth $7.6 billion. Moreover, we now know from an internal email dated January 4, 2010, that Peter Darbee, then CEO of PG&E, had himself spoken to President Obama about the BrightSource Energy's $1.6 DOE deal. Details into all seven of these taxpayer-funded projects can be found in my April 2013 and September 2013 Green Corruption Files. 
    Meanwhile, my May 2013 “Smart Gird, Dirty Devices" divulges PG&E's partnership with Silver Spring Networks on many fronts (PG&E is their top customer). Silver Springs is the lucky smart-grid technology company, who has an array of White House connections: Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Google. As of January 2013, Silver Spring was linked to at least $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants.

    But there's more...
    • PG&E won a significant amount of stimulus money for various projects, of which last year I found at least seventeen that added up to over $55 million of tax dollars. 
    • PG&E also bagged at least four stimulus 1603 grants in 2012 and 2013 (for fuel cell, hydropower and solar) totaling $127.2 million. 
    • SolarCity (already noted) and SunRun, who both won large sums of stimulus money, are in cahoots with P.G.&E. Corporation, the California utility holding company's tax-equity fund to finance residential solar installations.
     Since PG&E is a confirmed CAP Corporate Donor since 2011, more details can be found here.


    #3) Citigroup: Major SolarCity investor, February 2011

    According to the Tree Hugger websites back in February 2011, "Citi isn’t new to investing in solar energy projects, but the bank previously backed solar projects built for businesses and public agencies. But it has now jumped solidly into the residential solar installation market by agreeing to back $40 million in solar installations by SolarCity."

    Since 2007, Citigroup has been heavily involved in "climate change activities." We also can confirm that this "too-big-to-fail" bank has made a massive footprint inside President's Obama's clean-energy dirt –– the candidate that Citigroup helped get elected in 2008 as the number seven top donor (PAC) with many executives and friends of Obama bundling for both his campaigns. Yet in 2012, Citi contributed to both President Obama and Mitt Romney.

    In February 2013, I dedicated an entire post to Citi and their Massive 'Green' Money Machine, which involved a careful analysis of their "2012 alternative energy portfolio" that lists about 37 transactions (plus SolarReserve)  –– both foreign and here in the United States. In fact their renewable energy portfolio confirms that in February 2011, Citi became a major investor in SolarCity. 

    The Green Corruption Files found that 58 percent (22) of Citi's alternative energy clients had received government subsidies, totaling approximately $16 billion from the taxpayer-funded Green Bank of Obama, the majority from stimulus package. Furthermore, my research not only "followed the green money," but profiled the Citi executives that operate (d) inside the White House, some with key positions, which included President Obama's 2013 choice to replace Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary with Jack Lew (former Chief of Staff), Michael Froman, Richard Parsons, 


Louis Susman, and Michael Eckhart –– to name a few.

    Since Citigroup is a confirmed CAP Corporate Donor since 2012, more details can be found here


    #4) Google: Financial partnership with SolarCity, Jun 14, 2011

    On June 14, 2011, SolarCity announced their partnership with Google: "the creation of a new $280 million fund to finance residential solar projects." The Press Release goes on... "The SolarCity/Google fund will extend solar lease (SolarLease®) and power purchase agreement (SolarPPA™) options to customers who desire to have solar panels installed on their homes, but do not wish to make the larger upfront investment to purchase the systems."

    Google, like Wall Street and Big Energy, plays the political game well: it's all about access and influence, starting with campaign contributions. Google’s $814,540 contribution to then-Senator Obama’s campaign made it the fifth largest donor in 2008, and in 2012 moved up to the number three spot with a whopping $805,119. Furthermore, Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama. Schmidt, Executive Chairman, was also an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is (was) a member of the president's Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST).

    While there's more Google political connections in the mix, what's interesting is that early on (before the massive ATVM loan) Google co-founders and billionaires Larry Page and Sergey Brin were major investors in billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors, while as mentioned Google, in 2011, partnered with SolarCity –– both BIG winners of "green" taxpayer money.

    Like many of these Big VC's that won a significant amount of green money from the Obama administration, their "cleantech investments" overlap, and I briefly touched on Google in my January 2012 post about Doerr and Gore. Later, I documented Google as energy client of McBee Strategic Consulting in my September 2013 Green Corruption File, discovering and exposing the fact that Google Ventures –– via their "Energy Investments" and other "green deals" at that time –– has ten verified stimulus and other green energy money winners, which places their investment score at close to $5 billion of taxpayer cash, which includes three DOE loans. If you add in Silver Spring Networks' customers that won $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants, which has been divulged many times at this blog, that figure rises significantly. 

    Since Google is a confirmed CAP Corporate Donor since 2012, more details can be found here.

    NOTE: SolarCity’s $275 million stimulus loan as of August 2011 was a “go” via the White House, which was addressed earlier in this Green Corruption File. 


    #5) Bank of America: Became an investor in SolarCity's "SolarStrong," November 2011

    After SolarCity's Department of Energy loan deal fell apart in September 2011 (described in THE SolarCity SUBSIDIES section), in November 2011, "Armed with the documentation and rationale for this project, SolarCity found a willing partner in Bank of America for $350 million." This was for the program dubbed SolarStrong, which according to GreenTechSolar, "partnered with military housing developers and would have installed as many as 160,000 solar rooftops on privatized military housing across the country..."

    I wasn't able to track down specifics on this $1 billion project except for a SolarStrong™ May 2013 announcement: "SolarCity and Forest City have finished installing the first 700 kilowatts of solar capacity at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and will soon initiate the first installations on Navy Region Hawaii."

    It's unclear if this project is privy to any green federal or state subsides, but it helps business when Hawaii's goal is "to generate 40% clean energy from locally generated renewables by 2030." Also, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, recently bragged:
     Project by project, our SolarStrong initiative is assisting the Department of Defense's impressive effort to change the way our nation's military consumes energy... The road to the Department's goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 is being paved...

    What Mr. Rive failed to divulge is that he's on the road to riches, but this is not exclusively an "effort" or a "goal":  it's a mandate –– as in marching orders –– by Congress, which has been echoed and enforced by President Obama.  In fact, this administration has "waged a green war," which was made known by the Washington Free Beacon a while back: "The Department of Defense has launched more green energy initiatives than any other federal agency and many are duplicative and wasteful." 

    Nevertheless, Bank of America and SolarCity remain in cahoots in other areas as well, and it's important to point out that Bank of America/Merrill Lynch were both on the 2008 Obama Top Donors list. This bailed out bank –– bogus bonuses and all –– was "the second biggest recipient of federal assistance, which racked up $336.1 billion in federal help," revealed by CNBC a while ago. Also, Bank of America has quite a few "green" project winners in their vault that go beyond SolarCity –– a fact that I have alluded to many times before.

    Since Bank of America is a confirmed CAP Corporate Donor since 2012, more details can be found here.

    #6) Billionaires George Soros and Nicholas J. Pritzker: Both became a SolarCity investor in February 2012

    Soros is one of the 2009-stimulus authors that was detailed in October 2013 as well my March 2013 Green Corruption File, exposing how this left-wing billionaire not only bankrolled Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, but cashed in on the stimulus bill that he helped craft.

    Moreover, as documented by Schweizer in his bestselling book Throw Them All Out, "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. In calculating additional renewable energy investments that secured taxpayer money, we can we can confirm that Soros' green tab exceeds $11 billion from the Green Bank of Obama, and the majority from the 2009-Recovery Act.

    This includes SolarCity: In early 2011, Silver Lake had launched a clean energy fund in collaboration with Soros and Cathy Zoi (former DOE Insider). Then in February 2012, the Private equity firm Silver Lake Kraftwerk was part of an $81 million in equity financing deal that "included investments from Nicholas J. Pritzker, partner at Tao Ventures and senior development advisor for Hyatt Hotels Corp., and Shea Ventures, an affiliate of SolarCity partner Shea Homes." At that time, there was others listed in this round of funding: Valor Equity Partners (also a Tesla investor) and DBL Investors. SolarCity is currently listed as a "prior investment" at Silver Lake.

    The billionaire Nicholas J. Pritzker, which is listed above as a SolarCity investor, is also an investor in billionaires Elon Musk's Tesla Motors, yet with an unspecified amount and the timing of this deal is unknown. He is a relative to the mega-rich Penny Pritzker, whom is the Chicago hotel and real estate heiress. Penny is a longtime friend of, and mega-bundler for, Obama. She was also the national finance Chairwoman for the Obama campaign throughout his 2008 presidential effort; and she was a member of Obama's Jobs Council. Last year, Ms. Pritzker became our newest Commerce Secretary. It has been reported that "his wife, Sue Pritzker is on the board of the magazine Mother Jones" –– another left-wing outfit funded by George Soros pushing "climate change." 

    #7) Goldman Sachs: Became a SolarCity financial partner in May 2013

    In 2009, Matt Taibbi, in his Rolling Stone Magazine article, "The Great American Bubble Machine," penned this: "The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

    Sure enough, Goldman has been investing in renewable energy since at least 2005. And earlier this year, GreenTechMedia took notice: "Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has declared the renewable energy sector to be one of the most compelling and attractive markets –– and it's backing up its talk with $40 billion of made and planned investments."

    Like Bank of America, I haven't had the opportunity to examine Goldman Sach's Alternative Energy Group and its Environmental Markets financing and advisory; however, since 2010, I've been tracking their DNA all over this green energy scheme. To date, we can confirm that Goldman Sachs has an invested interest –– via various roles, and having entered the scene at different junctures (before, during and after taxpayer subsidies were awarded) –– in many projects and firms that received loans, grants and special tax breaks. The Green Corruption Files calculated that 14 firms connect Goldman to over $8.5 billion from the Green Bank of Obama, of which the majority is from the 2009-Recovery Act. These deals include the fact that in May 2013, SolarCity announced "a lease financing agreement with Goldman Sachs to fund more than $500 million in solar power projects."

    Nevertheless, what the Left won't admit is that Goldman Sachs has “long-standing and very deep ties to the Democratic Party,” and a “long history of putting their former employees in Democratic administrations...” –– all exposed in a very telling piece and video by Taibbi. 

    But you don't have to go too far back to prove Taibbi's claims. Goldman Sachs was one of Obama’s leading campaign donors in 2008; two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee; and a slew of partners, executives and board members bundled for, and donated to Obama's 2008 campaign. Even though Goldman Sachs turned their back on President Obama in 2012, there were many executives and board members that helped him get reelected. Meanwhile, the Obama regime has been infested with Goldmanites have occupied high-level important positions in the Obama White House.

    Also, keep in mind that Hillary Clinton has raised over $1 billion from the bailed out banks over the last two decades, of which Goldman Sachs is a key benefactor right now. Something to watch....

    Since Goldman is confirmed CAP Corporate Donor (possibly since 2012), more details can be found here.

    In Closing...

    While the fate of SolarCity remains unclear, what is apparent is that this particular green corruption story –– out of numerous –– proves that this massive and expensive "climate change" battle is being waged at the expense of the middle class, while enriching the wealthy. Oh and the poor, they're just collateral damage.
    Let me be clear: I'm not anti rich, nor am I against green energy, or any individual or corporation that invests in clean energy in a pure capitalistic fashion, but what I do find repulsive is the Left's utter deception and hypocrisy. What I take issue with is our government throwing tens of billions (soon to be hundreds of billions) of our money in order fund their friends' pet projects. I find the Left's ideology of an Utopian "green" world repulsive, because it's one that they are forcing upon our nation as a means to control every aspect of our lives.

    Next time the White House or anyone from the Left clobbers you over the head with class warfare, ask them why they are subsidizing millionaires and billionaires. Ask the Democrats why they are stacking the deck in favor of the wealthy and special interest groups. Ask the bleeding heart liberals if crony capitalism or corporate welfare is part of the "income inequality" equation. Maybe it's "economic inequality."

    Ask the president if subsidizing his rich and powerful friends is "Economic Patriotism" –– a ruse that in part, means getting on board with his radical and destructive immigration stance and policies. But still I'm confused, because with all this BIG government taxing and spending, it's the middle class that, while the Democrats claim they are propping up, gets shafted... what's left of it anyway.

    I mean what's left of America...