Article first published as Obama's Political Payback: Green Corruption–Part One on Blogcritics Magazine.
Author: Christine Lakatos — Published: Jul 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm
Alarmingly, our environment has been hijacked by uber-rich individuals, crooked politicians, and an assortment of left wing extremists who are fueled by greed and power attached to a radical agenda to bring about "global governance," “redistribute the wealth,” and put the progressive movement –– big government, social justice and the death of capitalism –– on the fast track. Under the guise of “saving the planet,” these players, who are all interconnected in a variety of ways, are transforming our climate into something more sinister –– a scam of epic proportions.
Due to its magnitude and the potential dire consequences to our economy, our freedoms, and the voices of the honorable environmentalists –– this "Climate Scam" will be confronted in three parts.
TROXLER AND BROWN PREDICTIONS OF GREEN CORRUPTION CONFIRMED
This year, Lee Troxler and Floyd Brown in their newly released hit book, Killing Wealth, Freeing Wealth How to Save America's Economy and Your Own, predicted that the veteran Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) (multi-millionaire Al Gore and billionaire John Doerr are both partners) would get government contracts from the Obama administration unfairly.
In developing this story, which took months of research, backed up with extensive resources, we learned through an anonymous source that there are multiple federal investigations from different agencies and senators underway against the Department of Energy (DOE), in particular, the Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) and possibly others. Our source, who is close to the some of the ongoing investigations, "guarantees there was corruption and bad ethics involved" and that at this time "a number of the investigations are getting stonewalled." Our findings, along with this recent inside information, confirms Troxler and Browns' predictions of corruption on the "green front." As we learn more, we will share the details.
At this time we do know that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been in the process of reviewing –– in response to Congress' mandate –– the DOE's execution of the Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), which was established as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and set up for innovative energy projects. About two weeks ago (July 12, 2010), the GAO released their findings and recommendations, noting that the "LGP scope has expanded both in the types of projects it can support and in the amount of loan guarantee authority available. DOE currently has loan guarantee authority estimated at about $77 billion and is seeking additional authority."
At issue, the DOE's lack of "comprehensive performance goals," particularly in relation to the DOE's "broad policy goal of helping to mitigate climate change and create jobs." The GAO concludes, "Without comprehensive performance goals, DOE lacks the foundation to assess the program's progress and, more specifically, to determine whether the projects selected for loan guarantees help achieve the desired results."
Predictably, the GAO also found that the "DOE's implementation of the LGP has treated applicants inconsistently, favoring some and disadvantaging others, as well as the fact that the "DOE lacks systematic mechanisms for LGP applicants to administratively appeal its decisions or to provide feedback to DOE on its process for issuing loan guarantees."
OBAMA'S GREEN STIMULUS
In February 2009 Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the $862 billion stimulus package, of which $86 billion was earmarked for "green"; the Apollo Alliance –– a left-wing organization who exerts a powerful influence on the views and policies of the Obama administration –– was also involved in drafting it. More on Apollo later, but Kleiner Perkins are like ants at a picnic; they’re everywhere that’s green, including on the Apollo board, where they have placed one of their partners, Ellen Pao. Furthermore, Obama was a candidate that both Gore and Doerr had strenuously campaigned for, including financial donations, and early on, Doerr had his hand in shaping ARRA, "urging" Obama's transition team and leaders in Congress "to use the new economic stimulus package to modernize the electric grid and offer new incentives to help clean energy startups get off the ground." Doerr also sits on Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), who President Obama appointed as one of the "chosen" back in January 2009.
In following the ARRA, meant to stimulate the economy and create jobs, it is clear that the Obama administration is circuitously funneling government contracts to their favored companies –– "stimulating" the "green" pockets of Kleiner Perkins. This screams corruption and it’s time to call in a special prosecutor!
FOLLOW THE "GREEN" MONEY: KPCB GREENTECH PORTFOLIO
Since last summer when the Department of Energy (DOE) started handing out the $86 billion "green stimulus" money, Gore and Doerr’s “green companies” have been cashing in big time –– billions of taxpayer dollars! Keep in mind, this doesn’t account for funds not yet allocated, or hidden contracts, nor the mass amount of money KPCB and others in the Climate Scam will generate if the U.S. climate legislation becomes law –– "Obama Climate," more specifically cap-and-trade, which will be covered in more detail later.
So far over fifty percent of the companies listed on the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Greentech Portfolio, of which KPCB partners are positioned on the board of many, have –– directly and indirectly –– received money from the "Obama Green Stimulus" package as well as through other government programs approved by the Obama administration.
AL GORE’S FISKER AUTOMOTIVE $529 MILLION DOE LOAN IGNITES RED FLAGS
One of the most blatant examples of government favoritism, catching headlines in the Wall Street Journal back in September 2009 (Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan) was the $529 million dollar government loan guarantee (which was cinched in May 2010) that Fisker Automotive received to build its high end, hybrid sports coupe, Fisker Karma, to be manufactured in Finland and sold for $89,000. Fisker Automotive was a 2008 investment for Kleiner Perkins and it was confirmed that Gore has already purchased his Karma.
In June 2009 the DOE announced three other large government loans that included $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Company, $1.6 billion to Nissan Motors, and $465 million to Tesla Motors. Although the four loans came out of the DOE's $25-billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, it was approved by the Obama administration and it did ignite some red flags.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, "the awards to Fisker and Tesla prompted criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers" and "concern from companies that had their bids for loans rejected." Included in the reaction was Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste. "This is not for average Americans. It's status symbol thing," Ms. Paige added. More gripping is the fact that this favoritism didn’t sit well with some of the firms that were turned down for loans from the DOE –– stating "they did not get much feedback from the department about their applications" and "were unable to get a full explanation as to why their loan request was turned down."
THE VINOD KHOLSA CONNCECTION
The CEO of EcoMotors John Colettie, whose $20 million ATVM loan from the DOE was denied, didn’t have an “issue” with the winners. Probably because EcoMotors' lead investor is 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 have received government funding including Obama Green Stimulus cash. Those companies 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.
SILVER SPRING NETWORKS SCORES OVER $700 MILLION IN SMART-GRID GREEN STIMULUS FUNDS –– RIGGING THE BIDDING PROCESS?
One of the most contentious of Obama Green Stimulus money awards comes out of the ashes of the $4 billion smart-grid grants, with some of the nation’s largest providers of electricity meters “crying foul” over the smart-grid standards in the stimulus bill, according to a report by USA TODAY in February 2009. Additionally, they said that the economic stimulus bill "could put them out of business and wreak havoc in the new market for smart-grid technology by favoring certain computer network standards.”
Itron, Landis+Gyr, Elster and Aclara even wrote a letter to U.S. Senators to voice their concerns regarding the “protocols and standards” that were placed into the House version of the legislation for all smart-grid projects, which states that "utilities receiving funding must use Internet-based or other open protocols and standards if available and appropriate." Ed Gray, vice president of regulatory affairs for smart-meter provider Elster, said "the bill gives a leg up to Silver Spring at the expense of other providers."
Interestingly, in March 2009, a month after the stimulus bill had already passed, Jeff St. John from GreenTechMedia.com, quoted a statement made by Stuart Bush, an alternative energy analyst for RBC Capital Markets, "both Trilliant and Silver Spring (both smart-grid communications companies) could benefit from the way the stimulus plan was structured to require open standards." Bush also added, "Clearly the West Coast VC guys had a lot of lobby pull getting that in there."
Clearly the "West Coast VC guys" –– Kleiner Perkins (Gore and Doerr), have more than "lobby pull." In fact, Silver Spring Networks, as revealed in Troxler and Browns book, is one of Kleiner Perkins shining “green” companies –– their 2008, $75-million investment has scored over $700 million! Since August of 2009 when the DOE started dishing out the $4-billion from the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program (part of the stimulus plan) –– awarded to selected utility companies for particular smart-grid projects –– close to sixty percent of Silver Spring “customers” were winners.
- American Electric Power (AEP) received $75 million for AEP Ohio gridSMARTSM Demonstration Project, announces earth2tech.com in August 2009. It should be noted here that Richard Sandor is on the AEP board. Sandor, Chairman and founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange, who is connected to President Obama and Al Gore, is another key "player" in this Climate Scan, which will be exposed later.
- Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative got $18.8 million for a general smart- grid build out in Texas as reported in August 2009 by earth2tech.com. Additionally, in November 2009 Austin’s Pecan Street Project won $10.4 million in federal stimulus money to create a smart-grid demonstration project, which includes Bluebonnet as part or their Technology Review and Advisory Committee.
- In October 2009 Florida Power & Electric was awarded $200 million for Energy Smart Florida –– posted by earth2tech.com.
- In April 2010 Pepco Holdings Inc. signed contracts for three ARRA grants totaling $168.1 million to advance smart-grid projects, reported by the Washington Business Journal. Additionally in April 2010, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced $100 million from the stimulus will go for Smart Grid Workforce Training and Development, of which Florida Power & Light got $5 million and Pepco got just over $4.3 million.
- In October 2009, "the U.S. Department of Energy announced that Modesto Irrigation District (MID) was one of only six California utilities selected to receive a $1.5 million federal stimulus grant to support MID’s efforts to install smart control equipment throughout its electric infrastructure" –– published in an Oracle Press Release.
- Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. received a $130 million stimulus grant for a 771,000 smart meter deployment, as reported in October 2009 by GreenTechGrid.com.
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District got a $127.5 million stimulus grant for a comprehensive regional smart-grid system, announced in October 2009 by GreenTechGrid.com.
- According to an August 2009 article by earth2tech.com, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) –– another Silver Spring customer –– "applied for $42.5 million government grant for home area networks in conjunction with the city of San Jose and Stanford University," yet it is unclear whether or not they received it. However, in May 2010, the DOE awarded PG&E a $25 million stimulus grant to develop compressed air storage for electricity" –– writes the San Francisco Business Times.
Ausra Inc. –– a KPCB investment that "develops and deploys utility-scale solar technologies," was acquired by AREVA Inc. in March 2010. Then in July 2010 "AREVA accepted the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) offer of a conditional commitment to issue a $2 billion loan guarantee to support construction of the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, AREVA’s $3 billion state-of-the-art gas centrifuge enrichment plant in Bonneville County, Idaho."
Bloom Energy –– Kleiner Perkins is listed as a primary investor and John Doerr as a board member –– in February 2010 launched its Bloom Box. The real name is the “Bloom Energy Server" and is marketed as "a stand-alone electric generator that requires no connection to any centralized power generating plant and no coal-based or oil-based fuel to operate it" (translation: cheap, clean energy flows almost magically from a refrigerator-sized box). The Bloom Box debuted in a "big scoop" segment on 60 Minutes on February 21, 2010, followed with a star-studded (Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Colin Powell) Bloom Energy Press Conference attended and filmed by TheAutoChannel.com. Marc J. Rauch Executive Vice President/Co-Publisher of The Auto Channel noted "our contact [at the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) in Colorado] had known of the Bloom technology and revealed that the government had actually provided a $5 million grant to the company during its development stage. There are also rumors (and news) of "an enormous government contract to order the Bloom Box" and Bloom Energy "is due for a verdict on their DOE stimulus funds shortly," as reported by GreenTechMedia.com, February 19, 2010.
Harvest Power Inc.
Harvest Power Inc., backed by Kleiner Perkins, is basically a company that "turns trash into fertilizer and fuel," and according to a June 2009 article by GreenEnergyNews.com and a City of San Jose Press Release, "GreenWaste Recovery would partner with Harvest Power Inc. on a project (if approved by the city council) known as the Zanker Road Biogas facility." Mayor Chuck Reed said in a statement, "This project not only demonstrates San Jose's leadership in the production of renewable energy but will help us meet the economic development, zero waste and energy goals of our city's Green Vision."
Evidently, the Green Vision is raking in big bucks from the Obama Green Stimulus, as reflected in their 2009 Annual Report –– "In 2009 over $50 million in federal and state grant money, including federal stimulus dollars were allocated or awarded towards projects that will advance Green Vision goals." Additionally, "local companies received over $80 million in federal tax credits that will spur expansions and hiring in sectors such as renewable energy," and as of May 2010, the City of San Jose –– Capitol of Silicon Valley –– "is estimated to receive nearly $108 million in Recovery Act funds."
MiaSolé Thin-film Solar, part of the KPCB Greentech Portfolio, with "more than 500 applications that were submitted for the tax credits," in January 2010 MiaSole "received two Advanced Energy Manufacturing tax credits totaling $101.8 million from the Obama administration for the manufacture of low-cost thin-film cells and modules."
RecycleBank –– another Kleiner Perkins green investment –– works with municipalities and haulers to measure and reward residents for recycling. As reported by RecycleBank, "in April 2009 $2.8 billion were allocated to cities with 14 uses that include recycle projects." It turns out that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; and Hartford, Connecticut were the first cities to "take advantage of stimulus funds and work with RecycleBank to improve their waste diversion rates." Also, in August 2009, Chicago became the first Illinois city to partner with RecycleBank, then there are the cities in between, and recently in February 2010, Los Angeles became the largest city to partner with RecycleBank.
While it is obvious that the folks at Kleiner Perkins have strategically positioned their investments to profit from “green,” including the massive influx of taxpayer money, placing them ahead of the competition –– still others need government mandates and regulations to really make them fly. One company in particular is Hara Software, "a company that sells software to help businesses measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions," where three KPCB partners sit on the Hara board. In a June 2009 article by Reuters –– Gore-Backed Hara Sees Profit From Low-carbon Economy –– Hara Chief Executive Amit Chatterjee, who in July 2009 was part of a group of "innovative energy leaders" that "advised Obama," stated that [cap-and-trade] "will force companies to act, as opposed to seeing the business benefit of acting." "The debate alone of 'cap and trade' is a driver for our product," Chatterjee added.
Considering the magnitude of this Climate Scam –– its scope; cost and paybacks; "players" and agendas –– these findings may only scratch the surface. This Climate Scam goes beyond the billions of taxpayer dollars that Gore and Doerr, via Kleiner Perkins, have already unfairly snagged from the Obama Green Stimulus and huge DOE grants and loans. More disturbing is the fact that these "players" –– and others that will be exposed in Green Corruption parts two and three –– have direct ties to the Obama White House, strong influence over government policy, and are connected to the rest of those caught up in this scam, including the hard-core-left-wing radicals.
Moreover, most of "the players" have helped create, shape, facilitate, lobby, testify, sell, and even if the planet blows up, will get their cap-and-trade, which despite reports that it's dead in the Senate, will soon to be on the Obama agenda — the real pot of gold at the end of the climate rainbow.
First published at Blogcritics Magazine in politics, by Christine Lakatos –– Concerned Citizen: The Right Perspective Blog. Check out Lee Troxler and Floyd Brown's book, Killing Wealth, Freeing Wealth: How to Save America's Economy and Your Own