Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Report Part Two: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc.

continued from...Special Report Part One: Obama, the Green Loser; Cronyism Inc.

PART TWO 
October 7, 2012 
Obama Green Energy Investments: Troubled

In our last report, Obama Never Admits Green Energy Failure, we profiled 15 companies that each received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the stimulus—and have gone bankrupt. In Wednesday’s debate, Romney listed two of our “bankrupt” list: Solyndra, the best known, and Ener1, now known thanks to Romney; and two that haven’t failed, yet: Fisker and Tesla—both electric vehicle manufacturers.

Fisker and Tesla received their funding from the Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Program (ATVM), but they are not the only two green energy stimulus-funded projects that are troubled. Here, in this report, we will profile twenty different companies/projects that received funding from various loan guarantee programs (LGP), grants, and tax incentives. These are projects that are still functioning, but are facing difficulties.

Because of the debate exposure, we’ll look first at Fisker and Tesla. Then we’ll move to those that were funded through the Department of Energy (DOE) LGPs 1703 and 1705. Some of these companies/projects were profiled in our summer green-energy crony-corruption reports that focused on projects that shared these traits: junk bond-rated projects, Department of Interior (DOI) fast-tracked approvals, and politically connected. In these cases, we’ll link back to the original report that offers much more detail than we’ll include here.  The last group, listed in alphabetical order, includes companies/projects that received stimulus funds through other programs—though no less important.

As with the previous report, we’ll list the company/project name and the funds received. For those with political connections, for brevity's sake, we’ll add an * after the name. We’ll then include a description with some interesting details and links to additional information for those who want more or who want to check our research. Once again, I am collaborating with researcher Christine Lakatos.
Before we get to the profiles, here’s a quick overview of the primary funding mechanisms used for the Obama Administration’s pet green-energy public-equity investments.

Since 2009, DOE has guaranteed $34.7 billion – 46% through the 1705 ($16 billion of which 90% are politically connected), 30% through the 1703 ($10.3 billion—AREVA and Georgia Power), and 14% through the ATVM ($8.4 billion and 3 of the five loans are tied directly to Obama).

1703 and ATVM were established prior to Obama—though the funds profiled here were all handed out by the Obama Administration. The 1705 program was created by the stimulus package, of which we know that 23 of the 26 projects were “junk rated,” and of those same 26 projects, 90% are politically connected. In 2010, the Government Accountability Office, at the request of Congress, reviewed the execution of the LGP. Their findings note that “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.”

Three of the companies profiled in our report on the bankrupt projects were funded through the 1705 program: Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Abound Solar. Here, we will cover eight 1705 projects that are on life support or are having problems—putting close to $10 billion of taxpayer money at risk—approximately 1/3 of the $34.7 billion doled out through DOE LGP just to help out Obama and his Democrat cronies (100% of these projects have meaningful political connections).

Fisker and Tesla received ATVM funding.

For the next four years, let’s build the economy and support responsible energy; the stuff we know works: oil, gas, coal, and uranium/nuclear. When the economy is strong again, then we can “invest” in some R & D for the future.

Let’s pick projects that will benefit all Americans, winners, not losers.

ATVM Loans
Fisker Automotive* -- $528.7

In September 2009, Fisker received the ATVM loan to build the $87,900 flashy plug-in Karma sports car. Reports at the time stated: “Fisker plans to use $169.3 million of its loan to work with U.S. suppliers to produce the more expensive Fisker Karma, which will be developed at its Michigan and California offices, but then will be assembled “overseas.” The other $359.36 million will go toward producing "Fisker’s Project Nina, which will be entirely manufactured in the United States.” Fisker expected to “Become profitable by 2011.” ABC reported: “Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright, new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs.” Those jobs didn’t materialize—at least not in America. The Karma was produced in Finland. Two years after the loan was awarded, the Washington Post stated that Fisker “has missed early manufacturing goals and has gradually pushed back plans for U.S. production and the creation of thousands of jobs” and announced that the Karma “failed to meet a promised energy-efficiency standard.” Now, in 2012, Fisker Automotive is laying off staff in order to qualify for more government loans. So, President Obama’s “green” energy stimulus was supposed to create jobs; now it's destroying jobs so that companies can get more stimulus? Of course, news of defective battery packs and subsequent fires haven’t help sell the Karma. Fisker has faced “multiple 2012 sales prediction downgrades for its first car release, delivery and cash flow troubles.” Though the company has balked at Solyndra comparisons, Fisker may well be on “death’s door.”

*Fisker Connections 
Kleiner Perkins, where Al Gore and his "climate buddy" and partner, billionaire John Doerr, considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor" by New York Magazine, who in February 2011 hosted a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president. Doerr also sits on the President Obama’s Job Council, and early on ultimately shaped what went into the energy section of the 2009 Obama stimulus package. A VC firm, by the way that I began to unravel in 2010, stressing that over fifty percent of their Greentech Portfolio secured all kinds of loans, grants, and special tax breaks –– billions of tax dollars.


Tesla Motors* -- $465 million

Like the Fisker Karma, the Tesla roadster is popular with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and other “Silicon Valley luminaries on the waiting list for the company's super-cool and expensive electric sports cars”—as they are the only people who can afford the $100,000+ sports car. Despite the fact that Tesla has been successful in raising hundreds of millions in private equity, it still needed the ATVM loan to help it get out of “the proverbial garage.” It looks like the “luminaries” will need to keep waiting. Tesla has been plagued with design problems: “If the battery is ever totally discharged, the owner is left with what Tesla describes as a ‘brick’: a completely immobile vehicle that cannot be started or even pushed down the street. The only known remedy is for the owner to pay Tesla approximately $40,000 to replace the entire battery.” Other complaints about Tesla include “Over Promise, Under Deliver.” Last month Tesla issued more shares and announced “Q3 revenues would not meet analyst estimates.” Despite its problems, Tesla, as Forbes green tech writer Todd Woody said, is not Solyndra—though one would be engaging hyperbole to call it a success.

*Telsa Connections:   
First and foremost is Steve Westly ("DOE Insiders"), Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, and another Obama crony who made a DNC 2012 cameo. Westly is a two-time Obama bundler, sat on the campaign’s National Finance Committee, and is currently a co-chair of the 2012 Technology for Obama group. He was briefly considered for a cabinet level position in the Obama administration, and in August 2010, Westly secured a top advisory role inside the DOE, close to Energy Secretary Chu. In 2011 was tagged as the "Green bundler with the golden touch." While IWatch points to "a trail of [green] loans, grants and tax breaks," I found more –– as of January 2012, over 40% (and counting) of The Westly Group portfolio were winners in the "Obama's Green Spending Spree."
But there's more...
  • Telsa Founder Elon Musk, a major DNC contributor, and in 2011 donated to the Obama Victory Fund.
  • Steve Spinner ("DOE Insiders"), known for his role in Solyndra, a two-time Obama bundler was an advisor to Telsa before he joined the Obama campaign.
  • Telsa's other major investors include Nicholas Pritzker, brother of Penny Pritzker (also from the President Obama’s 2009 Economic Recovery Advisory Board PERAB, and sits on President Obama’s Job Council), whom wears many liberal hats, including a prominent position on Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee.
  • Google Inc. executives were major investors in Telsa, and they include Sergei Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google. In Peter Schweizer's Throw Them All Out, we find that "Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama.” Still, Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman, was an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is a member of the president's Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST). Interestingly, Google’s $814,540 contribution to Obama’s campaign made it the fifth largest donor in 2008. Another Google connection is Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives at Google, was one of the founders of Cleantech and Green Business Leaders for Obama.  
  • Vantage Point Capital Partners: Sanjay Wagle is a "DOE Insiders" and was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign through his Clean Tech for Obama group. After the 2008 election, Wagle joined the Obama administration as a “renewable energy grants adviser” at the Department of Energy under Secretary Chu. It's interesting to find that Vanatage Point's portfolio has at least nine green firms that have snagged green-government subsidies, and three are in this report: Telsa, BrightSource Energy, and Serious Energy. Meanwhile the other six are 1366 Technologies FloDesign, Genomatica, Mascoma, MiaSole', Solazyme –– also tied to other huge winners, Kleiner Perkins and Steve Westly –– yet there is more to report...
  • Goldman Sachs, another top 2008 Obama donor, with their DNA all over "green," handled the Tesla Motors IPO.

UPDATE on Telsa, October 5, 2012: Cash Flows Are Critical for Tesla –– The New York Times Second round of Telsa Cronyism: "The federal government eased terms of its $465 million loan to Tesla to ensure the company didn’t breach key financial hurdles."

1703 Loan Guarantee Program
AREVA acquired Ausra Inc.* –– $2 billion 

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

 *Ausra Connections:
  • As mentioned Kleiner Perkins as well as Al Gore's Generation Investment Management firm (GIM) also tied to the Spanish company Abengoa that received more than $2.8 billion in loans and grants—making them the second largest recipient of the $16 billion doled out through the DOE 1705 loan guarantee program.
  • Khosla Ventures, where billionaire Vinod Kholsa, another big VC winner in the green taxpayer funded giveaway, that includes Ausra (listed here), Coskata that snagged a $250 million DOE loan as well as Nordic WindPower (also a Goldman Sachs investment) for $16 million, plus more. Vinod Khosla, an affiliated partner of Kleiner Perkins, whose firm Khosla Ventures has also invested in some of the same companies as Kleiner Perkins, which include; AltaRock Energy Inc., $25 million grant from the stimulus; Amyris Biotechnologies, $25 million grant from the stimulus; and Mascoma Corporation has received state and federal grants from the DOE since 2006, totaling over $170 million and as recent as 2008, received another $49.5 million in funding from the DOE and the state of Michigan. According to Scwheizer's Throw Them All Out, "Kholsa had been the head of Obama's India Policy Team during the 2008 election and contributed to Democratic candidates. 

1705 Loan Guarantee Program

BrightSource Energy* -- $1.6 billion
Using a proprietary power-tower solar thermal system, BrightSource Energy has a three-unit power system project known as “Ivanpah,” located near the California/Nevada border, south of Las Vegas. The BrightSource loan was considered a bailout, and is clearly a misuse of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program, and a direct violation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. According to Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out book, “BrightSource badly needed the infusion of taxpayer cash. It had been losing lots of money. It had a debt obligation of $1.8 billion and, in 2010, lost $71.6 million on revenue of just $13.5 million.” Despite the fast-tracked DOI approval, this project on federal land has been plagued with problems. In April 2011, construction was halted because it put endangered desert tortoises at risk of being murdered. So far BrightSource has spent approximately $22 million to relocate and care for some 202 desert tortoises — a cost of $108,910 per tortoise,” and will be spending big taxpayer bucks in the future to help preserve the turtles. Still, in August of this year “BrightSource Energy (BSE) invited media on a tour of its now half-complete Ivanpah solar power plant,” proclaiming that the solar power plant is on track. However, what the folks at BrightSource aren’t bragging about is the fact that they “lost $111 million in 2011 and [that they] are heavily dependent on government subsidies and government mandates, and that's not a good place to be in this economic climate,” and this past spring, abandoned their attempt at an IPO.

NOTE: This project is part of the Special Seven series, those that are not only part of the DOE's risky investments (some received millions –– if not billions –– from the 1603 Grant Program), which also received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process.

*BrightSource Connections and Influence are Vast: Marita and I documented their crony, corruption story in May 2012, and July 2012

BrightSource Investors include many top 2008 Obama donors as well as those with Washington Insider posts...

Source for "2008 Obama donations" ––– Open Secrets 
Top 20 Contributors to Barack Obama 2008 Election Cycle  
  • Vantage Point Partners: the major stakeholder in BrightSource, where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a partner and Senior Adviser and Sanjay Wagle was a principle
  • Meanwhile, Sanjay Wagle, a "DOE Insiders" at the time the loan was approved. Wagle was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign through his Clean Tech for Obama group. After the 2008 election, Wagle joined the Obama administration as a “renewable energy grants adviser” at the Department of Energy under Secretary Chu. 
  • In addition to being a major stakeholder in BrightSource, as noted at Telsa, Vantage Point has received different types of government funding for at least nine green energy firms. 
  • Google Inc.: as mentioned, Google was the #5 top 2008 Obama donor ($814,540), and has set their search engines on GREEN. Other than Telsa listed earlier, Google Green has more Obama-backed companies and projects like BrightSource Energy, SolarCity, and Shepherd’s Flat, a General Electric (GE) project that was funded with a $1.3 billion DOE "junk” loan. GE, by the way, has raked in at least $3 billion of President Obama's "green" stimulus money.
  • Google investors in BrightSource are Sergei Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google. In Schweizer's Throw Them All Out, we find that "Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama.” Still, Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman, was an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is a member of the president's Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST). Another Google connection is Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives at Google, was one of the founders of Cleantech and Green Business Leaders for Obama.
  • And there are other interesting folks behind the Google scenes; John Doerr has served as a member of our board of directors since May 1999. 
  • Morgan Stanley: #19 top 2008 Obama donor for $512,232
  • BP Alternative Energy, a Top Obama Contributor, is also an investor. According to Politico in 2010, "During his [Obama's] time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records." 
  • Also on that list of BrightSource investors are Chevron, Black River, Alstom, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, StatoilHydro Venture, CalsTRS, and Riverwood. 
  • BrightSource former-Chairman John Byrson (and owned stock in the company) –– the co-founder of the left-wing Apollo Alliance group that helped craft the stimulus –– became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce in May 2011, yet resigned shortly after an accident in June 2012. He was also the CEO of Edison International, which obtained exclusive power purchase agreements for four of the solar projects, at the time the awards were issued.” Bryson also has ties to George Soros, another 2008 Obama donor and stimulus author, which was a HUGE winner of GREEN!  
  • John Woolard is President and CEO of BrightSource Energy, and is also an Obama donor and has visited the White House 10 times since Obama took office.
  • BrightSource Energy is also expected to receive Treasury grants once the project is complete, has donated since 2008 at least $21,600 to Democrats and zero dollars to Republicans.
  • Senator Harry Reid received almost $4,000 from BrightSource executives in the 2010 cycle, including $2,400 from CEO John Woolard, who hosted a fundraiser for the majority leader.
  • Bernie Toon, who served then-Senator Joe Biden as his Chief of Staff, became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy on March 6, 2011

First Solar* -- $3 billion, plus suspicious Export-Import bank funding

First Solar manufacturers “thin film” solar modules and is now moving into project development. Considered by the House Oversight Committee as a “scheme,” since the finalization of its $3 billion in taxpayer-funded loans, the company has had a series of issues ranging from being the “biggest S&P loser in 2011,” to the CEO being fired, and tons in between. In April 2012, First Solar laid off 2000 workers and closed factories. In May, a massive round of furloughs was announced. In a May 16, 2012 hearing, CEO Michael Ahern admitted: “in sheer numbers, most of our full-time employees are outside the US.” According to Forbes this past July, “Shares of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), are selling at their lowest level in five years. The company, which is the leading solar company in the United States, lost $39.5 million last year. In the first quarter of this year, First Solar reported a loss of $449 million after non-recurring expenses of $405 million.” Meanwhile, Reuters reported on September 24, 2012, “First Solar, for example, postponed indefinitely its plans for a second U.S. factory in Arizona because of the weak market conditions.” And, in May, the Heritage Foundation predicted: “It’s just a matter of time before [First Solar] joins the bankruptcy ranks of Solyndra and Beacon Power.”

NOTE: First Solar is not directly in the "DOE junk bond inventory" that I reported on in April, but they are linked to three of the projects on that list.  They are also part of the Special Seven series, part of the DOE's risky investments (some received millions –– if not billions –– from the 1603 Grant Program), which also received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process.

*First Solar Connections: Documented by myself and Marita –– June 2012 and July 2012 
  • Goldman Sachs: First Solar was an early investment of Goldman Sachs, the number two Top Obama Donor  that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign –– not to mention the Obama administration "is infested" with Goldman Sachs executives. Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 Finance Committee –– Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 Obama bundlers. According to the Wall Street Journal in 2009, Obama’s Wall Street Buddies, "Ms. Scully raised $100,000, but didn’t make any large donations personally; Mr. Heyman bundled $50,000 in donations, including a $10,000 contribution he made and Goldman executive, David Heller, donated $25,000." As I stated, Goldman Sachs has their DNA all over "GREEN," and were on my "green corruption radar" back in 2010. There are the ones listed in this "Obama green failures" report –– First Solar, Telsa Motors, Solyndra, and SpectraWatt but there are more to briefly touch upon. Nordic WindPower (listed above with Khosla) as well as Amyris, Inc. IPO, an interesting crony, corruption story, and a company that received a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE). And there are two more Goldman investments that happen to be on the "DOE junk bond list" that received government loans:
  1. Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs), which snagged a $90.6 million DOE loan for a solar site in Colorado. 
  2. U.S. Geothermal, Inc (Malheur County, Oregon) got a $97 million DOE loan. Schweizer's book notes that Goldman Sachs is the second largest shareholder of U.S. Geothermal, however, in 2010 I found more green-government subsidies for U.S. Geothermal. 
  •  More First Solar Ties:
    • Michael Ahearn CEO First Solar: Schweizer's book Throw Them All Out says, “Ahearn gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats.”
    • Ted Turner Billionaire Investor: From Throw Them All Out: “The biggest investors [in First Solar] include billionaire Ted Turner, a big financial backer of Obama’s 2008 campaign.”
    • Paul Tudor Jones Billionaire Investor: “Another Obama bundler, also owns a stake in First Solar.”
    • Whitney Tilson Ultra-wealthy Obama Supporter: Obama ally and a member of “Patriotic Millionaires” (a group of wealthy Obama supporters backing the president’s effort to raise taxes on high-earners), is “Ultra-wealthy Obama supporter Whitney Tilson,” reports the Washington Free Beacon. It turns out that “One of the few ‘winners’ in Tilson’s portfolio was his short position in First Solar, a company on the brink of collapse, despite receiving more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration.”
    • Generation Investment Management: Other Wealthy First Solar Investors who are heavily involved in clean-energy include: Generation Investment Management (GIM) co-founded in 2004 by former chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Former Vice President Al Gore.
    • David Shaw: Founder of D. E. Shaw, a two-time Obama bundler and one of the top 3 donors to the Democratic Party, who has served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for Presidents Clinton (1994) and Obama (2009). Shaw happens to the largest shareholder of First Wind Holdings, LLC, the project sponsor of Kahuku Wind Power project that snagged $177 million from Obama's DOE "junk loan portfolio" –– First Wind, which received more stimulus funds, has two other connections close to Obama: Larry Summers and David Canning.
    • Jose Villarreal First Solar board member: Also a board member for the Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank, closely tied to the administration, which lobbied for green energy loans.
    • Kathleen Weiss Vice President of Government Relations: The lead lobbyist for First Solar, Kathleen Weiss, Heritage’s Scribe reports, “has had numerous meetings at the White House, according to visitor logs. She has met with senior White House official Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, among others.”
 
Nevada Geothermal* -- $78.8 million, plus $69 million in federal stimulus-funded grants

This geothermal company was heartily endorsed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who said: “This project is exactly the type of initiative we need to ensure Nevada creates good-paying jobs.” Last October, an auditor for Nevada Geothermal Power said the company would probably not survive much longer. At the time, the company laid off 100 workers—which represents a large percentage of its workforce. Recently, the Washington Times revealed that power at Nevada Geothermal (NGP) is dimming and may be the next green-energy bankruptcy. Late last month, it was announced that NGP might transfer ownership to a lender after projecting the facility will produce less power than expected.

NOTE: This project is part of the Special Seven series, those that are not only part of the DOE's risky investments (some received millions –– if not billions –– from the 1603 Grant Program), which also received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process.

*Nevada Geothermal Connections:
This past summer, Marita and I chronicled Senator Harry Reid’s Part in Green-Energy Crony-Corruption, noting his ties to BrightSource Energy, SolarReserve, Nevada Geothermal, and Ormat Nevada, the latter three located in Reid’s home state. Executives from all four companies have donated to Reid and his fellow Democrats. The New York Times reports: “Reid was instrumental in securing that financing for Nevada Geothermal, and has received some support from the industry, in the form of at least $43,000 worth of campaign contributions from the geothermal industry since 2009, according to an analysis of federal campaign finance records.”



This solar energy project may be the victim of its favored treatment. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The $1-billion Genesis Solar Energy Project has been expedited by state and federal regulatory agencies that are eager to demonstrate that the nation can build solar plants quickly to ease dependence on fossil fuels and curb global warming. Instead, the project is providing a cautionary example of how the rush to harness solar power in the desert can go wrong—possibly costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and dealing an embarrassing blow to the Obama administration's solar initiative.” The House Committee on Government Oversight report says: “To expedite site approval, NextEra opted for a less thorough process.” As a result, the site “encroached on the habitat of the endangered kit foxes.” NextEra had to move the foxes prior to grading the site. “Ultimately, seven foxes died from NextEra’s removal process.” Additionally, there have been concerns of desert tortoises and a “prehistoric human settlement,” of which the latter has “sparked a potential standoff between Native American tribal groups on one side and the Bureau of Land Management and the solar developer on the other.”

NOTE: This one is part of the Special Seven series, those that are not only part of the DOE's risky investments (some received millions –– if not billions –– from the 1603 Grant Program), which also received fast-tracked approval by the Department of the Interior to lease federal lands in a no-bid process.

*NextEra Energy Connections:
Again, this past summer, Marita and I chronicled NextEra Energy: Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loan, whereas we shared the story of Lewis Hay (the CEO of NextEra Energy) with his White House involvement and friendship with former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Despite the fact that NextEra CEO Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain,” Hay quickly learned which side his bread was buttered on –– and as his power company has other interesting ties. Yet, Hay joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011—of which at least five members have direct ties (two indirect) to firms that were awarded billions of clean-energy stimulus money and four are confirmed Obama donors. 


SunPower Corp.* (project bought by NRG Energy*) –– $1.2 billion DOE loan guarantee

Despite SunPower's well-known financial issues, and the fact that it was under a shareholder suit alleging securities fraud and misrepresentations, just days (September 2011) before the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program’s deadline, along with four other solar companies, its $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the DOE was approved. This $1.2 billion of taxpayer dollars went to build a 250-megawatt solar plant (the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County), “a project that will help create 15 permanent jobs, which adds up to the equivalent of $80 million in taxpayer money for each job.” While the conditional loan was announced in April 2011, “shortly thereafter, French energy giant Total bought a majority ownership in SunPower and extended a $1 billion credit line to the company.” Now, SunPower never directly got the cash because they sold the California Valley Solar Ranch that received the federal loan to NRG, an energy company based in New Jersey. But SunPower is still developing the project and stands to profit if it succeeds. The House Oversight March 20th report, noted this project as “non-investment” grade –– part of the DOE's disastrous loan guarantee program, as 23 of the 26 were junk rated, putting $16 billion of taxpayer money at risk. SunPower: Twice As Bad As Solyndra and twice full of cronyism and corruption –– both SunPower and NRG Energy have meaningful political connections to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats. 

*SunPower Connections:
As Human Events columnist Neil W. McCabe rightly asks, "How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project-three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project."
Perhaps the answer lies with two men: Rep. George R. Miller III, (D.-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and the co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and his SunPower lobbyist son, George Miller IV. Miller the Elder is a strong advocate for SunPower, and "hosted an Oct. 14, 2010, tour of the plant with company CEO Thomas H. Werner and Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar to promote the company’s fortunes."
And McCabe continues to shine light on this green cronyism story, "SunPower’s political action committee (PAC) was not shy about participating in the political process either...According to the SunPower PAC filings for its activities in the 2010 midterm election campaign cycle, it donated more than $36,000.   Of the $15,650 donated to House and Senate candidates, $14,650 went to Democrats, with these top recipients: $4,000 to Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), $3,000 to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D.-Ariz.) and $2,900 Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.)."

Now you won't find SunPower on the DOE website, as they were caught "scrubbing" the evidence. Yet, as stated above, SunPower didn't get the $1.2 billion DOE loan directly, NRG Energy did, yet SunPower is still developing the project and stands to profit if it succeeds –– double the cronyism. 

*NRG Energy Connections:
The NRG Energy Connections are much worse... In a scathing report by Veronique de Rugy (senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University), and subsequent testimony at the July 18 2012 House Oversight hearing, she said, "of the 26 projects were funded under the 1705, and guaranteed roughly $16 billion in total," and divulged the fact that "the recipient of the most 1705 loans is NRG Energy Inc. –– they received $3.8 billion (23.7 percent of the overall amount guaranteed under the 1705)." 

As The Washington Free Beacon pointed out, "Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000. She began bundling for Obama in the first quarter of 2012. Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration’s clean energy spending, records show," referring NRG’s California Valley Solar Ranch and their to the $1.237-billion loan that was approved in September 2011.

Patrick Howley of The Beacon goes on,  "Few became senior vice president of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2008. He was named President of Reliant in May 2009 when NRG Energy acquired Reliant for $287.5 million. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief customer officer of NRG Energy." 

But there are bigger fish to fry here, other than the fact that NRG Energy is a giant force, and all over government green subsidies, way beyond the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program. According to The Boston Globe November 2011 piece, Clean energy projects powered by massive subsidies –– "NRG, along with partners, ultimately secured $5.2 billion in federal loan guarantees plus hundreds of millions in other subsidies for four large solar projects." 

Besides noting Obama's buddy, Warren Buffet's 2011 "green buying spree," we have to go back in time when the 2009-stimulus package was written, and one of the author's was George Soros. In Schweizer's Throw Them All Out, we find out that "billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called “stimulus” money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program." Soros was also  a 2008-Obama donor through Soros Fund Management,  #15 on the Obama's Top 20 Contributors to Obama's Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC. 

Most damning is as the ink was drying on that trillion stimulus package, where $90 billion was earmarked for green, Soros went on a "stock buying spree" including energy, and "the list of specific investment decisions he made is closely aligned with the list of grants" and loan recipients. Who knew? But back then, Soros bought more than half a million shares of NRG Energy. However, as reported by GuruFocus in July 2010, "Warren Buffett owns 6,000,000 shares of NRG," while "George Soros owns 19,123 shares of NRG." Hmm...

Other Stimulus Funded Projects

A123 Systems* -- $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant

On September 13, 2010, President Obama called lithium-ion electric-car battery maker A123 Systems CEO and said, “This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America—an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars.” According to Radio Michigan, part of the NPR Network, during the call, which took place at the plant’s opening, Obama touted: this “shows it is possible to build an advanced battery industry in the U.S. basically from scratch.” A123’s primary customer was Fisker Automotive. It is the A123 batteries that caused the “bricking” addressed in the Fisker summary. In a little more than two years, A123 has laid off 125 employees, seen the stock fall to less than $1, faced lawsuits, and has given the Chinese control of the company. 

*A123 Connections:
  • We already know about Fisker and Kleiner Perkins, where Al Gore and his "climate buddy" and partner, billionaire John Doerr –– all over "green" and this report, yet lo and behold Breitbart.com tells us, "...A 123 is the battery supplier to electric car-maker Fisker, and is also an investor in Fisker." And Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, who is investigating A123, predicted "that the A 123 and Fisker story would end in failure." 
  • There is an even more disturbing A123 Systems tie  ––  China’s Wanxiang Group Corp. that in August 2012 Reuters reported, "is poised to take control of U.S. battery maker A123..." has a history of getting involved with other Obama-backed green energy companies, like Ener1 (listed here), and we do know that President Obama met with Wanxiang Group founder and Chairman Lu Guanqiu in January 2011. Hmmm. 

UPDATE, October 15, 2012: I found this written in August, 2011 by Motor Trend. GM Partners with U.S.-Based A123 Systems for Future Batteries
If A123 Systems sounds familiar to you Chevy Volt fans, it should — Just a few years ago, the lithium ion battery maker was considered a front runner to power the Volt, but General Motors went with another vendor instead. This time around, however, GM is turning to A123 System to power its future electric cars to be sold in other markets.

UPDATE October 16, 2012, by Bloomberg Business: Electric Car Battery Maker A123 Systems Files Bankruptcy
A123 Systems Inc. (AONE), the electric car battery maker that received a $249.1 million federal grant, filed for bankruptcy protection and said it would sell its automotive business assets to Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI).
It's interesting that in this Bloomberg article, Johnson Controls is in this report ($299 million), GE is a shareholder in A123, and the deal with the Chinese firm Wanxiangis is not happening...


AltaRock* -- $6 million, $25 million, plus $1.45 million

AltaRock received $25 million for an Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) demonstration project in Oregon and an additional $1.45 million to develop more efficient EGS exploration drilling methods. AltaRock’s similar venture in California was shut down due to drilling problems after receiving $6 million from the DOE. The Oregon Newberry Project hopes for better results with the testing phase expected to be complete by 2014.

*AltaRock Connections:
  • Kleiner Perkins again.... the VC firm, by the way that I began to unravel in 2010, stressing that over fifty percent  of their Greentech Portfolio secured all kinds of loans, grants, and special tax breaks –– billion of tax dollars.
  • Khosla Ventures again...where billionaire Vinod Kholsa, another big VC winner in the green taxpayer funded giveaway...
  • Republican ties: $36 million in grants from the Bush administration 

Bloom Energy* -- $5 million

Expected to work like magic by creating cheap, clean energy from a refrigerator-size box, known as the Bloom Box, Bloom Energy has fallen from its glory day, February 21, 2010, when it debuted with a segment on 60 Minutes. The Bloom Boxes were to be made in Delaware. A few months ago, a lawsuit was filed against Bloom “on the grounds that it represents a ‘crony’ deal that will unfairly charge utility ratepayers millions of dollars and bar competitors from the state.” However, a Breitbart report states: “‘cronyism’ may be the least of the company's problems: the ‘green’ energy its generators produce may, in fact, be less efficient, more expensive, and dirtier than that produced by conventional alternatives.”

*Bloom Energy Connections:  
  • Bloom Energy’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, representing the firm’s first clean tech investment, as well as Morgan Stanley, NEA, and Northgate Capital.
  • Kleiner Perkins AGAIN, yet, I had reported on Bloom Energy and their Bloom Box back in 2010. 
  • Morgan Stanley: #19 top 2008 Obama donor for $512,232
  • Republican tie: General Colin Powell is an Independent Board Member, and we find John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and Eddy Zervigon of Morgan Stanley also listed as Bloom Energy Board of Directors 

CH2M Hill* -- $2 billion

Despite its history of problems, CH2M Hill, a consulting, engineering, and construction firm received stimulus funds for the clean up of nuclear waste from cold war-era sites. The Washington Post reported that CH2M Hill was slated for the stimulus funds before President Obama was even inaugurated. Senator Patty Hill (D-WA) lobbied for the program and CH2M gave her $16,000 in political contributions. The Blaze reports that CH2M also has connections with former green jobs czar Van Jones. Nonetheless, once the stimulus funds ran out, it was predicted, in January 2011, that 1600 people would lose their jobs. In July, it was announced that 1200 would be laid off. Accuracy in Media has done a thorough investigative report on the Ch2M case.

*CH2M Hill Connections:   
In short, the far-left wing radical Van Jones was a member of Obama's Green Team, the former Green Jobs Czar, who also sat on the left-wing Apollo Alliance board, the group that helped craft the 2009-Obama stimulus, has a cozy relationship with CH2M. Van Jones is a Senior Fellow Center for American Progress (CAP), on my green corruption radar since 2010 that is closely aligned with the White House –– CAP that also "helped to craft" the 2009-Obama stimulus, and has a major footprint in this green corruption scandal. 

The Accuracy in Media investigation asks, "How did a company with a sketchy track record such as CH2M HILL become the lucky recipient of an exorbitant amount of taxpayer money?  

The answers may surprise you! 

It turns out that certain large companies were collaborating with the Energy Department on how to spend the money, long before a stimulus had even been passed. The Washington Post reported that as far back as December of 2008, “when it became clear that Obama would introduce a huge spending bill to create jobs, Energy Department staff members began meeting with the contractors, including representatives from Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and other large firms” in an effort to begin “shaping their piece of the stimulus." 

They then implicate the following Democrats:
  • CH2M dutifully rewarded Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) efforts with $16,000 in political contributions that same year.
  • Senator Maria Cantwell, Chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee that has received over $40,000 in campaign contributions during her career from the lobbying group, Brownstein Hyatt, a law firm that has since received over $250,000 from CH2M HILL specifically for their lobbying services. 
  • During the 2009-2010 election cycles, CH2M contributed 60% of nearly $650,000 in campaign finances to Democrats. The top five total contributions were delivered to Democrats, including notable Obama allies such as the aforementioned Murray ($16,000), Barbara Boxer ($21,250) and Harry Reid ($12,500).
  • Years 2007-2008 also saw contributions in favor of the Democrats, with Senator Barack Obama himself receiving the most lucrative contributions at over $45,000. 
  • The Center for Responsive Politics reports that CH2M was lobbying their special interests via $455,000 worth of itemized expenditures in 2010. The main recipients were Brownstein, as discussed, and the Podesta Group. John Podesta (CAP founder and former president) was the co-chairman of the Obama-Biden transition team, meanwhile the Podesta Group another large green entity, as Marita and I pointed out when covering their connection to the $737 million SolarReserve DOE loan, via our Special Seven Series, and I pointed out last month –– Obama’s Green Cronies Made DNC Cameo: Bundlers and Big Donors Tied to Billions of Stimulus Funds.

Chevy Volt* -- $151 million, $105 million, plus other stimulus funds

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a January 2012 report,  accuses President Obama of using an “unusual blurring of public and private sector boundaries” in the case of the Chevy Volt. The report cites: the Administration has offered substantial taxpayer-funded subsidies to encourage production of the Volt, such as $151.4 million in stimulus funds for a Michigan-based company that produces lithium-ion polymer battery cells for the Volt as well as $105 million directly to GM.” Yet, the Volt has not been a success. GM has halted the Volt’s production and laid-off 1300 workers. In August, Forbes predicted that “GM is headed for bankruptcy—again”—though not until after the election. Perhaps, as the Washington Examiner suggested, Biden’s bumper sticker slogan “BIN Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” would be more accurate as: “Al-Qaida's alive and GM is lurching,” And get this...the Chevy Volt has a new deep-pocketed customer: the Pentagon, which means taxpayers, again.

NOTE: John Ransom (Townhall.com), a staunch critic of the Chevy Volt, in his September 11, 2012 column, The Chevy Volt: Another Obama Green Investment Loses a Billion states, "I don’t like the inflated claims that government-corporate elites make about it; I don’t like that it costs more than a normal car to keep it driving; I don’t like that European journalists gave it the automotive equivalent of the Nobel prize for engineering; I don’t like that it catches fire; or that the Volt’s voltage puts first responders at danger at accident scenes because engineers didn’t think about safety for first responders."  

UPDATE on green cars, October 5, 2012: Study: ‘Green’ cars might cause as much or more pollution than gas cars –– by The Daily Caller

UPDATE, October 8, 2012: Plant that got $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers –– by Fox News.  

UPDATE, October 16, 2012:

*Chevy Volt Connections:
After a "$50 billion bailout" in 2008, as if we needed to give General Motors more taxpayer money. However, in looking through my three-years of research, I've found many meaningful political ties to this electric car, other than the one I reported on last month when covering Jim Rogers, Chairman of Duke Energy: DNC Host and Obama Donor noting that Duke Energy also received, "A $350,000 grant to assist General Motors in the development of the Chevrolet Volt.
So, I will need to update once I've gathered each and every name...


ECOtality Inc.* -- $126.2 million

The Daily Caller calls ECOtality: “yet another troubled green-tech company that has received taxpayer funds and public support from the White House.” Touted in President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address, ECOtality was supposed to install 1400 electric car chargers in five states and “an estimated 750 jobs are likely to be created over the life and scope of the project.” Less than 7000 have been installed and according to Recovery.gov, 144 jobs have been created. According to a statement from its SEC filing, “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.” Further, the Heritage Foundation says that the company is also under investigation for insider trading.

ECOtality Inc. Connections: Yep, another one of those Dem cronyism stories –– as the Daily Caller pointed out in March 2012, ECOtality "has donated thousands of dollars to Democratic politicians, and was showcased by President Barack Obama in his 2010 State of the Union speech."


Johnson Controls -- $299 million

The money was supposed to go to making electric batteries and for opening up two factories in the US. Touted as a “success” in an Obama campaign ad, Johnson Controls actually opened only one US factory—and it operates at half capacity. The second factory was built in Hungary. The US plant featured in the ad has been fined for “$188,600 for exposing employees to higher than permissible levels of lead.” The Heritage Foundation reports that Johnson Controls will be laying off workers.


Montana Alberta Tie Line --  $152 million of federal financing (some reports say $161 million)

A transmission line project that was the first authorized under the stimulus program, the Montana Alberta Tie Line was seen as a good conduit for stimulus money. The Washington Post reports: “The 214-mile line, known as the Montana Alberta Tie Line, which is supposed to run from Great Falls, Mont., to Lethbridge in Alberta and is designed to facilitate wind generation in northern Montana” is two years behind schedule and $70 million over budget. Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman (in November 2011) said the project has come to “a standstill, with no progress being made.”

UPDATE: August 27, 2012: The loan for $152 million went to "Tonbridge, the cash-strapped original owner of the proposed line," but has since been acquired by Enbridge, a Canadian energy delivery company. And it turns out  Enbridge Inc. paid it back in August 2012, and "MATL is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2012." –– Yahoo Finance

Montana Alberta Tie Line Connections:
I've taken the asterisks off because at this time, I can't prove cronyism yet, however, along with drama swirling around this project, we find that Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who was "instrumental in crafting the Production Tax Credit for wind energy (set to expire at the end of 2012 and he is fighting to extend)," was also "instrumental in securing funding for [Montana Alberta Tie Line] MATL through Western Area Power Administration." 
Now this is a somewhat complicated story. However, what I do know is that the Rim Rock wind power project in Montana (owned by NaturEner Energy Canada that got their fare share –– $62.2 million stimulus wind grant and special tax breaks along with its own share of issues) is heavily dependent on the that Tie Line. But a January 2012 article by ReCharge stated, "NaturEner says it has secured a $320m loan from investment bank Morgan Stanley that will enable construction of the 189MW Rim Rock wind project in Montana."  

Hmm, Canada receiving US stimulus cash, local drama, a push from a Democratic Senator, and Morgan Stanley funding in the mix. What possibly be wrong here? 


National Renewable Energy Lab* -- $200 million

The Daily Caller reports: “The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds.” Yet, as the Denver Post reports: “The Golden lab, which saw tremendous investment as part of President Barack Obama's stimulus efforts, said it will use voluntary buyouts to cut 100 to 150 jobs.” The Denver Post cites the Governor's Energy Office, director TJ Deora as saying: “We love having the jobs here in Colorado, but this was anticipated, now that the stimulus money is winding down.”

*National Renewable Energy Lab Connections:
David Prend (DOE Insider), bio states, "Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), National Advisory Council, director." While it's unclear whether or not his firm, RockPort Capital –– mentioned at Solyndra and Ener1 –– benefited here with this $200 million taxpayer funds, we do know that PJ Media is very skeptical of this guy, as I am with  at least a dozen DOE Insiders.


Schneider Electric -- $86 million

The Iowa Republican reports: “Schneider, which bought Square D Company in 1991, has received over $86 million in federal stimulus money. Some of the money went to make energy upgrades to buildings and factories as part of the administration’s Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge. According to a White House press release, Schneider received the funds because it had pledged to reduce energy consumption in 9 million square feet of building space, covering 40 different plants, by 25 percent.” In May, in the midst of an Obama Iowa campaign stop, Schneider announced that it was cutting 80 jobs—roughly 20% of its Cedar Rapids workforce. Schneider is moving its production line of low voltage circuit breakers to Mexico. The Iowa Republican closes its report with this: “It is also frustrating to see large companies like Schneider receive millions in stimulus dollars and still relocate jobs to Mexico. Maybe instead of finding ways to keep giving incentives to the wind industry in Newton, the President should explain why companies that have received millions from his administration feel the need to create jobs in Mexico and not Cedar Rapids.”

 

Serious Material* -- $548,100

While you may have never heard of Serious Material (now Serious Energy), they have one of the most interesting stories. This California-based company has a window manufacturing plant in Chicago, about which President Obama said: “These workers will now have a new mission: producing some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world.” And Vice President Biden said: “This is a story of how a new economy predicated on innovation and efficiency is not only helping us today but inspiring a better tomorrow.” John Stossel reported that Serious Material’s CEO claimed that his factory opening wouldn’t have been possible without the Obama administration. Stossel says, “He may have known something we didn’t.” In January 2010, “Obama announced a new set of tax credits for so-called green companies. One window company was on the list: Serious Materials. This must be one very special company.” How special? Cathy Zoi (a DOE insider at the time, who resigned in 2011 and went to work for George Soros, another huge player in this green-energy crony-corruption scandal), who oversaw $16.8 in stimulus funds, "much of it for weatherization programs that benefit Serious," is married to Robin Roy—vice president of policy at Serious. Breitbart.com calls them “a metaphor for Obama’s political career, featuring strong-arm union tactics, corrupt Chicago politicians, crony capitalism, and media propaganda.” May the metaphor continue. Earlier this year, Serious admitted defeat. They closed the Chicago plant. About 46 workers lost their jobs.


UPDATE April 5, 2012:
"Over the past several months, Serious has been bleeding talent, losing roughly half of its top executives, including key players in its energy efficiency software development team and sales team." –– by Green Tech Enterprises

*Serious Connections:
  • Cathy Zoi: As mentioned, Cathy Zoi (once a close ally of former Vice President Al Gore), a former DOE Insider, the assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy –– and jumped the DOE ship and sailed off with George Soros, another huge player in this green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Zoi is married to Robin Roy, who [was] the vice president of policy at Serious Materials. As reported by McClatchy in April 2010, "Roy owns options on at least 120,000 shares" in the company, and "an officer of the company, "Roy receives options on an additional 2,500 shares every month and will continue to do so until October 2012" –– OH, that's now...
  • While there are more "Serious Zoi conflicts" to share, there is another one to point to. Mrs. Zoi held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss-based manufacturer of special electric meters that are used to create an efficient "smart" grid of electricity use, and she "had previously served as an Executive Director at Landis+Gyr, before joining the Obama Administration." Apparently, "Landis+Gyr received over $50 Million in stimulus contracts for their smart-grid meters." Looks like those shares may have paid out big time, because in May 2011, Landis was acquired by Toshiba bought for "$2.3 billion in cash."
But there are more serious ties...
  • Vantage Point Partners: as noted at Telsa and BrightSource Energy, Vantage Point has received different types of government funding for at least nine green energy firms, noting that Sanjay Wagle was a principal at Vantage Point, is a "DOE Insiders" and a close Obama ally.
  • And according to a scathing piece in July 2012 by Brietbart.com –– almost like a Godfather sequel, "The story of Serious Energy is a metaphor for Obama’s political career, featuring strong-arm union tactics, corrupt Chicago politicians, crony capitalism, and media propaganda." Back in May 2010, it was already clear that Serious Energy was a fiasco, one Breitbart News called the “Weatherization Underground.” Two years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the company is near the end of its natural trajectory as an Obama prop." It involves ShoreBank, the former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, former DOE Insider Cathy Zoi, the failed Republic Windows & Doors Company, Obama union allies and his friends from the left-wing media, and a few Chicago-area politician including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (convicted for attempting to sell Obama’s Senate seat).

Solar World Industries America -- $4.6 million
A subsidiary of Germany’s Solar World, the US company received funds through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—about which Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced “more than $145 million for projects to help shape the next generation of solar-energy technologies and ensure that the United States remains a leader in the global market.” Apparently that wasn’t enough for Solar World. After Solar World complained that Chinese solar-panel manufacturers benefited from unfair subsidies by Beijing, the US Commerce Department announced tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels. Shortly thereafter, Fox News reported: “Solar World and others had seen their market share plummet as sales in inexpensive Chinese panels have skyrocketed.” Solar World's stock price has dropped 75% and Chief Executive Frank Asbeck has given up his pay “until the company is profitable again.”


Cronyism Summary:
 

As a one person researcher, I've found 15 that went bust and 20 that are troubled, totaling 35, and of those, 23 are politically connected –– that means we can label over 65% of the Obama failures as cronyism. Considering this statistic, and the fact that over 90% of the 26, including the 23 “Junk grade” DOE loans (1705 Loan Guarantee Program) have meaningful political connections to the president and the Democratic Party, I have this warning –– if Obama gets another four years, So y'all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause they takin' everything and giving it to their friends.

If we follow the entire $90 billion from the 2009-stimulus package that was earmarked for "green," I'm sure we'd find much more cronyism and corruption.

Department of Energy Collateral Damage

Within the pages of the by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report released March 20, 2012 you'll also find well documented “Problems with ATVM Loans," including the obvious cronyism. Of the five where $8.4 billion was doled out, three have meaningful and direct ties to Obama.

In the summer of 2010, right after I began to follow the "green" stimulus money, I covered two of them, and they are at the beginning of this report. Eventually others took notice like iWatch in late 2011, "Energy's risky $1 billion bet on two politically-connected electric car builders." Fisker Automotive and Telsa Motors that we addressed in this blog. Then in March 2011, the Vehicle Production Group (VPG Holdings LLC), "a Miami start-up that is manufacturing wheelchair-accessible cars and taxis” received a $50 million ATVM loan from the DOE.

And who is VPG? The answer lies in my August 15th post, Beacon Bust Tied to Obama Bundler and VP Hunter, the Infamous Washington Fixture, James A. Johnson, yet the other two loans have some "cronyism" significance; $5.9 billion to Ford Motor Company, $1.6 billion to Nissan Motors.

The House investigations states, "Despite an apparent lack of discernible objective criteria to judge the relative merit of loan applicants, it does appear that ties to the Obama Administration were important for those companies securing an ATVM loan early on in the process. Both Ford Motor Co. and Nissan were heavily engaged in negotiations with the Administration over fuel economy standards for model years 2012- 2016 at the time DOE was considering their applications." 
But the ATVM collateral damage didn't go unnoticed as point out in the House Oversight Investigation with two cases of bankruptcies: Aptera Motors and Bright Automotive
 
With a little digging, you'll find more...

Solar Trust*

 

Solar Trust of America (parent company: Solar Millennium) received one the largest DOE loan guarantees in April 2011 –– $2.1 billion. And as reported by The Examiner this past spring, "Senior officials in Obama's administration had very high hopes for the Blythe project," while Secretary Chu touted it as a winner, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with California Governor Jerry Brown in June 2011. Yet despite the huge loan offer, a year later (April 2012) Solar Trust went bust –– "World's Largest Solar Power Plant Goes Bankrupt."
However, according to Deroy Murdock, it was a conditional commitment, "providing that it raised private capital. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar attended the company’s Blythe, California groundbreaking and hailed it as a historic moment in America’s new energy frontier. Solar Trust missed DOE’s benchmarks, however, and announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy last April 2."

The Heritage Foundation puts it this way, "Solar Trust never got the money, as their plan to use cheaper but older technology was not good enough for the DOE and the company would not change to more expensive technology just to get a government handout (get that? The DOE’s loans are not about saving people money, just being politically correct). While this shows yet another failed green energy company that our government considered giving money to, at least taxpayers didn’t actually lose the money."

Even Townhall.com John Ransom in April 14, 2012 covered this story: Solar: Fake Energy Provided by Fake President. "While Obama administration was denied the opportunity to throw money at Solar Trust- only by the grace of the company’s own good judgment- make no mistake, Obama’s policy of throwing money at other of these uneconomic, sunshine and blue sky investments, is responsible for the bankruptcy as much as any other factor; actually, probably more so."

*Solar Trust Connections:
As exposed in Schweizer's Throw Them All Out (that I've referenced many times), Solar Trust did have its share of political connections.
  • Citigroup Global and Deutsche Bank [had] a lot of money at stake, $6 billion. And Marita and I exposed Citigroup, #7 Top 2008 Obama donor, and its array of connections to Obama Stimulus money in her June 29, 2012 column, Obama’s Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption. This is where we covered SolarReserve, the recipient of $737 million in DOE loan guarantee and their lengthy green cronyism story.
  • Louis Susman (from Citigroup) who served on Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee, and he raised so much money for Obama that he got a nickname “the Vacuum Cleaner." Obama showed his appreciation and made him ambassador to Great Britain.
  • Seth Waugh: CEO Deutsche Bank Americas, was an Obama bundler.
  • The projects partner [was] Chevron, which heavily favored Obama over McCain.
More on Citigroup and Michael Froman: Schweizer reports, “When Obama ran for president, Froman helped raise large sums of money on Wall Street” for the 2008 campaign. The House Oversight report confirms Schweizer's findings and adds that Froman was a $200,000 bundler. “Michael Froman currently serves as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs. He was a friend of President Obama’s from law school, and supported his political career by bundling over $200,000 for his 2008 presidential candidacy. Prior to his arrival at the White House, Froman was the Managing Director of Alternative Investments at Citigroup, where he managed infrastructure and sustainable development investments. Citigroup became a major investor in SolarReserve, which ultimately received a $737 million loan guarantee in September 2011.”

The Citigroup connection is tighter. Richard Parsons was Chairman for Citigroup from 2009 until he announced stepping down in March 2012. Citigroup was a top Obama donor in 2008. Parsons served on the Obama Transition Team and on the Economic Advisory Board. In 2011, Parsons was appointed to the President’s Council on Jobs, of which at least five members have direct ties (two indirect) to firms that were awarded billions of clean-energy stimulus money and four are confirmed Obama donors.

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


Obama’s Job Council Members that Have Cashed in on Green:
  1. GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and its $3 billion of green-government subsidies 
  2. John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, whereas more than fifty percent of its Greentech Portfolio having received money from the energy-sector of the stimulus package and through other government programs approved by the Obama administration. 
  3. Citigroup’s Richard Parsons with ties to SolarReserve and others...
  4. NextEra Energy CEO Lewis Hay, chronicled here and another green corruption post.
  5. And Penny Pritzker –– related to Telsa Motors,  whom wears many liberal hats, including a prominent position on Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee.

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


Where are the 5 million green jobs Candidate Obama promised?


Speaking of jobs... Part Three of Obama, the Green Loser was released October 14, 2012 at Townhall.com –– asking the same question VP nominee Paul Ryan asked VP Joe Biden during the October 11th Vice Presidential debate, "Where are the 5 million green jobs Candidate Obama promised?"
 
Beside a shocking statistic found in the title of Marita's column, Obama's Green Jobs Promise: 355 Jobs and Counting, there's more. Billions of tax dollars spent, and what did we get? A "Green Jobs Myth" and another Obama broken promise –– that's the good news. We got an Obama Labor Dept with gimmick green jobs accounting; outsourced green jobs; excessive waste fraud, and abuse; and its share of cronyism and corruption. As Biden smirks, it's NO laughing matter with our Country downing in debt and millions of Americans out of work.

conintue reading...Special Report Part Three: Where are the 5 Million Green Jobs Candidate Obama Promised?

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