As mentioned by The Wall Street Journal during its February 2011 implementation, "The group is long on White House regulars, golf partners and meal guests." A jobs panel by the way –– those that have been advising the president on how to create jobs and grow the economy, of which many were recruited from President Obama's February 2009 Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) enacted by "executive order" –– whereas the majority are known for “job outsourcing.”
Why would they push clean energy? Well, at least a handful of these ultra-rich CEO's and Venture Capitalists have benefited BIG TIME from the green deal making. I've tracked at least five members of Obama’s Job Council that are connected to firms that have cashed in on the trillion dollar 2009-stimulus spending spree, of which close to $100 billion was earmarked for green. While four are confirmed Obama donors personally or via their companies, collectively all five are tied to at least $10 billion in “green” taxpayer money.
Still, there were two 1705 loan guarantees that I had outlined in April of this year (1366 Technologies Inc. for $150 million and the Caithness Shepherds Flat for or $1.3 billion) as well as a $54.6 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Add in some smaller government subsidies and awards for a multitude of green projects, programs, and through some of their "green alliances" that I found during my 2011 research, and GE's "green tab" exceeds $3 billion in direct (some indirectly) taxpayer cash, and counting.
President Obama Misled the American People on the DOE Loans Decisions
For now, we'll go back in time, around a month prior to the 2012 election when a Colorado reporter, pointing to "critics who see bankrupt Abound Solar [$400 million] as Colorado's Solyndra [$535 million]," caught President Obama off guard. Obama proclaimed, "...And these are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics."
As it turns out, these emails reveal that many of the DOE loans were rushed and approved for political reasons –– visits, speeches, announcements, photo ops, and talking points for the president as well as for the purpose of helping those connected to the companies seeking the loans –– CEO's, investors, and Democrat politicians, which goes beyond subsidizing Nevada companies in order to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. win his 2010 reelection campaign. (NOTE: In fact Senator Reid is tied to five of the DOE loans worth billions of taxpayer dollars, of which Marita Noon and I covered four; BrightSource, SolarReserve, Nevada Geothermal, and Ormat Nevada. However, in these emails I discovered a fifth, which "goes by a variety of names," including SWIP, Great Basin project, and One Nevada, yet after an analysis, I figured out that this project is LS Power for $343 million).
The Shepherds Flat $1.3 Billion Deal
- Jonathan Silver, Former Executive Director of the Loans Programs Office Department of Energy (November 2009 to October 2011)
- Douglas Schultz, Current Program Manager in the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office
- James C. McCrea, Senior Credit Advisor Loan Programs Department of Energy
- David G. Frantz, Acting Executive Director, LPO; Acting Director, ATVM
- Brandon Hurlbut, Department of Energy Chief of Staff (Hurlbut replaced Chu's chief of staff, Rod O'Connor when he departed in February 2011 along with two other key DOE officials. Prior to that he was the agency's deputy chief of staff)
In an April 27, 2010 EMAIL from Kevin Walsh, managing director of General Electric Co.'s GE Energy Financial Services division, he writes to Jonathan Silver and Douglas Shultz with the subject line, Caithness Wind. Mr. Walsh says, "We have been advised by the White House and other sources that we are likely to get the '"green light"' this week to move forward with the Shepherds Flat wind project." Mr. Walsh later writes, "Les Gelber [a partner at Caithness Energy] and I will be in DC tomorrow and would like to stop by any time between noon and 2pm to briefly discuss..."
September 9, 2010 EMAIL: James McCrea (subject line: Shepherds Flat -- Draft Responses to OMB Questions), "As you all know, the pressure to make decisions on this transaction are high so speed of the essence." Then later that day, McCrea writes (Email #4 from Appendix I) he says, “Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.”September 23, 2010 EMAIL: Jim McCrea writes to Gary Burner and David Frantz (subject line: Shepherds Flat): "Gary, I hear via Jonathan via the WH that we will be receiving Shepherds Flat questions this evening..."
September 30, 2010 EMAIL with subject line "Talking points," whereas Brandon Hurlbut writes to Jonathan Silver (cc's Rod OConnor). "Wh decided chu and geithner need to speak first thing in morning to make sf announcement happen -- we recognize all of the logistical challenges -- but you and I need to get chu up to speed... we should hand him a talking points for this call..."
Jonathan Silver responds to Jim (I am assuming McCrea) with a three-page email (mainly complaining), and writes, "The two project partners are Caithness, a developer, and GE, which is both an investor and the manufacturer of the turbines." Silver then rambles on about some issues they were having with Treasury, mainly on the role they were playing in the "DOE deals." Silver later goes on, "We need to get the Shepherds Flat deal done so that the President can make it the centerpiece of this radio address on Saturday. To do that, the CRB must vote today. We cannot get the language that Treasury wants in that time frame."
Further, behind the scenes, a few Shepherds Flat obstacles were somehow overcome...
- "The U.S. Department of Defense, which objected to the giant wind farm because of fears it would interfere with a radar system in the region," yet Shepherds Flat cleared that hurdle when it was given the go-ahead from the Pentagon in April 2010.
- The House Oversight, March 2012 investigation reveals internal memos of concern over the fact that the Caithness Shepherds Flat project was receiving “an excessive amount of public subsidy, where grants, tax credits and loan guarantees provided 65% of the funding for the project. This included the spotlight on an October 2010 memo to President Obama by three senior White House advisors that detailed how developers were able to pile several different subsidy programs into a mountain of benefits that left them with “little skin in the game.”
- As stated Fitch rated this project like 21 others as non-investment grade, yet they cleared that hurdle and got the $1.3 billion loan in December 2010, and tons of other federal and state subsidies.
Green Jobs: The Promise vs. the Reality
Just this past September 2012, all the "green news" organization heralded the success of the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, "Oregon's Biggest Wind Farm Comes Online," whereas they praised its energy (electricity) generation, CO2 elimination, how it "employed 400 people to build the farm," and will provide permanent employment for 45 people.
WOW, 45 jobs! Now, I'm no financial guru, but this project was subsidized with close to $2 billion of taxpayer money, so even if we calculate the temporary employment with the permanent (445), the math is crazy –– I think that would mean 4,494,382 per job.
Do you think Secretary Chu will be doing a press conference now? And what about our Jobs Council, are they tracking the green jobs?
In just a few examples in the clean energy sector funded with stimulus money we find...
Wind Energy Subsidies Blows in More Green Corruption
Besides the wind grants, many of which went to projects owned by foreign companies, there were a few 1705 DOE loans that went to wind projects, and of course they too come with influential political connection, thus more green corruption. Throw in the looming and controversial expiration of the wind-production tax credit (PTC) that many of these high-powered energy folks have taken advantage of, rely heavily upon, and are fiercely lobbying for. Then add the fact that just last week, Secretary Chu announced "new investments in offshore wind projects," again doling out tax dollars to subsidize them. And my goodness, we have another twister of a story to tell.
Meanwhile, there is another piece of green corruption related to the Shepherds Flat wind project...
So, Silver's testimony doesn't line up with reality. According to his own email transcripts (as noted above), Silver and others inside the DOE knew EXACTLY who the investors were of the Shepherd's Flat project, and he even received an email from Kevin Walsh of GE on April 27, 2010. The fact is that early in the deal making process, Silver is seen in these emails sticking up for this project every step of the way and making a big deal out of the investors –- "The two project partners are Caithness, a developer, and GE, which is both an investor and the manufacturer of the turbines."
Still, Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric) is the first of "the five" ultra-rich Obama job council members that are tied to at least $10 billion of "green" stimulus money. And as I expose this part of the green corruption scandal, you'll soon discover that many of these job council members are in cahoots, using YOUR money, claiming they are saving the planet. Yep, this group is supposed to be creating jobs and reviving our dead economy, yet the only thing growing are the pockets of Obama's wealthy green cronies.
Stay tuned for the other four in my series on "The Green Five: Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Jobs Council Members"
- Jeffrey Immelt, a multimillionaire at least, is the CEO of General Electric (GE a top 2008 Obama donor), and Chair of President Obama's Job Council (Jobs Czar) since 2011. Yet Immelt was also a member of President Obama’s 2009 Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB). GE Green Money: $3 billion and counting
- Billionaire John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) along with his "billionaire climate buddy" Al Gore, is 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 not only sits on the President Obama’s Job Council (also from Obama's member of the 2009 PERAB), but early on he ultimately shaped what went into the energy section of the 2009 Obama stimulus package. KPCB Green Money: In 2010 I calculated that over fifty percent of the companies (nine) listed on the KPCB Greentech Portfolio secured all kinds of loans, grants and special tax breaks (federal and state), however since then they have tripled their investments and new reports show as many as sixteen that have snagged green-government subsidies. Thus the total is most likely over $2 billion (and counting), and that's if you don't factor in two huge winners: "$700,000 federal grant, crucial to expanding a RecycleBank program in Philadelphia" (yet I found much more stimulus money here), and the $2 billion DOE 1703 loan that went to AREVA, a Kleiner Perkins "financial friend" and "POTUS approved loan."
- Billionaire Penny Pritzker, according to Forbes, is "an heir to the Hyatt Hotel and Pritzker family fortune, was a key fundraiser for Barack Obama's presidential run in 2008, and was talked about as a favorite for Commerce Secretary." Pritzker wears many liberal hats, including a prominent position on Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee. Ms. Pritzker was also actively involved in President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign as a bundler and national co-chair of Obama for America 2012. According to Peter Schweizer, Ms. Pritzker is part of a special group of the "politically active," whereas "many bundlers’ businesses or relatives' businesses also received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal contracts, grants, loans, or other crony perks," including clean energy. Pritzker Family Green Money: at least $465 million
- Lewis “Lew” Hay, III is executive chairman of NextEra Energy, Inc., and it is estimated by Forbes, that CEO “Hay earns nearly $10 million in total compensation from NextEra.” Despite the fact that Hay was actually a “major political contributor to Sen. John McCain in 2008,” he quickly learned which side his power company could generate the "Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans." Hay too joined wealthy Democratic donors on Obama’s Jobs Council in 2011. NextEra Energy Green Money: at least $2.3 billion
- Richard Dean "Dick" Parsons, Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. (from 2009 until he announced stepping down in March 2012) is also part of the multimillionaire club. Parsons was also the former CEO of Time Warner, and was listed on the "near misses" of Forbes' 2009 The Wealthiest Black Americans. It's widely known that "Too Big to Fail" Citigroup was a TARP recipient, $45 billion in government bailout funds. However, contrary to Obama distancing himself from Wall Street and Big Banks, Citigroup was the #7 Top 2008 Obama donor in the amount of $736,771, and the he a "close buddy" to quite a few former Citigroup executives. On the other hand, Parsons, known as a "moderate Republican," served on the 2008-Obama Transition Team; in January 2009, was on the short list for Obama's Commerce Secretary; and in 2011, Parsons was appointed to the President’s Job Council. Citigroup Green Money: at least $1 billion with incomplete research, and not factoring in that they are tied to Solar Trust that received a $2.1 billion DOE loan guarantee, which didn't make the final cut and went bankrupt in April 2012.
Keep in mind, President Obama had the nerve to demand more stimulus money to spend at his whim (reported to be about $255 billion, yet I've heard it's much more) as part of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. Furthermore, according Hot Air this week, "In an interview for TIME’s Person of the Year award, President Obama said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for the next four years." So, rest assure, this type of corporate welfare; green-energy, crony-corruption; and waste of taxpayer money (I've tracked over 50 to date) is far from over.
Still, I have not released my entire batch of research on this scandal –– exposing "President Obama's Clean Energy Dirt" –– that I have gathered since late 2009, and I have about a years worth of work to unleash. Plus tracking all the new green corruption coming down the pipeline. In order to take this project to the next level, I am looking for donations (see BUTTON to support this cause), an editor as well as a website designer. Oh, and my computer hard drive (IMac) took a dive. OUCH!
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and or suggestions. Thanks and Merry Christmas, Christine Lakatos