Saturday, June 30, 2012

Obama’s Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption Story – Special Seven, Part 1 Expanded Version

Everyone who pays any attention to the news knows the name Solyndra. It has become synonymous with the overall failed green energy program administered by the Obama team. Politicos know there are many other companies that have received loan guarantees for various green energy projects that have since become a source of ridicule for the White House. Some might even be able to name a few. There is the now-bankrupt company that made batteries for electric cars: Ener1. The plug-in electric sports car company, Fisker, that made its cars in Finland and has troubles too numerous to cite. And, of course, we know about the Chevy Volt—that our taxpayer dollars bailed out only to have demand so low that Chevrolet had to pull the plug on the production line and lay off workers for five weeks earlier this year. But few know the full story.

Connecting the dots will make your head hurt. There are various programs and special tax breaks and different kinds of companies that received green energy loans: solar, wind, and geothermal; and car companies, battery manufacturers, and biofuel producers. While the projects differ, they have several startling similarities. The vast majority of the green energy loan guarantees were given to companies that could not obtain enough financial backing from private investors. Their “junk” or “speculative” grade kept people from putting their own money into them —yet your money and mine was given to them, and we had no say in the matter. Of the 27 loans issued through the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program to 21 firms, virtually all of them have “connections” to either President Obama or other high-ranking Democrats—or both! The loans were made to fill a market created not by free-market demand, but by government mandates. And, all of the “special seven” got fast-tracked approvals through the Department of Interior with little scrutiny over environmental damages that would have taken any other energy company months, if not years, to get, and EPA regulations were applied selectively.

Many of the companies that received the funds had involvement with large donors and/or bundlers for the Obama campaign, and there is an amazing revolving door through which the players pass many times. They worked, for example, for Senator Harry Reid. Then they are on the staff of an investment firm that invested in one, or more, of the companies. Next you find he or she is on some White House commission—or worse, became part of the Obama Department of Energy team. Some 460 companies applied for DOE loans, but only 27 projects, 21 companies, got the funds. And 85% of these have been found to have “connections.” The remaining 15% may well have connections too, albeit more guarded or hidden.

These are not wild assertions. I have the data to back them up.

Following the publication of my column a couple of weeks ago on crony capitalism, I was connected with Christine Lakatos. She’s a private citizen and a single mom with a nose for research. Beginning in 2009, she was hired to work on investigative projects, following the green energy money. But when those projects were completed, she didn’t stop digging. She kept finding more and more. With no outlet for her work, she started a blog where she “brain dumps” her findings—which for a total unknown has received an impressive number of readers. For anyone but the most stalwart, her Green Corruption Blog is like getting a drink of water from a fire hydrant.

On Sunday, some of Lakatos’ research was presented in my weekly column. The response prompted us to begin a collaboration.

For each of the next 17 weeks, we will expose one green-energy, crony-corruption story after another (though my travel schedule may require me to skip a week here and there). It will be a “book” released chapter-by-chapter. If you like what you find, we hope you’ll let us know and come back the following week for the next installment.

Some single stories of what we’ll expose are “out there”—though surely not covered by the mainstream media and not all in one place or all connected as we’re doing.  If you made a study of the green-energy, crony-corruption story your passion, you likely found out a lot of what we’ll share. If you read the report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) on the Obama Administration’s green energy gamble word-for-word, or watched the incriminating hearings, you’ll already know some of what we’ll present. Or, if you’ve read the chapter in Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out that addresses alternative energy and “how the game of funneling taxpayer money to friends has exploded to astonishing levels in recent years,” you have a good idea of the big picture. If you have made this your passion, have studied the report, and have coordinated with Schweizer, as Lakatos has, you are encouraged to help make these reports as complete as possible. Together, we’ll connect the dots and present it here in bite-sized pieces.

Each of the energy projects we will profile in the “special seven” section were recipients of billions of taxpayer dollars through the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) and many will be receiving millions more through the 1603 Grant Program. The 1705 LGP is an expansion of the 1703 program that was approved in 2005 under President Bush—increasing the expenditures from $17.9 billion in 2007 to $37.2 billion in 2010. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act significantly expanded the DOE’s authority, under Energy Secretary Steven Chu, through the newly created 1705 LGP. (Under the Recovery Act, $86 billion—approximately 10% of the stimulus package—was earmarked for green energy projects.) The LGP means that companies get risk-free money. If the company succeeds, the low-interest loan gets paid back. If they fail—as many have—we, the taxpayers, lose. In contrast, the 1603 Grant Program—implemented as part the Obama stimulus––is administered by the Treasury Department, with the goal of reimbursing eligible applicants for a portion of the costs of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income. Basically 1603 gives billions in favored businesses tax-free cash gifts that do not have to be paid back.

While we can prove that cronyism has run amok within the majority of 1705 LGP, we'll stay focused on the Special Seven. Here, in Part 1, we present a complete overview of the connecting dots on one project: SolarReserve, LLC. With this introduction made, we’ll likely address several companies, with a common denominator, in subsequent releases.

In Sunday’s column, the following thumbnail was presented: “SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes project is a solar thermal power tower plant utilizing the advanced molten salt power tower technology with integrated storage located in Tonopah, NV. The company's Fitch rating is BB, yet in September 2011, it was the recipient of $737 million in DOE loan guarantees. Obama’s law school buddy and 2008 Obama campaign bundler, Michael Froman, was managing director of alternative investments at Citigroup—which became a major investor in SolarReserve. Froman currently serves on the White House staff. Additionally, other high profile Democrats are involved with SolarReserve.”

But there is more.

More about Michael Froman. Peter Schweizer reports that “When Obama ran for president, Froman helped raise large sums of money on Wall Street” for the 2008 campaign. The HOGRC report (page 47) confirms Peter’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 and Competiveness.

Next, David Sandalow—who is currently “the Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at DOE, where he acts as Secretary’s Chu’s principal adviser on energy policy, as well as coordinating DOE’s foreign policy involvement.” (HOGRC report page 49) “Sandalow’s ties to the White House date back to the Clinton Administration, during which he worked with President Clinton on environmental issues. After having gained this experience, Sandalow became the influential Chair of the Energy & Climate Working Group of the Clinton Global Initiative. He went on to advise President Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Sandalow was a senior advisor to Good Energies, Inc., an energy-focused venture capital firm. Good Energies is an investor in SolarReserve.”

Other SolarReserve connections to the Democratic Party include:

Ronald Pelosi—Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ronald Pelosi, holds a leadership position with Pacific Corporate Group Asset Management—which is an investor in SolarReserve. Additionally, his colleague, Jasandra Nyker, has served as a member of SolarReserve’s board of directors.

George Kaiser—Argonaut Private Equity is an investor in SolarReserve. Argonaut Private Equity is owned by major Democratic fundraiser and a 2008 Top Obama bundler George Kaiser, who also invested in Solyndra. Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. The Managing Director for Argonaut Private Equity, Steve Mitchell, serves on SolarReserve's Board of Directors.

Tony shows that SolarReserve paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to the Podesta Group. Tony Podesta is the principal at the Podesta Group—which he started with his brother John. John Podesta ran Barack Obama’s presidential transition team and is the Director of the Center for American Progress—which is “reportedly highly influential in helping to craft White House Policy.” Both Tony Podesta and his wife Heather (a Washington power couple) are frequent White House visitors that share high ranks in "lobbying power," and Democrat bundling as well.

Lee Bailey—SolarReserve’s Chairman of the Board is Lee Bailey, a Managing Director with U.S. Renewables Group, who holds a significant financial stake in SolarReserve. Bailey has donated $21,850 since 2008 to Democratic candidates, including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, California Sen. Barbara Boxer and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

James McDermottSolarReserve board member James McDermott is also a Managing Director with U.S. Renewables Group. He contributed $61,500 to various Democratic campaigns since 2008, including $30,800 to Obama’s presidential election campaign. U.S Renewable Energy Group has ties with Senator Harry Reid.

If there were only one connect-the-dots story, it would be easy to dismiss it as coincidence. But here, with just one company, you can see the dots connect, and connect, and connect. As you will continue to see, they keep on connecting. In this case, connect-the-dots is no innocent childhood game. It is a high-stakes gamble and only those with connections get to play. Obama and his Democratic friends are the winners. We, the taxpayers, the losers. We lose the financial investment of our tax dollars and our electricity rates go up—all to support the discredited ruse of man-made climate change.

First published at Obama’s Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption
By Marita Noon (Jun 29, 2012) –– also pick up by: 
Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes America Great Inc., is a voice for energy focusing on the intersection of energy, news, politics and environmentalism. Follow Marita at @energyrabbit

Christine Lakatos is a mother of two terrific daughters, an ACE Certified Fitness Trainer, author, and more –– turned ferocious Green Corruption researcher and blogger. Follow Christine at @calfit32

Our first stop will be "The Special7" that snagged billions in DOE loans that were "junk" rated, millions in tax-free energy grants as well as fast-tracked DOI public land approval with little scrutiny over environmental damage. guessed it....ALL have "meaningful" connections (bundlers, donors, supporters) to President Obama, Senator Harry Ried, and other high-profile Democrats. Some even gained White House staff and DOE Advisor positions. 

While this column uncovered #1) SolarReserve, Marita reported on the entire list of seven in her  "Eco Scare Scams Raise Obama Campaign Cash" piece last Sunday, June 24, 2012.

Here are a summary of the others, but we will expand on each in the following weeks.

Three more Harry Reid ties:
#2) Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) holds leasehold interests in six geothermal projects located in the Western United States. They hold a BB+ rating and received a $78.8 million loan, guaranteed by the DOE, in September of 2011. Executives from NGP contributed heavily in 2008 to Harry Reid’s campaign. 

#3) Ormat Nevada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ormat Technologies Inc., whose website touts “green energy you can rely on.” They have an S&P rating of BB and received $350 million in partial loan guarantees. Ormat’s lobbyist Kai Anderson and Director of Policy and Business Development Paul Thomsen were both former senate aides to Harry Reid and donors to his campaign.

#4)  BrightSource Energy has a three-unit power system project known as “Ivanpah,” located near the California/Nevada border, south of Las Vegas, that uses a proprietary power-tower solar thermal system. Ivanpah I and III have a BB+ rating while Ivanpah II is BB. On April 11, 2011, the DOE announced the finalization of $1.6 billion in loan guarantees for BrightSource’s Ivanpah project. The apparent “payoffs” to Democrats are myriad—having donated at least $21,600 to Democrats since 2008 (and zero dollars to Republicans). According to a Washington Free Beacon report, 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. Woolard is also a Barack Obama donor and has visited the White House 10 times since Obama took office.” Additionally, Sanjay Wagle (a significant 2008 Obama campaign supporter and contributor), a principal at Vantage Point Partners (the major stakeholder in BrightSource) was an advisor at the DOE at the time the loan was approved. And, John Bryson, BrightSource CEO, became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce (although he resigned his post late Wednesday) and has ties to an organization that helped craft the stimulus package. 

And more...
#5) Abengoa has two solar projects: Solana and Mojave Solar. Solana’s Fitch rating is BB+. Just before Christmas, 2010, the company received $1.45 billion from the DOE for a solar thermal plant, to use parabolic trough technology, in Gila Bend, AZ. Mojave Solar’s rating was BB. Yet the company received $1.2 billion in September 2011 for its solar assembly collection project in San Bernardino County, CA. Abengoa has connections to California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.

#6) First Solar manufacturers “thin film” solar modules and is now moving into project development. While First Solar is not in the “junk bond” list, they do hold the unique distinction of being the single worst performer in the SPX in 2011. Additionally, they are linked to three junk-bond projects: Aqua Caliente (AZ), BB+; Antelope Valley Solar Ranch (CA), BBB-; and Desert Sunlight (CA), BBB-. First Solar was an early green investment of Goldman Sachs—which gave more than $1 million to the 2008 Obama campaign. Goldman Sachs executives sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee and others were bundlers. In Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer reports on First Solar investor Paul Tudor Jones, who was a 2008 Obama bundler, and First Solar CEO Michael Ahearn, who “gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats.”

#7) NextEra Energy Resources calls itself a leader in clean energy including “operating the largest US solar energy site.” Despite its self-proclaimed “leader” status, two of its projects: Genesis Solar and Desert Sunlight, hold ratings of BBB+ and BBB-. The Genesis Solar project received $681.6 million in August 2010, and Desert Sunlight: $1.2 billion. Here, there is an obvious conflict of interest as NextEra’s CEO, Lewis Hay, serves on the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Stay tuned and check back here at Green Corruption and Marita Noon because this is just the beginning...

Simultaneously, with "The Special7" as our first collaboration, I will continue with the 21 firms and their "meaningful political connections" donations, status, etc. found in the Issa 2012 Investigation –– with subsequent Congressional hearings –– Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism –– Intro.

Political buddies indeed –– 21 energy firms are behind the 27 projects found in the March 10, 2012 House Oversight investigation (the DOE's "junk bond" green portfolio), and 18 of them are politically connected to President Obama (15 alone) and the Democrat Party, that’s over 85%!

Interestingly some crossover into multiple categories but here is what's in the works:
  • "The Special7"
  • Department of Energy "Junk Loans" and Cronyism List
  • While Peter Schweizer's book divulged that ten members Obama's 2008 Finance Committee­, and revealed at least twenty-five 2008 Obama bundlers, large donors, and supporters that were "privy" to large amounts of green loans, grants, and special tax breaks, I found more...
  • The RAT in the Stimulus and the “Green Stimulus Authors” that Have Benefited Greatly
  • Obama's Green Team, DOE Officials, and DOE Advisors –– Stacked with Left-Wing Radicals, Al Gore Acolytes, and Silicon Valley Liaisons –– are Heavily Implicated in this “Green-Energy Scheme," and many have raked in big "green bucks." Also, a few White House staff that have ties to government green-energy money. 
  • At Least Five Members of Obama's Job Council Got DOE Cash –– A Council that is  Stacked With Democratic Donors, many of which came from President Obama's appointed 2009 Economic Advisory Board. 
  • Obama-Connected Cleantech (VC) Portfolios that Snagged Billions of Government Funds for Multiple Green Companies and Green Projects 
  • Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Energy, and Big Venture Capitalists are Players Cashing in on "Green" 
  • Failed Obama-backed Green Energy Companies –– the bankrupt and troubled "green projects and companies" list, of which I have tracked close to thirty (and more on the State level), yet it continues to grow weekly.
I know that other disgraces have plagued the Obama administration and taken center stage lately like Fast & Furious, ObamaCare, White House National Security Leaks, and more, however, with only 17 weeks until the 2012 elections, we will attempt to expose President Obama's "clean-energy dirt"  –– Green-Energy, Crony-Corruption Story –– of which I personally believe is one of the biggest scandals (and most expensive) of the Obama presidency!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama-Tied Troubled First Solar $3 Billion DOE Loans Produce Majority of Jobs Oversees, CEO Sold His Own Stock –– Plus More "Clean-Energy Dirt" Exposed

Since the finalization of three DOE loan guarantees at a price tag of over $3 billion of taxpayer money, First Solar has "experienced serious financial problems," in October 2011 fired their CEO Robert Gillette (replaced by former CEO and company founder Mike Ahearn), suffered from declining stock value, and back in April 2012, you guessed it, "laid off 2,000 workers and closed factories." If that wasn't bad enough, now in May, "the firm announced a massive round of furloughs," but it gets more convoluted...

Follow the Obama Bundlers and Donors –– First Solar Investors
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."

NOTE: JPEG is what I found during my research in 2010 and 2011 (Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets)
which is no longer available on the Goldman Sachs site.

Also, in Peter Schweizer’s New York Times bestseller, Throw Them All Out, is recorded more interesting data on First Solar. For example, another First Solar investor is billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who was a 2008 Obama bundler, and the CEO of First Solar, Michael Ahearn, "gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats."

Troubled First Solar Under Extreme Oversight Heat,  Including its CEO Michael Ahearn
Speaking of Mr. Ahearn, during the May 16, 2012 House Oversight Committee hearing, CA Representative Darrell Issa surmised that First Solar is "not an American company." It turns out that the numbers don't lie because Ahearn admitted, "in sheer numbers, most of our full time [employees] are outside the US." Yep folks, the majority of the jobs that the DOE funded with taxpayer money are going oversees.  

More outrageous information came out of a brutal "House Oversight" confrontation, where Mr. Ahearn, admitted to selling over 700,000 shares in August 2011, of which he personally raked in a whopping $68.5 million! Yet, according to, this has been going on for a while, "between 2008 and 2012 –– a period when First Solar’s stock value dropped by almost 95 percent –– Ahearn sold over $450 million of his own company’s stock."  

Yet, two weeks after this hearing, where Ahearn had told members of the House Oversight committee that his company “remains financially strong and well positioned to execute through the current market environment," First Solar announced that they have "furloughed half of the 240-person workforce at its Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One (AVSR1) power plant near Los Angeles" as reported by The Washington Free Beacon –– FIRST SOLAR FURLOUGH.

Oh, but as Fist Solar sinks and taxpayers lose, the CEO Ahearn is not the only one cashing in. Another Obama ally, 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" –– again unraveled by The Washington Free Beacon just today. 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." 

And, the DOE is not the only government agency that played favorites with First Solar...

First Solar has been facing scrutiny by the Senate Budget Committee over the fact they are part of the "Special Solar Seven" that in March 2009 "received fast-tracked approval by the Department of Interior (DOI) to lease federal lands in a no-bid process," story also tracked by The Washington Free Beacon.  As reported last week by the Washington Examiner, "Lawmakers fear that several politically connected green energy companies received special treatment from the Interior and Energy departments due to their relationship with Obama. [Last November], they focused their inquiry on six companies in particular: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal Power, NextEra Energy Resources and SolarReserve." However, as of late, President Obama's Interior Department –– Interior Secretary Ken Salazar –– is "following the same playbook" as Energy Secretary Steven Chu: "stall, and give Congress as little information and documentation as possible." 

First Solar and Energy Secretary Chu's "DOE's Junk Bond Portfolio"
First Solar is not directly in the "DOE junk bond inventory" that I reported on in April (Green Corruption: Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism –– Intro), but are they are linked to three of the projects on that list. 
  1. Agua Caliente, Arizona –– Rating BB+ by Fitch, Aug 2011 for $967 million –– was purchased by NRG Solar, LLC, and a subsidiary of NRG Energy. It turns out that the plant would supply power to PG&E, and be made with panels from the Temp-based First Solar inc. See my NRG and George Soros post, BREAKING: NRG Energy on the DOE Cronyism Hot Seat, Also Tied to George Soros. Also, electricity from Agua Caliente will be sold under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co, (another Big Energy firm making BANK off of green energy, including government subsidies that just so happens to be politically connected to the president and the Democrat party)
  2. Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch, Sept 2011 for $646 million –– was purchased by Exelon Corpyet First Solar, which developed the project, "will build, operate, and maintain the project." Interesting that Exelon Corp. was another 2008 Obama donor, and the AVR project has a 25-year purchase power agreement from PG&E as well.
  3. Desert Sunlight, California –– Rating BBB- by Fitch; Sept 2011 for $1.2 billion (or $1.46 billion –– was sold to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. and GE Energy Financial Services. Yet, the September announcement also states that, "First Solar will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements." Coincidentally, both CEO's are on President Obama's Job Council, Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jeffrey Immelt of GE (another top Obama donor, donating a whopping $529,855 to his 2008 campaign and reaping billions of green-energy dollars), and there is much to report on both GE and NextEra, in the near future. 
Initially, the DOE had granted conditional loans guarantees to three First Solar projects totaling over  $4.5 billion, yet First Solar's Topaz project located in San Luis Obispo, CA (for $1.5 billion) was not finalized. Later the Topaz project was purchased by (Obama buddy") Warren Buffet for $2 billion, and somehow the Agua Caliente project ended up snagging that $967 million loan guarantee, thus giving First Solar over $3 billion of green-government loans.

First Solar came under extreme heat in the House Oversight Investigation –– "The First Solar Scheme" (pp. 29-38), noting a series of violations and application misrepresentation as wells as "persistent pressure" with even a "threatening" letter to Jonathan Silver documented. And Silver, the former DOE Loan Adviser, according to WSJ Barron’s Magazine (July 10, 2010), had been a managing partner at Core Capital Partners in Washington. Coincidentally, one of Silver's colleagues there was Tom Wheeler, another Obama-Biden fund 2008 bundler. While Silver was supposed to help Chu accelerate loan reviews, he resigned from the DOE this year, amidst the Solyndra Scandal.

Also, within the pages the report released last month by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, evidence emerged "indicating that DOE manipulated analysis and strategically modified evaluations in order to get the [First Solar] loans out the door."

Goldman Sachs DNA all Over "Green" 
Besides First Solar, there are two more Goldman investments that happen to be on the "DOE junk bond list" that received government loans:
  • Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs), which had a "B Rating" by Fitch, in September 2011 snagged a $90.6 million DOE loan for a solar site in Colorado. 
  • U.S. Geothermal, Inc (Malheur County, Oregon) with a "BB Rating" by S&P, in February 2011 got a $97 million DOE loan. Schweizer' book notes that Goldman Sachs is the second largest shareholder of U.S. Geothermal. Yet, in 2010 I found more green-government subsidies for U.S. Geothermal...
Since my 2010 and 2011 research, it seems that Goldman Sachs' website has gone through a makeover, and their “Environmental Markets Financing and Advisory ” section clients include at least two green firms that stand out immediately. Both were also recipients of millions of DOE money and have meaningful connections to President Obama, the DOE, and Democrats

While this opens up a need to unveil more "Big Green Favored Portfolios," and much more, here is a snippet:
  • Tesla Motors IPO: Obama Bundler and DOE Advisor, Steven Westly snagged a $465 million ATVM DOE loan (one of five), and 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."
  • Amyris, Inc. IPO: Not only is this company a Westly investment, but also a Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures investment –– both comprise of "heavy-weight" Obama supporters, whose firms snagged multiple green-government contracts, another trail we will expose in due time. Also, according to Peter Schweizer, "California Senator Diane Feinstein and her husband invested $1 million into Amyris Biotechnologies just weeks prior to the company receiving a $24 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE)." 
Furthermore, it has been reported that Goldman Sachs is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for Solyndra, and in June 2009, SpectraWatt, another Goldman Sachs investment, received a $500,000 grant from National Renewable Energy Lab via the stimulus. However, SpectraWatt filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but not before giving "five company executives, including Richard J. Haug, SpectraWatt's President and COO, six-figure 'insider payments' totaling more than $745,000," a very disturbing trend that seems to accompany many taxpayer-funded green firms that go bust!   

Back in 2009 –– since the passing of President Obama's Taxpayer Funded Stimulus Spending Spree, of which over $80 billion was earmarked for alternative energy –– is when I began following the green money. At that time, I uncovered some riveting revelations and connections about Goldman Sachs. But what I found most fascinating came from Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone Magazine piece and video, where he exposed Goldman Sachs' "long-standing and very deep ties to the Democratic Party," and their "long history of putting their former employees in Democratic administrations." 

I won't reiterate, but it can be found in my 2010 blog, Green Corruption: The Plot Thickens, yet worth repeating are some other Goldman Sachs' firms and projects that received "green dollars" that I found when I took a brief look. 
  1. One of the early investments reported by Matt Taibbi in his July 2009 Rolling Stone Magazine article –– The Great American Bubble Machine, warning that Goldman Sachs is "helping create the next bubble, 'global warming' –– was Horizon Wind Energy. Back in 2010 Horizon was still on the Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets portfolio, but reported as owned by Portuguese EDP Renewables. Still, it turns out that they won a $229.8 million grant from the "green stimulus package," as reported by in December 2009, pointing out that it was one of the "top grant recipients." The article also notes, "European companies have scooped up the majority of U.S. stimulus money set aside for wind power projects."
  2. Nordic Windpower, funded by Goldman Sachs and Khosla Ventures (and others) –– Vinod Khosla, an affiliated partner of Kleiner Perkins  –– in July 2009 announced that it had "received a conditional commitment for a $16 million loan guarantee offer from the US Department of Energy (DOE), supported through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
  3.  U.S. Geothermal Inc. –– an Idaho-based geothermal energy developer with three main projects in the works (San Emidio in Nevada, Raft River in Idaho, and Neal Hot Springs in Oregon) with plans for more –– are a Goldman Sachs investment and they are a 5.98% shareholder in the company. 
  • Back in October 2009, the San Emidio Project, a 3.6 megawatts power plant in Nevada was awarded $3.77 million in federal stimulus money.  
  • Also, in February 2010 it was declared that "work has begun" on USG's Raft River Project –– a $10 million Enhanced Geothermal System grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.  
  • Lastly, June 2010, USG announced that it “was offered a conditional commitment for a $102.2-million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy," slated to build a 22-megawatt power plant in the eastern Oregon desert –– the Neal Hot Springs Project. The Associated Press reported that "once it [the Neal Hot Springs Project] is done (around 2012), the company is counting on a separate, $34 million federal tax rebate" –– money that's part of the 2009 federal stimulus act meant to help spur investment in renewable energy, which will help pay down the federal loan as well as pay off some private investors."
Make no mistake my taxpayer friends, I'm sure there is much more than the close to $5 billion of green government subsidies that Goldman Sachs has received from the Obama administration –– this is just what a "concerned citizen" found, and from what I gather, Goldman isn't done yet...Green Alert by Reuters on May 23, 2012: "Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to channel investments totaling $40 billion over the next decade into renewable energy projects, an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001." 


It's clear what $1 million in Obama campaign donations buys –– billions in taxpayer money funneled to Goldman Sachs investments. While it's obvious that cronyism and corruption are the driving forces behind the "clean-energy" money doled out by our government since Obama became president. And, the majority is going to President Obama and Democrat "friends," mainly campaign donors –– yep, tens of billions of green taxpayer dollars used as political payback! 

However, there is another problem with this picture, President Obama's rhetoric does NOT match reality on a quite a few fronts...

Vilifying the Rich
As President Obama continually vilifies "fat cat bankers at Wall Street," then pandering to "Occupy Wall Street," using class warfare as part of his 2012 campaign strategy, he is clearly comfortable taking Wall Street donations and having them occupy high-level important positions in the within his administration –– All the president’s Goldman Sachs men; Update: A look at the White House visitor logs 
Maybe worse (or very upsetting at best) is the fact that most of the green dollars were steered toward millionaires and billionaires, as divulged in Schweizer’s New York Times bestseller, Throw Them All Out –– released last November and featured on 60 Minutes –– where he devotes an entire chapter to alternative-energy, "Spreading the Wealth... to Billionaires!" Schweizer analysis, –– Obama Campaign Backers and Bundlers [were] Rewarded With Green Grants and Loans" –– was startling, "71 percent," yet, another look by the Heritage Foundation, quotes Schweizer's findings at 80%!

Be that as it may, I concluded through my extensive research in April of this year that over 85% of the "DOE junk bond" portfolio from the 1705 Loan Program alone, (where 21 energy companies are behind the 27 projects found in the House Oversight investigation) are politically connected to President Obama (15 alone) and the Democrat Party, in the realm of campaign donations, support and more!

Broken Promises –– Corruption Abounds
President Obama railed against the culture of greed and recklessness practiced by Wall Street, even in 2009 stating, "Wall Street Arrogance and Greed Won't Be Tolerated!" Yet, despite the fact that "Obama came into office vowing to end business as usual," and hold Big Banks accountable for their part in the 2008 financial crisis, where's the justice

And what about the practices being used by those taxpayer-funded green companies that "go bust" or are in serious trouble? Like paying their executive bonuses, selling there stock in the midst of financial trouble, "green" insider trading, and so much more yet to report.

Bain Capital vs. Obama's Public Equity Record
Lastly, as the 2012 election recently heated up, the Obama Team (and their surrogates) attempted to brutalize GOP nominee Mitt Romney via his time at Bain Capital (although he took donations from Bain), yet many on the "right" fired back attacking Obama’s public-equity record!

Some predict that "Bain is a dead," issue in the 2012 presidential race, yet Byron York of the Washington Examiner, sees a much different scenario –– Obama will bang on Bain Capital as fight heats up.

I happen to agree with Mr. York, and believe that since the economy is the number one issue in our country, the comparison will be central to this coming election. It's fair others and I say, "BRING IT," and How About the Record of DOE Capital? 

It's obvious as the to cronyism and corruption happening on the "green front" –– both federally and the state levels –– however, the actual figure of Obama-subsidized FAILED clean-energy companies is yet to be realized, but I have tracked close to 30 at this point.  

What About Those Promised 5 Million Green Jobs?
On the campaign trail in 2008, "Obama promised that a $150 billion investment would generate 5 million jobs over 10 years." However, according to Politico last May, "Nearly three years into Obama's presidency, the White House can't point to much solid evidence that significant numbers of Americans are scoring the green jobs the president has been touting." Even Reuters' recent analysis states, "Obama's 'green jobs' have been slow to sprout."

And to add insult to injury, many of those taxpayer-funded green companies like First Solar, Al Gore and John Doerr's Fisker Automotive, and others are sending jobs oversees. Furthermore, the House Oversight recently released revelations on how the DOE touted “misleading job creation statistics," and the Obama administration's Department of Labor's ludicrous method of calculating "green jobs."

Stay tuned, I'm just getting started...