Today I’m back to uncovering "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Eight," of which we've exposed six thus far, and this past May I gave a sneak peek into TJ Glauthier, another member of this "gang": those that were involved in crafting the energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, and who ultimately financially benefited from the Obama administration’s green energy policies and the $80 billion earmarked for renewable energy as well as other clean-energy funds from various budgets and departments.
While parts of TJ Glauthier's role in this massive green energy scheme has been documented by several conservative outlets since 2011, along with additional data, I'll be connecting the dots to give a complete tally on how Mr. Glauthier is tied to at least four green energy firms that raked in hundreds of millions in "green" funds, the majority from the so-called stimulus package –– "one of the largest economic rescue programs since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," of which Glauthier aided in authoring, at least the energy portion.
But what the president failed to mention is that his administration has funded algae all right: millions of tax dollars subsidizing the green slime fuel dream went to the president's political advisors and green allies –– which Michelle Malkin, American conservative political commentator and author, in March 2012, so profoundly deemed Obama’s Algae Racket.
Starting with the Department of Energy (DOE), which in December 2009, through the stimulus package awarded up to $564 million for 19 integrated biorefinery projects, three of which were algae based, and the center of my research today.
Meanwhile the Department of Agriculture (USDA) via the Biorefinery Assistance Program, as documented by Taxpayer for Common Sense in April of this year, since 2009, has given out about $1.02 billion in treasury-backed loan guarantees for ten biofuel companies –– with "six facilities that plan to process algae, municipal solid waste, or other organic waste into advanced biofuels and biogas." This is the same program that gave us Range Fuels, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. (NOTE: Range Fuels is connected to another billionaire Obama buddy, Vinod Khosla that I highlighted six months ago due to his affiliation to Kleiner Perkins, noting that Khosla Ventures was another big VC winner of clean-energy funds –– with more details to follow in the near future).
In the meantime, this month soaring renewable fuel costs have sparked a new fight over the ethanol mandate –– and the battle to "fully repeal the federal ethanol mandate, which has been blamed for increasing fuel and food prices," is not only armed by concerned Senators, but also from oil, livestock, dairy, and restaurant industries. And as Amy Harder of the National Journal reported two days ago, "Other industries also concerned about the mandate include automakers, who are worried about engine safety being compromised by higher blends of ethanol, and environmental groups, which say emissions of greenhouse gases from ethanol production outweigh the benefits from burning less gasoline."
All this is in the midst of the Senate –– after a lengthy battle that was settled by a deal to avert the nuclear option –– confirmed the new EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, to replace outgoing chief Lisa Jackson. McCarthy, a controversial pick, labeled as Obama's Green Quarterback, who, according to Tim Carney, "is a consistent ethanol-industry defender." And just in time to help implement President Obama's radical climate agenda, whereas he has given the EPA sweeping powers in order to save the planet.
As I mentioned, in December 2009, the Energy Department, through the 2009-Recovery Act, dished out over half a billion taxpayer dollars to 19 integrated biorefinery projects, of which only three algae companies got free DOE money –– a trio of Obama's Algae Allies.
The first one is tied to TJ Glauthier, the main focus of the Green Corruption File, whose past includes the key positions within the Clinton administration, and of all places the Department of Energy, “served on Obama’s 2008 White House Transition Team. Glauthier is widely credited –– even at one point on the Solazyme website ––– for specifically working on the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Glauthier is a "Strategic Advisor” for Solayzyme as well as other renewable energy firms that I will get to later, but for now it is important to note that in December 2009, the San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. won $21.7 million as part the “government’s $600 million advanced biorefinery project stimulus award.”
|photo courtesy of Solazyme.com|
Also reporting on this amazing Obama spending story was The Heritage Foundation, who according to the Navy, marked this green deal, as "the “single largest purchase of biofuel in government history.” This deal, which included the purchase for 450,000 gallons of advanced biofuels, at the price of $15 per gallon, was for the "first demonstration [off the coast of Hawaii] of the so-called "'Great Green Fleet'" — an entire aircraft-carrier strike group relying on alternative energy sources," reported Wired.com.
Even Investors.com, took aim, however, they provided an overall picture of Obama's green military plan: "And this is only the beginning of this two-for-one bad deal — swindling taxpayers while ravaging national security. Obama's Agriculture and Energy departments and Navy plan to spend $510 million over three years buying biofuel for military and commercial purposes, bypassing Congress by leveraging Defense Department procurement."
Besides the absurdity, you should know “Solazyme's ties to the White House and the Democratic establishment in Washington are myriad,” with their “officials including Glauthier having contributed at least $360,000 to Democrats since 2007," noted Michelle Malkin in March of 2012.
Malkin goes on…
The head of Solazyme's Washington lobbying office is Drew Littman, former chief of staff for Democratic Sen. Al Franken. Littman's old pal, entrenched D.C. lobbyist and Obama appointee Michael Meehan, feted Littman earlier this year and bragged that "we couldn't be more thrilled to be working on a daily basis with Drew and the Solazyme team."More Solazyme Access and Influence
VantagePoint is where we also find "DOE Insider," Sanjay Wagle, who 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 then-Secretary Chu (reported to be at the ARPA-E program at the DOE).
Prior to arriving in Washington, Wagle was a principal at VantagePoint, a cleantech venture capital firm, where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a Partner and Senior Advisor. However, according to some greentech defenders, "Wagle gave up any interests in VantagePoint and the companies it invested in before joining DOE," and left the DOE sometime in 2012. That may be true (although I'd like to see the proof), but Wagle was part of the September 22, 2009, Valerie Jarrett "CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT" held at the White House, whereas "attendees [had] struck gold, cashing in on $5.3 billion in taxpayer funds from the Obama administration."
- 1366 Technologies: $150 million 1705 DOE loan tied to General Electric as well as the Former Obama Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt and their "big green stimulus bucks
- Amprius*: $3 million and $5 million from different stimulus-funded programs
- BrightSource Energy and the $1.6 Billion Shady DOE Deal
- FloDesign*: over $8 million stimulus grant and $4 million funding from the state of Massachusetts
- Mascoma*: $80 million from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy EERE funded by the stimulus as well as close to $200 million from 2006 to 2008 under the Bush administration
- MiaSole'*: $101.8 million stimulus tax credit
- Serious Energy with friends in the White House got serious cash: I can confirm that
Serious Materials got a stimulus-related tax credit of $548,100. We also know that the stimulus package included “$8 billion in weatherization and energy efficiency grants for things like new windows in office buildings, as well as tax credits for homeowners who buy new, energy efficient windows." However, it’s hard to say how much of that $8 billion business Serious got, but we do know that they snagged government contracts via their QuietRock products.
- Solazyme: $21.7 million stimulus grant
- Telsa Motors and its Big Tale of Cronyism: $465 million DOE ATVM loan
Additionally, in March 2013, while Forbes featured Solazyme as "leader in the algal fuel race," as well as the co-founder Jonathan Wolfson and his algae-based fuel dream, there pessimism seeped through: "Wolfson has a long way to go in proving that his company’s concepts can make money — a prerequisite for having any hope of changing the world. Last year Solazyme posted a net loss of $83 million on sales of $44 million." And it seems that Solazyme's green fuel is not the money maker in the family: "Though Solazyme shares are down 30% in a year, investors do have some reason to believe that the food and face cream can keep it going until it finally cracks the price barrier on cleaner, greener fuels," closed Forbes.
What's interesting to note here too is that Wolfson also sat on the board of the Center for American Progress (CAP) Clean Tech Council, another driving force behind this clean-energy scheme that I have documented many times, but that's the nature of this scandal –– it's very incestuous.
Sapphire Energy: $54.5 million USDA loan; $50 million DOE stimulus grant
There were two other Obama "algae allies" that got their fare share of "green" in December 2009 when then-Secretary Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Energy Department was awarding $100 million to three algae biorefineries, as part of the half-billion-dollar biofuel subsidies. Besides Solazyme, the California based Sapphire Energy, not only received a $50 million grant from the DOE, but also a loan guarantee for up to $54.5 million (closed on October 21, 2011) through the Biorefinery Assistance Program for their "Green Crude Farm" in Southern New Mexico.
According to Sapphire's website, they began construction in 2010, and "it is currently operating in a commercial test phase." Well maybe they haven't updated the Sapphire story, because in February 2012, the Washington Free Beacon reported, "like many stimulus projects, Sapphire’s new facility has faced delays. The plant was supposed to be operational by 2011, creating almost 750 temporary and 40 permanent jobs. But Sapphire did not break ground until June 2011," and as of the first quarter of 2013, as documented by Recovery.gov, this algae project was only "50 percent completed."
|Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Bill Gates |
at the 2012 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit
Photo by Quentin Kruger, courtesy of Energy.gov
Needless to say, billionaire Gates has been known to be in cahoots with Energy Secretary Chu pushing a carbon tax, and in February 2012, Gates attended a campaign fundraiser for President Obama in the eastern Seattle suburb home of Jeff Brotman, founder of the low-cost supermarket chain Costco (another Obama pal), "where the US [Obama] leader cited his example to push for raising taxes on wealthy Americans," reported Phys.org News.
This post opened with President Obama's February 2012 energy speech, delivered at the University of Miami, where he proclaimed algae as the new revolutionary fuel source. Well, that's because Algenol Biofuels was behind the reference, and according to Michelle Malkin, "In December 2008, when the White House announced the nomination of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the CEO of Florida-based biofuels startup Algenol, Paul Woods, exulted to Time magazine: "You see this smile on my face? It's not going away. Everyone is really excited by this."
While it's difficult to track exactly why Mr. Woods was so happy about Chu to head the Energy Department –– although in hindsight we can make all kinds of accusations, like Chu's alignment with the president's huge green energy agenda that included keeping gas prices high, even $8.00 per gallon –– but what do know with certainty is that when criticism emerged from Newt Gingrich over Obama's algae endorsement, Woods drafted an open letter slamming Gingrich, while praising President Obama.
Furthermore, it doesn't hurt that Woods belongs to the right groups such as the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) as well as a board member at Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), along with Mr. Tim Zenk of Sapphire Energy –– the latter a busy group with a lobbying footprint inside Washington, D.C. and a strong supporter of President Obama.
While this 25 million grant was "to build a pilot-scale biorefinery that will make ethanol directly from carbon dioxide using algae," according to Forbes, "The company had originally partnered with Dow Chemical to build a demonstration plant at a Dow facility in Freeport, Texas, but Dow withdrew from the project," and "Algenol shifted the facility to Florida adjacent to laboratories it also developed" with the DOE money.
Well, we will continue to monitor the green slime fuel dream, yet we may not know the reality of it for decades. Maybe by that time, we'll be putting broccoli in our automobiles –– who knows. But what we do know is that when it's "green," cronyism, corruption, and corporate welfare are sure to follow. But for now, let's get back to the main focus of this Green Corruption File, because TJ Glauthier is tied to more money from the taxpayer-funded Green Bank of Obama.
Another key investor is the VC firm Kleiner Perkins, of which in 2008 they led a $75-million investment (along with Foundation Capital) into Silver Spring, which was one of the first funded from Kleiner Perkins’ $500 million Green Growth fund (established in May 2008). And as I’ve reported many times, two key villains operating inside this green energy scheme are the “global warming gurus, the mega rich John Doerr and Al Gore –– both friends since the 90's, partners at Kleiner Perkins, and big Obama cronies.
What’s amazing is that Foundation Capital, who has a “friend” in the Obama White House was a big winner of green money: 12 renewable energy firms, of which 60 percent were winners totaling over $175 million of taxpayer money, and that does not take into account Silver Spring Network's $1.3 billion in contracts related to the smart-grid grants.
This smart grid story also led to three "DOE Insiders": Cathy Zoi, Sanjay Wagle (listed in this post as well), and Steve Westly, another expose’ I’m working on entitled, "The DOE Dirt Dozen." However it is TJ Glauthier that I will be exposing more of today.
Mr. Glauthier, as mentioned earlier, past includes key positions inside Washington D.C., and according to his very own Linked-In bio, "In 2008, he served on President Obama’s transition team. In the Clinton Administration, he held two Presidential appointments: at the White House as Associate Director of OMB, and as the Deputy Secretary and COO of the Department of Energy, the second-highest position at DOE. At DOE, he was responsible for 120,000 federal and contractor employees, 17 national laboratories, and an annual budget of over $19 billion." Glauthier is also widely credited for specifically working on the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
EnerNOC: $10 million stimulus funds for a contract with the State of Massachusetts
EnerNOC, whereas the Venture Beat describes as “one of the leading players in the demand response space,” which apparently is some sort of fancy technology for the smart grid, in 2009 reported, “Foundation Capital was attempting to dial down its ownership in the Boston-based company, of which they had been the lead investor in EnerNOC’s second round of funding in 2005, leading the $7.75 million raised with $5 million.”
It turns out that EnerNOC went public in 2007, and in November 2011 USA Today did an analysis noting that the “Stimulus funds helped some stocks soar,” of which EnerNOC (and others I’m familiar with) was on that list. However, what most don’t know is that just over a year prior that report, the State of Massachusetts proudly announced, “Utilizing $10 million in stimulus funds, the DOER awarded a contract to Boston-based EnerNOC to implement a comprehensive Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS).”
SunRun: 21 federal stimulus grants, across 10 states for over $140 million; plus partners with PG&E on a $100 million program that will get tax benefits in addition to some cash returns
SunRun, “the nation's leading residential solar electricity provider,” of which last December, became one of a trio of solar companies under investigation “to determine whether the companies accurately reported the market value of their costs when applying for federal reimbursement, which was calculated at one-third of the costs,” reported the Washington Post.
Ironically, while all three –– SolarCity, SunRun, and Sungevity –– are competitors, they all “boast investors with significant ties to the Obama White House,” noted the Heritage Foundation. Translation: all three have friends in high places, and together the three companies reportedly have claimed more than $500 million in taxpayer support,” while Fox News found that SolarCity had applied for $341 million in grants.
Now, I've covered SolarCity a few times: here and also in my February 2013 "Citigroup’s Massive Green Money Machine" post. Later, through researching Foundation's portfolio, I discovered that just from the 1603 stimulus grants, SunRun was awarded 21 grants, across 10 states for over $140 million free taxpayer money.
Plus in 2010, SunRun scored a $100 million joint program with the major utility Pacific Gas & Electric –– another huge player in this green energy scam that maintains a strong political presence in Washington, D.C., and is actively involved in California politics as well. Through connecting the dots and showing PG&E's Democratic "cronyism footprint," I uncovered (as of April 2013) that PG&E won a significant amount of stimulus money: at least seventeen transactions and over $55.4 million. Better yet, PG&E has an invested interest in "six solar projects that will sell power to PG&E, which have received a combined $5.5 billion in taxpayer-backed DOE loans," as exposed by the Washington Free Beacon, however, my research shows that it was closer to $7.7 billion.
Still, according to Venture Beat, in regards to SunRun's home solar financing deal, “PG&E will be funding the rooftop systems in question via its subsidiary, Pacific Energy Capital II, a tax equity fund,” of which “in lieu of traditional returns, the investor — PG&E in this case — gets tax benefits in addition to some cash returns.”
GridPoint: Benefited from scores of smart-grid stimulus funds and more
Two days later, Klein also broke the story on how Peter L. Corsell, the founder of GridPoint Inc., who served as the GridPoint’s chief executive officer from the company’s inception until transitioning to the position of non-executive chairman in October, 2010, "had made the maximum donation allowable to President Obama’s inauguration, contributing $50,000."
As I've chronicled numerous times, the 2009-stimlus package allotted $11 billion of the clean-energy stimulus funds for "Electric Grid Modernization," of which in the summer of 2009, the Energy Department started dishing out $4.5 billion in smart-grid grants, whereas free taxpayer money was awarded to selected utility companies for particular smart-grid projects. So, it seems that "GridPoint has benefited from scores of smart grid deals funded by the stimulus bill," and here is what Klein documented as of December 2011:
- The company partnered with the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), Nissan, the Idaho National Laboratory and others in a project to deploy electric vehicles (EVs) and their charging infrastructure in five states. The Energy Department had awarded eTec almost $100 million in “stimulus” funds to support the project. GridPoint’s role in the eTec project was to supply smart charging and data logging capability to utilities located in strategic markets of eTec’s program in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington.
- GridPoint also benefited from “stimulus” funds when it recently provided home energy management, load management and electric vehicle management software solutions for a KCP&L’s Green Impact Zone SmartGrid Demonstration in Kansas City, Mo. The project was the recipient of stimulus funding.
- Additionally, GridPoint helped the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, to manage power from its customers’ rooftop solar panels. The Arlington, Va.-based company had landed a contract to help the Sacramento, Calif.-based municipal utility manage renewable power integration, energy storage and home energy management systems. SMUD had won $127.5 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Energy to carry out the project, which also includes deploying 600,000 smart meters in its service territory.
- Also, in early 2009, the Energy Department awarded Argonne National Laboratory nearly $2.7 million in stimulus funding for three solar-energy related research projects. In addition, Argonne reportedly shared another $5 million in stimulus funding for projects with GridPoint and other companies and the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
- Besides benefiting from stimulus grants, GridPoint last year won a $28 million contract with the United States Postal Service to install energy management systems in selected post office locations across the U.S.
It would be nice to know if and how much stock Glauthier has in any of these clean-energy firms that cashed in on taxpayer money, however obviously, it is very rewarding to be on Obama's Team as well as a stimulus author with a past inside the Department of Energy. Still, the evidence is found in the fact that at least four green energy firms that Mr. TJ is connected to raked in hundreds of millions of green energy funds –– the majority from the 2009-Recovery Act that he helped craft.
- Solayzyme (Strategic Advisor): $21.7 million DOE stimulus grant; plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy
- EnerNOC (Board Member): $10 million stimulus funds for a contract with the State of Massachusetts
- SunRun (key Advisor): 21 federal stimulus grants, across 10 states for over $140 million; plus partners with PG&E on a $100 million program that will get tax benefits in addition to some cash returns
- GridPoint (former Board Member): Benefited from scores of smart-grid stimulus funds and more
Thus far, I've exposed seven who helped craft energy portions of the 2009-Recovery Act –– you know the president's trillion-dollar stimulus spending spree, which was sold to the American people as a means to save our economy from the brink of disaster and create jobs. However, "2012 revelations" reveal that the stimulus was about implementing the Obama agenda –– "a key tool for advancing clean-energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments."
I'm moving as swiftly as possible in order to complete this bombshell post, of which I've been gathering research on for years: "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Eight." With seven down, there is still one left to expose, unless during the course of my research, I stumble upon more. McBee Strategic Consulting, of which Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, in March of 2011 had this to say, "K Street is the epicenter of this green-industrial complex, and ground zero might be the firm founded by Democratic revolving-door earmark lobbyist Steve McBee, who reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare."
Once I get through that explosive post, I'll do a recap of each, while divulging the RAT at that time, however, I will most likely prepare Part Two of this post, "Obama's Biofuel Buddies Rake in Big Green Bucks."
Thanks for reading yet another Green Corruption File, with much more in the works. ––Christine.