Saturday, September 28, 2013

Virginia Governor Dem Candidate Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech Auto: Small ECO-Car, big green scam?

Terry McAuliffe, left, and Ken Cuccinelli debate Wednesday night in McLean.
(AP) (Photo: Associated Press)

Did you know that that there’s a competitive and contentious governor race going on in Virginia? The two contenders: the state Attorney General Republican Ken Cuccinelli vs. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, “whose controversial business dealings and past life as a party moneyman make him a walking negative ad," wrote POLITICO this month.

McAuliffe, with a modest lead, Wednesday night during a crucial debate in Northern Virginia each "cast the other as unfit for office, untrustworthy and wrong for the commonwealth," noted the Washington Post.

Blows were thrown, with McAuliffe attempting to cast Cuccinelli as a "right-winger," and Cuccinelli landing a right hook: “If Terry’s elected governor, we’re gonna have to change the state motto from ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ to ‘Quid Pro Quo.'" Still, most of the headlines portrayed this debate as uneventful, and there was very little "pounding McAuliffe over transgressions such as the current federal investigation of a “green car” company that the Democrat founded" –– the focus of today's Green Corruption File.

While this battle will end in just over a month, the controversy surrounding the "green car" in question won't, and it serves as another example of how green energy has been hijacked and deceptively used. Even Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal, a while back had this to say, “Green crony capitalism is proving to be one of the more politically toxic stories of our time…”

This green energy story has connections all the way from the Clinton's to the Obama White House, as well as other interesting ties, including a Republican governor, and plenty of taxpayer subsidies. Worse, besides "Chinese capitalism" at the helm, political influence, and a flop to boot, it involves exaggeration at best, deception at its worst, all wrapped up in a pile of mystery, and possibly bundled with a "green cards for sale" scheme. Meanwhile, this particular green project "has led to two federal investigations — one by the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether company officials improperly raised money and one by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general to determine whether appeals to obtain visas for foreign investors were improper," reported TribLive News in August.

The only difference in this tale, other than the potential threat to national security, and that President Obama is not at the center (although there are ties), is the fact that GreenTech is overly sensitive, even when facing facts. Case in point: sometime in April, GreenTech filed an $85 million lawsuit against an online government watch dog for libel, taking issue with two online stories, of which "detail the woes of the government immigration program, called EB-5. In one article, a financial expert criticized the EB-5 program as “a fraud," explained

Later I'll dig into the EB-5 program, but at this juncture it is important to point out that, who has provided a 63-part series on "Terry McAuliffe, gubernatorial candidate and car mogul," stands by its reporting. "Jason Stverak, president of Watchdog’s parent company the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, said the lawsuit is baseless," and many on the right have since expressed their outrage over what they deem as an attempt to intimidate and suppress the truth from being exposed.

"Hustler" on the move

Interesting enough, the politically connected heavyweight (a close friend and adviser to both former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary) and former Democratic National Committee Chairman, Terry McAuliffe is aligned with President Obama's "war on coal," and he also has the backing of "climate change radical," Big Oil investor, Obama bundler and billionaire buddy, Tom Steyer. I've addressed Steyer's footprint inside this Green Corruption scandal a few times, but now we see that just a bit ago he "has directed his political operation to spend heavily in the Virginia governor’s race in support of Democrat Terry McAuliffe," as reported by POLITICO

Wall Street Journal's Strassel, in covering GreenTech this past April –– “McAuliffe's Solyndra” –– nailed it in her statement, “Turn over any green-energy rock, and wiggling underneath will be the usual creepy mix of political favoritism and taxpayer-funded handouts. Add to this the Clintons, Mississippi and a murky visa program, and you've got a particularly ripe political embarrassment for Terry McAuliffe.”

It all started a few years ago: After losing the 2009 Democratic primary for governor in Virginia, McAuliffe bought a Chinese electric-car company, moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia and tried to set up a manufacturing base in the United States.

In July 2012, Mr. McAuliffe unveiled his signature MyCar at a rock-star event attended by the former President Clinton and then-Gov. Republican Haley Barbour, who is also personal friends with McAuliffe –– an electric car, by the way, that has recently received "awful" reviews by some auto industry experts. Four months later, November 2012, McAuliffe announced his plans to run for Virginia governor in 2013 and he stated in an email, "It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next Governor to focus on job creation..."

McAuliffe has "made his private sector experience a cornerstone of his campaign" and is betting that his slogan, "McAuliffe for Governor: Putting Jobs First," will resonate with the folks. Still, prior to officially beginning his second attempt to be the governor of Virginia (although it seems he never stopped campaigning), sometime in 2009, he began a traveling road show, bragging about GreenTech, and using it as an example of how he was a big job creator, promising hope, hundreds of thousands of green cars and thousands of green jobs.

Due to the fact that Virginia denied access (for various concerns and doubts) to McAuliffe's electric-car dreams, he found a willing participant: "In October 2009, GreenTech Automotive Inc.'s owner, Chinese businessman Xiaolin "Charles" Wang [President and CEO] unveiled four prototype cars during a flashy ceremony and promised to build a $2 billion [some report it as $1 billion] plant in Mississippi, the poorest state in the U.S.," wrote News. With the support of then-Governor Barbour, GreenTech was in line and has already received "public loans and grants that total more than $8 million, with millions more in tax exemptions and rebates."

At that time, GreenTech "promised it would create 1,500 jobs. McAuliffe predicted at least 10,000 cars a year would be manufactured by 2011," as documented by last month –– with another 2009 report stating, "the plant will produce 150,000 vehicles annually in phase one."

Considering that there are conflicting reports on the number of green cars and green jobs –– promised, claimed and actual –– I'll attempt to tackle that part of this tale a bit later. But to give you a hint, also noted, "GreenTech has not met those expectations, undercutting McAuliffe’s claim to be a proven job creator. The New York Times, in an Aug. 9 article, said GreenTech employs 80 people and that company officials would not say how many cars will be built this year."

But being a master job creator is not the only declaration made by McAuliffe: busted him when he claimed that he was a founder of this start-up long after it existed. In May 2011, he told a Democrat audience, "I'm a founder of a company called GreenTech Automotive, a very ambitious project. I'm building 5 cars .... we have 3 hybrids and 2 electrics." However, documented a chronological timeline on how GreenTech evolved by Mr. Wang, "a Chinese national, who first became involved in the project that would become GreenTech Automotive, Inc." –– and it all dates back to March 2008.

Mr. McAuliffe, who became chairman of GreenTech Automotive in March 2010, when things began to heat up, he mysteriously left his green car company sometime in late 2012. McAuliffe's "carbon footprint" may have been scrubbed from the GreenTech website, and all the while as hardball questions, serious accusations and ongoing criticism are hurled his direction, McAuliffe response is to distract and deflect: "Don’t ask me about GreenTech, I was just the Chairman."

Needless to say, evidence has emerged that as of March 2013, McAuliffe is still a GreenTech Exec, and is found to be the largest individual shareholder. This all came to light in a September 21 article by the Washington Post, divulging that McAuliffe "is listed in a recent confidential memorandum to prospective investors." His position, writes, is described as "Chairman Emeritus of the company," noting that the document states McAuliffe "will have such duties and responsibilities as designated by the Board of Directors from time to time." The Post also notes that "the company’s confidential March memo implies to investors that he would remain involved" even if McAuliffe wins his race for governor. Basically, the memo says, that he would “resign all positions with [GreenTech] and appoint a representative to vote his shares.”

Additionally, the pitch to lure potential investors, touted the Democrat heavyweight's political connections, savvy, and McAuliffe’s past promotion of electric vehicles on “national television news programs.” It also included another PROMISE: GreenTech "will enjoy billions in government subsidies and tax credits."

What's quite fascinating is that The Post, in its 2013 analysis of what I am calling "McAuliffe's formula for success" (methodology that has made him a millionaire many times over), while giving an array of examples, concludes: "The prospectus, along with other documents reviewed by The Post, shows how GreenTech fits into a pattern of investments in which McAuliffe has used government programs, political connections and access to wealthy investors of both parties in pursuit of big profits for himself."

However, The Post wasn't so kind in 2009: "McAuliffe is, at his core, a salesman -- and described himself as a hustler in his [2008] autobiography [What A Party!: My Life Among Democrats...]" –– a label that at best is deemed a "go-getter," but has many other negative connotations. I'll keep that to your imagination, but The Post, a paragraph earlier wrote, "He is a deal maker who made millions from investments. And many of his biggest deals came in partnership with prominent donors and politicians, creating a portrait over the years of a Washington insider who got rich as he rose to power within the Democratic Party." In fact, one of the most disturbing references to his methodology is this: “McAuliffe has made a fortune investing -- sometimes in companies that went bust, laid off thousands and drained investors' and employees' savings."

The "Alleged" Corruption 

Special money 

Before he resigned as chairman in December 2012 –– although as documented earlier, we know he's still quite active –– McAuliffe helped raised plenty of private money from foreign investors, but GreenTech Auto also received its fair share of government assistance.

With GreenTech's 2009-promise to build a $2 billion plant in Mississippi, the poorest state in the U.S, "some 100 acres were donated by Tunica County's economic development foundation, at a cost of $1.8 million, and in 2011 the state gave a $3 million loan toward site preparation," as documented by the Huffington Post. 

"Breitbart News confirmed with the Mississippi Development Authority [MDA] on July 22 [2013] that these loans have been completely disbursed." However, Mississippi’s Economic Development Authority says the taxpayer subsidies are contingent on GreenTech raising $60 million by Dec. 31, 2014. If GreenTech fails to meet the capital requirement and hire 350 full-time workers, local and state authorities can “claw back” their investments. Good luck with that...

What's not widely reported is that the MDA got stimulus funds: The Mississippi Development Authority, Energy Division received approximately $40 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Also, I have found conflicting reports on how much taxpayer money GreenTech snagged: it ranges from $5 million to $8 million, and even McAuliffe himself puts the price tag at $18 million. Not to mention for every car purchased, taxpayers again pay –– for example the MyCar NEV states, "...find state and federal incentives to make your MyCar even more affordable."

But the worst part comes from the fact that the private funds for GreenTech involves a program here in the USA called the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” which was "created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors." What's relevant here is that "GreenTech has sought overseas investors through [this] federal program that allows foreigners to gain special visas if they contribute at least $500,000 to create U.S. jobs," documented The Post last month.

The other twist here is that "GreenTech partners with Gulf Coast Funds Management (GCFM), a company that is authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to collect EB-5 investments for GreenTech." And, Anthony Rodham, a close friend of McAuliffe who also happens to be the brother of the former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the President and CEO of GCFM. According to an August 12, 2013 report by the Washington Free Beacon, "GCFM has collected at least $45.5 million from foreign investors for GreenTech through the program."

Special political favors

With so many numbers floating around –– $37.5 million in cash investments, says, with $32 million from the "green cards for sale program" –– it's difficult to track just how much foreign cash McAuliffe and Co. raised for GreenTech Automotive. However, there is strong evidence –– not yet proven beyond a reasonable doubt –– that the USCIS gave them special treatment.

At the core is Alejandro Mayorkas, who currently serves as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS), an agency within Homeland Security, and is also the Obama administration's nominee to become the next Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. This is where it gets even more convoluted. As stated earlier, this "visas for sale" program has caused quite the controversy. Last month, the National Review Online reported that "the Homeland Security Inspector General is investigating to see whether officials gave special treatment to GreenTech because of McAuliffe’s political connections," of which NRO notes that "McAuliffe was central to GreenTech’s effort to get DHS to reverse decisions on visas."

That accusations was preempted by the Daily Beast July report: "in December 2010, McAuliffe wrote to Napolitano on behalf of GreenTech and asked her to expedite the company’s EB-5 requests and reopen consideration of requests that had been previously denied."  Moreover, we find via the New York Times: "Frustrated by government red tape slowing his electric car company, Terry McAuliffe repeatedly sought a meeting at the Department of Homeland Security."

The Times gives a few more details...
He and his lawyers sent a stream of e-mails to a senior official in charge of approving foreign investments that Mr. McAuliffe sought, and he went up the chain of command to Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security... Finally, a 2011 meeting took place, and Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Wang met with Alejandro Mayorkas [my words here]... As their meeting was wrapping up, Ms. Napolitano popped into the room to say hello, Mr. Wang said. Later, Mr. Mayorkas issued a favorable ruling that cleared the way for GreenTech to recruit more foreign investors.
The Times goes on... "In 2011, Mr. Mayorkas overruled two lower officers in his department, Citizenship and Immigration Services, which allowed GreenTech to recruit more Chinese investors."

In the Daily Beast piece we also discover that "this past January, Rodham wrote to Mayorkas directly and pressed him to speed up approval of EB-5 visas for GreenTech."

This past July NBC News reported that this particular IG investigation, "was opened in September 2012 based on a referral from an FBI counterintelligence analyst," and they gave some key points:
The probe is based on allegations that Mayorkas personally intervened to win an approval for Gulf Coast Funds Management, a financing company headed by Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham, after USCIS officials rejected its application, according to an aide to GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, who had received internal USCIS emails about the matter from a department whistleblower.
During the course of the probe, the email states, the inspector general learned of other allegations "involving alleged conflicts of interest, misuse of position, mismanagement of the EB-5 program, and an appearance of impropriety by Mayorkas and other" officials within the UCSIS.
By the end of July, Republican senators, due to the ongoing IG investigation, boycotted the confirmation hearing set for Mayorkas, "Obama’s nominee to become the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, a job that could result in him running the department" since Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down in September," wrote the Daily Beast. Mayorkas' confirmation has since been put on ice, but that was after the hearings proceeded in July without Republican participation, giving him an opportunity to plead his side of the GreenTech case: "I have never in my career used undue influence to influence the outcome of a case," Mayorkas testified in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Even so, according to TribLive News, Senator Grassley, who is pressing for more information on Homeland Security's handling of the EB-5 program, recently charged, "We absolutely gave special treatment to Green Tech at the directive of D1" (“D1″ is an apparent reference to Mr. Mayorkas
). In an August letter, "Grassley told Alejandro Mayorkas that he has received a torrent of whistleblower reports that Mayorkas interfered continuously on behalf of GreenTech."

But a "homeland invasion" is not the only thing hampering McAuliffe and his eco-car's reputation: "in May [2013], the SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and bank records from a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean," reported the Washington Post last month.

Even though The Post admits that "the full focus of the SEC investigation into GreenTech and Gulf Coast is not known, we do know that "in recent months, the SEC has stepped up its scrutiny of companies that use the visa program, largely over concerns that investors may have been misled or defrauded by the companies seeking their money. The visa program has also raised national security concerns from some lawmakers worried that suspect individuals are using it to gain entry into the country."

More GreenTech Cronies

Detailed thus far in this Green Corruption File has been some influential pals of McAuliffe: former President Bill Clinton, who appeared at a company launch party, Hillary Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham, who runs the firm’s foreign-investor outreach, as well as former Republican National Committee chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who not only "helped the company secure millions in state incentives," but stood by Terry's side, even for photo ops. has also exposed Levar Stoney, a former director of the Virginia Democratic Party (2008 to 2009), who served as GreenTech's director of public and government affairs from May 2010 until December 2012. Then this past August we learn via the Washington Free Beacon that the former Virginia Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, who is now a U.S. senator, in December 2009, "sent a letter to an official at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS), detailing Virginia policies that would benefit Gulf Coast Funds Management (GCFM)" –– and we've already established that GreenTech's sister company is GCFM, and where we find Terry's pal and Hillary's brother Anthony Rodham (President & CEO). 

Considering all that clout, there's a former Obama cabinet official by the name of Rick Wade, whom as Tori Richards (author at and Human Events) puts it, "might be the insider who carries the most weight." Mr Wade, whose history includes "a founding partner of the Axelrod-Wade Group, a global business development firm," joined GreenTech Automotive in 2011, whereas his bio brags that he is currently the "Senior Vice President & Head of China Operations, following a distinguished career at the Department of Commerce."

Wade, while at Commerce, was involved in President Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus spending spree, yet he also had many other key Democratic positions, both during and after his time with Team Obama (see bullet point presentation). And as of late, Wade is planning on getting back into politics, and will be running for the United States Senate against Tim Scott, of which according to the Grio, "He is expected to announce his candidacy early next month." 
  • 2008: Senior adviser role for then-Senator Obama’s 2008 campaign
  • 2008: Wade chaired Obama’s successful South Carolina primary in 2008 against Hillary Clinton
  • 2009: Wade was a member of the White House task forces on Automobile Recovery (a $25 billion effort to prop up the failing U.S. auto industry), which was led by former treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.
  • 2009: Within Commerce, Wade served as interim chief of staff during the presidential transition, and he contributed to all major policy and personnel decisions. 
  • 2009 to 2011: Wade was also the Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff for Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who served that role from March 24, 2009 until October 2011. Gary Locke resigned as the 36th Secretary of Commerce on August 1, 2011 to become the U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. And then John Bryson, who became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce in October 2011, is another player inside some of this clean-energy dirt. Bryson resigned in June of 2012 following a series of mysterious auto accidents, and now we have Penny Pritzker, the mega-rich pal of Obama, who raised mega-bucks for both of his presidential campaigns and was a member of his so-called jobs council, whereas she is “related” to at least two large Green Corruption stories.
  • 2009-2011: Additionally, while at the Commerce Department, "Wade worked diligently to ensure President Obama’s business and economic programs, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, were implemented effectively and efficiently." Some say that Wade even helped craft President Obama's massive stimulus package, of which $100 billion was earmarked for renewable energy. These taxpayer funds have been the centerpiece of the entire Green Corruption scandal, of which I've been tracking and reporting on since 2010 –– even the fact that billions of "green" tax dollars have been shipped overseas to aid production of green ventures in foreign countries. 
  • 2009-2011: According to, "The Commerce Department job also allowed Wade to hone a skill that might explain his value to GreenTech: he became a U.S. envoy on Chinese and Asian trade."
  • 2012: Wade, a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was also a Senior Advisor to the Obama for America presidential campaign and the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which means that he helped run the president’s 2012 campaign while simultaneously serving as a Democratic Party executive and vice president of GreenTech
  • Wade is (was) also part of the Advisory Board for Volt Energy
Now, I haven't found any clear evidence at this time whether Mr. Wade helped in any of the GreenTech dealings, but it's awfully convenient that Wade was not only involved in the 2009-Recovery Act, but worse, since joining GreenTech in 2011, he was actively part of President Obama's re-election bid –– thus he had "access and influence."

And, if you've been following any of my work, you'd know that I've published a series entitled "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Eight”: those individuals and groups that were involved in crafting the energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, and who ultimately financially benefited from the $100 billion that was earmarked for renewable energy (with a summary installment coming in the near future). Keep in mind too, as mentioned earlier, the Mississippi Development Authority, Energy Division, –– the one that awarded GreenTech millions in state subsidies –– received approximately $40 million from President Obama's stimulus package.

"Fast Terry": Master Job Creator or Con Man?

Even though many news organizations, watchdog groups, and online forums have exposed the empty promises and debunked the claims in regards to GreenTech's factories, green cars and green jobs, I'll attempt to do my part, starting with a challenge: take the time to view "Fast Terry," a documentary by Citizens United. Besides being informed and infuriated, you'll discover that during the course of his traveling electric-car road show that began in 2009, McAuliffe promised hope, hundreds of thousands of green cars and thousands of green jobs –– all made in America

Two GreenTech Factories: 
The Horn Lake Facility in DeSoto County, Mississippi and The Tunica Plant in Tunica County, Mississippi

According to the New York Times, in 2011, while presenting GreenTech as a catalyst of American job creation, McAuliffe was adamant, “I am sick and tired of seeing our jobs go to China...” Ironically, GreenTech has two manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, where the company has received state subsidies, and one in China, as well as some office locations. 
  • GreenTech Automotive Corporate Office: McLean, VA
  • Tunica Office: Tunica, MS
  • Horn Lake Assembly Plant: Horn Lake, MS
  • Dongguan MyCar Electric Vehicle Technology Limited: located in China
Besides grants and loans from the state of Mississippi (totaling either $5 million$8 million, or $18 million), GreenTech sometime in September 2011, received a sweetheart land deal as part of their location compensation: "The Tunica County Economic Development Foundation, a group in Mississippi headed by Tunica County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Lyn Arnold, worked out a strategy to secure land [100 acres] for GreenTech without going through the state’s legislative approval process," reported The Daily Caller this past July  –– which also emphasized that "Richmond’s Action News 5 recently reported there is no evidence GreenTech has produced any cars, green or otherwise." 

Meanwhile GreenTech's website (GTA), with a grand picture of their plant –– the Horn Lake Facility in DeSoto County, Mississippi –– claims, "With 380,000 square feet under roof, GTA's first plant will be used for the production of GTA's first vehicle, a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) named MyCar. They also claim, "In late 2013, MyCar production will move to GTA's all-new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located approximately 20 miles away in Tunica, MS," and that the "groundwork has already begun..." for the Tunica Plant –– again promising "5,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Mississippi and the vendor base nationwide."

It turns out that for more than one year (July 2012 to July 2013), the Action News 5 Investigators have been asking questions about GreenTech Automotive, "and its promise of hundreds of new jobs in North Mississippi." Action News also gave us another McAuliffe promise, followed by evidence that something is wrong...
"If I can be successful and make 10,000 cars over the next 12 months here in Horn Lake and ship them over to Denmark, that's a huge win for me, the company, and most importantly, Mississippi," said McAuliffe in July 2012.
Twelve months later, the Action News 5 Investigators have uncovered no evidence of any major car production and a former Greentech employee raises new questions about the company's operation.

"We were told, you know, when we first went in the fall of '11, we were going to build a 100 by Christmas, didn't happen," said the former employee, who asked to remain anonymous. "Then we were told we were going to build X amount through the year 2012 and that didn't happen."
The employee says workers built cars then deconstructed and rebuilt them over and over again to appear as though they were working.
What was GreenTech's response on reassembling of cars? "Both the plant manager Trey Agner and GreenTech Vice President Marianne McInerney said workers break down and re-assemble the cars for training and quality control," reported Action News.

Action News, in the same report said, "McInerney refused to release the number of vehicles actually made at the facility or sold last year because GTA is a private company. She would only say there are pending orders for the new 2014 MyCar," and McInerney told them that they "would create 350 jobs by the end of 2014 and those are direct jobs."

This investigation also uncovered the fact that GreenTech "told its employees in Northern Mississippi to pretend to build cars to fool foreign investors."

SALES AND MORE: An unnamed GreenTech employee
says this office in Tunica is where
sales and accounting functions take place.
Furthermore, in April of this year, made a visit to the GreenTech office located at a Tunica strip mall, whereas their investigators exposed quite the encounter, "Silence, secrecy, cops follow GreenTech’s China deal." One of the most interesting conclusions came from a local police officer stating, “They’re pretty secretive,” he said. “Just like the Russians.”

In that same April 25, 2013 article, documented the following Intel, which coincides with, and adds another layer to what I just highlighted from the Action News investigation: (NOTE: Both photos are from the site; by Dustin Hurst). 
Next door, in the Desoto County city of Horn Lake, it’s a different story — except for the secrecy and apparent lack of actual manufacturing. Locals said workers almost daily drive GreenTech’s tiny MyCars — two-seater, all-electric vehicles with a 25-mile range — around the facility in what looks like a test-drive caravan.
While some say that "Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech has tried to import more Chinese Nationals than it has sold cars," on August 12, 2013, the Washington Free Beacon shed some light into what's going on: "Five Things You Need to Know About GreenTech Automotive." The number one issue being that GreenTech has fallen "short on job promises multiple times..." 

WILL THEY BUILD: GreenTech Automotive said it would build
a production facility on this site in Tunica County, Mississippi.
The Beacon goes on...
At this point it is unclear whether GreenTech is producing any jobs. 
GreenTech is still operating at what was supposed to be a temporary facility in Horn Lake, Miss. 
Although McAuliffe claimed that ground was broken at the company’s planed permanent facility, local investigators found that there was nothing but overgrown grass covering the plot on which it is supposed to be located.

GreenTech Jobs 

As many are still pondering when GreenTech will build (or even begin to break ground) at their proposed $60 million Tunica plant in Mississippi, GreenTech jobs are even more puzzling. I must reemphasize that tracking both the number of cars and jobs –– promised, claimed, or even saved for that matter, versus reality –– has been a difficult task. It seems to be a moving target and depending on the day, what con tactics Terry has up his sleeve, or what the folks at GreenTech are smoking, it changes.

Now, I briefly covered this topic early on, but here is my bullet point presentation of what I found during my two-week crash course research project on GreenTech and all its shenanigans. (NOTE: big shout out to Bearing Drift: Virginia's Conservative Voice, for their list as well). 
  • October 6, 2009Memphis Business Journal: "Tunica County will become home to a new hybrid automobile development and manufacturing facility that will initially employ 1,500 with a $1 billion investment. The [Mississippi] plant will produce 150,000 vehicles annually in phase one."
  • 2009: "McAuliffe predicted at least 10,000 cars a year would be manufactured by 2011," as documented by this past August 
  • May 18, 2010 / Terry's Newsroom: “McAuliffe has announced his intent is to eventually create 4,500 new jobs for the electric auto manufacturing firm in Virginia as well as Tennessee and Mississippi.”
  • May 20, 2010 / "GTA plans to create thousands of “'green collar'” jobs across Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. At full production, GTA will create over 4,000 new US jobs." 
  • October 7, 2010Bloomberg News: "GreenTech plans to buy parts abroad and assemble the cars in the U.S., creating around 5,000 jobs in economically depressed areas. Besides Mississippi, McAuliffe is looking at sites in Tennessee and Virginia and says he will go to the state offering the best tax breaks and other benefits." 
  • October 7, 2010, as written by in Dec 2012: "In a 2010 interview, McAuliffe predicted that his company’s first-generation NEV would go on sale mid-2011. GreenTech initially pledged to hire thousands workers to assemble tens of thousands of vehicles a year at its new Tunica, Miss., plant by the end of 2012." At that time, "None of those projections has come close to fruition. The Tunica plant is still under construction, and the payroll barely tops 100 workers. 
  • February 2011 / You Tube clip (R): “I’m going to announce another major plant this year, which is going to be about 3,000 – 5,000 jobs.” – Terry McAuliffe 
  • August 6, 2011, but reported on September 5, 2011 / Automotive News“We can achieve two important goals at once. We can provide China with clean technology and help reduce carbon emissions in the country,” said McAuliffe, chairman of GreenTech, in an Aug. 6 press release about the China factory. The China project will create 2,000 jobs for Americans, he said.
  • November 2011 / Charlottesville Tomorrow: “Denmark has bought GreenTech’s first year of production, about 110 cars, which will be manufactured at a temporary plant in Horn Lake, Miss. McAuliffe is opening a permanent factory in nearby Tunica, which will eventually employ 350 workers." 
  • 2012: "Terry McAuliffe claimed in 2012 that the plant would be churning out 10,000 electric cars this year," reported by the Washington Free Beacon June 18, 2013
  • July 2012 statement by McAuliffe and reported by Action News 5 (July 2013): "If I can be successful and make 10,000 cars over the next 12 months here in Horn Lake and ship them over to Denmark, that's a huge win for me, the company, and most importantly, Mississippi." 
  • July 6, 2012 when GreenTech Automotive unveiled its environmentally friendly, energy efficient vehicle, MyCar / HR Professionals: “Former President Bill Clinton and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour were on hand to help celebrate GTA’s relocation to the U.S. The company is expected to create 426 new jobs and support about 7,400 more.”
  • July 9, 2012 / “Production of MyCar and its derivatives, plus the all-new vehicles to be added to the product portfolio will lead to the formation of 5,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Mississippi and the vendor base nationwide,” GreenTech boldly says on its Web site.
  • April 12, 2013 / Mother Nature Network by Jim Motavalli: "I also talked to McAuliffe, and he said the company was planning on at least 400 employees in Tunica, Miss., with 3,500 indirect jobs. (The company launched with a temporary facility in Horn Lake, Miss.) “We have 14 job openings right now,” he said. “These cars will be made by American workers.” The 300,000-square-foot plant was supposed to be pumping out cars in mid-2013, which is now, isn’t it? 
  • July 6, 2012 / Wheels Blogs @ the New York Times: “Mr. McAuliffe said the venture would employ 900 workers in Mississippi by the end of the year, as well as create many jobs indirectly.”
  • July 15, McAuliffe promised GreenTech Automotive would create 2,000 American jobs and produce cars
  • July 17, 2013PR Newswire: designed to have an annual production capacity of 30,000 vehicles in Tunica, Mississippi 
  • July, 2013 / Action News 5: GreenTech Vice President Marianne McInerney "refused to release the number of vehicles actually made at the facility or sold last year because GTA is a private company. She would only say there are pending orders for the new 2014 MyCar," and that the plant "would create 350 jobs by the end of 2014 and those are direct jobs."
  • August 12, 2013 / News: The company says it will be producing cars by April, but its plans have changed dramatically, from a goal of 250,000 a year to 30,000...
Quite the track record, but in an effort to simplify, here a few of the latest stats that I could find on GreenTech jobs, starting in July of 2012 with HR Professionals Magazine, which stated, "As of July, GTA has more than 840 employees enterprise-wide, and they are on track to employ more than 900 more by the end of 2012." Later they add, "As of July [2012] there were 67 employees in the northern Mississippi sites (Tunica/Horn Lake) and eight employees in the McLean, Virginia office."

And July of this year, when Action News 5 Investigators attempted to get back inside GreenTech to check into the Horn Lake operation and its staff, the "GreenTech Vice President Marianne McInerney denied their requests each time, but claimed that 78 employees worked inside."

We also have (as presented earlier in this post) the New York Times, and its August 9, 2013 article that said, "GreenTech employs 80 people and that company officials would not say how many cars will be built this year."

Small Eco-car; Big Green Scam? 

At what stage each of the two GreenTech plants are and how much money they snagged from the taxpayers of Mississippi ($5 to $18 million), is still unclear. Neither do we know the exact status of both investigations, and what they will conclude: the Securities and Exchange as well as the Department of Homeland Security IG. But as the residents of Virginia buy into his campaign slogan, "McAuliffe for Governor: Putting Jobs First," how many green jobs GreenTech has created in the state of Mississippi as well as the number of green cars they've assembled here in the United States remains a mystery.

Since Terry is leading the Virginia governor race, I can only assume that Virginians haven't done their homework or maybe they just don't care, because GreenTech has left many of us in the dark: instead of hope, cars and jobs, McAuliffe and his electric-car dream has perpetuated nothing but confusion and frustration for the folks at Tunica County and many in the state of Mississippi. 

Obviously, GreenTech produces a small eco-car –– we've seen the flashy prototypes after all; like a high-end golf cart. Quite frankly, I wouldn't mind getting one for my teenage daughter (that way she can't go over 25 MPH); but the most critical question remains to be this a big green scam?

Terry McAulliffe with Marita Noon
                      at the 2012 DNC Convention

We report, you decide....

UPDATE, September 29, 2013: Marita Noon Terry McAuliffe's MyCar Isn't Even a "Real Car": Car and Driver.
followed my research, adding her flair, personal experience as well as her take on what's going on with this small eco-car, and can be found at her column: 

Two Women –– one Citizen & one Energy Columnist –– join forces on One Mission: to expose one chunk of the Green Corruption Scandal at a time.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Top D.C. Lobbyist McBee Strategic Consulting “opened the spigot of green corporate welfare;” then billions of stimulus cash flooded the firm’s energy clients

In 2007, Senator Barack Obama, on the campaign trail said, "I'm in this race to tell the lobbyists in Washington that their days of setting the agenda are over..."

Candidate Obama also promised that lobbyists wouldn’t work in his White House, and President Obama claimed, “we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs,” but we know that's not the case at all, as reflected in the Washington Examiner's July 2013 list of "50 of the more than 100 former lobbyists who hold or have held senior policy making jobs in the Obama administration."

Still, there is one top DC lobbyist that will be featured in this month's Green Corruption File: energy lobbyist, McBee Strategic Consulting, of which in March 2011, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, made this charge, "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."

With seven down, this is the final installment of "The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Eight”: those individuals and groups that were involved in crafting the energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, and who ultimately financially benefited from the $100 billion that was earmarked for renewable energy. Not to mention that under the Obama administration, besides climate change policies that costs taxpayer more money (and a gift to his climate cronies), additional clean-energy funds have been doled out from various budgets and departments.

With the exception of those inside the Department of Energy (DOE) that have cashed in on the green energy funds ("The DOE Dirty Dozen"), these stimulus authors demonstrate the depth and length of this Green Corruption scandal. Staring with the fact that the stimulus package –– the president's trillion-dollar spending spree –– was sold to the American people as a means to save our economy from the brink of disaster and create jobs. However, "2012 revelations," as well as those of us that have been following the money, exposed the fact that the stimulus was about implementing the Obama administration’s agenda: "a key tool for advancing clean-energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments." And forget about the green jobs, a topic that Marita Noon (energy columnists at and my cohort in exposing President Obama’s clean-energy dirt) and I have hashed out many times.

Graph from Center for Responsive Politics 
Top D.C. Lobbyist, via the 2009-Stimulus, changed the DOE loan program's provision designed to protect taxpayers 

Since 2002, McBee Strategic Consulting has financially supported both sides of the political isle, with a huge increase in campaign contributions in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 cycles. However they have given predominately, and more significantly to Democrats.

As Carney noted in 2011, “With McBee's former boss being a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, McBee Strategic used to be an earmark factory. After Obama's election, though, McBee pivoted to green energy and saw revenues soar in 2009.” Yes, indeed, revenues for McBee soared alright, and as documented by Center for Responsive Politics (graph left) –– not all from clean-energy, but plenty of dirt to share –– McBee Strategic Consulting’s total lobbying income went from under $5 million in 2005, then doubled to just over $11 million in 2009, and it peaked in 2010 at $13,160,000.

But if we go back in time when the 2005 energy bill created a new Department of Energy loan guarantee program for renewable energy facilities, it's important to note that in order to protect taxpayers, the 2005 law required from the beneficiary a sort of "down payment," to cover the risk of default. Yet as reported and confirmed by Carney, “the 2009 stimulus bill removed that requirement, allowing DOE to give out loan guarantees without the down payment. Energy lobbyists on Capitol Hill say that this provision, which opened the spigot on the DOE loans, was written by Steve McBee.”

Keep in mind that since March of 2012 I've been covering the Energy Department's Loan 
Graph by Veronique de Rugy, 
senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center
Jun 19, 2012
Program, more specifically the stimulus-created 1705, whereas over $16 billion of taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects, of which 23 were "junk" rated, as revealed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012, and hashed out at quite a few subsequent hearings.

Did you get that? Not only did the Obama administration fund "junk loans" for high risk projects, but NO down payment required, thus putting taxpayers at risk at every turn. Yet, this big D.C. lobbyist and those inside this clean-energy scheme, while they gambled with other peoples money, most likely laughed all the way to the bank –– the Green Bank of Obama that is.

The DOE’s "junk bond portfolio" (the entire $34.4 billion loan guarantee program)  is where you’ll discover that 96 percent of the firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors) to President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats; or both, with five to Senator Harry Reid alone.

McBee Strikes Gold

According to their website, “McBee Strategic has one of the largest energy practices in Washington, advising a diverse portfolio of Fortune 500 companies, innovative start-up companies, and investors advancing new energy technologies.” 

It’s interesting that Carney noted that McBee's clients "included SolarCity and the Green Tech Action Fund as well as electric-car maker Better Place Inc., waste-to-power company Ze-gen, and solar-power developer BrightSource Energy. But the big guys –– Boeing, JP Morgan, and Google ––  also hire McBee to lobby for green-energy subsidies.” But if you look into McBee’s client list, which currently counts 23 as "energy clients," and if you snoop around you'll discover that there are others that won "green" taxpayer money.

Besides the few mentioned above, other familiar big corporations of McBee's energy clients comprise of General Electric, Honeywell, and Pacific Gas and Electric. Moreover, McBee Strategic Consulting also helped secure taxpayer funds for VantagePoint Capital Partners, where Steve McBee sits as Senior Advisor, and a firm that is considered "one of the largest venture funds in the United States." They also lobbied on behalf of a few notorious Energy Department loans that went to Solyndra and Tesla, but that's only scratching the surface.

In full disclosure (context is key), McBee may have entered the lobbying arena of a few of these energy firms and projects after they snagged their stimulus money, however, it's important to point out that the Obama administration is still dishing out taxpayer money to green energy (so-called) investments, even as they plan on expanding the auto loan program.

Nevertheless, my research reflects the fact that I found 31 McBee energy clients with 19 (over 60 percent) that received green-government subsidies under the Obama administration, totaling approximately $13.7 billion of taxpayer money. Additionally, with only two clients (Honeywell and Telsa) that were hired prior to 2009, when the Recovery Act was approved, I calculated that from these 31 energy clients, McBee Strategic Consulting "green kickbacks" thus far is close to $9 million, and that's just from energy.

These calculations include twelve DOE loans (marked with an asterisk*), of which we know that Steve McBee was instrumental in "changing the game" by his involvement in eliminating the so-called "required down payment." And while I'm only counting BrightSource's $1.6 billion DOE loan (and a few other duplicates) once, this $15 billion does not factor in Silver Spring Networks, that is tied to at least $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants, as well as OPower, who has indirectly benefited from the $4 billion of smart grid grants doled out by the DOE as part of the 2009-stimulus packaged. There are also a few unknowns (or incomplete research) in these calculations such as First Wind, The Babcock and Wilcox Co, GreatPoint Energy, JPMorgan Chase, and Serious Materials Inc. I'm sure when it's all said and done, those figures, $13.7 billion and McBee's $9 million, is much higher. 

The $1.6 Billion BrightSource Energy Shady DOE Deal and its "Obama Players" 


While McBee's clients such as Amyris, Rentech, and Solazyme (as well as many others) were also recipients of millions in stimulus grants, we'll begin with the DOE loan program. But before we dive into the big win for McBee, BrightSource Energy and its $1.6 billion of taxpayer funds, I'll first give some insight into three key players inside this deal –– all three are McBee Strategic Consulting energy clients.

First up is VantagePoint, and as mentioned they are a huge VC firm where Steve McBee is also a Senior Advisor. From what I gather, McBee has been lobbying on their behalf since 2009, of which according to Center for Responsive Politics, McBee has raked in $720,000 from VantagePoint since that time.

Due to the fact that their "green portfolio" overlaps with another huge VC firm, I briefly touched upon them in my January 2012 post about President Obama's ultra-rich climate cronies, John Doerr and Al Gore. With Doerr as another stimulus author and former Jobs Council member, via his big VC firm Kleiner Perkins, where Gore is also a partner, I exposed the fact that their "Greentech Portfolio" (as of January 2013) had 66 investments, and that 36 were confirmed 2009-Recovery Act winners –– over 50 percent. Combine those figures with Kleiner Perkins' collaboration with Gore’s UK-based Generation Investment Management (GIM), and we at least $10 billion of "green" taxpayer funds.

As I noted, Kleiner Perkins is also in cahoots with other fat-cat Obama bundles and donors that were huge winners at the Green Bank of Obama: Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, and The Westly Group as well as Google Ventures and VantagePoint Capital Partners –– and these Big VC's as well as Wall Street are also found in this Green Corruption File.

VantagePoint is where we 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 administration as an advisor at the Energy Department under then-Secretary Chu. As stated on his UC Berkeley bio, "At DOE, Sanjay served in the Office of the Secretary of Energy helping to oversee implementation of $11 billion in programs for clean energy. Sanjay also served as Associate Director for Commercialization at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the newly created agency funding high-risk, high reward energy technologies."
Prior to arriving in Washington, Wagle was a principal at VantagePoint, where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is also 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 the DOE." Wagle left the DOE sometime in 2012, but in September 22, 2009, he was part of Valerie Jarrett's "CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT" held at the White House, whereas it was reported that "attendees struck gold, cashing in on $5.3 billion in taxpayer funds from the Obama administration."

While this data was dated June 5, 2012, and is a collective tally, during the course of my research I  fount that VantagePoint's portfolio has at least nine clean-energy firms/projects, which includes three DOE loans, that came out winners in the 2009 "green" stimulus spending spree. Thus far I have calculated that VantagePoint's total so far is about $3 billion. (NOTE: there are four Kleiner Perkins investments here as well: Amprius, FloDesign, Mascoma and MiaSole).
  1. *BrightSource Energy and the $1.6 Billion Shady DOE Deal
  2. *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
  3. *Tesla Motors and the Big Cronyism Tale: $465 million DOE ATVM loan
  4. Amprius: $3 million and $5 million from different stimulus-funded programs
  5. FloDesign: over $8 million stimulus grant and $4 million funding from the state of Massachusetts
  6. 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
  7. MiaSole': $101.8 million stimulus tax credit
  8. Serious Energy, formally
 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.
  9. Solazyme: $21.7 million stimulus grant / Plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy 


Google Inc, who spends millions of dollars on lobbying each year, has plenty of high-profile lobbyists in their pocket. In fact according to Center for Responsive Politics, Google spent a whopping $18,220,000 in 2012, and it seems that they hired McBee Strategic Consulting sometime in 2009. And while Center for Responsive Politics lists work for Google as "Computers/Internet," McBee has them listed as an energy client, and if you do the math, since 2009, Google has paid them $950,000. 

We also know that McBee, labeled by Timothy P.Carney, of the Washington Examiner, as "a premier lobbying force on green energy subsidies," in December 2012, there were a slew of Obama allies that fought to save a tax credit for wind energy that was set to expire. It turns out that McBee pushed for it on behalf Google, which, according to Carney, "has invested a billion dollars in wind farms and other green energy." This and much more I addressed in my January Big Wind story that involved the looming and controversial Production Tax Credit (PTC), of which many high-powered energy corporations have taken advantage of, rely heavily upon, and were fiercely lobbying for. It was revived once again as part of the 2012 midnight “fiscal cliff” deal.

Google plays the political game well: it's all about access and influence, starting with campaign contributions. Google’s $814,540 contribution to then-Senator Obama’s campaign made it the fifth largest donor in 2008, and in 2012 moved up to the number three spot with a whopping $805,119. Furthermore, Google's CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama. Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman, was also an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is (was) a member of the president's Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST).

Another Google political connection is Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives at Google, who was one of the founders of Cleantech and Green Business Leaders for Obama. There are other interesting folks behind the Google scenes such as John Doerr, mentioned earlier, who has served as a member of Google's board of directors since May 1999. And according to Michelle Malkin, "Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President David Drummond, and Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf are all vocal Obama supporters and top donors."

Meanwhile, Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, invested in Tesla Motors, while Google, in 2011, partnered with SolarCity to create a $280 million fund for residential solar projects  –– both big winners of taxpayer money and stories that will be told here because Tesla and SolarCity were both McBee clients. 

Again, like many of these Big VC's, their "cleantech" (and dirt) overlaps, and I briefly touched on Google in my January 2012 post about John Doerr and Al Gore. After some leg work, I discovered that Google Ventures –– via their "Energy Investments" and other "green deals" that I tracked down, Google has ten verified stimulus and other green funds winners, which places their investment score at close to $5 billion of taxpayer cash. This figure does not include Silver Spring Networks and their connection to $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants that I divulged a few times, due to the fact that they are an investment of Kleiner Perkins and Foundation Capital. (NOTE: five are part of Kleiner Perkins' greentech portfolio: Amprius, AltaRock Energy, Clean Power Finance, Silver Spring Networks, and Transphorm.)
  1. *BrightSource Energy and the $1.6 Billion Shady DOE Deal
  2. *Google joined GE in April 2011 for the  Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project that snagged a $1.3 billion DOE 1705 loan in October 2010
  3. *Tesla Motors and the Big Cronyism Tale: $465 million DOE ATVM loan 
  4. SolarCity: approximately $429 million in stimulus grants 
  5. Alta Wind Energy Center: this was covered in my January Big Wind story, and what I found then is that the Alta Wind Energy Center, who has taken advantage of the PTC, in just over a year time period (July 2011 to August 2012), scored 21 of the 1603 grants with a grand total close to $500 million of taxpayer money. In June 2011, Reuters reported, "Google Inc and Citigroup are investing another $204 million in the Alta Wind Energy Center in Southern California's Tehachapi Mountains, bringing their total combined investment in the project to $314 million."
  6. Amprius: $3 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Technology Innovation Program (TIP), funded by the 2009-Stimulus. And $5 million from the DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program funded by the 2009-Stimulus 
  7. AltaRock Energy, Inc: Sometime in 2008, Google invested approximately $6.25 million AltaRock Energy, a renewable energy development company focused on the research and development of geothermal systems. AltaRock received $36 million in grants from the Bush administration, and a $25 million grant from the 2009-stimulus package, plus $1.45 million/ $6 million for their California project. 
  8. Clean Power Finance (CPF): While both Google and Kleiner Perkins became new parties of CPF on September 2, 2011, participating in a $25 million investment, CPF has snagged at least $4.5 million in grants from the DOE's SunShot Initiative funded by the 2009-Recovery Act, of which was awarded after the September 2, 2011 date. 
  9. Silver Spring Networks: Back by Google in 2009, and besides the fact that Silver Spring has massive contracts with PG&E (more on them later, which is another McBee customer), Silver Springs is linked to another White House "friend," and is tied to at least $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants. 
  10. Transphorm: listed with Enphase Energy, where they collectively received over $9 million in grants from ARPA-E program funded by the 2009-Stimulus
Unknown at this time:
While the huge utility corporation Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E) had a banner year in 2010, with "total lobbying expenditures of $45,510,000" (as documented by Center for Responsive Politics), it seems that they didn't hire McBee Consulting until 2011, of which so far they have raked in $320,000, and PG&E remains an "energy client" of McBee.

Nevertheless, PG&E, a strong Obama and Democrat donor, is all over this "green scam," as well as the fact that they are jam-packed with Washington "green cronies," including Cathy Zoi, who is the "most controversial former PG&E employee to hold an influential government." Zoi, an Al Gore acolyte was a DOE Insider from 2009 until 2011, and since Serious Materials was also an energy client of McBee, I'll get to her later. In the meantime, I’ve tackled PG&E several times and here a few relevant highlights: 

My latest insight into PG&E can be found at “Smart Gird, Dirty Devices," which exposes their partnership with Silver Spring Networks  on many fronts (PG&E is their top customer) –– the lucky smart-grid technology company that I mentioned earlier, who has an array of White House connections  –– Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Google –– and as of January 2013 is linked to at least $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants. 

Additionally, with their high-powered connections all the way up to the president and inside the DOE, PG&E won a significant amount of stimulus money for various projects: at least seventeen to date and over $55 million.

As reported by the Washington Post mid December, a trio of solar companies ––  SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity –– had "received subpoenas from the Treasury Department’s office of inspector general for financial records to justify more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits the firms tapped for performing work." But what's interesting here is that all three of these solar companies have major political ties.

Since SolarCity was a client of McBee, I'll be hitting them up later, yet SunRun, due to the fact that they have "friend" of the White House via Foundation Capital, and SunRun's connection to another "clean-energy stimulus author," TJ, Glauthier, I tackled that solar company in May of this year. Then again in July: "Subsidizing Obama’s Algae: Its advisors and allies."

What's relevant at this juncture is that SolarCity and SunRun are in cahoots with P.G.&E. Corporation, the California utility holding company's tax-equity fund to finance residential solar installations. And as reported by the New York Times in 2010, "SunRun and other companies that lease solar energy systems qualify for a 30 percent tax credit against the cost of the arrays. Since most start-ups have no use for such tax credits, they give them to investors in exchange for financing installations."

Meanwhile, according to the Heritage Foundation last year, "Sungevity also has major ties to the Obama Administration. Tom Steyer, the “main financial backer” of Sungevity investor Greener Capital and a major Obama donor, is an aggressive activist for more federal environmental regulation and taxpayer backing for green energy companies. Steyer “said he had spent time consulting with the Obama administration after last November’s [2008] election,” according to the New York Times

On a side note, Mr. Steyer, the "Climate Change Radical" is a Big Oil investor and another bundler and billionaire buddy of President Obama. I covered him briefly during my April post on the newly bankrupt Chinese solar producer Suntech, who was a stimulus tax credit winner and contractor to the Energy Department’s $337 million "junk loan." This is the Mesquite Solar I, LLC (Sempra Mesquite) project (of which PG&E is part of) for a solar power plant in Arizona that is scheduled to be up sometime in 2013, which projects that it would create more than 300 construction job and 7 operating jobs.

But back to PG&E...

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon last year, "PG&E has become an aggressive buyer of power supplied by solar, wind, and other renewable sources, in large part due to statutory requirements under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which mandated that 20 percent of the utility’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2010 — and 33 percent by 2020." Still, the big win for this huge energy corporation is that they have an invested interest in $7.6 billion of Energy Department stimulus loans. While the details into these taxpayer-funded projects can be found in my April 2013 post, here's the breakdown. 
  1. *Agua Caliente Solar Power Project located in Yuma, Arizona, of which "PG&E will purchase the project’s power and deliver it to customers in California." Project by NRG Solar: $967 million loan guarantee
  2. *BrightSource Energy development located in Baker, CA, of which "electricity from the project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Company (SCE)." Project by NRG Energy, Inc. (BrightSource): $1.6 billion loan guarantee
  3. *California Valley Solar Ranch of which the 250-megawatt is under construction in eastern San Luis Obispo County, and "is generating clean, reliable solar power for transmission over PG&E’s utility grid." Project by NRG Solar and SunPower is still involved: $1.237 billion loan guarantee
  4. *Desert Sunlight Project located in Riverside, CA, with the PPA (purchase power agreement) listed as Southern California Edison and PG&E. This is a First Solar Project that is co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America: partial guarantee of $1.46 billion
  5. *Genesis Solar Energy Project located in Riverside County, CA of which "power from the project will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric Company." Project by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC: partial guarantee of $852 million loan
  6. Mesquite Solar 1, LLC located in Maricopa County, AZ, of which Bloomberg News had reported at the time the DOE loan was approved, "Sempra will sell electricity from the Mesquite Solar 1 plant to California’s largest utility, PG&E Corp., under a 20- year contract." Project by Sempra Mesquite: $337 million loan guarantee
  7. *Mojave Solar located in San Bernardino County, CA, of which at the time of the DOE loan approval (September 2011), "Abengoa signed a power-purchase agreement with PG&E to buy the energy produced by the project for a period of 25 years." Project by the Spanish firm Abengoa Solar, Inc.: $1.2 billion loan guarantee

Client #4: BrightSource Energy* 

I've already presented the big players with ties to President Obama behind this billion-dollar DOE deal (VantagePoint, Google and PG&E), but there are plenty more players to expose. Today, I'll give a summary, while in my next post I'll be exposing more dirt on this expensive clean-energy deal.

First it's important to be clear that BrightSource Energy's $1.6 billion was basically a bailout, which is a clear violation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As Peter Schweizer put it in his bombshell book, Throw Them All Out, in describing the financial issues they were having (bleeding money), "BrightSource badly needed this infusion of taxpayer cash."

In the summer of 2012, Marita Noon and I covered the BrightSource’s green-energy crony-corruption story due to the fact that they were part of our Special Seven Series, where we had chronicled those that received billions in Energy Department loans, despite the fact that these projects were rated as “non-investment” and “junk” grade status.

Additionally, many of them were awarded grants –– all part of the president’s stimulus spending spree. But the kicker with these seven (located in Nevada and California) was that they also received “special” Department of Interior (DOI) treatment through a March 11, 2009 Secretarial Order, which provided these projects –– the majority solar –– with fast-tracked approval, while receiving little scrutiny over environmental damages.

BrightSource Energy has a three-unit power system project known as “Ivanpah,” located near the California/Nevada border, south of Las Vegas, which uses a proprietary power-tower solar thermal system. Despite the fact that all three phases of this solar project was rated as "speculative," on April 11, 2011, the DOE finalization $1.6 billion in loan guarantees for BrightSource’s Ivanpah project, which was projected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs with 86 operations and maintenance.

As part of this deal, the electricity from the Ivanpah project will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison Company (SCE). Last year, it was revealed through a Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee hearing that then-CEO of PG&E, Peter Darbee, got involved: "Darbee at PG&E talked directly to Obama about the program's challenges and the bad situation it puts him in." This Intel came from a January 4, 2010 email written by then president and CEO of BrightSource Energy, John Woolard (he resigned in June of this year), to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu's senior advisor, Matt Rogers, both key players inside this "green" scam.

Now we discover that "the project is being constructed by Bechtel," another big corporation with their hand in the stimulus –– a  piece of this scandal that I divulged in my June "Nuclear Crimes and Misdemeanors" story with the main focus on the billion-dollar Colorado-based consulting, engineering and construction firm CH2M Hill. But it was in May of 2009 that the Washington Post exposed the fact that "as far back as December [2009], 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."

As detailed earlier, Google aimed its "search engines" at green technology and many of have received government help. But as far as this deal goes: Google had made a $10 million equity investment in BrightSource in 2007. Then on April 11, 2011, the day that the DOE had finalized BrightSource's billion-dollar DOE loan, Google announced its largest investment in renewable energy to date: $168 million into the Ivanpah project.

We also know that VantagePoint was the majorty stakeholder in BrightSource before NRG Energy got in the game. And it's important reiterate that Sanjay Wagle, who was a principal at that VC firm, was also an advisor at the DOE at the time the loan was approved. Also that Steve McBee is on VantagePoint's advisory panel, with his lobbying firm listed as a "Strategic Partner."

The apparent “payoffs” in the BrightSource deal to Democrats are myriad — the company 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 then-CEO (and shareholder) John Woolard, who hosted a fundraiser for the majority leader. Woolard was also a Barack Obama donor and has visited the White House 10 times since Obama took office.” Meanwhile John Bryson, BrightSource Chairman, became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce (although he resigned in June of 2012 following a series of mysterious auto accidents) and has ties to an organization that helped craft the stimulus package. 

Graph by Veronique de Rugy, 
senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center
Jun 19, 2012
Enter in NRG Energy, another huge energy corporation that sometime in October 2010, during the time of the BrightSource DOE loan review process, “NRG became the lead investor ($300 million) in the Ivanpah solar project of the 392 MW Ivanpah project." It so happens that NRG Energy –– a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company –– and its subsidiaries was the recipient of most of 1705 stimulus loans worth $5.2 billion of taxpayer money... and counting. 

Needless to say, NRG has plenty of political access and influence, of which I documented in my post on the "Left-wing billionaire George Soros: Obama’s "Agent of Green." Soros is another member of the "Gang of Eight" –– as he too was involved in crafting the trillion-dollar stimulus package, which President Obama signed into law in February 2009.

The most corrupt aspect here is the fact that in the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros then went on a stock-buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus," of which twelve were alternative energy and utility companies, including 500,000 shares of NRG Energy. Soros' green tab as of the beginning of 2013 exceeds $11 billion of stimulus money –– and you, the taxpayer, footed the bill. And that's not factoring in the huge profit Soros is making off of these investments.

But I digress...

In March of 2011, just a month prior to the finalization of the huge DOE loan, BrightSource warned Energy Department officials that “delays in approving a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the White House and force the solar-energy company to close.” According to Bloomberg News in June of 2012, “the 2011 appeal was part of a lobbying push by BrightSource that included hiring as a lobbyist the former chief of staff for Senator Joe Biden, now the vice president, and visits to the White House by executives.” The loan was approved the following month.

The lobbyists here is Bernie Toon, a 29‐year Washington veteran, who prior to joining THE FIRST GROUP as a partner, was a Principal Vice President of Bechtel Corporation. Mr. Toon’s “extensive experience on Capitol Hill includes serving as Chief of Staff to quite a few U.S. Democrat Senators, including Joe Biden," and on March 6, 2011 he became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy, which Toon via his firm FIRST Group, snagged $40,000 of lobbying money from the energy deal.

In addition to these high-profile connections (with more details at our summer of 2012 columns), as well as VantagePoint, Google, PG&E, NRG Energy, and McBee BrightSource Energy’s investors include other top Obama donors such as Morgan Stanley, and BP Alternative Energy  — though, according to Forbes, “the federal loan guarantee is financing the bulk of Invanpah’s construction costs.”

But the bombshell comes with the fact that internal Energy Department lobbying began as early as 2009, maybe even before that time, because we now know that since 2007, BrightSource has spent about $1.3 million in lobbying fees, of which McBee Strategic Consulting, who was hired in 2009, raked in $480,000 of that sum, as found at Center for Responsive Politics.

We've divulged plenty of BrightSource investors, which are also high-powered Obama donors, however, the BrightSource DOE deal got a little darker after I read all those pesky House Oversight internal e-mails in the fall of 2012 –– a treasure trove of DOE Intel, which not only revealed a series of questionable practices, including coercion, cronyism and cover ups at the Energy Department, but it incriminates this top lobbyist as a major player in the midst of this clean-energy scheme. Inside the 350+ page Appendix II, I found ongoing interaction and pressure from the heavyweight K Street firm McBee Strategic Consulting as wells as BrightSource executives and stakeholders, David Crane of NRG Energy, DOE officials, Obama’s Green Team, and several in Congress from the Democrat side.

Needless to say, I'll be saving that piece of, and more clean-energy dirt on the BrightSource $1.6 billion shady DOE deal for another time. In the meantime, the rest of this Green Corruption File  reveals McBee Strategic Consulting's energy clients (and their "green kickbacks") that were winners at the Green Bank of Obama, the majority from the 2009 Recovery Act. Interesting enough, like the BrightSource deal, most are accompanied by crony, corruption tales, whereas even though many of them I've shared before, there are some new parts to reveal.

In summary, lobbying is not illegal, but besides the obvious broken promise of "change" by President Obama to eliminate lobbyists from setting the agenda and policymaking, this research is just more evidence that this green-energy scam (legislation and money) was used as political payback (QUID PRO QUO).  Taxpayer money is being funneled to millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations in order to fund their pet projects, no matter the risk. Sadly our environment has been hijacked, and is being used as a means to fuel corporate welfare and indulge crony capitalism that has run amok.

As we continue to expose more, you'll discover the fact that "We the People" are no longer in charge, and how our government is run by, in the words of Peter Schweizer and Steve Bannon, "the permanent political class" who are in bed with Wall Street, Big Money, Big Corporations, special interests, lobbyists, and in this particular case, Big VC and Big Energy. The worst part is that while those inside this scam enrich themselves with our money, we (citizens) are going broke –– both individually and as a nation. 

Wake up America, you've been robbed! 


McBee Strategic Consulting Energy Clients 
Green Kickbacks Chart and Crony, Corruption Tales 

  • *Denotes DOE loan (s)
  • Client data: Green Corruption Files research
  • McBee Strategic Consulting lobbying data from Center for Responsive Politics

Client #1: VANTAGEPOINT MANAGEMENT, INC.* –– Total taxpayer money from the Green Bank of Obama as of 9/2013: VantagePoint's (where Steve McBee is also a Senior Advisor) portfolio has at least nine clean-energy firms that have snagged green-government subsidies, with includes three DOE loans. Also, the majority of the monies came from the 2009-stimulus package, and totals about $3 billion. 
McBee Strategic Consulting VPM: since 2009$720,000  

Client #2: GOOGLE, INC.* ––  Total taxpayer money from the Green Bank of Obama as of 9/2013: Google has ten verified Recovery Act and other clean-energy fund winners, totaling close to $5 billion from American taxpayers, which includes three DOE loan. However, this total doesn't reflect Silver Spring Networks and its connection to $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants.
McBee Strategic Consulting Google: since 2009, $950,000

Client #3: PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY* –– Total taxpayer money from the Green Bank of Obama as of 9/2013: Besides direct stimulus cash that PG&E got, they also have an invested interest in$7.6 billion of Energy Department stimulus loans, including BrightSource Energy. Plus the following... 
  1. Partnership with Silver Spring Networks on many fronts: the lucky smart-grid technology company linked to at least $1.3 billion in smart-grid stimulus grants. 
  2. PG&E won a significant amount of stimulus money for various projects: at least seventeen to date and over $55 million. 
  3. SolarCity and SunRun, who both got large sums of stimulus grants, are in cahoots with P.G.&E. Corporation, the California utility holding company's tax-equity fund to finance residential solar installations. 
McBee Strategic Consulting PG&E:  since 2011, $320,000 

Client #4: BrightSource Energy* –– $1.6 billion DOE stimulus loan (finalized April 11, 2011) 
McBee Strategic Consulting BS = 2009 to 2012, $480,000

Client #5: Solyndra* –– $535 million DOE stimulus loan (September 2009) as well as a $25.1 million California tax credit
McBee Strategic Consulting Solyndra: from 2009 to 2011, $380,000

Client #6: Tesla Motors* ––  $465 ATVM million loan (closed January 2010) /plus federal and state subsidies for the purchase of each car
McBee Strategic Consulting Telsa: from 2008 to 2011, $370,000

Client #7: SolarCity –– Since 2009, at least $429 million in stimulus grants 
McBee Strategic Consulting SolarCity: from 2009 to 2010, $350,000 

Client #8: GENERAL ELECTRIC ENERGY* –– at least $3.3 billion, which includes three large DOE stimulus loans:
  1. $1.3 billion for the Caithness Shepherds Flat, which was closed October 2010 / This project also snagged other subsidies: about $500 million from the stimulus created 1603 grant program, and recently received three separate tax credits totaling $30 million from the state of Oregon 
  2. $150 million for 1366 Technologies Inc. (closed September 2011) 
  3. Tied to $1.2 billion DOE stimulus loan for the Desert Sunlight project (closed September 2011) 
McBee Strategic Consulting GE Energy: since 2012, $360,000 

Client #9: FIRST WIND* –– $117 million stimulus loan for their wind energy project in Kahuku, HI (closed July 2010), a project that also received over $35 million in 1603 stimulus grants. In fact, First Wind's projects have received over $452 million in grants through the stimulus' 1603 Grant Program. Total for First Wind: over $569 million tax dollars 
McBee Strategic Consulting First Wind: unknown date of lobbying services and fees generated 

Client #10: Amyris –– $25 million stimulus grant for a biofuel project in California (12/28/2009)
McBee Strategic Consulting Amyris: from 2009 to 2011, $220,00

Client #11: THE BABCOCK AND WILCOX COMPANY (B&W) –– $101 million for the mPower America Project in Tennessee for development and licensing of the company’s small modular reactor technology, which is scheduled for commercial demonstration by 2022. Plus, contracts totaling more than $510 million for the manufacture of nuclear components to support U.S. defense programs.
McBee Strategic Consulting B&W: in 2009, $1,230,000. 

Client #12: GreatPoint Energy (GPE): Stimulus winner, but date and amount unknown
McBee Strategic Consulting GPE: from 2009 to 2010, of which McBee was paid $210, 000.

Client #13: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL ––  In just a brief look I found the that in 2009 they were awarded $25 million stimulus grant for a biofuel project Hawaii. And two stimulus-related contracts worth $90 million
  • $79 million renewable-energy and building-retrofit contract with Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. 
  • $11.4 million contract from the Energy Department to help upgrade California's energy infrastructure with a peak-pricing response program.
McBee Strategic Consulting Honeywell International: sometime in 2006, and from what I gather has paid them over $1.3 million.

Client #14: JPMORGAN CHASE & CO –– amount of "green" taxpayer money is unknown at this time
McBee Strategic Consulting JPMorgan Chase & Co: Since 2009, McBee has raked in over $1.3 million  

Client #15: Lanza Tech is tied the Range Fuels debacle, which costs taxpayers $92.5 million ($80 million USDA loan from Obama in 2009). And besides DOE and DOD deals, which includes purchasing the Range Fuels factory, Lanza also got at least $11 million tax dollars from the DOE and DOT
McBee Strategic Consulting LanzaTech: In 2009, $50,000 for lobbying in "misc energy" 

Client #16: OPower is indirectly benefited from the $4 billion smart grid grants that were doled out by the DOE as part of the 2009-stimulus package
McBee Strategic Consulting OPower: hired McBee in 2013, paying them $70,000 thus far

Client #17: RENTECH, INC –– $23 million stimulus grant for a biofuel project in Colorado (01/29/2010)
McBee Strategic Consulting: hired McBee lobbying in 2011, of which so far they've paid them $430,000. 

Client #18: Serious Materials Inc –– stimulus tax credit, stimulus money and government contracts via their QuietRock products, of which all amounts are unknown at this time
McBee Strategic Consulting: 2009, $30,000 

Client #19: SOLAZYME, INC ––  $21.8 million stimulus grant (December 2009) for a biofuel project in Pennsylvania / Plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy
McBee Strategic Consulting Solazyme: Since 2012, $170,000 

The Clean-Energy Dirt of Clients #5 through #19

Client #5:  Solyndra*

Solynrda, by the way, spent nearly $1.9 million on lobbying activities over a period of 43 months from 2008 to 2011, even as the DOE failed to comply with the stimulus law by reporting on all lobbying activity. Still, McBee represented the solar panel company from 2009 to 2011, and received $380,000 over that time period. 

What started as an unworthy investment, snagged a 2010 White House endorsement, only to become a public relations nightmare that included a loan restructuring (an apparent violation of the law) and even a plot to hide the company’s troubles from the 2010 midterm glare. Solyndra became a cautionary tale of sorts: a failed Obama green investment, one of the first to go kaput, unethical executive bonuses included, leaving in its wake FBI raids, executives taking the "Fifth" before Congress, and a trail of DOE resignations.

Adding to the dirt inside this saga, despite the fact that it was well known to those making the loan guarantee decisions, that Solyndra (also rated as a "junk" loan) was a "bad bet." This included then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and we also found out later that additional internal  emails prove that both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s staff were actively involved in the process.

Besides lobbying power, there were plenty of players involved the Solyndra Saga, such as Obama bundlers, George Kaiser and Steve Spinner. Adding to the mix was David Prend of Rockport Capital (both Spinner and Prend were DOE Insiders at the time) as well as Goldman Sachs, another top 2008 Obama donor, whom reports show that Goldman was credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for Solyndra. 

Solyndra, which came from humble "junk" beginnings in September 2009, and went bust in September 2011, eventually found its place in history: an art exhibit at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley –– costing American taxpayers over $535 million, as well as a $25.1 million California tax credit.

Client #6: Tesla Motors*

Tesla signed on with McBee days after Obama's election for a measly $10,000. Yet by 2009, McBee starting raking in $120,000 each year from Tesla until 2011, making their cut of the deal  $370,000. In the middle of these money transfers, in 2009, the DOE offered the electric carmaker a huge loan, of which in January 2010, the Tesla $465 million loan arrangement was closed.

Tesla Motors is where we also find its CEO and founder billionaire (PayPal co-founder) Elon Musk, who is also a major DNC contributor, and in 2011 donated to the Obama Victory Fund. However, there are additional ties that Tesla carries with the president (donors and bundlers) as well as key positions inside the DOE and Obama's former jobs council. The biggest was Steve Westly, who is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Westly Group, whose portfolio includes Tesla Motors. In fact the Westly Group is another Big VC group whose portfolio snagged a truckload of government subsidies –– as of January 2013, when I last looked, they had a list of 20 firms (exited and current), and at least 50 percent were winners.

Westly is a two-time Obama bundler, of which in 2011 he was tagged as the "Green bundler with the golden touch." Westly also was part of Obama's 2008 National Finance Committee, and was the 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. Westly "currently serves on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board as a representative for the venture capital industry."

Others that I’ve mentioned in the past include Steve Spinner, Nicholas Pritzker (brother of Penny Pritzker), as well as VantagePoint (2006 investor) and Goldman Sachs. Also, Tesla’s third round of financing (in 2006) included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, and the fourth round included The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase.

Good News: Tesla's low-interest loan was recently paid back, whereas this has given our new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; those on the Left; and many that have an invested interest in the billions of tax dollars, a reason to herald the entire loan program a success.

Keep in mind that all this "payback" was after Tesla has been plagued with design problems, and in 2012, they were seemingly "running very low on cash." Even the the New York Times took notice and in October 2012 wrote, "The federal government eased terms of its $465 million loan to Tesla to ensure the company didn’t breach key financial hurdles."

Success? Sure, if you think it's appropriate for taxpayer to foot the bill for billionaires and millionaires pet projects, because that's who wins. Insanity at best. And worse is that we American taxpayers are still subsidizing Tesla: "Along with the federal loan, Tesla also relies on support from politicians through a complex series of federal and state subsidies," noted Christopher Koopman, a research associate at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in his illuminating June 2013 piece for U.S. News & World Report entitled, "Tesla Is No Success Story."

Koopman is correct: I went to go buy the Tesla Model S Design, and my price is $63, 570, which includes $7,500 federal tax credit. If I want to lease the Model S, my payments would be $579/mo. Hmmm

Client #7: SolarCity 

This brings me to another Elon Musk company, where he remains the largest shareholder and sits as the Chairman of SolarCity, while his cousin Lyndon Rive is the CEO and co-founder.  SolarCity is a "full-service solar power system design, financing, installation and monitoring services," and it turns out that SolarCity, from 2009 to 2010, employed McBee's lobbying expertise, of which they snagged $350,000 for two years of work. However in 2012, they switched to another infamous "green" lobbyist, the Podesta Group.

Needless to say, SolarCity raked in huge amounts of "green" stimulus funds, but before we get into the details, it should be noted that I covered SolarCity in my February post. Like Tesla Motors, this solar company is "related" to the mega-rich Penny Pritzker via her brother, Nicholas Pritzker. Penny Pritzker, the Chicago hotel and real estate heiress, is a longtime friend of, and mega-bundler for Obama. Penny was also national finance chairwoman for the Obama campaign throughout his 2008 presidential effort, and was part of Obama's Jobs Council. This year Ms. Pritzker became our newest Commerce Secretary.

Meanwhile the billionaire Nicholas J. Pritzker (Penny's bro) is an investor in both Tesla and SolarCity. In fact Mr. Pritzker (partner at Tao Ventures and senior development advisor for Hyatt Hotels Corp.) and Mr. Musk, as recent as February 2012, participated in an $81 million "Growth Capital" round into SolarCity, which was led by Silver Lake Kraftwerk, the private equity firm, who in early 2011, George Soros teamed up with to invest in “the energy and resource sectors." This Intel and much more on the left-wing billionaire George Soros (mentioned in the NRG Energy and BrightSource section), can be found in my March 2013 post: Obama’s "Agent of Green," whose "green" tab exceeds $11 billion of stimulus funds. 

Besides Musk, Pritzker, and Soros, the SolarCity story includes other players and Obama Wall Street buddies such as, Al Gore's firm Generation Investment Management LLP, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Citigroup

SolarCity also has developed partnerships with a few other stimulus winners like PG& E (mentioned earlier), Google, San Jose's GreenWaste Recovery, and they even teamed up with Tesla (along with an $800,000 California grant).

As I noted under my PG&E section, in December 2012, "Shortly before going public, [SolarCity] disclosed in an SEC statement that...."it had received subpoenas from the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General," as reported by Fox News and others. Translation: potential fraud "in order to squeeze more stimulus money out of taxpayers."

What's not widely known is that SolarCity was a DOE loan applicant, seeking $275 million, and made it through the first phase. However, in the end (September 2011), it was rejected –– SolarCity said "The [Solyndra] scrutiny prompted the agency to request additional information," and apparently they couldn't get it done in time.

Ironically a month earlier (August 2011), this loan for SolarCity's "Project SolarStrong™ was a GO by the White House, then-Secretary Steven Chu and a few other players inside the DOE –– and that’s according to the House Oversight DOE emails that I’ve been unleashing since they surfaced on October 31, 2012. 

While SolarCity's $275 million DOE deal fell apart due to the 2011 Solyndra "red flags," we do know that as of December 2012, "SolarCity currently benefits from tax credits totaling as much as 30 percent of the cost of these systems," noted Bloomberg. Moreover, as documented, SolarCity has applied for $341 million in grants, but I found 27 1603 grants for "USB SolarCity Master Tenant," which ranges over 15 states, totaling over $88 million. With this type of tally, it's difficult to say exactly how much tax-free cash SolarCity has received or will be given in the future, but for now we'll just call it at $429 million.


The energy giant General Electric has a boatload of lobbyists, of which it seems that GE
hired McBee in 2008, representing GE Commercial Aviation Services. However, GE Energy is listed as a McBee energy client, of which GE Energy, since 2012 (the beginning of their reported lobbying efforts), has employed McBee, paying the lobbying firm $360,000 thus far.

In July 2012, I began to track GE, and discovered they have been "making bank" off Obama's “green” stimulus money. At that time I counted over $3 billion of taxpayer money. 

GE is a heavy donor to both Republicans and Democrats, and CEO Jeffrey Immelt "plays the role of typical corporate donor who hedges his bets on both sides of the fence," and in 2008, GE gave the Obama campaign $529,855, marking them a top Obama donor. 

Nevertheless, GE is a major player on the clean-energy scene as well as in this green energy scheme. Even the New York Times recognized GE’s “green power,” noting that in 2009, GE lobbied Congress to help expand the “clean-energy subsidy programs, and it now profits from every aspect of the boom in renewable-power plant construction,” including “hundreds of millions in contracts to sell its turbines to wind plants built with public subsidies.

Due to Mr. Immelt's role as Obama's Jobs Czar from 2011 to 2013, I revisited GE and posted this: "The Green Five: Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Jobs Council Members" whereas in Part One I exposed  the fact that the October 31, 2012 emails prove that in September 2010, the White House pressured for the approval of the $1.3 billion Energy Department loan to GE's wind project.

In fact there were two 1705 loan guarantees belonging to GE that I had outlined in April of last year. The biggest was the Caithness Shepherds Flat for $1.3 billion (mentioned above), which was closed in October 2010, and just over a six months later (April 2011) Google (McBee's client since 2009) invested in Caithness, "the world’s largest wind farm" located in Oregon.

With Shepherds Flat as a case study, the release of internal interactions revealed an October 2010 memo to President Obama by three senior White House advisors, who had raised concerns over the DOE allowing companies to "double dip" in government subsidies that they didn’t need, which left them with “little skin in the game.” And besides this huge DOE loan, the Shepherds Flat wind farm won about $500 million from the stimulus created 1603 grant program, and recently received three separate tax credits totaling $30 million from the state of Oregon –– the latter subsidy under scrutiny and review.

It turns out that the heavily subsidized Caithness Shepherds Flat commenced operations in September 2012, and sadly, the project created 400 construction jobs, and only 35 permanent jobs for the facility’s operation. Meanwhile, the smaller DOE project was 1366 Technologies Inc. for $150 million (closed In September 2011), of which it has been, and is currently listed on VantagePoint's portfolio, was "estimated to support 50 construction jobs and 70 permanent jobs."

Nevertheless, GE is all over the place (smart grids, wind turbines, and son on..), but they are also tied to "The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle" via another large junk-rated loan worth $1.2 billion for the Desert Sunlight project in California. In September 2011, a day after the loan was approved, First Solar (a Goldman Sachs investment), the project developer/owner sold Desert Sunlight to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and GE Energy Financial Services. Well, the two CEO's were members of the president's job council, Immelt and Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy –– the latter is another green energy crony, corruption tale that Marita Noon and I shared last summer: "Third Largest Power Company in the World is the Third Largest Recipient of Risky Loans."

Not only is GE active in clean-energy advocacy and lobbying, they have joined forces with others that have benefited from Obama’s alternative-energy taxpayer funds. Two in particular –– the Advanced Metering Partners, another John Doerr “venture” via Silver Spring Networks, as well as Energy Technology Ventures formed in 2011 with NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips. And it goes, on and on and on...


First Wind, "an independent renewable energy company focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale power projects in the United States, which is headquartered in Boston, MA," has an array of meaningful political ties. While McBee lists First Wind as a client, there is no documentation reflecting when they retained the services of, or how much money McBee has generated from First Wind.

However, what I did expose a while back is that Larry Rasky's lobbying firm with ties to the White House, in 2009, about the time the 2009-Recovery Act passed, First Wind retained his firm (Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications) as well as Brownstein, Hyatt et al, who is primarily a Democrat donor, with some Republicans in the mix –– and as of 2012 had retained the work of Rasky. 

In case you missed it: Larry Rasky, "a longtime confidant and campaign strategist" of Vice President Joe Biden, was also a 2012 Obama bundler, and since Obama took office, "Rasky has visited the White House at least 21 Times," half of which were during the course of the DOE loan review process (, Accessed 7/18/12). 

This past January, one of my best posts, “Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption,” is where I covered the twister of sweetheart deals that were found in the Department of Energy’s four risky wind projects. And First Wind was huge, so I'll share a snippet:

Kahuku Wind Power, LLC, a project of First Wind in Kahuku Oahu, HI, was granted a $117 million Energy Department loan in July 2010, which created 200 construction jobs, and a whopping 10 permanent jobs. And then on February 3, 2012 this same project received a 1603 grant­ for over $35 million [docket #2594 –- $35,148,839].

Sadly, in August 2012 a fire that destroyed First Wind’s battery storage facility and sent toxic fumes into the air, left ratepayers in the dark over costs and safety. As I keep an eye on this project, there is more corruption to expose...

The First Wind plan was to secure taxpayer money and then go public. Now they achieved their first objective from the Green Bank of Obama –– since he took office (and as of 7/18/12), First Wind's projects have received over $452 million in grants through the Stimulus' 1603 Program.
  • First Wind's Stetson Wind Farm in Maine –– $40,441,471
  • Cohocton Wind Farm in New York, $52,352,334
  • Dutch Hill Wind Farm In New York, $22,296,494
  • Milford Wind Corridor Phase I In Utah; $120,147,809
  • Milford Wind Corridor Phase II In Utah, $80,436,803
  • Rollins Wind Farm In Maine; $53,246,347
  • Sheffield Wind Farm In Vermont, $35,914,864
  • Kahuku Wind Farm In Hawaii, $35,148,839
  • Steel Winds II Wind Farm In New York, $12,778,75
However, in November 2010, Bloomberg announced, “First Wind Holdings Inc., the operator of wind-energy projects backed by D.E. Shaw & Co. and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, said it withdrew its initial public offering because of unfavorable market conditions” –– that’s code for “weak demand.”

Speaking of IPO's...

Within the House Oversight leaked emails that were unleashed late October 2012, you'll discover that these correspondences basically prove that the White House, Secretary Chu, and certain DOE Officials lied about how they handled the green energy loans on various fronts –– a story I have emphasized in many of my recent green corruption posts. In the 350+ page Appendix II, I discovered a series of intriguing emails dated in May 2010, where the DOE staff was discussing the Kahuku loan, just months prior to the final approval in July 2010. These interactions, which can be read at my Big Wind post, are pretty damning and show how First Wind was a big mess, yet someone was pressing Jonathan Silver, the former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office, who was pressing hard due to the fact that the "sponsor has an IPO in the works."

While there's no mention of where that pressure came from, the first-rate, high-powered political ties to First Wind are vast, which goes beyond the top lobbyists outlined here that now includes McBee. In 2012, the GOP found that "Julia Bovey, First Wind's Director of External Affairs, was formerly Director of External Affairs for Obama's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (June 2009 to June 2010)," but there are much bigger fish here.

Starting with D.E. Shaw & Co, a New York-based investment firm –– "a $39 Billion Hedge Fund Giant" (also a First Solar investor), which so happens to be one of the three top contributors to Democrats –– is a backer of First Wind Holdings Inc. The founder David Shaw, is a two-time Obama bundler, who employed Larry Summers before heading to the Obama White House, as the top economic advisor. Towards the end of 2011, Summers left the Obama administration and rejoined the firm as a consultant.

As revealed by Peter Schweizer, “another 42 percent of First Wind is owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, an investment firm with close ties [and friend of] to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual. The founder of the firm, David Canning, had been a bundler for George W. Bush. But he switched sides in 2008 and gave heavily to Obama. Madison Dearborn gave more to Emanual’s congressional campaigns than did any other business.”

Client #10: Amyris

Center for Responsive Politics lists Amyris Biotech's lobbying industry as "Pharmaceuticals/Health Products," yet we know that they employed the lobbying services of McBee from 2009 to 2011 of which they raked in $220,00.

Amyris was covered in my biofuel post last month, “Billions of Obama biofuel bucks funded "not so shovel-ready" risky projects, fueled by more green corruption,” and is quite the crony-corruption tale that implicates California Senator Dianne Feinstein. However, we can also add in the three Big VC's with direct ties to the Obama White House: Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, and The Westly Group. Last but not least is Goldman Sachs –– a Wall Street Obama buddy –– is not only credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for now bankrupt Solyndra, but and 2010, they handled the IPO of both Tesla Motors and Amyris.
Amyris, Inc.*: $25 million stimulus grant (12/28/2009) to "produce a diesel substitute through the fermentation of sweet sorghum" @ Emeryville, CA –– Status: With an anticipated jobs of 35 full-time, the 2013 second quarter places this project as completed. / Unrelated to the CA biofuel plant, Amyris also snagged a DoD DARPA contract in 2012 worth $8 million, as part of DARPA's Living Foundries research program.


The Babcock & Wilcox Company, "a leading, international provider of energy and products and services," it seems, retained McBee, amongst other lobbying firms, in 2009. As documented at Center for Responsive Politics, since that time, B&W has spent over a million a year on lobbying expenditures in the misc energy category, of which McBee has snagged about a fifth of that money: $1,230,000.

While B&W hasn't been on my radar, I did find that last month, the DOE "provided additional funding to support B&W mPower™ project," at the tune of $20.5 million under the Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program –– to support "private industry in the development and deployment of small modular reactor technology." This project –– the Clinch River mPower Plant near Oak Ridge, Tennessee –– is made up of what they call the "mPower America team," which is comprised of B&W, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Generation mPower. "B&W mPower and Bechtel (who together formed Generation mPower LLC) will provide licensing and engineering support for the mPower America Project."

According to an August 27, 2013 B&W Press Release, "The first installment of $79 million was allocated by the DOE upon the signing of the formal agreement with B&W mPower in April 2013. The DOE has also provided approximately $2 million to national laboratories to perform important analyses and evaluation work related to this project, bringing the total DOE investment to $101 million during this initial project period." And they may get more money, because "the agreement allows for $226 million or more in federal funding."

In a February 5, 2013, B&W announced, The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE:BWC) announced that "its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (B&W NOG), was awarded contracts totaling more than $510 million for the manufacture of nuclear components to support U.S. defense programs including the manufacture of naval nuclear power systems for submarines and aircraft carriers."

The Press Release goes on, "Of this work, more than $445 million was issued as options under the $2 billion contract awarded to B&W NOG in 2010 and more than $65 million is issued under a new agreement awarded for fiscal year 2013."

I'm sure if I spent more time digging, I'd find much more government subsidies for for B&W, but I'm just a one-woman researcher. Maybe a future post.

Client #12: GreatPoint Energy
Center for Responsive Politics lists Great Point Energy in the "Oil & Gas" lobbying industry, yet we know that they employed the services of McBee from 2009 to 2010 where they were paid $210, 000. 

GreatPoint Energy, who "produces clean, low cost natural gas from coal, petroleum coke, and biomass utilizing its bluegas™ catalytic hydromethanation process," was covered in my “Bank of Obama" post in January 2013, where my research on John Doerr and Al Gore of Kleiner Perkins can be found.

Again Kleiner Perkins, along with their collaboration with the Gore's London based Generation Investment Management (GIM) are tied to at least $10 billion of Obama's taxpayer funded green-energy spending spree. Back then I noted that GreatPoint Energy, which is listed in Peter Schweizer’s book as a stimulus winner. However, despite the fact that I found that GreatPoint Energy was part of certain projects that received 2009-stimulus funds, I was unable to determine the exact amount that they received. Stay tuned?

While Center for Responsive Politics places Honeywell International lobbying industries as "defense" and "misc manufacturing & distributing," McBee has them listed as an energy client, and it seems that Honeywell became a client of McBee sometime in 2006, and from what I gather has paid them over $1.3 million.

Nevertheless, Honeywell International Inc, the billion-dollar corporation, who has a huge lobbying presence in D.C., spending $8,120,000 in 2012 alone with top issues that included "energy and nuclear power," is also considered a "heavy hitter" inside politics. 

Honeywell contributes to both parties, and as of  2012, I found that thirteen members of Congress own shares in this firm, including House Speaker John Boehner. And in 2008 they "shared their wealth" with Senator Barack Obama ($47,295), Senator John McCain ($28,910) as well as Senator Hillary Clinton ($25,243). Meanwhile, during the 2012 election, Honeywell donated $47,626 to President Obama and $53,820 to candidate Mitt Romney.

Honeywell is also a big player in this clean-eneryg scheme, and has been on my radar for quite some time, yet I haven't had time to dig into their entire footprint. However, I can share a few of my findings, which I covered in my biofuel post last month, “Billions of Obama biofuel bucks funded "not so shovel-ready" risky projects, fueled by more green corruption.”

In 2009, UOP, LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company was awarded "$25 million stimulus grant to build a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels." According to Honeywell press release, dated January 2010, the demonstration plant refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, which broke ground in August 2011, "is expected to start up in 2014."

It turns out that the Pilot-Scale Biorefinery UOP Project includes other participants : Tesoro; Ensyn; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Ambitech; Hawaii BioEnergy (remember this name); Group70; Michigan Technological University; Ceres; Cargill, Inc.; Grays Harbor Paper LP; Imperium Renewables; Mesa Engineering; Countrymark Petroleum; Kern Oil; Honeywell; Boeing; and General Motors.

Even though Hawaii BioEnergy is not listed on the Khosla Ventures' sustainability portfolio, they are part of 2007 "10 Khosla Biofuel Bets" and Hawaii BioEnergy does include Khosla  as one of its partners. Khosla is another huge VC winner of "green" taxpayer money tied to President Obama that I've addressed many times in other posts, and I share a bit more in this Green Corruption File, when I reach LanzaTech, another McBee client. In the meantime, let's stick with Honeywell...

According to a January 2010 Market Watch report entitled, "Honeywell set to benefit from more Fed stimulus money," it stated, "In the recent quarter, the business saw its orders for efficiency-related products and services jump 45% to more than $650 million, including a $79 million renewable-energy and building-retrofit contract with Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill."

Market Watch goes on, "Aside from improving the efficiency of buildings, there's the upgrading of the country's power grid, a task Honeywell claims it uniquely can profit. The company said its "smart-grid" technology business, which improves the balance between power supply and demand, was also up for the quarter." And "In November [2009], the Honeywell was awarded an $11.4 million contract from the Energy Department to help upgrade California's energy infrastructure with a peak-pricing response program."

By late 2011, the stimulus "contributed to a 79% jump in stocks of the four leading energy-efficiency companies identified by IDC, including diversified companies such as Johnson Controls and Honeywell," which was documented in a 2011 USA TODAY 'Stimulus' stocks analysis. 

This is another big corporation worthy of more digging.


Center for Responsive Politics labels JPMorgan Chase & Co as a "heavy hitter" inside our political system, of which JP Morgan retained McBee's services sometime in 2009, and they are also found as a McBee energy client. Since that time McBee has raked in over $1.3 million from the "too-big-to-fail" Big Bank.

According to J.P. Morgan's Energy Investments & Banking stats, "J.P. Morgan’s Energy Investments group is focused on putting capital to work in U.S.-based renewable energy projects, including wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. With a focus on utilizing the tax benefits provided by Congress to support renewable energy, the group provides long-term financing for clients through lease and structured partnership transactions."

"The group’s renewable energy portfolio has grown to more than 6,600MW from 2003 through 2010. Its holdings include 67 wind farms and two solar projects in 19 states, owned jointly with 15 different energy firms. As lead investor, J.P. Morgan has funded $3.2 billion of projects from its own capital and raised an additional $3.5 billion from other institutional co-investors..."

After a quick glance, we find that J.P. Morgan is in cahoots with NextEra Energy's Capricorn Ridge wind farm in West Texas as well as Goldman Sach's solar company SunEdison ––  both Goldman and NextEra were huge winners of green energy stimulus funds with, as I touch upon, NextEra as the "Third Largest Recipient of DOE Risky Loans."

Still, we also know that J.P. Morgan, along with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Google and General Electric –– all in this post –– were top donors for then-Senator Obama's 2008 election, giving his campaign $736,771 (through "PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families") making them number six on this influential list. However, tracking down these 67 wind farms and two solar projects would take months of research –– maybe a future project that ends up like "Citigroup’s Massive 'Green' Money Machine."

Client #15: Lanza Tech

Lanza Tech, a biofuel company that was also covered in my biofuel post last month, paid McBee $50,000 in 2009 for lobbying in "misc energy." 

While the Range Fuels debacle, of which later Lanza Tech took over, is quite amazing, it's the Big VC behind the story that really captured my attention, and where you will find another Obama billionaire buddy: Vinod Kholsa, who is labeled as "one of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley." Khosla was an affiliated partner of Kleiner Perkins (now a PARTNER EMERITUS). It turns out that Khosla Ventures has also invested in some of the same companies as Kleiner Perkins, and is part of the Big VC winners of the taxpayer-funded $100 billion clean-energy spending spree, which includes at least $800 million of biofuel bucks.

Sometime in 2007, when the Bush administration awarded "six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants up to $385 million in federal funding," Range Fuels (formerly Kergy Inc.) of Broomfield, Colorado, got up to $76 million. The proposed plant was to be constructed in Soperton (Treutlen County), Georgia.

Under the Obama administration, Range Fuels "secured a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture out of the 2008 Farm Bill worth $80 million to help the company finish construction of its commercial scale plant near Soperton, GA," reported Gigaom in January 2009.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (ACJ) later revealed that this $80 million USDA deal for Range Fuels "was approved despite repeated warnings and strong opposition by some of the federal officials who vetted the project." ACJ goes on, "The documents obtained by the AJC show that three USDA officials who vetted the project approved it. Three opposed it. And three others who made critical comments had their opinions redacted."

By December 2011, Range Fuels had failed, of which Bloomberg News gave an account: "The closely held company, which counts Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder, as an initial investor, shuttered the factory in Soperton, Georgia, in January after not delivering on its promise to convert woodchips into ethanol, which was intended to help the U.S. become less dependent on foreign oil, " noting that "The ethanol project received $46.3 million of a $76 million grant from the Energy Department and half of an $80 million loan from the Agriculture Department."

A month later, "The failed Range Fuels wood-to-ethanol factory in southeastern Georgia that sucked up $65 million in federal and state tax dollars [although my calculations place it closer to $92.5 million] was sold for pennies on the dollar to another bio-fuel maker with equally grand plans to transform the alternative energy world,” wrote Dan Chapman of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Interesting enough, Range Fuels facility in Soperton, GA, was sold to the New Zealand-based LanzaTech for $5.1 million, of which LanzaTech’s main financial backer is none other than Vinod Khosla. This revolving door green deal was documented at The Blaze on January 5, 2012, using detailed data of Mr. Chapman's reporting at where he goes on, "Although LanzaTech hasn’t been given the same type of loans Range Fuels received, the company is still getting $7 million from the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation to assist in the development of alternative fuels."

Yet, I found that in December 2011, LanzaTech got a $3 million contract from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), through the Department of Transportation. And that LanzaTech has snagged more government contracts and funds from the Obama administration. In November 2010, LanzaTech entered into a research and development agreement with the DOE's America's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), of which it was reported by the Global Bioenergy Industry News, "The first phase of the work will take place over a year with equal funds from the DOE and LanzaTech."

In September 2011, The New England Herald announced, "LanzaTech will be eligible for "up to US$4 million to develop a cost-effective technology that converts biomass-derived ethanol into jet fuel using catalysts." This funding came from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "The DOE win is one of three similar small-scale projects to be funded up to US$12 million, and comes after LanzaTech picked up a contract [for an unknown amount of funds] with the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Agency in June to help develop drop-in bio-fuels for military aircraft," the Herald went on.

Client #16: OPower

Opower –– listed by Center for Responsive Politics as the "Computers/Internet" industry –– hired McBee in 2013, paying them $70,000.  

OPower is another Kleiner Perkins investment that was covered in my “Bank of Obama" post. In January 2013, I noted that OPower ("a software as a service company that helps utilities meet their efficiency goals through effective customer engagement") indirectly benefited from the $4 billion of smart grid grants doled out by the DOE as part of the 2009-stimulus packaged. However, I gave more details in my post about Silver Spring Networks entitled, "Smart Grid, Dirty Devices."

The OPower Connection

In July 2009, Obama met with OPower President and other energy leaders such as two former cabinet members (former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson) on creating green jobs. Then in June 2010, OPower, the energy efficiency and Smart Grid software, became part of AEP Ohio's "Smart Grid customer engagement strategy" (AEP Ohio’s gridSMARTSM Demonstration Project), which was funded with the Energy Department's smart grid money (Obama stimulus grants for advanced electricity-grid projects), and doled out in 2009 –– AEP Ohio's take, $75 million.

While Kleiner Perkins came aboard as an investor in OPower sometime in November 2011, my 2010 research reflects that Silver Spring had already formed a partnership with AEP, on AEP's initiative called gridSMARTSM. Directly from Silver Spring Networks site, it states, "the leader in networking technologies that modernize today’s power grid," states, "Indiana Michigan Power initiated its Smart Meter pilot project in South Bend, Indiana in late 2008. The initial success of that project led AEP Ohio to select Silver Spring for the expansion of its AEP Ohio gridSMARTSM Demonstration Project in northeast central Ohio."

Since then, OPower has made customers out of many of the utility companies that were winners of the smart grid grants, like AES –– Indianapolis Power & Light, Baltimore Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy, Commonwealth Edison, PG&E, Progress Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, and much more. Exactly how much stimulus funds OPower is linked to would require further investigation.


Rentech Inc –– listed at Center for Responsive Politics in the "Agricultural Svcs" industry –– hired McBee lobbying in 2011, of which so far they have paid McBee $430,000. 

Rentech, who "is a supplier of wood chips, wood pellets and nitrogen fertilizers," also dabbles in biofuels, and I covered them my biofuel post last month, noting their biofuel project in Colorado.
Rentech ClearFuels: $23 million stimulus grant (01/29/2010) to "produce renewable diesel and jet fuel from woody biomass by integrating ClearFuels’ and Rentech’s conversion technologies" @ Commerce City, CO –– Status: With anticipated job creation for this project at 12 sustained and 50 peak construction, doesn't go past the final quarter of 2012, which at that time, placed it at "more than 50% completed." It was noted at that their Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) facility in Commerce City, was designed, built and operated," however, in March of this year, reported, "In California, Rentech announced plans to cease operations at, reduce staffing at, and mothball its research and development Product Demonstration Unit, in Commerce City, CO, and to eliminate all related R&D activities." Translation, Rentech will be closing their Colorado demo unit, and is "currently seeking parties interested in purchasing the PDU and/or the site."

Client #18: Serious Materials Inc

As documented by Center for Responsive Politics, Serious Materials Inc hired McBee sometime in 2009, paying them $30,000. What's interesting is that I briefly mentioned Serious in the beginning of this post as a VantagePoint investment, but the company is now called Serious Energy.

Beside McBee in their corner, Serious Energy has serious White House friends, which leads to Foundation Capital, another Big VC and big supporter of President Obama with their hands in the cookie jar. I tackled Foundation Capital in May 2013 post on Silver Spring Networks, noting that this well-connected investment firm is has a total of 12 clean-energy firms, of which 60 percent winners totaling over $175 million of taxpayer money. And that figure does not take into account Silver Spring Network's $1.3 billion in contracts related to the smart-grid stimulus grants.

Serious has had serious issues, of which I highlighted in my 2012 Green Alert list of taxpayer-funded clean-energy failures. Yet it seems that in 2009 the Recovery Act bailed them out. Taxpayer money aside, Serious Energy troubles, which started in October 2009 continued through July 2012, as reported by Green Tech Enterprises as well as the San Francisco Chronicle.

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.

Serious Energy also had a connection inside the DOE. Cathy Zoi, who also benefited from the Landis+Gyr green deals (over $50 million in stimulus contracts for their smart-grid meters), and marks her as one of the "DOE Dirty Dozen," owned shares in Serious. In 2010, John Stossel and a few others exposed the following, “The interesting twist is that Zoi happens to be the wife of Robin Roy, who happens [ed] to be vice president of policy at Serious Windows." 

Zoi, served as chief of staff for environmental policy under President Clinton and was CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. In April 2009, Zoi became the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, who oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment funding in her DOE position at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

While we know the funds Zoi oversaw at the EERE, some was for weatherization programs that benefited Serious, we also know that she testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in favor of a HOMESTAR program, also known as cash for caulkers, which became another subsidy for Serious.

Later in 2010, during a series of DOE vacancies, Zoi briefly filled the role of Acting Undersecretary for Energy, and it was noted that not only did she manage the $30 billion in stimulus funds, but she had "a base budget of over $10 billion in applied research and development and nuclear waste management." Then in February 2011, Zoi jumped the DOE ship to work for George Soros’ new venture capital firm focused on green energy –– another Obama crony and key villain in this Green Corruption scandal that I've mentioned in this post and many times before.


It seems that McBee took on Solazyme in 2012, and they've raked in $170,000 thus far. This was the same renewable energy company that I covered in my biofuel post last month, but more so in my July 24th post, "Subsidizing Obama’s Algae: Its advisors and allies" and Marita Noon in her July 28th column "The Dirty Politics of Clean Energy," which implicates another stimulus author and part of this Gang of Eight.

TJ Glauthier, who held key positions in the Clinton administration, the DOE and served on Obama’s 2008 White House Transition Team, is tied to at least four clean-energy firms that raked in hundreds of millions of green energy funds. The interesting twist here is that the majority of these funds came from the stimulus package, of which Mr. Glauthier is widely credited with helping to develop the energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The one that is relevant here is that Mr. Glauthier is a "Strategic Advisor” for Solazyme, a green company whose officials, including Glauthier, contributed at least $360,000 to Democrats between 2007 and 2012. Other Solazyme Obama/Democrat connections include:
  • Sanjay Wagle was a Solazyme investor through VantagePoint (mentioned in detail in the beginning of this post and the BrightSource Energy deal). He was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign and joined the administration, as a “renewable energy grants advisor” at the DOE. 
  • Drew Littman, head of Solazyme’s Washington lobbying office, who was chief of staff for Senator Al Franken (D-MN). 
  • Jerry Fiddler, chairman of the board of directors, is a large Democrat donor, who contributed $24,000 to Obama’s Victory Fund. 
  • Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme co-founder, sat on the board for the Center for American Progress (CAP) Clean Tech Council. CAP is responsible for crafting and promoting many key Democratic policies and is a major force behind Obama's green-energy agenda.
Solazyme, Inc.*: $21.8 million stimulus grant (December 2009) to "produce algae oil that can be converted to oil‐based fuels" @ Riverside, PA, but it states that their pilot project is in Peoria, IL / Plus part of the $12 million biofuel contract with the U.S. Navy –– Status: 2013 second quarter, more than 50% completed. While you can find the complete Green Corruption story on Solazyme in my last post, it should be pointed out again that, according to Forbes, "Last year Solazyme posted a net loss of $83 million last year on sales of $44 million," and it seems that Solazyme's "green fuel" is not the money maker in the family.

Stay tuned for more on the $1.6 Billion BrightSource Energy Shady DOE Deal

Thanks for reading yet another Green Corruption File, with much more in the works. Your attention and financial support (via my site or at C.A.R.E.) is much appreciated. Together we must fight corporate welfare, crony capitalism, and special interests, which is corrupting our Republic and costing taxpayers tens of billion of dollars. 

God Bless America,
–– Christine