My reflection of both the Republican
National Conventions, from Tampa to Charlotte, with even the
fact-checkers having to be fact checked, has been focused on green:
renewable energy and taxpayer money.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan "slammed
President Barack Obama over Solyndra during his acceptance speech." Not surprising considering the ads
coming from the Romney camp, hammering away at the Obama
administration's failed energy policies along with the crony capitalism charges
leveled, a compelling case which the mainstream media is hell bent on either ignoring or shielding the president
Ryan declared, “It cost $831 billion –– the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government,” referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
which was sold to the American people, guaranteed by the Obama
administration; as a means to stimulate a dying economy and create jobs.
“It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated
connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a
case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism at their
worst,” Ryan reinforced.
Conversely, President Obama made a series of energy claims
, including renewable, during his acceptance speech
, framing his energy policies as a success, and doubling down
on his commitment to invest in clean energy.
Additionally, Obama denounced
corporate welfare for oil companies at a convention that according to The Center for Public Integrity, was funded by
“deep-pocketed corporate donors,” and one year to the day
after Solyndra declared bankruptcy.
Steve Spinner: Obama Bundler and Former DOE Loan Programs Advisor
More amusing perhaps is the fact that the DNC rolled out the red carpet
for the president's buddy, Steve Spinner, Obama bundler and former top
advisor at the Department of Energy (DOE). Spinner, well known for his involvement
and influence (ongoing investigation and
internal emails prove) to the ill-fated, politically connected
Solyndra, was spotted on the DNC stage, yet bolted for the exit as ABC
news made several attempts to interview him.
Over the past two years, it has become perfectly clear that the Solyndra saga,
once the poster child
for the president's clean energy initiative, has morphed into the template for Obama's green corruption
scandal: political payback. Yet, as most concluded a while ago, Solyndra is only the tip of the iceberg.
While this saga warrants an entire chapter, Spinner's part has been
widely reported, including the fact that his wife's law firm was
representing the California solar company, In October 2011, ABC News reported,
"Allison Spinner's law firm, Wilson Sonsini, received $2.4 million in
federal funds for legal fees related to the $535 million Energy
Department loan guarantee to Solyndra."
Further, it is generally known that George Kaiser, an
Oklahoma billionaire and another Obama bundler, was a 35 percent owner
of Solyndra. In 2009 (at a Rotary Club event), Kaiser admitted
he, "...was trying to get as much of Obama's giant stimulus payout as possible." It turns out that Mr. Kaiser made multiple visits
to the White House in the months before the company was granted that
huge September 2009 DOE loan. Also, top Solyndra officials made their
fair share of visits to the White House (20 visits between March 12,
2009, and April 14, 2011), as reported by The Daily Caller
in August 2011.
An insulting aspect came when we found out
that then-CEO Chris Gronet bragged, “The Bank of Washington continues
to help us!” –– reports The Heritage Foundation this year. However, Solyndra executives
didn't have much to say two years later, as they invoked their Fifth
Amendment right to remain silent and did not answer any questions asked
by the House Energy Committee.
What most don't know is that Fitch rated the Solyndra loan non-investment grade back in 2009, as revealed
by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March 2012. Even
so, Solyndra was not the only excessively risky loan doled out by the
DOE. Through the DOE’s 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, over $16 billion of
taxpayer money was used to fund 26 alternative energy projects; of which
23 were junk rated.
In a twist of fate
the DOE’s junk bond portfolio is where you’ll discover that 90 percent
of these firms representing these projects have meaningful ties (bundlers and donors
) to President Obama (at least 16) and other high-ranking Democrats; or both, with four to
Senator Harry Reid alone.
But the Solyndra saga continues
As Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, pushes for more Solyndra emails
, the high-powered list of players caught up in this drama, from inside the DOE all the way to the White House,
is already long and the details are so convoluted that I can only anticipate a reality show to air soon.
What started as an unworthy investment, snagged a 2010 White House endorsement
, only to become a PR nightmare that included a loan restructuring
(an apparent violation of the law
) and even a plot
to hide their 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
, and a trail of resignations
and damning emails
, all evidence that Obama's "clean" energy is dirty.
Solyndra was a client of Goldman Sachs
, and is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser,” Bloomberg notes. Goldman Sachs, as I discovered long ago, has their DNA
all over this green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Goldman Sachs was the number two top Obama Donor
that gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign.
Furthermore, two Goldman executives sat on Obama's 2008 finance
committee and two were bundlers for his 2008 campaign.
In addition to Spinner, Kaiser, Solyndra executives, and Goldman
Sachs, we can add David Mann, a lobbyist and Obama Super Pac donor, who lobbied
for Solyndra, to this saga. Recently The Washington Free Beacon
(a great source for this scandal) uncovered that Mann was granted
significant access to the White House, “He met with White House
officials four times in under two years between 2010 and 2012.” The Beacon
goes on, “Solyndra is the most prominent of Mann’s failed clients, but it is far from the only one.”
Moreover, GOP substantiated research informs us that, "every
Chief Of Staff, staffers across numerous agencies, government
watchdogs, even Solyndra investors knew that the risks were too high for
Solyndra, which came from humble junk beginnings, now has its place in history: an art exhibit
at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, at the price tag of half a billion taxpayer dollars.
Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group: Obama Bundler Serving on Energy Secretary Chu's Advisory Board
Now, it's unclear why former Vice President Al Gore's presence was missed
at the DNC (climate change drama possibly), especially since he was a
strong Obama supporter in 2008. Also, Gore's firm, Kleiner Perkins,
along with his friend and partner, billionaire John Doerr, considered "a very big-ticket Obama donor
" by New York Magazine
, who in February 2011 hosted
a star-studded billionaire Silicon Valley dinner for the president,
raked in billions of stimulus money for their clean-energy investments.
The conflict runs deeper, as Doerr sits on the president's job council,
and early on ultimately shaped
what went into the energy section of the 2009 Obama stimulus package.
Kleiner Perkins is a firm that I began to unravel in 2010
, stressing that over fifty percent of their Greentech Portfolio
secured all kinds of loans, grants, and special tax breaks;
it’s a firm to eventually revisit, because since 2010, they have
tripled their green investments and there is much more to expose.
But don't despair, the "Green bundler with the golden touch
" (label coined by The Center for Public Integrity last year) made his DNC speaking debut
As Steven Westly, founder of The Westly Group, walked on stage, waving
as if he had just won a Grammy, I was expecting an acceptance speech of
sorts. After all, his firm was awarded billions of taxpayer dollars for
his alternative energy investments. Instead we got a lame eBay joke
about the Republican party platform, as well as hype over the
president's jobs plan, yet no mention of the five million green jobs promised
that never arrived.
If you don't know Mr. Westly, let me share:
Since 2009 I've been following Westly
, and what I discovered that is relevant to this story is that he is another two-time Obama bundler, and is currently a co-chair
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.
According to Center For Responsive Politics
, "Westly has raised over $1 million for Obama during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles." And his own bio
"In the 2008 election cycle Mr. Westly served as a California co-chair
and a National Finance Committee member of the Obama for America
campaign" –– a Committee, that according to Peter Schweizer's bombshell
bestseller, Throw Them All Out,
at least ten members were winners of Obama's "green" stimulus money.
Westly has been known to frequent the White House, pal around with
Secretary Chu and other White House officials, and has hosted and
attended various lavish fundraisers and dinners for the president; even
the January 2011
State Dinner at the White House.
As told by the Heritage Foundation
, Westly, "Enjoys access
top White House officials, including Valerie Jarrett, whom he warned of
political fallout for the Obama administration in the event of a
Solyndra bankruptcy." Westly's firm even bragged how they were “uniquely
positioned” to take advantage of the hundreds of billions of dollars
that the Obama administration had committed to clean tech.
And take advantage they have…
A few of Westly's clean tech portfolio
companies have made recent headlines. Telsa Motors (as of late, had some design problems
received a $465 million ATVM loan as well as the solar company Amonix,
another Obama endorsement, that received over $20 million in combined
stimulus grants, tax credits, and DOE funding; yet it closed its doors
in July of this year.
, not on the media's radar, is a very relevant story, of which author Schweizer reveals that
on “November 18, 2009, "Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein and her
husband invested $1 million into Amyris, and just weeks after her
seven-figure investment in Amyris, the company scored a $24 million
grant from the Department of Energy (DOE)."
As of 2011, the Obama administration had already approved
loans, grants, tax breaks for over forty percent (eight out of
seventeen) of The Westly Group’s green investments. Besides the three
listed above, are CalStar Products, EdenIQ, Solexel, Soladigm, and
RecycleBank. However, what is not widely reported is that The Westly
Group's clean-tech portfolio and Kleiner Perkins greentech have some of
the same investments that received government subsidies like RecycleBank
(see my 2010 investigation
on RecycleBank) as well as Amonix and EdenIQ.
Westly is also tied to Kleiner Perkins in other ways, and shares some of the same investments as Kholsa Ventures
. Goldman Sachs
and others are all part of that elite "green society"
that I've alluded to quite a few times, those who snagged multiple green-energy government contracts.
Tom Steyer, Senior Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management: Obama Bundler
Billionaire Tom Steyer, another Obama bundler, who, like most
prominent Obama fundraisers, has enjoyed relatively easy access to the
White House, and has met with senior White House officials in the West
Wing on at least four occasions.
Mr. Steyer opened his DNC speech
with a Romney tax joke; then quickly moved to his green energy pitch
and President Obama's vision, "This is about investing for the long
haul, not for a quick-and-dirty buck," Steyer proclaimed.
As noted in The Washington Free Beacon,
Steyer, "Is reportedly
one of the backers of Greener Capital
which invests in alternative fuel companies that benefit from the
anti-oil policies of the Obama administration. Steyer is also the
founder and senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management,
which stands to profit from government policies that increase
consumption of natural gas."
goes on to give more interesting tidbits about
Steyer being a Goldman Sachs protegé of Robert Rubin, but what caught my
attention is that while Mr. Styers' alternative energy investments are
quite impressive, he also "owns millions of dollars worth of shares in
Big Oil companies such as BP."
Speaking of quick-and-dirty bucks.
According to Politico in 2010
, Obama is the biggest recipient of BP donations over the past twenty years, and BP has invested big
in clean energy. BP Alternative Energy
includes BrightSource Energy, the recipient of $1.6 billion in DOE loans, a shady transaction
that involves other high-profile political connections to the White House as well as a DOE insider.
Still, BP were winners of more Obama stimulus money; like a $308 million federal DOE grant in 2009 to Hydrogen Energy California
a joint partnership of BP and the multinational mining firm, Rio Tinto,
a project considered by the right as a waste of taxpayer money, with
mixed reviews by environmentalists.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times
in early October 2011, BP subsidiary BP Wind Energy also took advantage of a provision,
the production tax credit set to expire at the end of 2012, that had
“previously been extended by President Obama’s politically unpopular
2009 stimulus,” and was the recipient of a tax credit for their wind
farm in Kansas.
The Times goes on, “The wind industry has been heavily reliant on
federal tax credits as it expands,” noting the investment tax credit for
new wind projects popularity: “It has awarded more than $8.4 billion in
renewable-energy tax credits since 2009, with roughly $6.7 billion
going toward wind projects alone, according to U.S. Treasury award data
BP Solar unit of BP PLC (based in London) received $11.7 million in 48C credits
despite the fact that this project is creating jobs overseas, aligning
them to others on my radar that are outsourcing so called green jobs:
First Solar and Sun Power.
This too, was another brainchild of the Recovery Act: the Advanced Energy Manufacturing (48C) Tax Credit
"a $2.3 billion program that provides a 30 percent tax credit for
investment in advanced energy manufacturing facilities." However, the
records by the Appollo Alliance (Winning the Race, March 2010) –– the
left-wing organization which help craft the 2009-stimulus package –– reflect that "
percent of the funds awarded through the Stimulus’ 48c Advanced
Manufacturing Program went to foreign based companies which were awarded
on average $20 million versus $11 million for U.S. companies."
Jim Rogers, Chairman of Duke Energy: DNC Host and Obama Donor
A party wouldn't be complete without a wealthy host: Jim Rogers, the
chairman of Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric power company,
whose participation at the Democratic convention was vast: a
contributor, creditor, host, and even a speaker. Rogers appeared on the DNC stage
as a "grandfather, to lay the groundwork for a cleaner, more sustainable future."
Two intriguing articles (with different perspectives, of course) highlight Mr. Rogers’ politics and energy, The Huffington Post
and The Washington Free Beacon
, both expanding on the fact that Rogers had once told The Wall Street Journal
this spring, “If you’re not at the table, you’re going to be on the menu.”
Rogers is a registered Democrat, and while prior to 2008, he and his
wife had contributed to Republican candidates; they now give more generously
to Democratic politicians, including President Obama. Meanwhile the
Duke Energy Political Action Committee was also a Republican supporter
in the past, yet the tide turned in 2010.
What is indisputable is that Rogers, “labeled a hypocrite amongst
environmentalists" (so says The Huffington Post piece), is not on the
menu like the taxpayers; he's at Obama's green table indeed, and happens
to be one of the major players in this green energy scheme. In fact,
Rogers was even on the short list to become President Obama’s Energy
An illuminating analysis by the National Legal and Policy Center
(NLPC) came out in August 2011, noting Duke Energy
, along with General Electric
and General Motors
' “appetites for government giveaways,“ and how Duke got a healthy dose from Obama's 2009 stimulus package.
Evidently, all three support cap-and-trade policies
(although the NLPC says, "it appears GM
has left the US Climate Action Partnership," you'll find many more green-energy corruption players on that list), a disastrous
piece of legislation that if passed will cripple our economy; yet guarantee them huge profits.
In 2009, the DOE awarded Duke Energy
a $200 million stimulus smart-grid grant to support projects in the
Midwest, and $4 million for smaller projects in North and South
Carolina. Further, Duke was the recipient of a $22 million DOE grant
(although I read somewhere that it was more like $90 million) for it's
Notrees Windpower project in Texas, for which General Electric is
supplying the wind turbines.
GE, another top 2008 Obama donor, and recipient of over $3 billion of Obama green cash
even as its CEO Jeffrey Immelt is the chairman of President Obama's Job
Council, landed over 26 percent of the turbine manufacturer contracts
from the billions of wind energy grants
that blew out of the stimulus package in February 2010.
According to The Washington Free Beacon
, Duke Energy also
received, "A $350,000 grant to assist General Motors in the development
of the Chevrolet Volt." Well, it seems that Vice President Joe Biden
will have to change his current campaign slogan, "bin Laden is still
dead, and GM is on life support
." Oh and that Chevy Volt, another Obama green investment failure,
has a new deep-pocketed customer
: the Pentagon, which means taxpayers; again.
Center for American Progress: The CAP Connection
While Steve Spinner left his post
at Center for American Progress (CAP) around the same time he resigned
from the DOE, both Tom Steyer and Duke Energy have strong and expensive
connections to this left wing think tank.
CAP, on my green corruption radar since 2010, is closely aligned
with the White House, and John Podesta (CAP founder and former
president) was the co-chairman of the Obama-Biden transition team. Tony
Podesta, on the other hand, is a principal at the Podesta Group, which
he started with his brother John
, another large green entity, as Marita Noon (Townhall.com columnist) and I pointed out when covering
their connection to the $737 million
SolarReserve DOE loan, via
our Special Seven Series, which we concluded
Obviously, CAP and the Podesta bothers are heavily implicated here,
as they have much to gain from renewable energy investments and anti-oil
policies. Both Tony Podesta and his wife Heather, a Washington power
couple, are frequent White House visitors who enjoy high rank in
lobbying power, and Democrat bundling as well.
So the next time President Obama pledges to end corporate welfare for
oil companies or any other industry for that matter, he may consider
checking his party's suppliers and program lineup first; in other words,
his back pocket.
Article first published as President Obama's Green Cronies Made DNC Cameo: Beneficiaries of Billions of Taxpayer Money on Blogcritics: The Solyndra saga is one big piece of evidence that President Obama’s clean energy is dirty.
Author: Christine Lakatos —
Published: Sep 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm
Meanwhile, Marita Noon (Townhall.com columnist)
and I concluded
Seven Series last month –– Six firms (plus First Solar) that not only received billions in DOE
loans (also part of the DOE's excessively risky bets) and federal grants, but
those that received “preferential
treatment” from the Department of Interior to lease federal land in a
no-bid process, meaning that they were approved without “adequate vetting.”
That leaves nine:
- Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC –– $90.6 million
- Exelon (Antelope Valley Solar Ranch) –– $646 million
- Granite Reliable Power, LLC –– over $135 million
- Kahuku Wind Power LLC –– $117 million
with two projects: NRG Solar, LLC (Agua Caliente) –– $967 million and NRG
Energy (California Valley Solar Ranch) –– over $1.2 billion
- Prologis (Project Amp)
–– over $1.1 billion (or $1.4 billion)
- Record Hill Wind, LLC –– $102 million
- SoloPower Inc. –– $197 million
- U.S. Geothermal, Inc (Malheur County, Oregon) –– $97 million
LS Power (Transmission Line project) –– Rating BB+ by
Fitch; Feb 2011 for $343 million
Mesquite Solar I, LLC (Sempra Mesquite) –– Rating BB+ by Fitch; Sept 2011
for $337 milllion
But for now, I'm pausing to take on the Obama Camp's
fabrication, claiming "green-energy
success," which may be true if you're an Obama bundler or donor. In
the coming weeks, Marita and I will be compiling years of research on two
- Tracking President Obama's Green-Energy Investment Failures
- President Obama's Green Jobs Malfunction; Plus "Green"
Waste Fraud and Abuse