Green Company gets $390 M subsidies, lays off 125
by Joel Gehrke
February 24, 2012
A123 Systems, an electric car battery company once touted as a stimulus “success story” by former Gov. Jennifer Granhom, D-Mich., has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies — but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives.
“[T]he company has laid off 125 employees and had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011,” the Mackinac Center for Public Policynotes, observing that the company’s primary customer, Fisker Automotive, is also struggling financially. “Yet, this month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [Chief Financial Officer David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.”
This month has seen significant pay boosts for other A123 executives, as well:
Robert Johnson, vice president of the energy solutions group, got a 20.7 percent pay increase going from $331,250 to $400,000, while Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, saw his pay increase from $331,250 to $350,000. Prystash’s raise was 8.5 percent, going from $350,000 to $380,000.
“It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens,” Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, suggested.
The Department of Energy gave the battery company $249.1 million in grant money, while the Michigan government provided A123 with another $141 million in tax credits and subsidies, according to the Mackinac Center.
You Thought Solyndra Was Bad? There’s More On the Way
February 15, 2012
By Larry Bell
You thought Solyndra’s green energy taxpayer rip-off was something? Well there are plenty more equally colorful crony catastrophes where that came from. I’ll mention just a few that haven’t gotten much attention.
Of the stimulus grants so far, more than 80 percent have gone to wind farms (covering up to 30% of all project costs). A Meadow Lake wind development project in Indiana that is owned and operated by Horizon Wind Energy received $276 million. Horizon is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDP Renovaveis, a Portuguese company. The turbines are manufactured by Vestas in Denmark, and are mounted atop 350 foot towers imported from Vietnam. EDP and Horizon also own and operate the Blackstone wind farm in Illinois that received a $171 million grant.
When it comes to breezy U.S. wind shenanigans, Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, believes that General Electric’s Shepherd Flat project in northern Oregon is worst in blowing lots of taxpayer resources. Not only did the Energy Department give GE and their partners a $1.6 billion loan guarantee, but as soon as the turbines start running, the Treasury Department will ante up an additional $490 million cash grant.
According to plan, an important intent of this charity is to create 35 permanent new “green energy jobs”. Focusing upon just the $490 million cash grant alone, some skeptics may question whether the taxpayer cost of $16.3 million for each of those jobs might be just a little bit steep.
The Shepherd Flat deal is so lucrative for investors that even some of President Obama’s top advisors including former energy policy czar Carol Browner and economic advisor Larry Summers thought it was lousy. Their October 2010 memo observed that the project backers had “little skin in the game” while the government would be providing “a significant subsidy (65+ percent).” The memo went on to say that while the sponsor’s contribution amounted to only about 11 percent of the total cost, they would receive an “estimated return on equity of 30 percent.” It also explained that the carbon dioxide reductions associated with the project “…would have to be valued at $130 per ton for CO2 for the climate benefits to equal the subsidies…more than six times the primary estimate used by the government in evaluating rules.”
Here’s another one for our Left Coast friends. Idaho Winds LLC which represents eight wind farms has hatched a plan to take advantage of California’s carbon cap-and-trade lunacy. They have petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the sale of renewable energy credits to a third party. Idaho Winds would then immediately buy the power back, leaving just the credits which the third party would sell to a California utility. So in essence, no energy would actually be sold…just California credits for wind power sold in another state.
The shell game is driven by laws in California and other western states requiring that renewable sources provide a certain percentage of the state’s energy use, and providing that each unit a utility buys or produces receives credit. A loopy loophole allows California utilities to “unbundle” the energy and energy credits following an initial purchase, and then just buy the credits. Idaho doesn’t have such a law, so its utilities don’t need the credits. If allowed by FERC, it will enable Idaho to literally create energy credits out of thin air and sell them to California utilities that pass on those costs to their unlucky customers.
Our U.S. Navy is spending lots of our green to go green too. They recently committed $12 million to purchase 450,000 gallons of biofuel at about $26.75 per gallon in order to offset requirements for standard JP-5 aircraft jet fuel that costs less than $3 per gallon. The good news is that the total fuel price will be only about five times more (rather than 9 times) after it is mixed with the standard stuff.
But then again, the real cost to American taxpayers is more than that. The biofuel is being produced through a contract with Dynamic Fuels, a partnership of three firms including Solazyme which previously received $27.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus money) to build its biorefinery. Coincidentally, T.J. Glauthier, a Solazyme strategic advisor, served on the Obama White House transition team where he focused on Recovery Act energy issues.
And get this…that green fuel purchased with green tax money will be consumed in naval air exercises near Hawaii next summer by…now get ready for this…the “Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Force”.
The Liberals/Dems Outraged in 2008 with High Gas Prices. Convenient Lapse of Memory? Or Hoping Americans Don’t Remember?
What is that saying about doing the same thing over and over again and over again hoping for a different result?
From Canada Free Press: More information about Maurice Strong and financier George Soros.
All that President Barack Obama is doing to transform America, Free World over to One World Government begins and ends with one Maurice Strong. Soros is merely the financier
By Judi McLeod Thursday, May 13, 2010
Continue reading at link in title……
The Dangerous Worldview of Maurice Strong and Sustainable Development
by Brannon Howse
This is an excerpt from Brannon’s book Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and their Worldviews that Rule America From The Grave. Click here to order your hard-cover copy today which is 368 pages and includes 300 footnotes.
You’ll recall that the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s was largely about the promotion of mysticism, pagan spirituality, and socialism. Many 60s radicals grew up to become educators, reporters, elected officials, corporate officers, and leaders in the radical foundations now implementing sustainable development policies. To drastically understate the case: It’s a big problem.
The end game of sustainable development is global governance. If you doubt my claim, then consider the words of the Commission on Global Governance, an organization allied with the United Nations:
The environment, perhaps more than any other issue, has helped to crystallize the notion that humanity has a common future. The concept of sustainable development is now widely used and accepted as a framework within which all countries, rich and poor, should operate. The aspect that particularly concerns us is the global governance implications. [emphasis mine]
After the Brazil Earth Summit, President Bill Clinton created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. As DeWeese explains, the Clinton Administration side-stepped Congress to approve the sustainable development agenda and implement its policies in America:
All cabinet officials had to do was change some wording of existing programs and reroute already-approved funding to begin to implement the agenda-without Congress and without debate. Former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown told a meeting of the President’s Council that he could implement 67% of the Sustainable Development agenda in his agency with no new legislation. Other agencies like Interior, EPA, HUD and more did the same thing. To help it all along, Clinton issued a blizzard of Executive Orders.
Some of the groups pushing the sustainable development agenda include Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the National Education Association, and a host of government bureaucrats serving both Republican and Democrat administrations.
Americans are watching the destruction of free-market capitalism under our most socialistic, left-wing administration ever. Yet, in my second book, published in 1995, I warned of this and quoted Maurice Strong, who was head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. I’ll repeat his words to point out that what is happening in America is a long-planned transformation of America into a socialist nation: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
He also extolled the need to destroy the concept of individual sovereign nations:
It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation-states, however powerful. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the imperatives of global environmental cooperation.
In a corollary to Strong’s position, Helen Caldicott of the Union of Concerned Scientists has declared the “horrors” of free-market capitalism:
Free enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process…Capitalism is destroying the earth.
It is not only free-market capitalism they seek to destroy but Christianity itself, since the Protestant Reformation is what gave birth to free-market capitalism. Bible-minded Christians are further enemies of these globalist goals because Christians do not believe in the worship of nature as does the pantheistic, pagan spiritualism behind the movement.
***Footnotes and further reading at link below*****
Michael Steele, Maurice Strong, Aspen Institute
Mr. Steele is a member of Maurice Strong’s Aspen Institute. You remember Maurice—he’s the one who chaired the UN’s Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The one where President Bush (#1) signed the US onboard for Agenda-21, and came back to the US all excited about the New World Order finally getting cranked up. (Link) (Link)