April 19, 2014 by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Is it true that nearly 80% of Nevada is still owned by the Federal Government who then pays no tax to the State of Nevada? This seems very strange if true as a backdrop to this entire Bundy affair.
You seem to be the only person to tell the truth without getting crazy.
Thank you so much
REPLY: The truth behind Nevada is of course just a quagmire of politics. Nevada was a key pawn in getting Abraham Lincoln reelected in 1864 during the middle of the Civil War. Back on March 21st, 1864, the US Congress enacted the Nevada Statehood statute that authorized the residents of Nevada Territory to elect representatives to a convention for the purpose of having Nevada join the Union. This is where we find the origin of the fight going on in Nevada that the left-wing TV commenters (pretend-journalists) today call a right-wing uprising that should be put down at all costs. The current land conflict in Nevada extends back to this event in 1864 and how the territory of Nevada became a state in order to push through a political agenda to create a majority vote. I have said numerous times, if you want the truth, just follow the money.
The “law” at the time in 1864 required that for a territory to become a state, the population had to be at least 60,000. At that time, Nevada had only about 40,000 people. So why was Nevada rushed into statehood in violation of the law of the day? When the 1864 Presidential election approached, there were special interests who were seeking to manipulate the elections to ensure Lincoln would win reelection. They needed another Republican congressional delegation that could provide additional votes for the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. Previously, the attempt failed by a very narrow margin that required two-thirds support of both houses of Congress.
The fear rising for the 1864 election was that there might arise three major candidates running. There was Abraham Lincoln of the National Union Party, George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party, and John Charles Frémont (1813–1890) of the Radical Democracy Party. It was actually Frémont who was the first anti-slavery Republican nominee back in the 1940s. During the Civil War, he held a military command and was the first to issue an emancipation edict that freed slaves in his district. Lincoln maybe credited for his stand, but he was a politician first. Lincoln relieved Frémont of his command for insubordination. Therefore, the Radical Democracy Party was the one demanding emancipation of all slaves.
With the Republicans splitting over how far to go with some supporting complete equal rights and others questioning going that far, the Democrats were pounding their chests and hoped to use the split in the Republicans to their advantage. The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931 that was the mouth-piece for the Democrats. From 1883 to 1911 it was under the notorious publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847–1911), who started the Spanish-American war by publishing false information just to sell his newspapers. Nonetheless, it was the New World that was desperately trying to ensure the defeat of Lincoln. It was perhaps their bravado that led to the Republicans state of panic that led to the maneuver to get Nevada into a voting position.
The greatest fear, thanks to the New York World, became what would happen if the vote was fragmented (which we could see in 2016) and no party could achieve a majority of electoral votes. Consequently, the election would then be thrown into the House of Representatives, where each state would have only one vote. Consequently, the Republicans believed they needed Nevada on their side for this would give them an equal vote with every other state despite the tiny amount of people actually living there. Moreover, the Republicans needed two more loyal Unionist votes in the U.S. Senate to also ensure that the Thirteenth Amendment would be passed. Nevada’s entry would secure both the election and the three-fourths majority needed for the Thirteenth Amendment enactment.
The votes at the end of the day demonstrate that they never needed Nevada. Nonetheless, within the provisions of the Statehood Act of March 21, 1864 that brought Nevada into the voting fold, we see the source of the problem today. This Statehood Act retained the ownership of the land as a territory for the federal government. In return for the Statehood that was really against the law, the new state surrendered any right, title, or claim to the unappropriated public lands lying within Nevada. Moreover, this cannot be altered without the consent of the Feds. Hence, the people of Nevada cannot claim any land whatsoever because politicians needed Nevada for the 1864 election but did not want to hand-over anything in return. This was a typical political one-sided deal.
Republican Ronald Reagan had argued for the turnover of the control of such lands to the state and local authorities back in 1980. Clearly, the surrender of all claims to any land for statehood was illegal under the Constitution. This is no different from Russia seizing Crimea. The Supreme Court actually addressed this issue in Pollard’s Lessee v. Hagan, 44 U.S. 212 (1845) when Alabama became a state in 1845. The question presented was concerning a clause where it was stated “that all navigable waters within the said State shall forever remain public highways, free to the citizens of said State, and of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor imposed by said State.” The Supreme Court held that this clause was constitutional because it “conveys no more power over the navigable waters of Alabama to the Government of the United States than it possesses over the navigable waters of other States under the provisions of the Constitution.”
The Pollard decision expressed a statement of constitutional law in dictum making it very clear that the Feds have no claim over the lands in Nevada. The Supreme Court states:
The United States never held any municipal sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of soil in and to the territory of which Alabama, or any of the new States, were formed, except for temporary purposes, and to execute the trusts created by the acts of the Virginia and Georgia legislatures, and the deeds of cession executed by them to the United States, and the trust created by the treaty of the 30th April, 1803, with the French Republic ceding Louisiana.
So in other words, once a territory becomes a state, the Fed must surrender all claims to the land as if it were still just a possession or territory.
Sorry, but to all the left-wing commentators who call Bundy a tax-cheat and an outlaw, be careful of what you speak for the Supreme Court has made it clear in 1845 that the Constitution forbids the federal rangers to be out there to begin with for the Feds could not retain ownership of the territory and simultaneously grant state sovereignty. At the very minimum, it became state land – not federal.
Cronies tied to at least $10 billion of Obama’s taxpayer funded green-energy spending spree: Energy-sector 2009-Recovery Act advisor and Jobs Council member, billionaire John Doerr’s VC firm Kleiner Perkins –– Al Gore partner, and KPCB collaboration with the London based Generation Investment Management.
January 31, 2013 06:43 By Christine Lakatos
Updated to reflect First Solar addition for $3B
In my first segmentof “Spreading the Wealth to Obama’s Ultra-Rich Jobs
Council Members,” I covered Obama’s Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt and the fact that General Electric, a top 2008 Obama donor, has been making bank off of Obama’s 2009-stimulus package –– GE’s “green tab” exceeds $3 billion in direct (some indirect) taxpayer cash, and counting.
Last July when I chronicled General Electric’s “big green stimulus bucks,” I also revealed the cozy ties and “green alliances” that Immelt has with other Jobs Council members and other high-profile fat cats, including John Doerr. One in particular was formed in 2010 –– the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), which called for “a tripling of U.S. federal energy research budget.” GE joined forces with others that have benefited from Obama’s alternative-energy taxpayer funds, like the Advanced Metering Partners, another Doerr “venture” via Silver Spring Networks, one of Kleiner Perkins shining green companies, which in 2009, cashed in big time when the DOE starting handing out $4 billion in smart grid grants. But that’s just the start…Billionaire John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), along with his “billionaire climate buddy” Al Gore, is 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. Doerr not only sits on the President Obama’s Jobs Council (also from Obama’s 2009 PERAB), but early on he ultimately shapedwhat went into the energy sector of the president’s 2009-Stimulus package.
KPCB Green Money: 2010 vs. 2012
In my three-part 2010 summer series, “Obama’s Political Payback: Green Corruption,” I warned that billions of stimulus money was going to Doerr and Gore; however, besides being RIGHT, since that time, they have tripled their portfolio and thus warranted another look.In 2010 I calculated that over 50 percent of the companies listed on Kleiner Perkins “Greentech Portfolio” secured all kinds of loans, grants and special tax breaks (federal and state), and at that time I reported that of the nineteen, nine were lucky winners. Then in 2011 new reports came out from Peter Schweizer’a bestseller, Throw Them All Out(referenced throughout as Peter’s Book), revealing that as many as sixteen (of 27) “received direct taxpayer support in the form of loans, grants, or stimulus work.”Now with 66 listed –– although in reality it would take a team of investigators to track all the money –– as one-person researcher, I’ve found much more. My conclusion is that over 50 percent (again) are confirmed 2009-Recovery Act winners (36 of the 66). This means that ultra-rich Doerr and Gore –– through their alternative energy investment firm –– have raked in at least $1 billion in green-government subsidies, the majority coming from President Obama’s 2009-stimulus spending spree.
While quite a few of Doerr and Gore clean energy investments have been listed in my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List (total at 52), The Wall Street Journal’s end of the year analysis sheds light on Kleiner Perkins –– a “political venture capital turns out to be a loser,” concluding,
“[Gore's backing of] environmentally correct companies, the collaboration has yielded few successful exits for Mr. Gore and his partners, along with some spectacular disasters.”So much for Mr. Doerr’s claim, “Our green investing doesn’t depend on government policies. It’s about basic supply and demand.”
Kleiner Perkins is also tied to over $9 billion of Obama approved DOE loans and 2009-Recovery Act funds. Through Gore’s UK-based Generation Investment Management (GIM), there’s Abengoa (a Spanish firm) that received three loans from the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program totaling close to $2.8 billion, which also recently got more money from another “massive taxpayer-backed fund for corporate welfare” –– the U.S. Export-Import Bank. While this too carries its very own corruption slant, the $150 million is going for green jobs, not here in the United States, but overseas. Hmm, our jobs council must be proud.
Also through GIM, there’s “The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle,” which includes three large solar projects, and casts plenty more shady characters (Obama bundlers and top donors) in the green-deal making process –– a story Marita and I exposedin July 2012. Despite the fact that all three of these projects considered risky investments by Fitch, the DOE approved these “White House supported” loans through the 1703 program in August and September 2011, and shortly after were purchased by other Obama cronies.First Solar, a Goldman Sachs early investment, was also part of Gore’s GIM’s stock portfolio. In an interesting October 2012 article by Bill Gunderson of TheStreet, “According to SEC filings, Gore’s company bought 440,000 shares in late 2010 at about $130. By the first quarter of 2012, the value of First Solar — and just about every other solar manufacturer in America — had plummeted.” While Gore’s stock purchase just so happened to be during the DOE’s so-called review process of four First Solar loans, as reflected in the March 20, 2012 House Oversight Report, The Street reflects more on this. “Generation Investment rode it all the way down, buying more and more shares as the price went lower and lower until finally it reached $25 in the first quarter of 2012. Generation Investment was holding 1.1 million shares worth about $28 million. Filings for the next period show First Solar had disappeared from its portfolio — with Generation Investment selling its shares for somewhere between $12 and $25.”
But Gore wasn’t the only one selling out –– during a brutal (May 16, 2012) House Oversight hearing the truth came out, First Solar’s CEO Michael Ahearn sold 700,000 of his own shares in August 2011, of which he personally raked in a whopping $68.5 million, with reports of more. Ahearn also relunctantly admitted, “in sheer numbers, most of our full time [employees] are outside the US” –– I think to Spain.
Another one involves Kleiner Perkins “nuclear buddy” AREVA (Ausra Inc., also a GIM investment, acquired by the French company AREVA February 8, 2010) and its $2 billion “POTUS approved” loan. Plus Ausra, now Areva Solar Inc. was awarded close to a $14 million 1603 grant for “solar electricity” in California two weeks later. Topping off this “stimulus winner” connection list is their shining smart firm, Silver Spring Networks as well as OPower, of which both are tied to at least $1.3 billion of the Recovery Act Smart-Grid Grants.
So billions of stimulus money and green jobs are going to foreign companies –– where’s our jobs council on this?
While Doerr is a known Obama donor, we find that “Top Kleiner Perkins executives have given more than a million dollars to federal candidates and parties since 1991, most of it going to Democrats. Obama himself has received $19,000 from the company’s employees,” reports the National Review Online.
They go on further with details, “According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Brook Byers, also a major partner, has made $391,110 in political contributions since 1990, $148,500 of which went directly to the Democratic party (most of the rest went to individual Democratic candidates). Kleiner Perkins co-founder Frank Caufield’s $394,950 in political contributions since 1990 have gone almost entirely to Democrats. Another top partner, David Blood, helped organize a $2,300-a-head fundraiser for Candidate Obama in 2008.”
Green Energy: “The Mother of All Markets”
In 2010, I had written extensively on Doerr and Gore, and mentioned David Blood. Doerr and Gore –– the “climate duo,” whose combined “carbon footprint” is larger than my entire city –– friendship dates as far back as the 90′s. Since being converted to “global warming” by Gore in 2005 with “a convenient hype,” Doerr has become a “green evangelist,” with his climate crisis message, “I’m really scared, I don’t think we’re gonna make it.” At the same time Doerr continually markets green-energy as “the mother of all markets” –– $6 trillion a year worldwide.
In 2004 Gore started a company with former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management David Blood –– Generation Investment Management (GIM): “Sustainable Investing for the Long Term” –– whereas Blood is the “wizard behind” GIM, and other executives include two other Goldman bigwigs, Mark Ferguson and Peter Harris.
In 2007, GIM and Kleiner Perkins created the “International Alliance to accelerate global climate solutions,” and about that time, Gore became a partner of Kleiner Perkins and Doerr joined the GIM advisory board.
In 2008, Kleiner Perkins launched the Green Growth Fund stating that “[it] will invest $500 million in Growth-Stage Companies,” and “separately announced the formation of KPCB XIII, a $700 million fund that will invest in greentech, information technology and life sciences ventures.” It turns out that “the KPCB Green Growth Fund will also enable the firm to extend its existing collaboration with the London based Generation Investment Management.”
Obviously Al Gore, a two-term Obama advocate, is a heavy weight within political circles, but don’t underestimate John Doerr’s, which politics date back to the Bush administration when “Doerr and his team were responsible for gettingthe ‘end-oil-addiction’ wording inserted into President Bush’s 2006 state-of-the-union address.”Furthermore, in 2008, Doerr placed his “hope” on the anointed one, and in January 2009, his persuasion was reflected in the 2009-Recovery Act via his “meetings with Obama’s transition team and leaders in Congress” as well as the fact that he made “five recommendations to Congress and President-elect Barack Obama to jumpstart a green-tech revolution and fight global warming.” Of course it included a cap-and-trade system (the real pot of gold at the end of the climate rainbow), smart grid, solar, and more federal money to be allocated toward renewable energy –– all of which would benefit his portfolio dramatically. And so it has…
Teaser: Senator John Kerry and Green-Energy Crony-Corruption
Before we dissect more of Kleiner Perkins “green,” I’d like to note that last May The Washington Free Beacon exposed Senator John Kerry, whom President Obama recently nominated as Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton, and his part in this green-energy scheme. Kerry, the co-author of cap-and-trade legislation, more specifically the 2010 American Power Act, is another 2009-Recovery Act green-energy crafter, along with Doerr and five others that I found, which have cashed in big time from the stimulus funds (a forthcoming, explosive post).As revealed by The Free Beacon, “the Senator played a key role in crafting the portions of the legislation designed to offer federal support for green energy projects. Kerry also “purchased —through family trusts — between $30,000 and $100,000 worth of shares in a number of KPCB investment funds, including its “Green Growth Fund [that lists fourteen companies], and continued to purchase shares throughout 2010, according to the Senator’s financial disclosure forms.”Kerry is also tied to quite a few other high-profile banks and firms that received DOE loans and grants, however, Marita Noon (from Townhall.com) and I will be doing a full bombshell story on Senator Kerry’s role in this green-energy, crony-corruption scandal in the very near future.
10/31/12 Leaked House Oversight Emails Reveal more White House intervention and involvement as wells as DOE Advisors that pressured, rushed –– and contrary to their testimony, met with “investors” during the course of the “green deal making process.”
Next, I’d like to expose what I found in the October 31, 2012 House Oversight emails (that included a memorandum as well as Appendix I and the 350+ page Appendix II) related to four large Department of Energy (DOE) transactions. The first one I had alluded to in the beginning, which is tied to Gore’s GIM company, while the other three to Kleiner Perkins –– one acquired, one a direct investment, and the other as a contractor.
Keep in mind that the DOE Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) consists of three separate programs, Section 1703, Section 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM), of which the 1705 was created by the stimulus, and the other two were approved by the Obama administration.
Since 2009, DOE has guaranteed $34.7 billion of taxpayer money –– 1703 doled out $10.3 billion to two projects; AREVA and Georgia Power, which are both suspect. Meanwhile through the 1705 $16 billion was doled out to 26 projects, of which 22 were rated as “junk bond” status –– and we can confirm that over 90 percent are politically connected to the president and other high-ranking Democrats, some both. The ATVM loaned out $8.4 billion, of which three of the five are directly tied to President Obama, while the other two Ford Motor Co. and Nissan, were “heavily engaged in negotiations with the administration over fuel economy standards for model years 2012- 2016 at the time DOE was considering their applications.”
#1) Abengoa received three loans from the DOE 1705 Loan Guarantee Program totaling close to $2.8 billion/ and recently snagged $150 million from the Export-Import Bank of the United States
Spanish company Abengoa that received close to $2.8 billion in loans, making them the second largest recipient of the $16 billion doled out through the DOE 1705 loan guarantee program.
Abengoa has two solar projects: Solana and Mojave Solar. Solana’s Fitch rating is BB+. Just before Christmas, 2010, the company received $1.45 billion from the DOE for a solar thermal plant, to use parabolic trough technology in Gila Bend, AZ. Mojave Solar’s rating was BB. Yet the company received $1.2 billion in September 2011 for its solar assembly collection project in San Bernardino County, CA. Abengoa has connections to .
In addition to the two solar projects listed above, Abengoa also has a biofuel project located in Kansas, which Fitch rated CCC that got a $132.4 million loan in August 2010.
So how did such a poorly rated, non-American company get billions in US taxpayer loan guarantees? Can you say “crony corruption?” A story Marita and I wrote last summer, but in short, Abengoa has a cadre of cronies in high places which not only involves Al Gore, but former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, and, of course, President Obama — plus, many others whose names you’ve probably never heard of.
Also, as I mentioned, in December 2012, the Export-Import Bank of the United States authorized $150 million in loans to Abengoa: $78.6 million direct loan to Spain-based Abengoa, and $73.6 million direct loan to a wind farm in Uruguay, which is owned by Abengoa –– as part of “an ambitious goal set by President Obama, of doubling U.S. exports in five years,” which to me in the case of Abengoa, we are exporting billions of US tax dollars to Spain.
What’s relevant at this point, is that in 2007, Gore’s UK-based Generation Investment Management (GIM) bought a stake in Abengoa. He has extolled Abengoa for years, visiting “the largest solar platform in Europe” (operated by Abengoa) in October 2008 and delivering a high-powered speech at the company’s Spanish headquarters in October 2010. GIM Advisory Board Member Mario Molino also serves on Abengoa’s Advisory Committee.
While there are many emails to report on in regards to the Abengoa loans (a forthcoming column), one EMAIL in particular dated June 25, 2010 is very interesting. James McCrea writes to Jonathan Silver (cc’s David Frantz and Susan Richardson), with the subject line: Abengoa, Abound, First Wind, and Beacon: ”Jonathan — an update on the 4 projects as of this evening. DOE is moving with ‘”the fierce urgency of now,’” while OMB/Treasury/FFB are moving with “fierce urgency of… whenever. There has been no sign of life from OMB/FFB/Treasury and no sign that they are responding to WH intervention.”
Silver responds to McCrea and Richardson (cc’s David Frantz), “Sounds like we can’t do the closing deals but can announce the conditional commitments. Let’s keep pushing on all four, but I will set the stage upstairs.”
#2) AREVA: $2 Billion DOE 1703 Loan Guarantee
Ausra Inc. –– a KPCB investment that “develops and deploys utility-scale solar technologies,” February 8, 2010, was acquired by AREVA Inc. Then May 21, 2010, “The U.S. Department of Energy offered a conditional commitment for a $2 billion loan guarantee to AREVA to facilitate financing of its Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility planned for development near Idaho Falls, Idaho.” Plus Ausra, now Areva Solar Inc. was awarded close to a $14 million 1603 grant for “solar electricity” in California two weeks later, February 26, 2010.
EMAIL, September 1, 2009, subject line; etc warranty: James McCrea in addressing “AREVA backstopping,” writes, “Re the rushed process, I agree [another system of a process that's overly and artificially rushed].” He goes on, “What makes it far worse, is that we are doing our analysis, preparing the term sheet, etc. (not ECT!!) before the project has gelled. In the commercial finance world, this transaction would not be ready for real financing discussion/term sheet preparation for a least a year.”
EMAIL, September 24, 2009, subject line; AREVA update: James McCrea writes, “Given the size of this transaction ($2B of loan guarantee), the political overlay, and recent experience with both CC and OMB, we are making every effort to button this transaction and the credit paper down as tightly as we can…”
Six months later we find an EMAIL dated March 1, 2010, subject line; Eagle Rock Project: from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan Origination to James McCrea: “Jonathan just said at our staff meeting that, opposite the message received on Thursday, AREVA is now a “‘go’” (seems on Friday POTUS himself approved moving it ahead).”
And two months later, May 2010, the $2 billion loan guarantee was approved, and they estimate that it will create 1000 construction jobs and a whopping 310 permanent jobs. Interesting enough is that AREVA is also tied to the UniStar project, which I found more damning evidence in the House Oversight leaked emails, implicating Secretary Chu and other Democrat politicians like
Steny Hoyer when he was the House Majority Leader in 2010, however, we need to get back to Kleiner Perkins.
NOTE: AREVA’s Eagle Rock Enrichment facility made it on my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List, in the troubled category — with rumors of AREVA “suspending its Idaho uranium enrichment plant” circulated in late 2011, and more. But it’s unsure where they stand now…
#3) Fisker Automotive: $529 Million DOE ATVM Loan Guarantee / plus $21.5 million from the State of Delaware
One of the most blatant examples of government favoritism, catching headlines in the Wall Street Journal back in September 2009 (Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan) was the $529 million ATVM loan guarantee, a huge deal that was cinched in April 2010, went to Fisker Automotive. Yep, Doerr and Gore’s Fisker DOE loan ignited red flags, partly due to the fact that the funds were for its high-end, hybrid sports coupe, Fisker Karma that was to be manufactured in Finland and sold for $89,000.
Isn’t that dandy? Even our jobs council is shipping jobs overseas, and using taxpayer money to do so…
Still, haven’t a few gone up in flames lately, and what about those layoffs? In fact Fisker too, made it on my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List (total at 52), in the troubled category –– as they are possibly on life support. And what about the $21.5 million Fisker got from Delaware, which is composed of a $9 million grant and a $12.5 million loan, yet as of January 5th the company has yet to produce a car in Delaware.
Now in my analysis of these emails, I didn’t find much on the ATVM front, however, there were a few interactions that occurred between the following:
- Stephen Fisher, Director at Scully Capital Services, a Financial Advisor to U.S. Department
of Energy on the Federal Loan Guarantee Program, including the ATVM
- James C. McCrea, (FORMER?) Senior Credit Advisor Loan Programs Department of Energy
- Jason H. Gerbsman, (FORMER?) Chief of Staff & Senior Investment Officer, Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, Office of Loan Programs, U.S. Department of Energy
- Lachlan Seward, amongst other high-profile government and financial works, he is the former Director of the ATVM Loan Program
- Jonathan Silver, former Executive Director of the Loans Programs Office Department of Energy (November 2009 to October 2011)
EMAILS dated May 16 to 18, 2011, where the aforementioned were discussing Next AutoWorks (they were seeking a $320 million ATVM loan) and the fact that Jonathan Silver was meeting with John Doerr on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.
Further, one EMAIL dated May 18, 2011 from Stephen Fisher to Jim McCrea, references a Next Framework Letter, where he writes, “Watch for a draft letter (Silver to Ligocki) coming this afternoon,” and then goes on… “It does make you wonder why we are putting all this in a letter to them. “It is a very strange process change for no good reason other than communicating with the Kleiner Perkins benefactors…”
NOTE: Kathleen Ligocki is an Operating Executive at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (since September 2012) and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Next Autoworks Company (since 2010), a Kleiner Perkins company.
Next AutoWorks (formally V-Vehicle), is backed by Google Ventures, T. Boone Pickens, and Kleiner Perkins –– all Obama buddies. However, in November 2011, due to the to the defaults and federal probes into of other DOE-funded startups like Solyndra and Beacon Power that caused the government to re-evaluate its appetite for loans to early-stage companies, they withdrew their application in November 2011, “after DOE officials informed the automobile startup that its application would not be approved.”
The car cronyism is obvious within the ATVM program, and I had sounded that “corruption alarm” in 2010, and this past November updated the story, “Cruising Down the Green Cronyism Road,” whereas all five loans were tied to the president. Moreover this past November, Marita and I were given the exclusive interview XP Technologies, the company that filed a lawsuit against the federal government concerning the DOE’s denial of XP Technology’s loan guarantee application. The complaint alleges: “criminal activities did take place by DOE staff and affiliates.”Still, this [Next AutoWorks] email interaction is another case where we can prove that Mr. Silver lied under oath before the July 18, 2012, Oversight Hearing, where he had emphatically denied that he or anyone else in the DOE Loan Program knew who the investors were in the companies applying for loans. Silver said, “indeed no one in the Loan Program had any idea what individuals were involved in this [Abound] or any other transaction, nor did we care.” Even a second time, “…as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly, into these companies.” I guess nobody does care, not even the House Oversight Committee that Silver lied to…
#4) U.S. Geothermal: $97 million loan via the DOE 1705 Loan Guarantee Program
U.S. Geothermal Inc. (USG) –– an Idaho-based geothermal energy developer with three main projects in the works: San Emidio in Nevada, Raft River in Idaho, and Neal Hot Springs in Oregon, with plans for more. Peter’s Book notes that Goldman Sachs “was the second-largest-shareholder” however, in December 2011, The Huffington Post reported, “Goldman has a minority stake in U.S. Geothermal,” and “U.S. Geothermal is working with Raft River I Holdings, yet another Goldman subsidiary, on a project in Idaho.”
Neal Hot Springs Project in Malheur County, Oregon:
In May 2009, USG started the DOE loan process, and in June 2010, USG announced that it “was offered a conditional commitment for a $102.2-million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy,” slated to build a 22-megawatt power plant in the eastern Oregon desert.
In EMAIL exchanges February 16 and 17, 2011, discussing POTUS/LPO and President Obama’s visit to Oregon, Jonathan Silver writes, “See Below: POTUS will be in Portland on Friday (that is a close hold) and would like to announce both deals. So, you will not be surprised that OMB has cleared both. We need to get our work done on US Geothermal. I realize it is unfair. Life in the big city. Thanks! This will be a great week for the program!”
Later Matthew Winters (Senior Advisor, Loan Programs) responds about US Geothermal, “Now that we know POTUS is not going to make the SoloPower/USGeo announcement in Portland on Friday –– and we are going to announce SoloPower w/Chu at 4:30pm tomorrow –– the question is what do we do with USGeothermal? With appropriate pressure applied on OMB, this deal could still close by Friday…”
Brandon Hulbut, replies to Winters and cc’s Jonathan Silver, Owen Barwell, and Jim McCrea, “At wh let’s discuss first thing tomorrow –– heard some stuff from omb we need to sort out.”
And just a week later, February 24, 2011, USG secured the loan for $96.8-million via the 1705 loan guarantee program –– one of the first geothermal projects funded by the DOE, despite the fact that in December 2010, S&P gave it a “BB,” non-investment grade.
Now why is US Geothermal relevant to John Doerr?
Well, besides the fact that this Oregon-based project is “expected to create 150 construction jobs and 10 permanent jobs” for whopping $97 million — another tainted mark on Obama’s jobs panel –– Doerr and Gore are in cahoots with Goldman Sachs on many of theses green-energy deals, and as you continue reading you’ll discover this entire green-energy scheme.
It turns out that in June 2010, “USG selected “TAS Energy, Inc. to supply high efficiency, modular, clean energy power plant technology for its Neal Hot Springs geothermal power plant in Eastern Oregon.” In that announcement they mention the $102.2-million loan guarantee from the DOE.
Furthermore, the day the USG loan was finalized, TAS Energy “was awarded a contract by USG Oregon, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Geothermal Inc.” And interestingly, TAS Energy became part of Kleiner Perkins Green Growth Fund, a deal they closed in June 2011. So, while I can’t locate any direct stimulus funds for TAS, they did get a JOB, and are still getting paid with taxpayer money, and from the Recovery Act.
However, there is more USG government money to expose; the Neal Hot Springs Project was also counting “on a separate, $34 million federal tax rebate— money that’s part of the 2009 federal stimulus act.” Now, I’m unsure whether they got that, but I do know that USG Oregon project was not the only winner of Obama stimulus funds. Here’s a brief glance at the other two:San Emidio Project in Nevada:
In October 2009, USG was “awarded $3.77 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of its San Emidio geothermal power project.” In November 2011, USG (for San Emidio Geothermal Project) secured a $9 million cash grant via the Section 1603 ITC, also part of the Recovery Act.Raft River Project in Idaho:
In September 2009, the DOE finalized an award for the Raft River EGS program, which they state, “now totals up to $10.21 million, with the DOE providing up to $7.39 million as part of the cost-sharing arrangement.” It also states, The Raft River EGS project is one of 21 projects that are scheduled to conduct research, develop and demonstrate the viability of Enhanced Geothermal Systems. The DOE provided up to $78 million in funding for the 2008/2009 programs,” and it began in February 2010.
Kleiner Perkins Projects Tied to Goldman Sachs and Wealthy Venture Capitalists: Obama Bundlers, Top Donors, and Appointed Department of Energy Advisors
Besides General Electric and Gore’s Generation Investment Management, Kleiner Perkins is also in cahoots with other fat-cat Obama bundles and donors –– two became DOE Advisors –– that were huge winners of the Obama “green stimulus cash” (taxpayer money that is): Goldman Sachs, Khosla Ventures, and The Westly Group as well as Vantage Point Capital Partners and Google Ventures.
Back in 2010, I reported on Goldman Sachs and the fact that they were cashing in on the green stimulus, and as my research developed, found their DNA is all over this green-energy scheme, including “The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle,” explained earlier.
Besides First Solar and U.S. Geothermal, there is another Goldman investments that happens to be part of the 1705 “DOE junk bond portfolio.” Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC (Cogentrix Energy a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs), which despite the fact that it had a “B rating” by Fitch in July 2011, in September 2011 they snagged a $90.6 million DOE loan ”to support one of the first utility scale, high concentration photovoltaic energy generation facilities in the U.S. and the largest of its kind in the world.”
What you should know about Cogentrix, besides the fact that $90 million of taxpayer money went to create a whopping 10 jobs, is that with this one transaction, Goldman Sachs cashed in every step of the way –– and their green cronies too. (A striking detail that I found when reviewing the June 19, 2012 House Oversight Hearing, where the CEO of Cogentrix Mr. Robert Mancini testified).
This is relevant not just because of the obvious cronyism and deep-seated corruption, but this green deal making is also tied to Amonix, a Gore and Doerr (also Steve Westly, DOE Advisor) investment, which received over $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, and went bankrupt July 18, 2012. More on Amonix later.
I’ve noted Obama’s Wall Street Buddies in previous posts, and have written extensively about the president’s connection to Goldman Sachs –– the number two top Obama donor in 2008. Also, two Goldman executives sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee, Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Jennifer Scully and Bruce Heyman were 2008 bundlers –– Heyman was also a 2012 Obama bundler.
Even without extensive research, Goldman Sachs is tied to many other clean-energy projects that received loans, grants and special tax breaks from the Obama administration, and what I’ve tracked so far are billions of stimulus money from the DOE; First Solar, Cogentrix, and U.S. Geothermal. They are also credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for now bankrupt Solyndra, and in 2010, handled the IPO of both Tesla Motors and Amyris. There are more bankrupt ones as well –– SpectraWatt and Nordic WindPower, as well as “struggling” SunTech, taking billions of taxpayer money down with them.
NOTE: All but three of the above are on my 2012 Green-Energy Failure Alert List.
But wait…… as I glance at an old PDF (April 2011) copy of Goldman Sachs Environmental
Markets (link no longer valid), besides First Solar, U.S. Geothermal, Nordic WindPower, and SunTech, there are six more. One that sticks out in my memory is Horizon Wind Energy, of which “EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, the country’s biggest electricity utility, agreed to buy Horizon Wind Energy LLC of Texas from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for $2.15 billion,” and Citigroup Inc. advised EDP on the Horizon acquisition,” according to Bloomberg in 2007.
Now Horizon is very relevant to the “Wind Energy Blows in More Green Corruption” story that I will be telling soon. But in the meantime, you’ll be “blown away” by the billions of “wind energy grants” that flew out of the 2009-Recovery Act back in February 2010, the majority of which went to projects owned by foreign companies. And Horizon-EDPR (Portugal) was the winners of four totaling over $277 million.
In March 2012, Goldman Sachs announced its plan “to channel investments totaling $40 billion over the next decade into renewable energy projects, an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001,” writes Reuters –– meaning they’ll be pursuing for more government aid.
Khosla Ventures is where you’ll find billionaire Vinod Kholsa, and “Kholsa had been the head of Obama’s India Policy Team during the 2008 election,” states Peter’s Book. As revealed by a recent Breitbart.com article, “In October 2012, Mr. Khosla donated one million dollars to Priorities USA Action, a top liberal super PAC that backed President Barack Obama’s reelection. According to Reuters, since 1996, Mr. Khosla has made at least $474,534 in campaign donations, 86% of which went to Democrats.”
Mr. Khosla happens to be another big VC winner in the green taxpayer funded giveaway, which includes Ausra (listed above), Coskata that snagged a $250 million DOE loan, as well as Nordic WindPower (also a Goldman Sachs investment, listed above) for $16 million, plus much, much more.
Vinod Khosla, an affiliated partner of Kleiner Perkins, whose firm Khosla Ventures has also invested in some of the same companies as Kleiner Perkins –– these include Ausra Inc., AltaRock, Amyris, Great PointEnergy, Mascoma, and QuantumScape (part of Khosla Ventures “sustainability portfolio“), and all received Obama stimulus funds.
The Westly Group
Meet Steve Westly, the Founder and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, and a “DOE Insider,” as well as another Obama crony who made a DNC 2012 cameo. Westly is a two-time Obama bundler, sat on the campaign’s National Finance Committee, and was a 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.
In 2011, Westly was tagged as the “Green bundler with the golden touch,” where IWatch points to “a trail of [green] loans, grants and tax breaks.” However, I found more –– as of today they list 20 firms (exited and current), and at least 50 percent of The Westly Group portfolio were winners in the Obama green-energy spending spree.
The most infamous is the Tesla Motors $465 million ATVM loan, which made it on my 2012 Green Energy Failure Alert List, in the troubled category with its array of Democrat cronies.
Throw in Soladigm (now called “view“), CalStar Products, and Enerkem, which 2009 got $50 million of DOE Recovery-Act funding, and in 2011, 80 million loan guarantee by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). SCIenergy, Inc., which in January 2012 got $2.8 million, plus more from city of San Jose via the stimulus. Meanwhile ShotSpotter is getting wired from stimulus funds, and in 2010, Revolution Foods got a DC contract for two “healthy school meals” pilot programs.
Topping the Westly list with more winners of green Recovery Act funds, Amonix, Amyris Biotechnologies, EdenIQ, RecycleBank, and Solexel, which are all part of Kleiner Perkins greentech portfolio, and you’ve got a DOE Advisor that we can now label as the ”Green Golden Boy.”
Vantage Point Capital Partners
Add another “DOE Insider,” Sanjay Wagle, who was an Obama fundraiser for the 2008 campaign through his Clean Tech for Obama group. After the 2008 election, Wagle joined the Obama administration as a “renewable energy grants adviser” at the Department of Energy under Secretary Chu (reported to beat the ARPA-E program at the DOE).Prior to arriving in Washington, Wagle was a principal at Vantage Point Venture Partners, a cleantech venture capital firm, where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a Partner and Senior Advisor. However, according to some Greentech defenders, “Wagle gave up any interests in VantagePoint and the companies it invested in before joining DOE,” and left the DOE sometime in 2012.
That may be true (although I’d like to see the proof), but Wagle was part of the September 22, 2009, Valerie Jarrett “CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT” held at the White House, whereas “attendees [had] struck gold, cashing in on $5.3 billion in taxpayer funds from the Obama administration.” This was as of June 5, 2012, but I found much more.
Part of that “gold rush” included Vanatage Point‘s portfolio, which has at least nine green firms that have snagged green-government subsidies, and three are listed on my 2012 Green Energy Failure Alert List; Telsa Motors, BrightSource Energy and its $1.6B Shady DOE Deal, as well as Serious Energy –– all listed in the troubled category. Meanwhile there are many tied to other “green allies” that were huge winners of “green” taxpayer money, but four are Kleiner Perkins investments: Amprius, FloDesign, Mascoma, and MiaSole’.
In my last post about GE, I shared a set of DOE emails that revealed pressure by the White House (specifically, Vice President Joe Biden, who was supposed to be the Stimulus Sheriff) in the Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon (Caithness Shepherds Flat, LLC). However, last summer, I divulged that after the huge $1.3 billion DOE loan was finalized in December 2010, four months later, another close associate of, and big donor to the president invested in Caithness.
Enter in Google…
As uncovered in Peter’s Book, “Google’s CEO at the time, Eric Schmidt, served as an informal advisor to President Obama.” Still, Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman, was an Obama donor in 2008, and since April 2009, is a member of the president’s Science and Technology Advisory Council (PCAST). In fact, Google’s $814,540 contribution to 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.
Another Google connection is Dan Reicher, director of climate and energy initiatives at Google, was one of the founders of Cleantech and Green Business Leaders for Obama. While there are other interesting folks behind the Google scenes, John Doerr has served as a member of Goolge’s board of directors since May 1999.
Furthermore, 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.”
As of late, Google has aimed its “search engines” at green technology, many of which have received government help –– BrightSource, Solar City, Telsa Motors, and others. In fact, Google Ventures, Energy Investments list include (d): CoolPlanetBioFuels, Amprius, Clean Power Finance, Nest, Next Autoworks, Silver Spring Networks, and Transphorm, the latter six are also part of Kleiner Perkins greentech portfolio with four verified Recovery Act winners.
You can bet your bottom dollar, if you have one left, that we’ll find tons more green-energy funds inside these fat cats’ treasure chests, especially since the DOE continues to hand out checks. Furthermore, in an interview for TIME’s Person of the Year award, President Obama said “the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for the next four years.” So, if our president gets his way with more stimulus and/or renewable energy funds (and he will, just watch for the sales pitch, “invest”), this Elite Green Group will be there with their hand out for more corporate welfare checks, and President Obama will oblige –– after all they got him elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, political payback.
What really ticks me off, is that if these ultra rich dudes REALY want to save the planet, why don’t they use their own dang money?
Signing the Taxpayer Theft Act Disguised as Stimulus
Christine Lakatos is the mother of two awesome daughters, diet book author, ACE Certified fitness expert, and post at Fitness Flash. her new venture –– ferocious researcher and “Green Corruption” blogger. She is also a retired athlete, fitness competitor and American Gladiator’s contestant, plus more. Full bio>
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Connect the Dots :: Obama Administration Approves ,Roadmap for Utility-Scale Solar Energy Development on Public Lands
10/12/2012 Contact: Blake Androff (DOI) 202-208-6416
David Quick (BLM) 202-912-7413
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand domestic energy production, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today finalized a program for spurring development of solar energy on public lands in six western states. The Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah by establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those zones, and a process through which to consider additional zones and solar projects.
Today’s action builds on the Administration’s historic progress to facilitate renewable energy development. On Tuesday, with the authorization of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project site in Wyoming, Interior reached the President’s goal of authorizing 10,000 megawatts of renewable power on public lands. Since 2009, Interior has authorized 33 renewable energy projects, including 18 utility-scale solar facilities, 7 wind farms and 8 geothermal plants, with associated transmission corridors and infrastructure. When built, these projects will provide enough electricity to power more than 3.5 million homes, and support 13,000 construction and operations jobs according to project developer estimates.
“Energy from sources like wind and solar have doubled since the President took office, and with today’s milestone, we are laying a sustainable foundation to keep expanding our nation’s domestic energy resources,” said Secretary Salazar, who signed today’s Record of Decision at an event in Las Vegas, Nevada with Senator Harry Reid. “This historic initiative provides a roadmap for landscape-level planning that will lead to faster, smarter utility-scale solar development on public lands and reflects President Obama’s commitment to grow American made energy and create jobs.”
The Solar PEIS establishes an initial set of 17 Solar Energy Zones (SEZs), totaling about 285,000 acres of public lands, that will serve as priority areas for commercial-scale solar development, with the potential for additional zones through ongoing and future regional planning processes (emphasis mine). If fully built out, projects in the designated areas could produce as much as 23,700 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power approximately 7 million American homes. The program also keeps the door open, on a case-by-case basis, for the possibility of carefully sited solar projects outside SEZs on about 19 million acres in “variance” areas. The program also includes a framework for regional mitigation plans, and to protect key natural and cultural resources the program excludes a little under 79 million acres that would be inappropriate for solar development based on currently available information.
“The Solar PEIS sets forth an enduring, flexible blueprint for developing utility-scale solar projects in the right way, and in the right places, on our public lands,” said David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior. “Never before has the Interior Department worked so closely and collaboratively with the industry, conservationists and sportsmen alike to develop a sound, long-term plan for generating domestic energy from our nation’s sun-drenched public lands.”
The signing of the Record of Decision today follows the July release of the Final PEIS, a comprehensive analysis done in partnership with the Department of Energy that identified locations on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands most suitable for solar energy development. These areas are characterized by excellent solar resources, access to existing or planned transmission and relatively low conflict with biological, cultural and historic resources.
“We are proud to be a part of this initiative to cut through red tape and accelerate the development of America’s clean, renewable energy,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “There is a global race to develop renewable energy technologies—and this effort will help us win this race by expanding solar energy production while reducing permitting costs.”
Today’s action is in line with the President’s direction to continue to expand domestic energy production, safely and responsibly. Since President Obama took office, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year, with domestic oil production at an eight-year high, natural gas production at an all-time high, and foreign oil imports now accounting for less than 50 percent of the oil consumed in America – the lowest level since 1995.
Jul 21, 2012 by Marita Noon
As we dig deeper in the green-energy crony corruption-story, it begins to sound more and more like the making of a big-budget Hollywood thriller. Today’s installment on First Solar includes billionaire investors, corporate welfare, favoritism, threats, exaggerations, lawsuits over inferior quality, layoffs and outsourcing, and even a romantic dalliance. The screenplay would be riveting. Too bad it is not fiction. The film would have to be a documentary.
The trailer would open: “What do Goldman Sachs, several Goldman executives, and quite a few billionaire investors have in common? Add in millions of campaign donations followed by billions doled out of the 2009-stimulus package along with a ‘who’s who’ list of high-powered energy connections. Throw in a lead lobbyist with frequent White House visits and an active, yet connected board member.” Dark clouds would roll in as the music comes to a crescendo. The narrator continues: “Along the way, drama and trouble emerge. The CEO sells his own stock, jobs are going overseas. Accusations of money laundering materialize, and inside investigations point to a shady scheme within a solar energy company. The firm in question is implicated—as well as the Department of Energy.” Bold text pops up on the screen: “The First Solar Swindle” Smaller text: “Opening in theaters nationwide…”
Yes, all of this drama can be found in one company with interconnected ties to the Obama White House!
Last week, we wrapped up Senator Harry Reid’s connection to four firms—representing billions in taxpayer money—also part of the green-energy, crony-corruption story. Three of the four are in Reid’s home state: Nevada Geothermal, Ormat Nevada, and SolarReserve; while both SolarReserve and BrightSource Energy have multiple and significant ties to the President.
Now, we move on to the next three of our Special Seven series––those that received the Department of Energy loans (even though the companies were rated as “non-investment” grade) and grants, as a part of the stimulus spending spree. Additionally, these seven companies received “special” Department of Interior (DOI) treatment through a March 11, 2009 Secretarial Order, which the Washington Free Beacon described as a means “To fast track the siting of renewable energy projects on public lands managed by the agency.”
This chapter exposes First Solar.
From the introduction of this serialized book, the thumbnail says:
First Solar manufacturers “thin film” solar modules and is now moving into project development. While First Solar is not in the “junk bond” list, they do hold the unique distinction of being the single worst performer in the SPX in 2011. Additionally, they are linked to three junk-bond projects: Aqua Caliente (AZ), BB+; Antelope Valley Solar Ranch (CA), BBB-; and Desert Sunlight (CA), BBB-. First Solar was an early green investment of Goldman Sachs—which gave more than $1 million to the 2008 Obama campaign. Goldman Sachs executives sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee and others were bundlers. In Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer reports on First Solar investor Paul Tudor Jones, who was a 2008 Obama bundler, and First Solar CEO Michael Ahearn, who “gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats.”
First Solar Swindle cast of characters:
Goldman Sachs Investor and Top 2008 Obama Donor
First Solar was an early investment of Goldman Sachs, the number two Top Obama Donorthat gave more than $1 million dollars to his 2008 campaign––plus, the Obama administration “is infested” with Goldman Sachs executives.
Bruce Heyman and David Heller sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee
Bruce Heyman and Jennifer Scully were 2008 Obama bundlers
Two Goldman executives sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee, Bruce Heyman and David Heller, while Heyman, along with Jennifer Scully, was also a 2008 Obama bundler. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Ms. Scully raised $100,000, but didn’t make any large donations personally; Mr. Heyman bundled $50,000 in donations, including a $10,000 contribution he made and Goldman executive, David Heller, donated $25,000.”
Michael Ahearn CEO First Solar
Pages 91-92 of Peter Switzer’s book Throw Them All Out says: “Ahearn gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats.”
Ted Turner Billionaire Investor
From Throw Them All Out: “The biggest investors [in First Solar] include billionaire Ted Turner, a big financial backer of Obama’s 2008 campaign.”
Paul Tudor Jones Billionaire Investor
“Another Obama bundler, also owns a stake in First Solar.”
Whitney Tilson Ultra-wealthy Obama Supporter
Obama ally and a member of “Patriotic Millionaires” (a group of wealthy Obama supporters backing the president’s effort to raise taxes on high-earners), is “Ultra-wealthy Obama supporter Whitney Tilson,” reports the Washington Free Beacon. It turns out that “One of the few ‘winners’ in Tilson’s portfolio was his short position in First Solar, a company on the brink of collapse, despite receiving more than $3 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration.”
Former Vice President Al Gore Generation Investment Management co-founder
Other Wealthy First Solar Investors who are heavily involved in clean-energy include: Generation Investment Management (GIM) co-founded in 2004 by former chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Former Vice President Al Gore.
David Shaw Obama bundler
Jose Villarreal First Solar board member
Also a board member for the Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank, closely tied to the administration, which lobbied for green energy loans.
Kathleen Weiss Vice President of Government Relations
The lead lobbyist for First Solar, Kathleen Weiss, Heritage’s Scribe reports, “has had numerous meetings at the White House, according to visitor logs. She has met with senior White House official Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, among others.”
First Solar Swindle scene outline:
The First Solar Swindle takes place in several locations as they have three distinct projects.
Antelope Valley Solar Ranch, California—Rating BBB- by Fitch, September 2011, DOE loan for $646 million––was purchased by Exelon Corp, yet First Solar, which developed the project, “will build, operate, and maintain the project.” Exelon Corp. was another 2008 Obama donor, and the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch project has a 25-year purchase power agreement from PG&E as well.
During Obama’s run for the presidency, Exelon’s employees continued to give, contributing at least $200,000 during Obama’s 2008 campaign. Exelon board member John Rogers Jr. was a top Obama bundler, hauling in at least $500,000. Bloomberg reported that former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel worked on the $8.2 billion merger that created Exelon in 2000, and former senior adviser David Axelrod had ownership in a consulting business that had Exelon as a client.
Desert Sunlight, California––Rating BBB, by Fitch; September 2011, DOE loan for $1.2 billion—was sold to NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. and GE Energy Financial Services. Yet, the September announcement also states that “First Solar will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements.” Both CEO’s are on President Obama’s Job Council, Lewis Hay of NextEra Energy and Jeffrey Immelt of GE (another top Obama donor, donating $529,855 to his 2008 campaign). GE has raked in over $3 billion of stimulus money, and counting.
Agua Caliente, Arizona––Rating BB+ by Fitch, August 2011, DOE loan for $967 million––was purchased from First Solar by NRG Solar, LLC, and a subsidiary of NRG Energy. The plant would supply power to PG&E, and be made with panels from the Tempe-based First Solar Inc. Billionaire George Soros, a 2008 Obama donor, who “gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called stimulus money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers,” owns more than half a million shares of NRG Energy.
First Solar Swindle synopsis:
First Solar sought to create turnkey projects with the assistance of DOE loan guarantees and direct loans.
A Government Accountability Office report found that the Energy Department loan program skipped steps in its review process when evaluating loans, while in some cases it was impossible to determine if the review steps were even completed. The DOE apparently manipulated its analysis and strategically modified evaluations in order to issue loans to First Solar. Through the funding of First Solar’s projects, favoritism was shown, as regulations may have been violated that required innovativeness and that allows for only one technology per project sponsor—which may have been why the projects were sold as soon as the loans were funded. (Did they think we wouldn’t notice?)
Layoffs and Outsourcing
Since DOE finalized First Solar’s three loan guarantees (for over $3 billion), First Solar has encountered serious financial problems that put the DOE funded projects in jeopardy. First Solar’s stock declined the greatest compared to any S&P 500 companies in 2011 and has lost more than $100 per share over the past year. First Solar has cut production of its solar panels worldwide. Based upon the company’s financial troubles, First Solar fired its CEO in October 2011. In April 2012, First Solar laid off 2000 workers and closed factories. In May, a massive round of furloughs was announced. In a May 16, 2012 hearing, CEO Michael Ahern admitted: “in sheer numbers, most of our full-time employees are outside the US.” Delay, as listed below, means that the indirect jobs that the White House wanted to create with the three loan guarantees will likely never materialize.
Inferior Quality and Lawsuits
Problems that directly impact First Solar’s DOE loan guarantee projects have been revealed. It was announced in late February that First Solar would postpone manufacturing solar panels at its Mesa Arizona plant, which is still under construction, because of financial problems. First Solar intended for the Mesa facility to provide panels to the First Solar projects. This delay raises questions about whether First Solar will have problems supplying solar panels to its DOE loan guarantee projects. Additionally, millions of dollars worth of its solar panels have had to be replaced under warranty because they did not last in hot climates. All three of First Solar’s DOE-based solar generation projects are located in hot desert climates—which raises serious concerns about whether the panels will work properly long term. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, “First Solar Inc. has been hit with an investor lawsuit in federal court, alleging the solar panel manufacturer misled investors over how much it would cost to replace defective panels.” Reports indicate that manufacturing flaws cost $253 million in replacement costs.
First Solar received a US Taxpayer loan guarantee to sell solar panels to itself! The subsidy came from the Import-Export Bank. In 2011, First Solar received $455.7 million to subsidize the sale of solar panels to two solar farms in Canada—owned by a small corporation called St. Clair Solar. But St. Clair Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar.
First Solar’s CEO has admitted to selling more than 700,000 shares of his own stock netting him $68.5 million—though claiming that the company “remains financially strong and well positioned to execute through the current market environment.” HumanEvents.com reports “between 2008 and 2012––a period when First Solar’s stock value dropped by almost 95 percent––Ahearn sold over $450 million of his own company’s stock.”
Obama’s insistence on green-energy subsidies manifests itself as rank corporate welfare.
Threats and exaggeration
First Solar came under extreme heat in the House Oversight Investigation—“The First Solar Scheme” (pp. 29-38), noting a series of violations and application misrepresentation as well as “persistent pressure,” with even documents of a “threatening” letter to Jonathan Silver.
A First Solar investor puffed up the potential of these green projects: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to channel investments totaling $40 billion over the next decade into renewable energy projects, an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001.”
A Romantic Dalliance
Every movie needs some love. This is provided in the First Solar Swindle through senior DOE official Steve Black who leads the Renewable Energy Policy Group and NextEra Lobbyist Manal Yamout—who are in a romantic relationship.
An application that should otherwise fail, but instead passes under improper influence and through the manipulation of analysis, results in the defrauding of taxpayers and misappropriation of assets.
As the reporter for the First Solar Swindle, I’d like to be played by Cameron Diaz or Renee Zellweger. As the investigator, Christine Lakatos pictures Julia Roberts of the Pelican Brief playing her part. Yes, the First Solar Swindle will be a blockbuster—or should I say, it is a bank buster?
Author’s note: Thanks to Christine Lakatos, the Green Corruption blogger, for research assistance.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.
Increased utility-scale pipeline dominance and a marked difference between the downstream strategies of First Solar and SunPowerApril 28, 2010 Shayle Kann
This morning, First Solar announced the acquisition of Nextlight Renewable Power, LLC for about $285 million. In doing so, it combined the largest utility-scale PV project pipeline in the U.S. with the second largest. First Solar already had over 1.4 GW in development through a mix of multi-hundred megawatt projects (Sunlight, Stateline and Topaz) and a number of smaller projects. Nextlight, which was founded by Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm with over $3 billion in funds under management, had a 570 MW contracted pipeline of mostly large-scale projects which have now been added to First Solar’s coffers.
First Solar’s downstream integration strategy has largely been built around the acquisition of expertise and pipelines. In 2007 it acquired Turner Renewable Energy, gaining an internal EPC team. This was followed by two pipeline acquisitions: Optisolar in 2009 and Edison Mission Group earlier this year.
Today’s acquisition does two things for First Solar. First, it builds First Solar’s development and EPC team. One of Nextlight’s biggest selling points was its management team, which has deep roots in the energy project development business. If First Solar is shifting its resources more heavily toward the downstream side of the market, it will benefit from a larger project development experience base.
Second, it ensures First Solar’s near-term dominance in the U.S. utility-scale project development game. First Solar’s contracted pipeline already dwarfed its next competitor (which happened to be Nextlight), but now we estimate it to be more than seven times the size of the next largest U.S. pipeline.
Source: GTM Research
Aside from the impact on First Solar’s business, this can be viewed as an incremental negative for other module suppliers, particularly SunPower. By locking up a large proportion of contracted utility-scale projects in the U.S. to use its own modules, First Solar is effectively limiting the total market for its upstream competitors. The utility-scale market in the U.S. has thus far been a tale of two suppliers: First Solar and SunPower. Until this announcement, Nextlight was rumored to be considering using SunPower’s high efficiency crystalline modules on one-axis trackers for a number of its projects — but that possibility has now disappeared.
But not to fear for SunPower, because it has been focusing its downstream efforts on the high-return Mediterranean markets, as evidenced by its recent acquisition of SunRay. This difference between the downstream efforts of each company reflects a dynamic that GTM Research has noted for some time now. In markets with high fixed incentives such as Spain, Italy, Greece and France, project developers are easily able to meet investor threshold returns at a range of reasonable module prices. Equity investors will not base an investment decision on the difference between, say, 20 percent and 22 percent internal rates of return (IRRs). The developer’s best strategy, then, is to maximize gross project returns — to maximize the total value of funds upon which it can earn attractive returns. In contrast, markets such as the United States and Germany, in which investor returns are tighter and incentives smaller, place greater emphasis on maximizing equity IRRs. In order to meet threshold rates of return, developers must seek to cut project costs as much as possible.
Given current pricing and efficiency, lower cost, lower efficiency thin-film modules (particularly First Solar’s CdTe) tend to provide slightly higher equity IRRs. But higher cost, higher efficiency crystalline silicon modules (such as SunPower’s “Super Mono c-Si” modules) offer larger gross returns. The figure below displays the differential between two representative 10 MW ground mount systems in Spain, one using CdTe modules on a fixed substructure and the other using Super Mono c-Si modules on a 1-axis tracking system. Over time, gross returns (represented by project NPV) decline along with the Spanish feed-in tariff but falling system prices enable steady equity IRRs.
Source: GTM Research
This serves as a partial explanation for First Solar’s dominance, both in terms of modules and project development, in the U.S. and German utility-scale PV markets. It also partially explains SunPower’s focus on growing Mediterranean countries and other high feed-in tariff markets for its utility-scale project development operations. Over time, this differential between technologies may fall and project pipelines could become more evenly spread amongst technologies and suppliers. But in the meantime, watch for First Solar to maintain its position atop all suppliers and developers in the U.S. utility-scale PV market.
As a final note, it is important to remember that there are two reasons why the window of opportunity in the U.S. is far from closing for other module suppliers. First, the utility-scale market in the U.S. remains nascent and a true ramp-up will far exceed the 2,000 MW under contract with First Solar. In other words, there is still plenty of room for entry. Second, utilities may ultimately become wary of increasing their exposure to a single developer (i.e., First Solar) in order to meet their renewable energy or solar mandates. As a result, we may begin to see utilities with existing First Solar contracts selecting other developers in future RFP cycles.
Written by Warren Mass
The standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) deescalated on April 12, when the bureau announced that it will stop its operation to confiscate Bundy’s cattle.
But another aspect to this ongoing story is jumping: The blogosphere is alive with allegations that Senator Harry Reid (pictured), and his son, Rory, have motivations of their own for wanting Bundy’s cattle off the disputed lands.
Though the major media announced that a “deal” had been reached between Bundy and the BLM, Bundy explained what transpired differently in an interview with KLAS TV in Las Vegas: “There is no deal here. The citizens of America and Clark County went and took their cattle. There was no negotiations. They took these cattle. They are in possession of these cattle and I expect them to come home soon.”
The BLM stated in its statement released on April 12: “Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
The BLM’s language made apparent that the bureau still regarded its actions “to remove illegal cattle from federal land consistent with court orders” as being legally justified:
This is a matter of fairness and equity, and we remain disappointed that Cliven Bundy continues to not comply with the same laws that 16,000 public lands ranchers do every year. After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million. The BLM will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.
As William F. Jasper noted in his April 11 article about the standoff, however, there was more to the federal action to remove Bundy’s cattle from “public lands” (where they are, allegedly, damaging the “fragile” habitat of the protected desert tortoise) than has been widely reported:
According to Bundy, whose family has been ranching in the area since the 1800s, the BLM’s armed invasion and occupation of Nevada has nothing to do with protecting the tortoise and everything to do with running him off the land, as it has already done to all of the other ranchers in Clark County.
As for the BLM’s assertion that its actions “to remove illegal cattle” are legally justified, among the many points that Joe Wolverton II made in his April 12 article charging that the seizure of Bundy’s cattle was unconstitutional was this citation from Section 1 of the Nevada constitution, titled “Inalienable Rights”:
All men are by Nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; Acquiring, Possessing and Protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Wolverton observed: “Despite the Nevada constitution’s capitulation to supreme federal authority (authority, remember, that does not exist in the Constitution) … it could be argued [that the above-quoted language from Section 1] supersedes the other article’s cession of state and popular sovereignty.”
That which is unconstitutional, therefore, cannot properly be called legal.
As the tension between Bundy and the BLM ratchets down, a number of conservative bloggers and pundits have raised questions about another angle in this case: Does the BLM want Bundy’s cattle off the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to free up the land for the construction of solar panel power stations?
That question was prompted, in part, by since-deleted information previously posted on the BLM website, information retrieved from Google’s cache.
The text of a BLM document retrieved from Google’s cache and posted by Liberty News Online contains the following chronology of events:
• “In 1993, some of the terms of Mr. Bundy’s grazing permit for the Bunkerville allotment were modified to protect the desert tortoise.”
• “In 1998, the United States filed a civil complaint against Mr. Bundy for his continued trespass grazing in the Bunkerville Allotment.”
• “In 1999, the Las Vegas Field Office Resource Management Plan designated the Bunkerville allotment as ‘Closed to Grazing’ to protect desert tortoise habitat.”
• “In March 2011, BLM counted 903 cattle from a helicopter spread out over approximately 90 miles in northeast Clark County within the Gold Butte area … 41 percent had either brands or earmarks registered to Cliven Bundy.”
• “In May 2012, the United States filed a Complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for Cliven Bundy’s trespass grazing within the Gold Butte area outside the Bunkerville Allotment.”
A PDF of the BLM’s document, “Regional Mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar energy Zone: Technical Note 444,” produced by the BLM in March, can be found online.
Technical Note 444 states that the “’Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone’ recommends a strategy for compensating for certain unavoidable impacts that are expected from the development of the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) in southern Nevada.”
Technical Note 444 states: “The resource values found in the Gold Butte ACEC are threatened by: unauthorized activities, including off-road vehicle use, illegal dumping, and trespass livestock grazing ; wildfire; and weed infestation.” (Emphasis added.)
The above-referenced BLM “Technical Note 444” specifically mentions the Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) 76 times. While the document expresses many environmental concerns, including “trespass livestock grazing,” it is important to keep in mind that the title of the document reveals the BLM’s ultimate objective, which is to create a “solar energy zone.”
One of the references listed in Technical Note 444 is “Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States. FES 12- 24, DOE/EIS-0403,” published jointly by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The PEIS, notes TN 444, “assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”
The BLM and the DOE’s joint venture is — stated concerns about tortoises aside — about the generation of solar energy.
An article published by The New American in September 20012 noted that Rory Reid, the eldest son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), is the chief representative for ENN Energy Group, a Chinese firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.
The plan generated a great deal of controversy because Clark County officials voted to sell ENN the public land for $4.5 million, a figure far below its $38.6-million appraised value.
It is important to recognize that the land on which Bundy grazes his cattle is not the same land that ENN sought near Laughlin, which is over 200 miles away. However, the Bundy grazing land is within the BLM’s Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone, an area the BLM and DOW also want to use for “utility-scale solar energy development,” whether constructed by ENN or someone else. As blogger and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 8th District Rodney Lee Conover recently wrote:
As part of the plan for the Dry Lake solar zone, any solar developers are expected to pay into a fund to “mitigate” the Gold Butte area. However, the “mitigation” activities can’t take place with cattle grazing in the area. If the mitigation doesn’t take place, no money for the BLM.
Conover’s assertions are supported by the BLM’s document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts,” which states that grazing by Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” an article by Kit Daniels posted by Infowars quoted the document.
Motivations are not always easy to prove, but in this case, Senator Reid’s hand has shown up more than once. The BLM’s principal deputy director, Neil Kornze, previously served as Senator Reid’s senior policy advisor. And we have noted Rory Reid’s role as the chief representative for China’s ENN Energy Group, which has sought to develop solar energy in Nevada. Whether these suspicions are proof of wrongful or illegal acts remains to be seen.
However, one thing is evident from what has transpired in Nevada: The federal government has reneged on a long-standing arrangement made by a rancher in good faith by which he and his family have earned a living for generations. In so doing, they have run roughshod over the rights of a U.S. citizen and have employed constitutionally dubious means to do so. If justice prevails, some judge with respect for the Constitution may follow the example of Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada. Last year — in the case of U.S. v. Hage — Jones issued an impassioned preliminary bench ruling in which he charged federal officials of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with an ongoing series of illegal actions against Nevada rancher E. Wayne Hage. Jones described the bureaucrats’ actions as “abhorrent” and a literal, criminal conspiracy.
Which is a pretty apt description of the BLM’s recent actions against Cliven Bundy.
Rolls-Royce has been awarded a £19m contract to deliver deck machinery for four ocean going tugs, designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions, for Dutch company ALP Maritime Services.
The vessels will be constructed in Japan by Niigata Shipbuilding & Repair.
The vessels are being developed for towing large structures like oil rigs and floating production units over long distances. The bollard pull for each of the four vessels will be 300 tons and they will be equipped for anchor handling.
John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President Offshore, said: “This project is a good example of how our solid industry know-how makes us a partner of choice for innovative ship owners and design teams. The new vessels will place ALP Maritime Services in the elite division for large offshore towing operations across the world.”
The deck machinery delivered from Rolls-Royce will include a complete low pressure winch solution and a stern roller. The towing/anchor handling winches are specially developed in cooperation with the ship designer and owner. The supply of rudder and steering gear is also included in the Rolls-Royce scope.
Intended for world-wide operations, the vessels will be delivered from Japan by Q1 2016. They will be of Ulstein design SX157, developed especially for this project.
Tore Ulstein, Ulstein Group, Deputy CEO, said: “This is a very important contract involving activities in a new market for us and with a new customer. The contract is a result of close cooperation with the shipyard, the ship owner and our partners in the Norwegian maritime cluster, a cooperation we will work to develop further in the years to come.”
EMAS, the operating brand of Ezra Holdings received a Letter of Agreement (LOA) from Noble Energy for the Gunflint Project in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
Under the terms of the agreement EMAS’s Subsea Services division, EMAS AMC has been nominated to perform the offshore installation of pipelines, umbilicals and ancillary equipment for the Gunflint Project in the Mississippi Canyon area of the US GoM in water depths in excess of 2,000 metres. The pipelines will be installed with EMAS AMC’s flagship vessel the Lewek Constellation while the EMAS Marine Base in Ingleside, Texas will be used to perform the pipe stalking and fabrication of various subsea structures.
Project preparation activities have already started and offshore works are scheduled to be carried out during 2015.
“I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Noble Energy for their vote of confidence by awarding this important project to us,” said Mr Lionel Lee, EMAS’s Group CEO and Managing Director. “The Gunflint project is another significant milestone for us as it is a testament to the growth and current capabilities of EMAS AMC. It affirms that our combined engineering and asset capabilities, including our flagship construction vessel Lewek Constellation, are being endorsed by the industry to execute challenging subsea projects anywhere in the world. It is also the second major contract awarded to us by Noble Energy, following our successful work for the Noble Tamar Project and I look forward to working with Noble again and deliver a mutually successful outcome on Gunflint.”
The Group has secured more than US$300 million subsea contracts since the beginning of 2014, with the subsea backlog standing at more than US$1.4 billion to date.
Press Release, April 11, 2014
by Paul Craig Roberts via The Institute for Political Economy,
Is the US or the World Coming to an End?
It will be one or the other
2014 is shaping up as a year of reckoning for the United States.
Two pressures are building on the US dollar. One pressure comes from the Federal Reserve’s declining ability to rig the price of gold as Western gold supplies shrivel and market knowledge of the Fed’s illegal price rigging spreads. The evidence of massive amounts of naked shorts being dumped into the paper gold futures market at times of day when trading is thin is unequivocal. It has become obvious that the price of gold is being rigged in the futures market in order to protect the dollar’s value from QE.
The other pressure arises from the Obama regime’s foolish threats of sanctions on Russia. Other countries are no longer willing to tolerate Washington’s abuse of the world dollar standard. Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system to inflict damage on the economies of countries that resist Washington’s political hegemony.
Russia and China have had enough. As I have reported and as Peter Koenig reports here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38165.htm Russia and China are disconnecting their international trade from the dollar. Henceforth, Russia will conduct its trade, including the sale of oil and natural gas to Europe, in rubles and in the currencies of its BRICS partners.
This means a big drop in the demand for US dollars and a corresponding drop in the dollar’s exchange value.
As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear, the US economy has not recovered from the downturn in 2008 and has weakened further. The vast majority of the US population is hard pressed from the lack of income growth for years. As the US is now an import-dependent economy, a drop in the dollar’s value will raise US prices and push living standards lower.
All evidence points to US economic failure in 2014, and that is the conclusion of John Williams’ April 9 report.
This year could also see the breakup of NATO and even the EU. Washington’s reckless coup in Ukraine and threat of sanctions against Russia have pushed its NATO puppet states onto dangerous ground. Washington misjudged the reaction in Ukraine to its overthrow of the elected democratic government and imposition of a stooge government. Crimea quickly departed Ukraine and rejoined Russia. Other former Russian territories in Ukraine might soon follow. Protesters in Lugansk, Donetsk, and Kharkov are demanding their own referendums. Protesters have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic. Washington’s stooge government in Kiev has threatened to put the protests down with violence. http://rt.com/news/eastern-ukraine-violence-threats-405/ Washington claims that the protests are organized by Russia, but no one believes Washington, not even its Ukrainian stooges.
Russian news reports have identified US mercenaries among the Kiev force that has been sent to put down the separatists in eastern Ukraine. A member of the right-wing, neo-Nazi Fatherland Party in the Kiev parliament has called for shooting the protesters dead.
Violence against the protesters is likely to bring in the Russian Army and result in the return to Russia of its former territories in Eastern Ukraine that were attached to Ukraine by the Soviet Communist Party.
With Washington out on a limb issuing threats hand over fist, Washington is pushing Europe into two highly undesirable confrontations. Europeans do not want a war with Russia over Washington’s coup in Kiev, and Europeans understand that any real sanctions on Russia, if observed, would do far more damage to Europeans. Within the EU, growing economic inequality among the countries, high unemployment, and stringent economic austerity imposed on poorer members have produced enormous strains. Europeans are in no mood to bear the brunt of a Washington-orchestrated conflict with Russia. While Washington presents Europe with war and sacrifice, Russia and China offer trade and friendship. Washington will do its best to keep European politicians bought-and-paid-for and in line with Washington’s policies, but the downside for Europe of going along with Washington is now much larger.
Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/
The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba. http://rt.com/news/cuba-usaid-senate-zunzuneo-241/
This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.
The self-inflicted hammer blows to Washington’s credibility have taken a toll. The most serious blow of all is the dawning realization everywhere that Washington’s crackpot conspiracy theory of 9/11 is false. Large numbers of independent experts as well as more than one hundred first responders have contradicted every aspect of Washington’s absurd conspiracy theory. No aware person believes that a few Saudi Arabians, who could not fly airplanes, operating without help from any intelligence agency, outwitted the entire National Security State, not only all 16 US intelligence agencies but also all intelligence agencies of NATO and Israel as well.
Nothing worked on 9/11. Airport security failed four times in one hour, more failures in one hour than have occurred during the other 116,232 hours of the 21st century combined. For the first time in history the US Air Force could not get interceptor fighters off the ground and into the sky. For the first time in history Air Traffic Control lost airliners for up to one hour and did not report it. For the first time in history low temperature, short-lived, fires on a few floors caused massive steel structures to weaken and collapse. For the first time in history 3 skyscrapers fell at essentially free fall acceleration without the benefit of controlled demolition removing resistance from below.
Two-thirds of Americans fell for this crackpot story. The left-wing fell for it, because they saw the story as the oppressed striking back at America’s evil empire. The right-wing fell for the story, because they saw it as the demonized Muslims striking out at American goodness. President George W. Bush expressed the right-wing view very well: “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.”
But no one else believed it, least of all the Italians. Italians had been informed some years previously about government false flag events when their President revealed the truth about secret Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was an operation run by the CIA and Italian intelligence during the second half of the 20th century to set off bombs that would kill European women and children in order to blame communists and, thereby, erode support for European communist parties.
Italians were among the first to make video presentations challenging Washington’s crackpot story of 9/11. The ultimate of this challenge is the 1 hour and 45 minute film, “Zero.” You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU961SGps8g&feature=youtu.be
Zero was produced as a film investigating 9/ll by the Italian company Telemaco. Many prominent people appear in the film along with independent experts. Together, they disprove every assertion made by the US government regarding its explanation of 9/11.
The film was shown to the European parliament.
It is impossible for anyone who watches this film to believe one word of the official explanation of 9/11.
The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony.
China and Russia protested but accepted Libya’s destruction even though it was to their own detriment. But Iran became a red line. Washington was blocked, so Washington decided to cause major problems for Russia in Ukraine in order to distract Russia from Washington’s agenda elsewhere.
China has been uncertain about the trade-offs between its trade surpluses with the US and Washington’s growing encirclement of China with naval and air bases. China has come to the conclusion that China has the same enemy as Russia has–Washington.
One of two things is likely: Either the US dollar will be abandoned and collapse in value, thus ending Washington’s superpower status and Washington’s threat to world peace, or Washington will lead its puppets into military conflict with Russia and China. The outcome of such a war would be far more devastating than the collapse of the US dollar.