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Steven Chu on Solyndra: Enough already !!!

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has just about had it with House Republican accusations about Solyndra and other clean-energy companies that won billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees.

“After hundreds of thousands of pages of documents sent over, there’s not any whiff that this was a politically influenced decision,” Chu told reporters Tuesday shortly after wrapping up House committee testimony on the controversial program. “That’s true of all the loans.”

Chu’s frustration was apparent after spending more than two hours before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee answering pointed GOP questions concerning his handling of more than $14.5 billion in stimulus-funded loan guarantees.

Earlier in the day, Rep. Darrell Issa’s panel released a blistering report claiming Chu had “turned a blind eye to the risks” associated with many of the companies applying for the loan guarantees, putting billions of dollars in taxpayer money in jeopardy.

During the hearing, House Republicans peppered Chu with questions about a “revolving green door” of current and former Obama administration officials and campaign fundraisers who have connections to the stimulus-funded loan guarantee winners.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Chu whether his decisions had been influenced by several specific people tied to the administration, including former National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, who before joining the White House worked as a part-time managing director at D.E. Shaw, a New York-based investment firm that has an ownership stake in the Kahuku Wind project.

Chu replied that Summers’s connections to the Hawaii wind farm had nothing to do with it securing a $117 million loan guarantee in July 2010.

The DOE chief also had similar replies when asked about Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who before joining the administration sat on the board of directors at BrightSource, which won a $1.6 billion loan guarantee in April 2011 to support the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert; Nancy-Ann DeParle, a deputy White House chief of staff for policy who served on the board of directors at Noble Environmental Power, the owner of the Granite Reliable wind energy project that won a partial $168.9 million loan guarantee last September; and Michael Froman, a deputy assistant to Obama and deputy national security adviser who worked at Citigroup, a major investor in SolarReserve, winner last September of a $737 million loan guarantee.

“There seems to be a pattern,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “There’s so many names on this list. I just want to know personally what are you doing to follow through on our concerns that these people are personally financially benefiting from the decisions that they’re in positions to influence people when they have major financial gain on the upside of these loans.”

Chu responded that all of the DOE loan guarantees got greenlights based on their merits and without White House involvement. The DOE chief also said he hadn’t referred any of the specifics to the department’s inspector general, though he said he’d ask the DOE general counsel to review whether any of the officials breached a “firewall” designed to stop such conflict of interest concerns.

“We will look into this,” Chu told reporters after the hearing. “But again it’s easy to raise something and say, ‘Oh, by the way, this person had a connection to that company.’ Then there’s a big leap to say we funded the company because of it.”

Chu noted prominent Republicans and GOP donors have ties to some of the stimulus winners. But he also noted, “It’s not relevant to what we funded and that’s the bottom line.”

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 3:59 p.m. on March 20, 2012.

Steven Chu on Solyndra: Enough already – Darren Samuelsohn – POLITICO.com.

Green Graft: One of the Best Breakdowns of Green Energy Crony Capitalism We Have See

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I feel like I have to say this periodically as we highlight the massive corruption in Obama’s various “green energy” initiatives. We like alternative energy. We think it has an important place in the future of energy. However, we are not for the subsidization of these technologies and we are certainly not for the extensive “green graft” we have seen under the current presidential administration.

The attached (short) article does a good job of summing up some of the most egregious examples of green graft.

(From The American Thinker)

“ Let’s turn our attention to SolarReserve. The DOE gave a $737-million loan for SolarReserve to build its Crescent Dunes project near Tonopah, NV. SolarReserve’s list of “investment partners” includes Pacific Corporate Group (PCG) Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East) LLC, whose number-two man is Ronald Pelosi, a San Francisco politico who just happens to be Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law.”

Click here for the story.

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$737 million in green-tech loan to company connected to Pelosi family?

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by Ed Morrissey

As Tina wrote yesterday, Americans still favor government subsidies to companies unable to otherwise compete in the green-tech industry.  That may be especially true of Nancy Pelosi and her family, but not exactly for reasons of environmental improvement.  Let’s start with this report from The Hill, via Gateway Pundit and Instapundit, on the latest approved green-tech loan from the Department of Energy:

DOE announced a $737 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.

The Energy Department said the project will result in 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs.

Forty-five permanent jobs?  That puts the cost per permanent job at over $16 million, a figure that could employ perhaps a hundred people had the capital remained in the hands of the private sector that produced it.  Whatever else these green-tech loans are, they certainly are not job-creation stimulus.

But that’s not the best part.  As both Gateway Pundit and American Glob discover, one of SolarReserve’s “investment partners” is Pacific Corporate Group, through its Clean Energy and Technology Fund.  And PCG’s executive director is Ron Pelosi — brother of Nancy Pelosi’s husband.  Suddenly, this deal makes a lot more sense than spending $737 million for forty-five jobs.

This surely is just a coincidence … in the same way that the push by the Obama administration to approve a loan to a failing Solyndra backed by one of his big campaign bundlers was just a coincidence.  Recall Reason TV’s excellent video yesterday on the urban-renewal movement, in which governments seized property ostensibly to improve neighborhoods but parsed out the spoils to the politically connected ?  That’s exactly what’s going on with this program, and with Barack Obama’s demands for more blank checks for stimulus.  The only thing Obama’s stimulating is the pockets of his cronies.

Original Article

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