GREEN SUBSIDIES: A breeding ground for corruption – Campaign 2012
By Timothy P. Carney
Sept. 12, 2011
Solar panel company Solyndra, which went bankrupt after getting a half-billion subsidy from the U.S. government, is largely owned by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser, who has visited the White House 16 times.
Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi was Obama’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy while her husband was an executive at a company that received direct subsidies from the Obama administration and profited from the Cash-for-Caulkers bill Zoi’s division implemented. Zoi has since left DOE to run a clean-tech hedge fund owned in large part by Democratic mega-donor George Soros.
A group of Democratic operatives have formed an investment company called U.S. Renewable Energy Group, or US-REG, which seems to exist for the sake of buying green-tech companies, and then helping them get subsidies. In at least one case, US-REG appeared to be a U.S. beard for a Chinese company seeking U.S. dollars to make wind turbines in China.
The Department of Energy’s inspector general has repeatedly found that a loan program created by the 2005 energy bill and expanded by Obama’s stimulus falls short on transparency and accountability.
The company with the biggest investments in green energy is General Electric, whose CEO is a top Obama advisor.
Treasury Department chief of staff Mark Patterson was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist advocating susbidies for cellulosic ethanol while Goldman was buying up a cellulosic ethanol company. Patterson never received a waiver from the administration’s restrictions on former lobbyists, but the adminstration has never explained how a Goldman lobbyist could work at Treasury without working on issues affecting tax law, finance, banking, or Goldman.
A Soperton, Ga., ethanol plant — founded by major Democratic donor Vinod Khosla — sucked up more than $162 in federal and state subsidies before shutting down without ever producing a drop of ethanol.
The more we dig into green energy subsidies, the more rot I expect we will find.