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Marita Noon: What’s The Real Deal With The Bundy Fight

Greetings!

On Friday, I was planning to write on the status of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy. Late Friday, I received an email alerting me to some buzz about the Bundy standoff and fracking. I perked up and did some quick research. Wow! I was off and running. What I found became the impetus for this week’s column: Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown? (attached and pasted-in-below).

As I like to do, I connected a bunch of dots that, to my knowledge, no one else has connected to put together my theory that stopping Nevada’s fracking rush is what was behind the Bundy Showdown. I know it sounds a little out on a limb, but those who have read it so far find it very plausible. As this topic is still big news, I hope you will help me by spreading this piece as far and wide as possible.

Sadly I ran out of time (and word count) to get in the Reid solar project in there and the fact that the enviros allow solar projects—after huge sums are offered to protect the tortoises—but when other industry spent $26 million to protect the habitat of the lesser prairie chicken, the effort was rebuffed. But I did stay focused on my premise.

Thanks for posting, passing on and/or personally enjoying Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown?

 

Marita82313Marita Noon

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Was stopping Nevada’s fracking rush behind the Bundy Showdown?

The story of rancher Cliven Bundy has captured an abundance of media attention and attracted supporters from across the West, who relate to the struggle against the federal management of lands. Bundy’s sister, Susan, was asked: “Who’s behind the uproar?” She blamed the Sierra Club, then Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and then President Obama. She concluded her comments with: “It’s all about control”—a sentiment that is frequently expressed regarding actions taken in response to some endangered-species claim.

 

Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader

Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Associated Press report describes Bundy’s battle this way: “The current showdown pits rancher Cliven Bundy’s claims of ancestral rights to graze his cows on open range against federal claims that the cattle are trespassing on arid and fragile habitat of the endangered desert tortoise.”

 

Biologist Dr. Paula Khan weighs a desert torto...

Biologist Dr. Paula Khan weighs a desert tortoise before release as part of the Fort Irwin, Calif., tortoise translocation. U.S. Army Environmental Command photo by Neal Snyder (neal.snyder@us.army.mil) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bundy’s story has been percolating for decades—leaving people to question why now. The pundits are, perhaps, missing the real motive. To discover it, you have to dig deep under the surface of the story, below the surface of the earth. I posit: it is all about oil and gas.

On April 10, the Natural News Network posted this: “BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases.” It states: “a Natural News investigation has found that BLM is actually in the business of raking in millions of dollars by leasing Nevada lands to energy companies that engage in fracking operations.”

This set off alarms in my head; it didn’t add up. I know that oil-and-gas development and ranching can happily coexist. Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, told me: “The ranching and oil-and-gas communities are the backbone of America. They are the folks who allow the rest of the nation to pursue their hearts’ desire secure in the knowledge that they will have food and energy available in abundant supply. These natural resource users have worked arm-in-arm for nearly a century on the same land. They are constantly developing and employing technologies for ever better outcomes.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wouldn’t be enduring the humiliating press it has received, as a result of kicking Bundy off of land his family has ranched for generations and taking away his prior usage rights, just to open up the land for oil-and-gas—the two can both be there.

 

BLM Cows

BLM Cows (Photo credit: ScottSchrantz)

The Natural News “investigation” includes a map from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology that shows “significant exploratory drilling being conducted in precisely the same area where the Bundy family has been running cattle since the 1870s.” It continues: “What’s also clear is that oil has been found in nearby areas.”

Nevada is not a top-of-mind state when one thinks about oil and gas. Alan Coyner, administrator for the Nevada Division of Minerals, describes his state: “We are not a major oil-producing state. We’re not the Saudi Arabia of the U.S. like we are for gold and geothermal production.” The Las Vegas Review Journal reports: “When it comes to oil, Nevada is largely undiscovered country…. fewer than 1,000 wells have been drilled in the state, and only about 70 are now in production, churning out modest amounts of low-grade petroleum generally used for tar or asphalt. Since an all-time high of 4 million barrels in 1990, oil production in Nevada has plummeted to fewer than 400,000 barrels a year. More oil is pumped from the ground in one day in North Dakota—where the fracking boom has added more than 2,000 new wells in recent years—than Nevada produced in 2012.”

 

Mackey School of Mines Building, University of...

Mackey School of Mines Building, University of Nevada , Reno, Nevada (Photo credit: Ken Lund)

But, Nevada could soon join the ranks of the states that are experiencing an economic boom and job creation due to oil-and-gas development. And, that has got to have the environmental groups, which are hell-bent on stopping it, in panic mode. Until now, their efforts in Nevada have been focused on blocking big solar development.

 

Solar Two Power Tower Project

Solar Two Power Tower Project (Photo credit: GoShows)

A year ago, the BLM held an oil-and-gas lease sale in Reno. At the sale, 29 federal land leases, totaling about 56 square miles, were auctioned off, bringing in $1.27 million. One of the winning bidders is Houston-based Noble Energy, which plans to drill as many as 20 exploratory wells and could start drilling by the end of the year. Commenting on its acreage, Susan Cunningham, Noble senior vice president, said: “We’re thrilled with the possibilities of this under-explored petroleum system.”

The parcels made available in April 2013 will be developed using hydraulic fracturing, about which Coyner quipped: “If the Silver State’s first big shale play pays off, it could touch off a fracking rush in Nevada.” Despite the fact that fracking has been done safely and successfully for more than 65 years in America, the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Nevada-based senior scientist, Ron Mrowka, told the Las Vegas Review Journal: “Fracking is not a good thing. We don’t feel there is a safe way to do it.”

The BLM made the leases available after someone, or some company, nominated the parcels, and the process to get them ready for auction can easily take a year or longer. One year before the April 2013, sale, CBD filed a “60-day notice of intent to sue” the BLM for its failure to protect the desert tortoise in the Gold Butte area—where Bundy cattle have grazed for more than a century.

Because agencies like the BLM are often staffed by environmental sympathizers, it is possible that CBD was alerted to the pending potential oil-and-gas boom when the April 2013 parcels were nominated—triggering the notice of intent to sue in an attempt to lock up as much land as possible before the “fracking rush” could begin.

A March 25, 2014 CBD press release—which reportedly served as the impetus for the current showdown—states: “Tortoises suffer while BLM allows trespass cattle to eat for free in Nevada desert.” It points out that the Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan purchased and then retired grazing leases to protect the endangered tortoise.

Once Bundy’s cattle are kicked off the land to protect the tortoise, the precedent will be set to use the tortoise to block any oil-and-gas development in the area—after all environmentalists hate cattle only slightly less than they hate oil and gas. Admittedly, the April 13 leases are not in the same area as Bundy’s cattle, however, Gold Butte does have some oil-and-gas exploration that CBD’s actions could nip in the bud. Intellihub reports: “The BLM claims that they are seizing land to preserve it, for environmental protection. However, it is obvious that environmental protection is not their goal if they are selling large areas of land to fracking companies. Although the land that was sold last year is 300 and some miles away from the Bundy ranch, the aggressive tactics that have been used by federal agents in this situation are raising the suspicion that this is another BLM land grab that is destined for a private auction.”

The Natural News Network also sees that the tortoise is being used as a scapegoat: “Anyone who thinks this siege is about reptiles is kidding themselves.” It adds: “‘Endangered tortoises’ is merely the government cover story for confiscating land to turn it over to fracking companies for millions of dollars in energy leases.” The Network sees that it isn’t really about the critters; after all, hundreds of desert tortoises are being euthanized in Nevada.

Though the Intellihub and Natural News Network point to the “current showdown” as being about allowing oil-and-gas development, I believe that removing the cattle is really a Trojan horse. The tortoise protection will be used to block any more leasing.

On April 5, 2014, CBD sent out a triumphant press release announcing that the “long-awaited” roundup of cattle had begun.

What I am presenting is only a theory; I am just connecting some dots. But over-and-over, an endangered or threated species or habitat is used to block all kinds of economic development. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the lesser prairie chicken and the huge effort ($26 million) a variety of industries cooperatively engaged in to keep its habitat from being listed as threatened. The effort failed and the chicken’s habitat was listed. In my column on the topic, I predicted that these listings were likely to trigger another sage brush rebellion that will challenge federal land ownership. The Bundy showdown has brought the controversy front and center.

For now, southern Nevada’s last rancher has won the week-long standoff that has been likened to Tiananmen Square. Reports state that “the BLM said it did so because it feared for the safety of employees and members of the public,” not because it has changed its position.

While this chapter may be closing, it may have opened the next chapter in the sage brush rebellion. The Bundy standoff has pointed out the overreach of federal agencies and the use of threatened or endangered species to block economic activity.

Chuck’s Note: Look for related articles below Ms Noon’s Bio:

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.

Related articles

 

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Grandfather Harry May Not Tarry

Fair Use Notice

The article found below is followed by a link to the complete story which originally appeared in  the Washington Free Beacon.  This excerpt by Daniel Halper appears in The Weekly Standard as a blog.

‘The Grandfather: The Autumn of Patriarch Harry Reid”

Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.

In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.

Now, with his majority in danger, his president unpopular, his floor agendaobstructed by members of his own caucus, Reid thrashes about uncontrollably. He calls Obamacare horror stories “untrue.” He says Obamacare numbers are not as high as projected because Americans “are not educated on how to use the Internet.” His Senate Majority PAC launches a $3 million ad campaign tying Republican candidates to two men most Americans have never heard of, two men who, funnily enough, are more popular than Reid.

From the floor of the Senate Reid says these two men, Charles and David Koch, are “un-American,” are trying “to buy America.” Without the terrible specter of the Koch brothers Harry Reid would be disarmed. He has no issue for his Democratic Senators to run on; the minimum wage and climate change are not enough. Nor has he another means of inspiring donors to open their checkbooks. He only has fear, fear of the Kochs, fear of extractive industry, fear of the portion of the elite that favors economic freedom. The Koch brothers, Reid says, “rig the system to benefit themselves.” He should know.

Whole thing here.

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Marita Noon: Death By Renewables

We will wager the average Joe or Jane Blow (pun intended) has no idea of the real cost of renewable energy … particularly wind energy.

Let Marita clue you in:

Greetings!

I had a different topic in mind for this week (maybe next week) but when late on Friday, December 7, the DOI announced the 30 year bird-kill permit, I couldn’t ignore the topic—though at the time I was too far into Harry Reid to switch topics. Interestingly, there was a lot of new news during the past week that allows this week’s column to be filled with fresh insights—such as the Friday, December 13, California Energy Commission announcement about its “likely” denial of a major Riverside County solar power project that has been criticized for posing an unacceptable risk to birds and other wildlife. And, the December 12 WSJ editorial, Powering Down the Wind Subsidy. There is much additional research interwoven into this week’s commentary: Death by Renewables (attached and pasted-in-below)—including a call to action at the end.

Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy Death by Renewables!

Marita Noon, Executive Director

EnergyMakesAmericaGreat Inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Commentary by Marita NoonExecutive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1163

Death by Renewables

“Even green projects have an impact on their surrounding environment.” Green energy, specifically so-called renewables, has been sold to the American public as the answer to a host of crimes against the planet. But, as Lex Berko points out in her post on Motherboard, “even green” has its downside. Biomass may be “renewable,” but burning it releases CO2. Then, it’s expensive: “A 100% renewable-energy mix from in-state sources could cost up to five times more,” reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). And, energy from wind and solar sources kills birds.

Wind turbines chop up bald and golden eagles, and other endangered species, like a Cuisinart—the taller turbines with longer blades (which produce more energy, and, therefore, is where the trend is heading) have a predicted annual ten-fold mortality increase. The authors of  a new study on bird collision mortality at wind facilities concludes: “Given that we found evidence for increased bird mortality with increasing height of monopole turbines along with a move toward increasing turbine size, we argue that wildlife collision risk should be incorporated with energy efficiency considerations when evaluating the ‘greenness’ of alternative wind energy development options.” If the Department of Energy were to meet its 2030 goal of having 20 percent of the nation’s electricity generated from wind, they project: “a mean annual mortality estimate of roughly 1.4 million birds.”

Hundreds of acres of photovoltaic solar panels confuse migratory water birds, such as the “once-critically endangered brown pelican whose lifestyle involves fishing by diving into open water,” to veer miles out of their way to dive toward what they perceive are lakes or wetlands—only to die from “blunt force trauma.” At the largest solar thermal plant in the world, Ivanpah, owned by BrightSource Energy, the 170,000 reflecting mirrors—designed to “superheat liquid in boilers”—literally fries feathers. The USA Today reports that the intense radiation—called solar flux—has singed some birds, melted feathers, and denatured the protein in their wings as they fly through the intense heat. Unable to fly, the injured birds drop out of the sky and die.

The federally Endangered Yuma clapper rail, the dramatic-looking black-crowned night heron, double-crested cormorant, red-breasted merganser, American coots, warblers, goldfinches, a common raven, and a barn owl—just to name a few, may get a reprieve from being lured to their death by solar power plants.

USA Today references a “solar-industrial corridor” along I-10 in Riverside County, California, which was to have 80 percent of its 148,000 acres covered with solar panels or mirrors. However, it reports: “Today, that seems unlikely. Industry trends are toward smaller solar projects and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) loan-guarantee program has ended.” (Remember, last week, I reported on the crony corruption behind the loan approval process for BrightSource’s Ivanpah project.) Additionally, Friday, December 13, was unlucky for the solar industry—but lucky for the birds. Giving official recognition of the threat solar power tower projects pose to wildlife, The California Energy Commission announced that it is “likely to deny approval to a major Riverside County solar power project that has been criticized for posing an unacceptable risk to birds and other wildlife.”

The bald and golden eagles aren’t so lucky. The Friday before, December 6, the Obama Administration announced an extension of the existing five-year eagle take permit. Effective immediately, the new rule issued by the Department of Interior (DOI) will grant 30-year permits allowing wind farms to “accidently kill federally protected eagles.” The “rule” is in direct violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act passed by Congress in 1940. Once again, executive action trumps the law. The DOI decision prompted this response from Mike Daulton, vice president of government relations for the National Audubon Society: “This is going to lead to more dead eagles—plain and simple.”

To encourage Interior Secretary Jewell to reverse the decision, the National Audubon Society has set up a direct email option with a customizable letter to Secretary Jewell that states: “The 30-year permit rule is a blank check for the wind industry and provides no comfort or confidence at all that you will be protecting America’s majestic Bald and Golden Eagles and safeguarding their populations.”

Like the expiration of the DOE loan guarantee program has increased the likelihood populations of migratory birds will survive death by renewables, the pending expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy could help the eagles and other raptors that are attracted to the towering turbines.

A December 12 WSJ editorial, Powering Down the Wind Subsidy, points out, as the subtitle states: “How Congress can achieve something by doing nothing.” The WSJ is encouraging Congress to “do nothing” and allow the PTC to expire as scheduled on December 31—which would save taxpayers $18 billion over the next five years. Expire it may, as the current budget deal takes away last minute negotiations that got it extended last year—but that doesn’t mean it is really gone. The PTC has expired several times in its twenty-year history and has always been extended retroactively—which is what we may be facing this year. The WSJ states: “The wind lobby is now trying to get the subsidy included in a January ‘tax extender’ package and made retroactive.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on December 13, for the first time hinted, according to Politico.com, that he may push the Senate to consider a tax extenders package. Wyden said: “If you didn’t have tax reform and you didn’t have extenders, you’d do crushing damage to solar, wind and renewables.” No mention was made of the “crushing damage” to America’s migratory bird population or to the bald and golden eagles.

Wyden will likely have his way. While, as I’ve written previously, Republicans generally oppose government subsidies and support the energy that actually works, and Democrats, like Wyden, tend to favor government giveaways and support the energy that they “hope” will “change” and actually work—there are plenty of Republicans who will help him push the “extenders” package and give the PTC back (despite the probable expiration on December 31). Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, where the PTC extension originates, and he recently predicted a PTC extension. With just a handful of Republicans, such as Orin Hatch (UT), Pat Roberts (KS), John Thune (SD), and Mike Crapo (ID)—all of whom voted for the extension in 2012, the PTC could be hailed a “bipartisan victory.”

Think of the millions of birds being killed by renewables. Think of the billions of taxpayer dollars that have gone down the drain in “the quest for the holy grail of cheap renewable power.” Whether you oppose death by renewables for avian or economic reasons isn’t important. But what does matter is making your opposition heard. Send your customizable National Audubon Society letter to Secretary Jewell and contact the Republican Senators listed above and tell them to stop supporting wind welfare.

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.

Marita Noon: Exposes Dingy Harry’s Pre-Knowledge

Another excellent article from Marita Noon.  The related articles posted at the bottom of Ms. Noon’s story were placed by myself.

Harry Reid saw the potential (dollars in green energy) before anyone else

We are weeks away from being fully immersed in the 2014 election cycle. Predictions abound, likening the 2014 cycle to 2010—when the House flipped from Democratic to Republican. Only this time, it is the Senate that has the potential to change. Twenty of the 33 seats up in 2014 are currently held by Democrats—more than half of whom are in trouble.

 

In 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was up for reelection—for his fifth term—and he was facing “a ferocious challenge.” He was “in trouble.” Remember, 2010 was the year of Tea Party victory. In light of the mounting government debt, pork barrel spending was no longer vogue. But Senator Harry Reid, apparently, didn’t get the memo. “The 71-year-old one-time boxer touted his ability to bring federal money to his home state—no one could do more,” said the HuffPost coverage of his “surprise” win.

 

A May 2010 internal email addressing the need to expedite Department of Energy (DOE) green-energy loan approvals for projects in Reid’s district says: “Reid is constantly hit at home for not bringing in the federal dollars.” In the email, reported Obama bundler and former Clinton Administration staffer, Jonathan Silver, who was, at the time, the executive director of the Loan Programs Office, was to assure Reid that he anticipated “a good number of projects to be approved in the coming months.”

 

Reid saw the potential in green-energy dollars before anyone else. He laid the foundation to allow him to bring home the “federal dollars.”

 

The White House and DOE insiders helped Reid secure green-energy stimulus funds for his home state of Nevada—which he touted in his 2010 campaign. He is tied to more than $3 billion of taxpayer money—currency that created just over 200 permanent jobs.

 

The Washington Times reported: “Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, who led passage of the $814 billion stimulus bill and worked to include the loan guarantee program to help finance clean-energy projects…” The 2009 stimulus package—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—was jammed-packed full of clean-energy provisions, about 10 percent (nearly $100 billion) of the monies were earmarked for renewable energy.

 

Having “worked to include the loan guarantee program,” Reid was frustrated when the federal dollars weren’t flowing into Nevada fast enough.

 

Seven months after the stimulus was signed into law, Reid, sent a letter, dated September 23, 2009, to President Obama, complaining about the “slow pace of implementation of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee programs.” In it, Reid patted himself on the back for his role (via the stimulus bill) in helping to “appropriate an additional $6 billion for an expanded loan guarantee program.” Despite Reid’s acknowledgement of the “risks” involved, he proceeded to request that “obstacles be cleared away,” and basically demanded that the ARRA monies for the loan program be “rapidly” dispensed.

 

Reid had campaign donors anxiously waiting for the federal dollars. The Washington Free Beacon revealed that executives from three companies that received millions through the “fast-track” approvals all donated to Reid and other Democrats—Nevada Geothermal, Ormat Nevada, and SolarReserve—have contributed more than $58,000 since 2008. Additionally, the then-CEO of BrightSource energy—which ultimately received $1.6 billion in stimulus funds—hosted a fundraiser for Reid.

 

Each of these projects did receive the federal dollars—but not because they were such great projects. President Obama has declared that DOE decisions had “nothing to do with politics.” But, all four of the above, plus a transmission project originally known as Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP), were speculative—at best. Their ratings, along with the majority (22 out of 26 projects) of the stimulus-created 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, were rated as “junk” grade investments (“with a high likelihood of failure”), yet the taxpayer-backed loans were approved, with many of these projects also being awarded huge amounts of free taxpayer cash in the form of stimulus grants. Why? Politics.

 

Loan Program Office emails indicate that Reid’s projects were prioritized because they were “high profile,” “tied to larger events,” or because they had Reid’s support. Here’s a sampling from the hundreds of leaked emails relating to the various Reid projects:

•    December 5, 2009: “Reid may be desperate. WH might want to help. Short term considerations may be more important than longer term considerations and what’s a billion anyhow?”

•    December 20, 2009: “ANYTHING you guys would be willing to do with DOE would be deeply appreciated.”

•    April 14, 2010: “This is a very high profile transaction that has, within the past 2 weeks, become the subject of a ton of high level focus. It is a priority for Jonathan…”

•    October 13, 2010: “We (and OMB) have huge political pressure to get this deal done…”

•    March 7, 2011: “We need a commitment from the WH to quarterback loan closure between OMB and the DOE”

•    March 9, 2011: “…politically it’s better to do it next week and take a victory lap even BEFORE the cps are finalized.”

 

These five projects gave Reid bragging rights at a time when he most needed it.

 

Reid’s 2010 campaign included this slogan: “FIGHTING FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS IN NEVADA.” In a campaign document, he brags about his “efforts in passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” and about pursuing “consistent federal incentives to develop clean renewable energy resources.”

 

The projects were used as campaign photo ops and talking points that helped the connected companies seeking the loans. Ormat Nevada, Inc.’s director of policy and business development, Paul Thomsen, was featured in a 2010 campaign ad where he states: “Harry Reid saw the potential for geothermal before just about anyone else.” It is important to note that Thomsen served as an aide to Reid from 2002-2005 and he also contributed to Reid’s campaign. Regarding SWIP, the Las Vegas Sun reported: Reid gets “an election-year trophy.”

 

Reid’s role in the green-energy, crony-corruption story is illustrative of the election scam that so often takes place in America. Once again, Obama lied. These loans were given for political reasons. They gave Harry Reid an election-year platform and victory.

 

The whole green-energy, crony-corruption story is convoluted and difficult to grasp—which, I believe, is part of the goal. It is so twisted and interconnected that the average person is unlikely to have the time to dig through the whole story. Only hard-core politicos care enough to follow the trail—which is why, for the past 18 months Christine Lakatos and I have covered the saga. Christine has done the in-depth research; I’ve presented the capsulized version. I hope this taste has tempted you to dig deeper.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid knows how to work the system. He’s not up for reelection in 2014, but 20 of his friends are. Like Reid, they voted for the 2009 stimulus bill that launched the entire green-energy, crony-corruption scandal that took nearly $100 billion taxpayer dollars to pay off donors to Harry Reid, President Obama and other high-ranking Democrats. More than fifty of those stimulus-funded projects, coupled with additional clean-energy funds, have gone bankrupt—or are circling the drain—and have taken our money with them.

 

These five “junk-rated” stimulus loans were rushed so they could offer Reid election year trophies. Of the five, two are facing trouble. The other three, after years of receiving taxpayer money, are still incomplete. Plus, BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power project has been “executing birds.”

 

More than $3 billion went to Reid’s friends with the promise that the federal dollars would create “tens of thousands of green jobs.” A little more than 200 permanent jobs have actually been created.

 

Harry Reid saw the potential before anyone else all right. Green energy was a gold mine for him and his cronies.

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.

Related articles

Emulating Tumblebugs Could Help Cover Progressive Scat

We are posting this piece to train folks to think outside of the “piles” of scat words left by progressives such as Chris Matthews, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others inclined to talk scat.

If you have lived around livestock or other animals, you may have happened upon a Tumblebug transporting food for itself and its progeny.  The Tumblebug is also called Scarab Beetle or Dung Beetle, the latter appellation should give a clue as to what Tumblebugs are working with and in for the duration of their time beginning when they hatch as larvae and begin their journey to “bughood,” or “beetledom.”  Stay with me.  This really is “molding,” into a correlation helpful to Conservatives.

In my mind, progressives can be assigned the role of a sphere of scat molded from the many stupid utterances they  pitch to Conservatives and other loyal Americans.  The Tumblebugs, assigned as clean-up crew, are akin to Conservatives arriving after a battle to bury the stinking progressives … somewhat as Obama did with terrorist Osama bin Laden.

There is a short 17 minute video found by clicking the link below.  If you access the link I’m certain you will find ways to continue the fight to rid the world of progressives — we just have to study beetles to beat the mammals bugging us.

So, advance Tumblebugs and rid the world of the piles of progressive scat tossed toward all areas of our formerly free Republic. Click below to watch an interesting piece of entertainment and education by Marcus Byrne on TED.com

The Dance Of The Dung Beetle

Don’t forget to follow related articles found below.

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Union Registers Non-Citizens To Vote In Nevada

In the land of Nevada, home of Harried Hapless Harry, a Senator of which the entire nation can be ashamed; a culinary union someplace in Las Vegas, has been caught with their knives dull and tongues and pens sharp.  So sharp, they were able to threaten and cajole a couple of hapless illegal immigrants to sign-up to vote as citizens.  Of course there could have been more than a couple, but we have been told of two for certain.The story doesn’t stop there and we see similar actions by different unions happening across this nation.

In our opinion, it makes distrustful any politician that has accepted endorsements and money from several unions.  Okay, how about distrustful and more than a little suspect.  Then if those same politicians love and support abortion and other progressive ideals, I’m concerned as to their fitness to represent myself and other Christians I count as my brothers and sisters.

It is certainly something to consider as we go to the last day in this election cycle.  More, it is something to keep in the front of our minds when we consider all the candidates we have running for all our state and federal offices.

When you New Mexico residents cast your vote tomorrow, save yourself a lot of thought and anguish and vote straight Republican for all the open offices starting with President on down to the lowest office open for grabs.

Now, just click on the link just below and read the story about the Nevada union mentioned above and don’t forget to read any related article following:

Cutting Up With The Culinary

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Marita Noon: POTUS Won’t Cede Green Energy Failure

Obama won’t cede green energy failures

Marita Noon

If he succeeds in his run for a second term, President Obama doesn’t intend to tone down his efforts to push for green energy. Instead of learning from his mistakes, he plans to “do more.”

During his recent sit down with Steve Kroft for the interview that aired on 60 Minutes, the President was asked about green energy–though the clip was omitted from the program that the American public saw.

Kroft: “You said one of your big campaign themes was that green energy, the green economy, was going to be a tremendous generator of jobs and that has not turned out to be the case, yet.”

Obama: “We have tens of thousands of jobs that have been created as a consequence of wind energy alone. Is that enough? Absolutely not. Can we do more? Yes. … This is still an industry in its infancy. … Has it all paid off yet? Absolutely not. But I am not going to cede those new jobs, the jobs of the future, to countries like China or Germany that are making those same investments.”

One could argue that the $80 billion, plus, in stimulus funds that were designated for green energy projects have “paid off”–just not for the American tax payer. During the summer, with the help of researcher Christine Lakatos, I produced a series of reports on the Obama green-energy, crony-corruption scandal. Through those reports, we profiled a series of companies and showed how people with political connections to the Obama Administration had a return on their green energy investment that “paid off” at rates greater than anything available on Wall Street. Each report detailed the players involved, their connections to the White House and/or other high-ranking Democrats, such as the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and powerful Senator Diane Feinstein–something we can expect “more” of in his green-energy, green-economy emphasis during an Obama second term.

No, President Obama is not going to “cede.” He will not admit failure; he’ll do more. We can expect more failure- à la Solyndra, which is only the most well-known green energy, stimulus fund failure.

Here, in a new series of reports, Lakatos and I will expose the various failures of Obama’s green-energy expenditures: projects that have gone bankrupt (approximately 19), those that are heading that way (approximately 20), and the jobs he says he has created (at an average cost of $6.7 million per job)-all while raising energy costs, serving as a hidden tax on all Americans.

I’ve done dozens of radio interviews on the Obama green-energy, crony-corruption scandal reports, during which I am repeatedly asked about the stimulus recipients that have gone “belly up.” The number is difficult to calculate, as there are various ways to view the data. Did they get grants, loans, loan guarantees, tax incentives or credits, or some combination? Through which programs were the funds distributed?

In this first-of-the-series report, we use a broad brush–if the green-energy project received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (known as the stimulus) and it went bankrupt, we’re covering it. Our research shows that, to date, 15 projects belong in this first group–though there are several other projects for which there is not enough data available to make a definitive conclusion, that appear to have received some form of Stimulus funds and have gone bankrupt (we’ve listed them at the end). In an effort to produce an easily readable report, we will not go into detail regarding each and every project that involves “crony corruption.” Instead, we’ll simply place an * after the project/company’s name to indicate a political connection (more than 60%). We’ll provide the pertinent facts and a few interesting details. We’ll start with Solyndra–because it is the most widely known. Next we’ll cover Abound Solar and Beacon Power. Like Solyndra, they’ve received a fair amount of press. The remaining projects are presented here in alphabetical order–unless you follow this topic closely, you probably never heard of any of them. We are including links that will take you to additional information.

As you read through the list below, think about the Obama administration’s attitude toward these projects. Do you want “more” of this?

Solyndra*

Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011

What started as an unworthy investment, snagged a 2010 White House endorsement, only to become a public relations nightmare that included a loan restructuring (an apparent violation of the law) and even a plot to hide the company’s troubles from the 2010 midterm glare. Solyndra became a cautionary tale of sorts: a failed Obama green investment, one of the first to go kaput, unethical executive bonuses included, leaving in its wake FBI raids, and a trail of resignations and damning emails, all evidence that Obama’s “clean” energy is dirty.

Research informs us that, “Every Obama Chief Of Staff, staffers across numerous agencies, government watchdogs, even Solyndra investors knew that the risks were too high for taxpayers.”

Solyndra, which came from humble junk beginnings, now has its place in history: an art exhibit at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, at the price tag of half a billion taxpayer dollars.

Abound Solar*

Received part of a $60 million grant under the Bush administration, and was awarded a $400 million loan under Obama in December of 2010. Abound was awarded a $9.2-million loan from the Export-Import Bank in July 2011. Bankrupt: June 2012

President Obama, in July 2010, praised Abound Solar, which was to make advanced solar panels in two locations: Colorado and Indiana. He believed these plants would be huge job creators: “2000 construction jobs and 1500 permanent jobs.” In December 2011, CEO Craig Witsoe called Abound Solar the “anti-Solyndra” saying that his company “doing well and growing.” However, just months after that optimistic report, Abound Solar filed bankruptcy-blaming cheap imports from China. Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter for Colorado Watchdog found that “Abound’s problems appear to have been rooted in the quality of its own products, the competitiveness of the business model, and its inability to retain top talent.”

Beacon Power*

Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011

Beacon Power was to have provided a much-needed link to make the renewable-energy dream a reality: energy storage. The biggest, chunk of cash–$43 million was awarded to Beacon to create a 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant. Despite the fact that Standard & Poor’s ran two default scenarios with dismal conclusions, the DOE ignored S&P and its own internal analysis and finalized the loan guarantee in July 2010. Perhaps it was the Washington insiders connected to Beacon that got the loan through. While the ink was still drying on the loan, ABC News reported: “In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to the progress on $43 million energy loan.” Despite Obama’s animosity toward “executive bonuses,” these have been off his attack radar as Beacon Power is one of his chosen winners–that lost 15 months after being anointed.

AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*

Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.

There is some controversy on this company. AES Eastern Energy Limited Partnership filed for Bankruptcy. The parent company, AES Corporation was not included in the filing. AES Energy Storage received, according to a DOE announcement, “a loan guarantee for $17.1 million to support the construction of a 20-megawatt energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries.” CBS News did an investigative report that connected AES Energy Storage with AES Eastern Energy and news coverage of the bankruptcy includes “13 affiliated entities.” The following facts cannot be ignored. Kristina Johnson served on the board of AES from 2004-2009 and then again has served as a director since January 2011. In between, she served as Undersecretary for Energy at the DOE–during the time that AES Energy Storage received the loan guarantee, once complete, she was back at AES. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Amonix*

Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012.

The Amonix website describes them as: “the leading designer and manufacturer of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) commercial solar power systems.” On January 8, 2010, President Obama announced $5,889,149, a 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit for Amonix’s Las Vegas Facility And $3,629,998, a 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit for Amonix’s Phoenix Facility. On August 7, 2010, in a speech about the economy at University of Nevada Las Vegas, President Obama praised the success of the program. On March 22, 2011, Amonix received a $355,056 Grant, on April 26, 2011, it received a $2,079,827 grant and on May 24, 2011, received a $5,276,414 grant-all through the 1603 Program. On September 1, 2011, Amonix was awarded $4,474,000 through DOE’s Sunshot Initiative. Nearly a year after Obama’s visit, on May 18, 2011, Amonix opened the North Las Vegas facility. A month later, Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, visited the plant and said: “It’s companies like this and its programs that we’re trying to do here that will really propel us forward to create jobs, to create prosperity and to create green energy.” A year later, the 700 employees who worked there at its peak were all laid off.

Azure Dynamics*

Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012

Azure Dynamics was a British Columbia-based electric-vehicle firm. It supplied hybrid and electric powertrains for Ford’s electrified Transit Connect vans. Azure also made gasoline-electric hybrid buses. In 2010, the city of Terre Haute, Indiana, bought two of them with stimulus funds. The buses are reported to have been a “maintenance nightmare.” Before bankruptcy, the buses frequent repairs had been paid for by Azure. Terre Haute will now, likely, be responsible for repairs. The buses were painted red and green to “symbolize the transition from the conventional buses to new green technology.” As it turned out, the red and green symbolized a watermelon-from the outside, it appears to be green. Once you look into it, you see red ink. Azure Dynamics laid off 120 employees worldwide.

Babcock & Brown*

Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009.

The “gone with the wind” story is a little tricky and has many facets starting with a remarkable detail, millions in grants went to wind farms built before the stimulus even passed. You’ll be “blown away” by the fact that the majority of these “wind energy grants” doled out by the Obama administration went overseas.  According to a February 2010 analysis of the program by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, “money from the 2009 stimulus bill to help support the renewable energy industry continues to flow overseas.”  But here is where it gets more twisted, $178 million, the third largest 1603 grant, was awarded to Babcock & Brown in December 2009 (four months after it went bust), a bankrupt Australian company that built a Texas wind farm using turbines made by a Japanese company.” In March 2010, Pattern Energy Group, based in San Francisco, acquired the 283.2 MW Gulf Windenergy project in Texas for an undisclosed sum from Babcock and Brown, which was placed into voluntary liquidation in March 2009.

Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar

Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.

Uni-Solar was a maker of thin-film solar products for commercial rooftops. Energy Conversion Devices, the parent company of Uni-Solar, was a solar-laminate supplier. Both represented hope for the future for Greenville, Michigan. Both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Hundreds were laid off.

Ener1*

Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.

Based in Greenfield, Indiana, Ener1 was to make batteries for electric cars. One year to the day before Ener1 filed for bankruptcy, on January 26, 2011, Vice President Biden toured the factory and bragged: “Here at Ener1, we’re going to harness electricity and bring it to the world, like Edison did more than a century ago.” Nearly a year later, in the State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed his belief in batteries: “In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.” Three days later, Ener1 filed for Bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal cited “the mismatch between production and market demand” as the cause of Ener1′s causality.

Evergreen Solar, Inc.*

Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011

We know that Evergreen Solar received monies from the state of Massachusetts, but because the various funds given to Evergreen Solar are “unreported and impossible to track,” we have to work to connect Evergreen Solar to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–the stimulus. In an April 22, 2009 White House announcement, the stimulus is credited with providing funds that would allow Evergreen Solar to hire “90-100 people.” Other reports indicate that Evergreen Solar “received $5.3 million of stimulus cash through a state grant to install 11,000 photovoltaic panels installed at 11 colleges and universities, a recycling facility and an education center in Massachusetts.” Once the “darling of the US solar industry,” Evergreen blamed its demise on Chinese rivals and 800 people lost their jobs.

Konarka Technologies Inc.

Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.

Konarka is another Massachusetts solar panel technology company. Like Evergreen, Konarka has received funding from a wide variety of government programs–yet they, too, filed for bankruptcy. Addressing the 183 companies that would get a total of $2.3 billion worth of tax credits for clean-energy manufacturing projects in 43 states as a part of the Stimulus–one of which was Konarka–President Obama, stated: “Building a robust clean-energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future–jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.” Approximately 85 jobs were lost when Konarka went bankrupt.

Raser Technologies

Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011.

Raser Technologies is a renewable energy company focusing on geothermal power development. However, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, it “had problems making its technology work.” Post collapse, “the company that once portrayed itself as leading a geothermal revolution describes itself as the stooge in a cruel and costly joke, one centered around the very technology that it once proudly hailed.” The taxpayers are not laughing.

SpectraWatt*

Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011

SpectraWatt was a solar-panel manufacturer that was spun off of Intel, based in New York where it expected to take advantage of “the most aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in the U.S., mandating that 25% of the State’s energy be derived from renewable sources by the year 2013″ and where they were offered tax breaks to open a manufacturing plant. Likening the solar-panel business to the microprocessor industry in the late 70s, Andrew Wilson, the former general manager in the Intel New Business Initiatives group, SpectraWatt’s CEO, said, “There is a lot to be figured out and improved.” He added, “Intel’s silicon expertise translates in the solar cell industry, even though there are significant differences in the end product.” The company was to focus on improving solar cell efficiency–how well a panel converts light to electricity–as well as cutting the overall cost per watt. Instead, the spinoff spun out.

Stirling Energy Systems

Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing tax credits. Bankrupt: September 28, 2011.

Stirling Energy Systems made large, 38-foot-high reflective dishes, which concentrate sunlight onto a Stirling engine to generate electricity. Stirling’s technology was to be used at the Imperial Valley Solar project, about which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, it would “advance the president’s agenda for stimulating investment in cutting-edge technology, creating jobs for American workers, and promoting clean energy for American homes, businesses and industry.” Construction on the Imperial Valley Solar has been stopped due to an injunction granted last year, after a Native American group filed a suit against it.

Thompson River Power LLC

Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Thompson River Power (TRP), a Montana Power plant, “shows how efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration to fund green-energy jobs extend beyond high-profile failures such as Solyndra LLC.” The plan was that TRP would operate on 100% renewable biomass. The Biomass Power Association said of TRP: “Upon completion of testing and minor conversions to biomass, TRP is a worker-ready resource, which will employ 18 full-time, family-wage workers at the site, as well as an additional 30-40 jobs for the responsible biomass fuel collection and progression of defensible communities in Sanders County.”

Unconfirmed:

LSP Energy

Mountain Plaza Inc.

Olsen Crop Service/Olsen Mills

Willard & Kelsey Solar Group

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.

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