Big D Donors Got The Gold Mine – Taxpayers Got The Shaft

According to a Washington Examiner report last Wednesday, corporate insiders and executives pocketed tens of millions on  Obama’s “green energy” stimulus.

Obama has recklessly wielded the full power of the federal government to force the U.S. into using expensive, exotic and unproven “green” energy, costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. While enriching private investors, corporate insiders and executives of “green” energy companies, Obama has blocked access to enormous oil and gas reserves on federal land – which, by the way, taxpayers actually own.

Corporate insiders at the 15 publicly traded “green energy” companies that received federal stimulus subsidies sold their stock after taxpayer money poured in and before their companies’ values plummeted.

Obama gave more than $700 million in grants and guaranteed another $500 million in loans through his 2009 stimulus package.  The Obama “green” energy portfolio  has fallen by 78%, performing about 5 points worse than green energy companies that didn’t receive taxpayer funds.

Biofuel manufacturer Amyris, Inc. was given $24.3 million to turn plant sugar into diesel fuel, which pushed its stock to $30 a share.  Today, stock is less than $3, Amyris has closed two or its three plants and insiders netted $21 million in stock sales after the firm went public but before its shares plummeted.

Solazyme, another biofuel manufacturer got $21.8 million.  While its stock once traded at more than $25, today its worth less than $9.  Corporate insiders netted $18.4 million in capital gains before the stock crashed.

A123 Systems, the Massachusetts electric-car battery manufacturer got a $249 million grant and went belly-up last month.  When it first went pubic its stock was selling for $25 a share, today zilch.  Officers and directors made a profit of $11 million in stock sales before they closed the doors.

First Solar sold off much of its $3 billion in federal loan guarantees to third parties before it laid off 30% of its workers and  stocks dropped 90%.  Michael Aheam, the head of First Solar made more than $329 million in stock sales.

If this doesn’t underscore the fundamental problem with Obama’s “green” energy initiatives, I don’t know what would unless you consider the following as good examples.

So far 19 “green” energy companies have bit the dirt after getting taxpayer money.  Evergreen Solar – $25 million; Spectra Watt – $500,000; Solyndra – $535 million; Beacon Power – $43 million; Ener1 – $118.5 million; Abound Solar – $400 million; A123 Systems – $279 million; Willard and Kelsey Solar – $700,981; Raser Technologies – $33 million; Energy Conversion – $13.3 million; Mountain Plaza – $2 million; Olsens – $10 million; Range Fuels – $80 million; Thompson River Power – $6.5 million; Stirling Energy – $7 million; Azure Dynamics $5.4 million; Nordic Windpower – $16 million; Satcon – $3 million; and Konarka Technologies – $20 million.

Just last month Obama claimed in an interview on Colorado television that he had nothing to do with decisions in the troubled “green” energy loan program.  He said they were “decisions that are made by the Department of Energy – they had nothing to do with politics.”  Really!

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggests otherwise.   Emails shows that not only was Obama directing his “green” energy loan program but pressured officials to speed up the loan process and even intervened in some cases.

Why would Obama push loans and loan guarantees to companies that the government knew were not credit worthy, companies that had received junk credit ratings prior to the approval of government loans?  Could it be payback for supporting his 2008 campaign and his 2012 re-election campaign?

  • Pat Stryker, a big Democratic donor was the founder of Bohemian Companies, was one of the largest investors  in Abound Solar who got $400 million.  She bundled more than $100,000 for Obama’s 2008 inauguration.
  • The brother of  board member Lydia Kennard at Prologis bundled at least half a million for Obama in 2008.  Prologis got $1.4 billion.
  • Arvia Few, a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign, just happens to be married to Jason Few, an executive a NRG Energy who got $3.5 billion.
  • John Bryson, appointed by Obama in 2011 as Secretary of Commerce, just happened to be the former Chairman of BrightSource who received $1.6 billion.
  • George Kaiser, who bundled at least $50,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, was a primary financial backer of Solyndra who got $535 million.
  • Karn Alter was Solyndra’s Sr. V.P. of Marketing.  She gave the Obama campaign $23,000.  As a matter of public record, Solyndra executives donated more than $100,000 to the Obama campaign and other Democratic groups.
  • Paul Thomsen, Director of Policy and Business Development for Ormat, starred in a re-election ad for Harry Reid touting stimulus benefits.  His Company, Ormat, received $350 million.

To paraphrase song writer Jerry Reed – Democratic Donors  got the gold mine – Taxpayers got the shaft.




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