January 25, 2021

Marita Noon on Energy Part I

Posted on 05. Nov, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Energy/Environment

The following articles have been combined from several submissions by Marita Noon during the month of October. – Editor

OPEC bets on Obama

First it went up—an expected reaction to the expanding anti-American riots taking place in the Middle East and Israel’s “hawkish statements.” Then, almost inexplicably, it went down—while the reasons for the increase remained intact.

Industry experts have come up with a variety of explanations as to why the price of crude oil suddenly dropped from “a four month high of $117.95”—with American gasoline prices at “the highest ever level for this time of the year”—to “their lowest in six weeks.”

A wide range of reasons are offered: expiring futures contracts; doubts about the pace of global economic recovery; the restart of production, shipment, and refining following hurricane Isaac; a bigger than expected increase in US crude oil stocks; a decrease in the spread between WTI and Brent; improved vehicle-mileage standards; and even the fat fingers of a trader.

One week ago, when oil prices reached their current peak, Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, said that crude oil ought to be at least $150 a barrel. The reason? “Current oil prices were not high enough to threaten the world economy.”

Make no mistake. The Arab world is well aware of the potential choke-hold the countries have on the “world economy,” and they like the control position. They enjoy it when American presidents grovel, and even bow.

They know we have to come to them and press for more production every time the geopolitics—much of which they control—heats up the price of oil. Addressing the “highest ever,” “for this time of year” gasoline prices of $3.87 a gallon, the Financial Times states: “The White House is watching.” There are rumblings about a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

A current AP article heralds: “Gas prices, not jobs stats, are key numbers for voters.” The subtitle hammers the point: “Gas prices and grocery bills are more likely to sway voters than the monthly jobs report, economists and pollsters say. Gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon and could be key in deciding the presidential race.”

Four-dollar-a-gallon is widely believed to be the current tipping point at which the public goes berserk and beseeches the president to do something—though as CNBC anchor Brian Sullivan chirps “for the majority of the country, $4 gas isn’t going to doom our economy… it looks like $5 is the new $4 when it comes to gas prices and the economy.”

While President Obama obviously can do little to calm the radicals rioting in the streets, burning our flag, and shouting anti-American epitaphs, with November 6 in his sight, Obama can ask OPEC for more oil—and more oil supply lowers the price of gasoline and increases his re-election chances. In the tight race, he needs every possible advantage.

Iran’s representative on the board of governors of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Ali Khatibi, gloats: “The United States is trying to artificially bring down prices by pressing oil producing countries to raise output.”

Enter Saudi Arabia—the kind and caring Saudis. Yes, the very same Saudi Arabia ruled by King Abdulla with whom President Bush held hands and to whom President Obama scraped and bowed. There are apparently no news reports on a White House emissary visiting King Abdulla to press for increased output, yet, as the Financial Times reports: Saudi Arabia “has been offering extra oil to its customers.” (Italics added)

Maybe Michelle Malkin was wrong when she said about President Bush: “The hand-holding has gotten us nowhere—and in fact, has made us less secure.” Not likely.

The same Financial Times article quotes “a Gulf-based oil official,” who said that last week’s high oil price was “too high” and that the kingdom “would like to see oil prices back to $100 a barrel.”

So, days apart from each other, we have neighboring OPEC countries saying that prices aren’t “high enough” and that they are “too high.” Which is your truth depends on your goal. Iran’s comment references threatening the world economy—to them it isn’t “high enough.” Saudi Arabia is less ideological; more self-preservationist—to them it is “too high.” But, too high for what?

America has long been known as the Saudi Arabia of coal. Now, we are called the Saudi Arabia of natural gas—even the Saudi Arabia of wind. Recent US discoveries are reported as containing four to six times the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

We could well be the Saudi Arabia of oil—which would mean we don’t need them, and we can supply our own needs and much of the world’s. Without US dollars, how would they drive their Ferraris, adorn themselves with designer goods, and send their children to private American schools?

Question: Saudi Arabia thinks oil prices are “too high” for what?

Answer: Too high for President Obama to get re-elected.

Saudi Arabia is betting on Obama; they have a vested interest in his victory. They know that if Obama gets a second term, America’s riches in natural resources will stay in the ground, and we’ll remain dependent on them. Therefore, Saudi Arabia has “pledged to keep output high to meet demand” “through the end of the year”—might we say, through the election?

Upon hearing my premise, former Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones—with whom I shared the platform at a speaking engagement Friday night, agreed, and added: “Obama doesn’t need to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, he’s got Saudi Arabia doing it for him.”

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has promised to build the Keystone pipeline and develop domestic resources—both of which will bring more North American oil to market, increase supplies, lower prices, and loosen the choke-hold OPEC maintains on the world economy.

If Mitt Romney wins, OPEC loses.

If the US average gasoline price stays above $4 a gallon, OPEC knows that Obama’s chances of re-election are diminished, but if they can keep prices low by pumping more “through the end of the year,” it helps Obama’s re-election efforts.

If Obama wins, OPEC wins. If OPEC wins, America loses. There is no win/win.

No wonder OPEC is betting on Obama.

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who 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.

New emails prove White House lied about DOE green-energy loans

When he is confronted about the failed green-energy loan program, President Obama deflects blame—pointing to “career bureaucrats” in the Department of Energy (DOE) who supposedly approved the loans that have become an embarrassment to the White House.

For months, along with researcher Christine Lakotos, I’ve been reporting on, first, the junk-bond rated projects (such as Solyndra) that received fast-tracked approval from the DOE and, then, the failed and troubled stimulus funded companies.

Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg. Embarrassment after embarrassment has come to light as the projects touted as the hope for America’s future have filed for bankruptcy, sent money and jobs overseas, and faced technical difficulties.

The 1705 loan guarantee program had 460 applicants, but only 7% were approved—26 projects were funded. Of those 26 projects 22 were junk-bond rated—meaning private investors wouldn’t fund them. So why did we, the taxpayers?

Our research showed that at least 90% of the projects had close ties to the White House and other high ranking Democrats. Despite the obvious connection, President Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement—preferring to blame “career bureaucrats” who could take the fall with no political consequence.

In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, testified that, “We looked at the loans on their own merits.” Also, back in November 2011, he said: “I am aware of no communication from White House to Department of Energy saying to make the loan or to restructure.”

Just last week, on October 26, President Obama affirmed Chu’s position when he said: “Decisions made in the loan program office are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”

However, late Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a new report of “over 150 emails that contradict statements by the President, Secretary Chu, and White House and DOE officials.” The emails reveal a series of questionable practices, including coercion, cronyism and, cover ups.

The Committee has been asking for the emails and additional testimony since the Solyndra story broke in September of 2011, but the DOE has been refusing to cooperate. Emails were finally leaked from former DOE employees. Some of the incriminating evidence includes the following:

From an email dated March 1, 2010 from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan
Origination to LPO Credit Advisor McCrea and others: “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).”

From an email dated June 25, 2010, LPO Executive Director Jonathan Silver encourages LPO Credit Advisor Jim McCrea to remind a Treasury official of White House Interest in now bankrupt Abound Solar:  “You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound.”

From an email dated September 9, 2010 from LPO Credit Advisor McCrea to
DOE contractor Brian Oakley: “Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.”

These emails are just a snippet of the 150 emails we are reviewing as a part of the just-released report. We have covered each of the projects listed above and will report further.

We know that the Obama Administration operates from a “culture of corruption,” now we see that there is also a culture of deception within the White House walls. The White House green lies are bigger than innocent, little white lies, they are expensive green lies that have produced $34.7 billion in red ink for the taxpayers. The Obama green energy program is the largest, most expensive, and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history.

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who 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.

Obama cares more about Big Bird than real birds

The number of days until the election can now be counted on both hands. Regardless of the outcome, we know one issue will be buried under the fiscal-cliff news—where it hopes to fly under the radar. This one issue? The extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy—which is bound to be present in lame-duck session negotiations, as it is currently scheduled to expire on December 31.

Using taxpayer dollars, the PTC supposedly “makes wind power more competitive with other sources of electricity”—though wind energy is still more expensive than traditionally fueled electricity and raises the costs for both residential and industrial users.

Throughout the year, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has been working valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to get the PTC extended. They are now down to the wire and are getting panicked—sending military veterans to meet with staffers of GOP members who are believed to be “persuadable,” and even calling on pension fund managers to put pressure on House and Senate leadership. Their only hope for salvation is the lame-duck session.

Should Romney win, the lame-duck pressure will be even stronger as he has stood in opposition to the PTC extension. In a Romney White House, wind energy will need to be viable without taxpayer subsidy or borrowing from China. After twenty years, it should be, but as we’ve seen, it isn’t.

By contrast, President Obama is proud of his “investments” in wind energy. In April 2011, before Pennsylvania wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa started layoffs, he gave a speech at the Fairless Hills plant in which he announced: “I want the United States to be the leading manufacturer of wind power. I want it made right here in the U.S. of A.” Throughout the campaign season, “President Obama has traveled to wind-heavy swing states like Iowa to tout his support for the subsidy.”

Gamesa is just one of several wind turbine manufacturers who’ve announced layoffs because of the impending PTC expiration. Others include Clipper Wind in Iowa and Vestas in Colorado. All blame the “uncertainty of the PTC.” Orders for new turbines have “screeched to a halt.”

Stories of closures and lay-offs make a very weak case for the PTC’s extension, as none of those tell the net-jobs picture. Many independent studies have concluded that wind development is a net jobs loser, but AWEA isn’t mentioning that detail, and is hoping that “persuadable” Republicans won’t notice that reality. Layoffs in the wind industry pale in comparison to those faced as a result of the Obama Administration’s harsh regulations impacting coal mining and coal-fueled power.

Dramatic stories of closures and lay-offs make a compelling case for the PTC’s extension and pressure “persuadable” Republicans to give in—and the AWEA is counting on it. While most of us are watching polling data, the AWEA is applying pressure.

No one wants to be the meanie who puts people out of work—especially in this economy. But, especially in this economy, the real costs must be considered.

A new report, Subsidizing Big Wind: The Real Costs to Taxpayers, has just been released. Subsidizing Big Wind points out that the PTC “is only one of the subsidies given to the wind industry.” In it, Robert Bryce analyzes all the subsidies the wind industry enjoys: direct subsidies, subsidies in the form of mandates, subsidizing wind-energy jobs, and subsidizing wind companies by exempting them from prosecution. The report shows that “no other part of the energy industry receives such preferential treatment.”

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who 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.

Obama won’t cede green energy failures

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

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who 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.

Obama’s energy leadership shouldn’t be followed

Because energy security is such a vital component of U.S. foreign policy, it was disappointing that it received little more than a brief mention in the final Presidential Debate.

Early in the debate, President Obama, once again, lauded his policies for decreasing America’s oil imports. This is hardly something to brag about. Gasoline consumption is down due to the overall bad economy—fewer people driving to work; and the high prices—fewer people driving for pleasure travel, like a vacation.

He also tried to take credit for the increased oil and gas production at home. It’s been frequently proven that production is up, not because of his policies, in spite of them.

Obama reaffirmed his commitment to “clean energy,” claiming that such “technologies will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020.” Fact checkers are not likely to extend their efforts there, so allow me.

The President has sunk billions and billions of taxpayer dollars into failing enterprises—Solyndra and A123 Systems are just the first and the most recent domino to fall. The majority of these “clean energy” companies produce electricity—and we do not import electricity. Generating more electricity from wind and solar will not “cut our imports in half.”

The only way to “cut our imports in half” is to open up federal lands to exploration and extraction, and expedite permitting to encourage domestic drilling. During last night’s debate, Governor Romney reiterated his commitment to “taking full advantage” of our domestic resources.

In his closing statement, Governor Romney said: “The President’s path will mean continuing declining in take home pay.” While he didn’t specifically address energy here, it is a factor.

As energy costs continue to rise—both electricity and transportation fuels—under President Obama’s policies, everyone’s disposable income goes down with the poor being hit the hardest. The middle class can’t stimulate the economy by buying a new dress, computer, or car, and the poor have to make harsh decisions between heating and eating. The disadvantaged become even more disadvantaged. With “the kind of leadership” President Obama has shown, let’s hope that on November 6 his followers are few.

This article was submitted by the author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon, who 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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