08.27.2012 0

Obama’s pay for play green grants

Obama and SolyndraBy Rebekah Rast — A flood of criticism and questions surround the president’s energy agenda.

Unfortunately for him, it seems his “green” energy ventures reek of biased decision making, thereby rightfully calling his agenda into question.

Forbes states that 71 percent of Department of Energy grants went to “projects involving his [President Obama] major money bundlers, members of his National Finance Committee, or those who contributed as large Democratic Party donors.”

Coincidence or intentional?

Remember Solyndra? It’s often the first example of crony politics in regards to the president’s energy policy that comes to mind.  After receiving a $535 million loan from taxpayers the California-based solar panel company went belly up — leaving taxpayers on the hook.

However, not all was lost for everyone involved. Forbes reports: “Bankruptcy records show that executives pocketed thousands in payments just months before the company dismissed 1,100 workers. At least 17 company executives received two sets of payments — ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 each payment — on the same days in April and July 2011, just as Solyndra was catapulting towards bankruptcy in early September.”

While executives taking a larger piece of the pie in this type of situation might not be out of ordinary, there have been some red flags raised in regards to one of Solyndra’s big investors.  George Kaiser, majority owner of Solyndra, was a huge Obama campaign donor in 2008.  His name has repeatedly shown up on the White House visitor’s log and email evidence proves he was aware the solar panel company was seeking a second federal loan, which never went through.

Maybe this bit of favoritism is a coincidence.  After all, it’s not unusual for a president to look out for his friends no matter what political party they associate themselves with.

But as new information about these lost Department of Energy grants comes to light, fair and transparent politics is nowhere to be found.

Herbert M. Allison Jr. spent four months reviewing the Department of Energy loans and “minimized concerns that the Energy Department was at high risk in more than $23 billion in federal loans awarded to green energy firms,” Fox News reports.

However, after the loan reviews, Allison contributed $52,500 to the Obama campaign.

Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso, member on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said in a press conference that this “so-called” independent investigation “raises a major red flag.”

That is does. Taxpayers have and continue to take a huge hit from these loans to unstable and now-bankrupt “green” companies.

In another instance of suspect cronyism, The New York Times released news about Illinois-based energy producer Exelon Corporation.  It turns out this energy producer’s executives were big supporters and donors to Obama’s campaign, and they too have received preferential treatment from the White House.

The New York Times reports: “With energy an increasingly pivotal issue for the Obama White House, a review of Exelon’s relationship with the administration shows how familiarity has helped foster access at the upper reaches of government and how, in some cases, the outcome has been favorable for Exelon.

“White House records show that Exelon executives were able to secure an unusually large number of meetings with top administration officials at key moments in the consideration of environmental regulations that have been drafted in a way that hurt Exelon’s competitors, but curb the high cost of compliance for Exelon and its industry allies.”

These instances of favoritism are so blatant it would seem Obama’s true energy policy would read something like “If you help me, I’ll help you.”

“Picking winner and losers is not an energy policy,” Senator Barrasso remarked during his press conference.

Knowing the president’s energy plan is a bit shady should raise some alarm.  If this Chicago-esque style of governing were to continue, what does that mean for America’s energy future — and taxpayer dollars?

“We’ll freeze in the winter and sweat to death in the summer,” answers Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG).  “We won’t have any real energy resources left because Obama will just keep handing our money over to his friends.

“His agenda is not an energy policy; it is a looting policy.”

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

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