Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » General Electric Making “Bank” off Obama’s “Green” Stimulus Money; Over $3 Billion and Counting

General Electric Making “Bank” off Obama’s “Green” Stimulus Money; Over $3 Billion and Counting

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter1Share on Facebook9Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

As I was preparing to expose one of the big fish in this green energy scheme –– how General Electric has raked in at least $3 billion of President Obama’s “green” stimulus money  –– two more government-backed renewable energy projects made headlines.  Abound Solar went bust and it seems that Nevada Geothermal Power is going down the drain, both included in the Department of Energy’s excessively risky loan portfolio, adding more embarrassment to the president’s “highly touted green energy initiative.”

Last April, I began to unleash years of research starting with the “Department of Energy “Junk Loans” and Cronyism, Introduction,” setting up the first in a series of at least five topics that will prove cronyism and corruption are the driving forces behind President’s Obama’s green energy agenda, with total disregard for our economy and national debt.

As a recap: the March 2012 House Oversight Investigation revealed that 23 of 27 recipients of the loan guarantees were rated as junk status investments. And according to GAO statistics (and emphasized in the June 19th Congressional hearing), “For the 460 applications to the Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), DOE has made loan guarantees for 7 percent and committed to an additional 2 percent.”  

And who were the “lucky” 7 percent? Of the 27 loans issued (26 as BrightSource was counted twice in the House Oversight report) through the 1705 LGP to 21 firms, virtually all of them have meaningful political connections (bundlers, donors, supporters) –– to either President Obama or other high-ranking Democrats — or both! 

To add insult to “taxpayer injury,” in that same June 19th House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing, Dr. De Rugy (a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University), had some pretty damning testimony, including how the DOE justifies the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program. She even disputed the DOE’s argument that “by investing in green technology, it would create up to 5 million green jobs.” When in reality, De Rugy continues, “the DOE’s own data shows that $16 billion in loans were guaranteed [under the 1705 LGP], and 2378 permanent green jobs were created” –– “that means that for every $6.7 million in taxpayer exposure, ONE job was created!” 

 Keep in mind that 1705 LGP is not the only DOE loan program to be analyzed –– there are three, and since 2009, the DOE has guaranteed a total of $34.7 billion. As you will see, there are also other government agencies and programs doling out billions more in “green” funds.

General Electric, CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Chair of Obama’s Job Council and the Billions They Raked in Through the 2009 Obama Stimulus Package

Whereas General Electric (GE) is a heavy donor to both Republicans and Democrats, and Immelt himself “plays the role of typical corporate donor who hedges his bets on both sides of the fence,” in 2008, GE gave the Obama campaign $529,855, marking them a top Obama donor. Nevertheless, GE is a major player on the clean-energy scene as well as in this green energy scheme. Even The New York Times recognized GE’s “green power,” noting that in 2009, GE lobbied Congress to help expand the “clean-energy subsidy programs, and it now profits from every aspect of the boom in renewable-power plant construction,” including “hundreds of millions in contracts to sell its turbines to wind plants built with public subsidies.” In fact, you’ll be “blown away” by the billions of “wind energy grants” that blew out of the stimulus package back in February 2010, of which GE is contracted to at least 26% of them as the “Turbine Manufacturer.”

In late 2009, it was reported that GE became “one of the newer smart meter players,” and that they “had been working with utility Oklahoma Gas & Electric on a 6,600 smart meter trial, and had procured “a contract with Pepco Holdings (PHI),” which received Smart Grid Investment Grants totaling $168 million. GE also has a big contract with Florida Power and Light,” also the recipient of a $200 million stimulus grant.


Yet, this is just the beginning of the GE “green bucks”…

While a recent “news flash” was published by the Republican National Committee, confirming via that “General Electric received over $1.2 billion worth of stimulus loan guarantees, awards, contracts and grants” (the majority of which were for renewable energy projects), they missed billions more. Two large 1705 loan guarantees that I had outlined in April of this year, as well as a forthcoming $490 million cash grant and a $54.6 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Add in some smaller government subsidies and awards for a multitude of green projects, programs, and through some of their “green alliances,” that I found during my 2011 research, and GE’s “green tab” exceeds $3 billion in direct (some indirectly) taxpayer cash, and counting. ;

About Christine Lakatos

  • Doug Hunter

    Denier! You want to pollute the air and water and probably want baby seals and cuddly little polar bears to die too!

    This is the best scam going as it has built in moral cover. Perhaps a few of the dollars that slip through the cracks in the billionaire’s bank accounts will stumble upon some improvements in alternative energy but I don’t see this as anywhere near the most effective use of resources. The trillions of dollars in the energy market provide plenty of incentives to corporations without government welfare. Those resources should be going to higher education, research grants, program expansions, etc. I think you’d have much better odds of coming across a real green energy breakthrough that way, and the ineffective money would at least be in the education system rather than in jets and yachts (sorry clav).

  • Dr Dreadful

    Well, this is at least a more cogent analysis than the piece on green energy subsidies by Warren “No, Not That Warren” Beatty, who seems to think that the green energy industry is automatically incompetent solely because it’s not his ideological cup of tea.

    In among all of this cherry-picking and innuendo, I have to wonder whether a little source-checking would lead back in many instances to the multinational energy corporations, who all have sophisticated plans to move into alternatives and renewables once oil and gas become intolerably depleted and unprofitable, and doubtless would rather not share the playing field with a bunch of uppity startups.

  • Doug Hunter

    “multinational energy corporations, who all have sophisticated plans to move into alternatives and renewables once oil and gas become intolerably depleted and unprofitable”

    It looks like they’re working on cap and trade as the next step. Since they (big multinational energy) are the biggest emitters now they will get the most credits for lowering emissions once it becomes unprofitable. Those little startups will then have to come begging for some of their carbon credits at whatever price the big guys set for them. Setting prices for your potential competitors… now that’s what a true ‘capitalist’ calls a level playing field!!!

    I’m sure they’re taking a look at the straight carbon tax as well, seeing how that plays out in Oz. I’m but a simpleton with no special access, I can assure you they’ve had well connected genius Ivy league grads and politicians (current and former) working on it for years, they’re plans are much more sophisticated and profitable than the simple version I laid out.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Take ‘em down or buy ‘em out, Doug: the capitalist’s credo when it comes to dealing with competition.

  • Market Analytics

    I appreciate the report out on who won what grants and loans. Is there any view on who lost out? The alternative energy universe is actually quite small and then when you segment it by country it gets smaller.

    I would expect GE to be a large winner as which other US companies are sophisticated enough to 1)track the government opportunities 2)have a track record strong enough to give confidence they can successfully complete their goal?

    If I look at the VC industry KPC is a top brand, they attract top talent and they also have a portfolio of energy start-ups that is riskier than most other well established VCs.

    While I am not for Cronyism I would like to see the data on who was shut out. Unfortunately because we under produce engineers in our country the US base that can take advantage of such “Green give-a-ways” is sadly small.

    Curious to know your thoughts.

  • Igor

    This article points out the willingness of business to suborn government agencies and people regardless of political affiliation.

  • Cindy

    Hey Igor, what do you think of a reality TV show called “Let’s Visit the 1% in Jail!”. As a rule I deplore reality shows, but I think that is one I would watch religiously.

  • Arch Conservative

    Jail? I think you meant prison Cindy. Do you the difference?

    Anyway if the 1% were locked up in prison who would pay all the taxes that the deadbeat Obama supporters don’t pay?

  • christine

    Throw Them All Out of office, and the 1% in jail.

  • zingzing

    archie, being archie: “Anyway if the 1% were locked up in prison who would pay all the taxes that the deadbeat Obama supporters don’t pay?”

    ah, simplicity and ignorance… you think they’d no longer pay taxes (even after their accountants got done with every loophole they could)? besides, if all was right and fair and legal with the world, many of the 1% would have their accounts combed and we could see all the nasty tricks and strewn financial bodies they used to get there. it would probably be a federal budget bonanza. we could solve world hunger and still wage wars!

    somehow, i paid a whopping 32% on my taxable income this past year… dunno how i did it, and i’m pretty sure i made a mistake, but like hell am i alerting the irs. just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    “Do you the difference?”

    there’s this verb which i don’t think you have any ability, nor any reason, to write.

  • Igor

    It’s a good idea to prosecute fraudsters, even if they are just low level, because then they’ll roll over on guys up the chain of command.

    Frauds come about because of an atmosphere of ‘collective irresponsibility’, the idea that if everyone is at fault then no one is at fault. Bosses depend on that to get people to commit frauds they might have misgivings about otherwise.

    The same idea persisted in the 80s in the Savings And Loan scandals, but since they (largely because of Bill Black) sent 1000 bankers to prison congress was able (and willing!) to pass stronger regulations. So, the new scams that bankers have invented should be treated the same way: send fraudsters to prison and get them to roll on their crooked bosses.

    You may lament that it is an ongoing process and you are right. Give people a chance to cheat and someone will. We know what’s required for resolution: eternal vigilance.

    But the alternative is to surrender everything to bullies and thugs.

  • Clavos

    …the multinational energy corporations, who all have sophisticated plans to move into alternatives and renewables once oil and gas become intolerably depleted and unprofitable, and doubtless would rather not share the playing field with a bunch of uppity startups.

    Bingo, Doc! I have long thought that to be the case (and have mentioned it on BC threads), if only because if I were running such a company, I damn sure would want to keep my preeminence as an energy supplier, and would be positioning to take over the “new” energy as soon as the carbon ran out.

    Exxon (e.g.) is not about to rollover and die after they pump that last drop of dead dinosaur, no way!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Of course, Clav. Self-perpetuation is a well-documented sociological phenomenon. Often seen with charities which diversify once the original problem they set out to combat has been solved, e.g. March of Dimes.

    No reason why corporations should behave any differently and in fact they have a stronger motivation for staying in existence, i.e. their shareholders. And they do: the world is full of examples of companies that now do very different things than they did when they first started out. A good example would be Wells Fargo, which began as a courier company and is now a bank.