If you’ve listened to any of the campaign talk about green energy coming from Hillary Clinton, she sounds just like Barack Obama did 8 years ago. She wants to continue his war on coal and oil regardless of how many jobs it costs. She wants to throw billions of taxpayer dollars into green energy programs to create millions of green energy jobs, just like Obama promised.
Would it surprise you to learn that some of the green energy companies that currently are heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars, also are some of the top campaign fundraisers and donors of Hillary’s campaign?
According to a recent report by Free Beacon:
”Clinton’s green energy investor bundlers have been deeply involved in prior efforts at the state and federal levels to secure taxpayer funds for such companies. A Clinton presidency would virtually guarantee additional subsidies and government incentives.”
“‘I met yesterday in Chicago with a big group of clean renewable energy businesses and they’re just ready to go,’ she said at an Iowa campaign stop in November. ‘But they need some help from the government.’”
Sound familiar from 8 years ago? In 2008, Obama promised to create 5 million new green energy jobs.
So if Hillary is going to follow Obama’s green energy policies, let’s take a look at just how successful Obama’s green energy program really was.
In 2009, ECOtality received $126 million from the Obama administration and soon reported losses of over $45 million. Scribe Heritage Investments, the parent company of ECOtality, received around $1.5 billion in government guaranteed loans. By 2012, their stocks fell by over 30% and they laid off 2,000 workers. Then they turned around and paid their CEO $32 million in salary and bonuses.
Then there was Solyndra, a green energy company that Obama gave over $500 million to. They donated $82,000 to Obama’s 2008 campaign. In May of 2010, President Obama visited Solyndra and boldly proclaimed that it was a shining light for the future of green jobs and green energy economy when he stated:
“The promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith — not anymore. The future is here.”
In less than a year, Solyndra was in deep financial problems and ended up closing their doors, putting a couple hundred people out of work.
Then there is National Renewable Energy Lab. In 2009, they received $200 million of taxpayer money and in 2010 their funding was increased to $536.5 million. All toll, NREL received just over $1 billion. In 2011, they started cutting close to 200 jobs.
Raser Technologies received $33 million in 2010 to build a power plant at Beaver Creek, Utah. Within two years they filed for bankruptcy.
Also in 2011, Massachusetts based Beacon Power Corp has filed for bankruptcy only one year after receiving $43 million in federal loan guarantees. And auditors are reporting that Nevada Geothermal Power has ‘significant doubts about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.’ They also laid off a number of workers.
Also in 2011, Nevada Geothermal Power received $66 million in government grants and $79 million in federal loan guarantees before they also started cutting jobs. Between Solyndra, National Renewable Energy Lab, Beacon Power Corp and Nevada Geothermal Power, US taxpayers invested about $1.8 billion for a net loss of between 500-1,000 jobs.
In 2012, I reported that Range Fuels of southeastern Georgia, received $64 million in federal funds and $6.2 million from Georgia taxpayers, before running into deep financial problems. Eventually, LanzaTech, a New Zealand based company that specializes in biofuels recently purchased the Range Fuels plant for a whopping $5.1 million dollars. The plant initially cost $225 million to build so basically the sale to LanzaTech was pennies on the dollar. What’s more, LanzaTech is receiving financial backing from Vinod Khosla, a California entrepreneur, who also was a financial backer for the failed Range Fuels plant. It didn’t take long for them to secure $7 million from the Departments of Energy and Transportation.
SunPower received $1.2 billion from the Obama administration and in less than 2 years their debts tallied up to more than the company was worth.
Brightsource received $1.6 million in government guaranteed loans only to turn around and report losses of at least $177 million.
Back in 2009, the Labor Department hired McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC to create and run commercials to make employers aware of the Job Corps programs to help generate new jobs in the green industry. The ads aired the MSNBC shows of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann at a total cost of $495,000 of stimulus money.
According to Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams, the ads, which ran fourteen times a week for two months resulted in zero jobs. Williams commented on the questionable program:
“Hiring a PR firm does not create jobs, and this was obviously meant for selling a particular political agenda. The placement really reeks of a political ad rather than a job ad, and taxpayers see through this.”
“Taxpayers would be a lot happier at the end of the day to see a completed road rather than a bunch of ads on cable television.”
To be fair, I would like to report on one green energy project supported by Obama with taxpayer dollars that did produce some jobs. Aqua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma, Arizona, is a solar generating project in a part of Arizona that averages up to 350 sun days a year out of 365. Located on 2,400 acres, the project was designed to supply 350MW of power, enough to service 235,000 homes in southern California. As of 2014, they had received $967 million in federal loans. When the project was completed, they planned on employing 16 full time people. That’s a cost of $60.4 million per job. Based on Obama’s promise to create 5 million green energy jobs, imagine how much that would cost American taxpayers, and that’s not counting the billions spent on the several thousand jobs that have been lost in one failed green energy program after another.
Now consider that Hillary Clinton sounds like she will follow in Obama’s footsteps by dumping billions of dollars into green energy programs, many of which are connected to fundraising for her campaign, just like Obama and Solyndra. She’ll continue the war on coal and oil and like Obama, and will drive up energy costs for you and me. Don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want four more years of that, do you?