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Weekly John Locke Foundation research division newsletter focusing on environmental issues.

The newsletter highlights relevant analysis done by the JLF and other think tanks as well as items in the news.

1. Obama’s Green Energy Failure List

This article at the Green Corruption blog is the best I’ve seen in chronicling the Obama administration’s failures in subsidizing so called green energy products, primarily with money from the economy-destroying stimulus package of 2009. It goes on to demonstrate the "crony" nature of these programs and how Obama has dolled out other people’s money with the purpose of rewarding his friends.

The article is basically a summary of extensive research done by the author Christine Lakatos and energy policy expert Marita Noon. As Lakatos notes:

23 bankrupt, 27 troubled, equals a new "Obama green-energy failure" list total of 50. At least $15 billion of "green" taxpayer money is either gone or still at risk, and the majority was funneled to Obama and Democrat cronies — percentage of cronyism is hoovering around 60% (29 of the 50), until I have time to dig further. 

This article is an encyclopedic reference for those who want to keep track of the details of how the president has been abusing his power and using the environmental movement to run interference for his own personal benefit and for the benefit of political donors.

Here is a list of just those companies that have failed. As noted, the article goes way beyond this, listing those recipients of green stimulus money that are also in trouble and may soon fail.

  1. Solyndra*: Received $535 million DOE loan and $25.1 million in California tax credit. Bankrupt: September 2011
  2. 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
  3. Beacon Power*: Received more than $25 million in DOE grants and a DOE loan for $43 million. Bankrupt: October 2011 
  4. A123 Systems*: Received $390 million, of which $249 million of it was a Recovery Act Grant. Filed for Bankruptcy October 16, 2012, and two companies are seeking to buy A123; Johnson Controls and the Chinese firm Wanxiang Group Corp.
  5. AES Eastern Energy/Energy Storage*: Received $17.1 million DOE conditional commitment on August 2, 2010. Bankrupt: December 31, 2011.
  6. Amonix*: Received $6 million in federal tax credits a $15.6 million grant from the DOE for research and development. Bankrupt: July 18, 2012 
  7. Azure Dynamics*: Received millions in stimulus funds and over $1.7 million in Michigan state tax credits. Bankrupt: March 27, 2012
  8. Babcock & Brown: Received $178 million in the largest federal (1603) stimulus wind grant in December 2009. Placed into voluntary liquidation: March 13, 2009
  9. Energy Conversion Devices Inc./Uni-Solar: Received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit. Bankrupt: February 2011.
  10. Ener1*: Received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: January 26, 2011.
  11. Evergreen Solar, Inc.*: Received Stimulus funds, grants, tax-credits, low-interest loans and subsidies. Bankrupt: August 15, 2011 
  12. Konarka Technologies Inc.: Received $20 million in grants from government agencies such as the DOE and the Pentagon. Bankrupt: June 4, 2012.
  13. ADDITION Range Fuels*: Range Fuels: $162.25 million in government commitments since 2007, of which $64 million came from a USDA Biofuel loan in 2010 alone, despite financial and technical difficulties, and opposition inside the USDA. 
  14. Raser Technologies: Received $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant. Bankrupt: May 2, 2011. 
  15. SpectraWatt*: Received $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Lab via the Stimulus. Bankrupt: August 23, 2011
  16. Stirling Energy Systems: Received $7 million from a federal renewable-energy grant and was eligible for nearly $10.5 million in manufacturing September 28, 2011
  17. Thompson River Power LLC: Received $6.5 million in Stimulus funds from Section 1603. Bankrupt: July 2, 2012.
  18. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million); in our unconfirmed list
  19. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million);
    in our unconfirmed list
  20. Nordic Windpower* ($16 million)
  21. Satcon ($3 million) As reported by the Heritage Foundation October 18, 2012, "A solar company that got a multi-million-dollar grant from the Department of Energy earlier this year announced Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the second taxpayer-backed green energy company to file for bankruptcy this week." 
  22.  Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981) in our unconfirmed bankrupt list 
  23. ADDITION, October 23, 2012: Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co.: Received $480,000 through the Section 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit Program. During Obama’s visit to Cardinal Fastener, he took a "green Recovery Act victory lap," and touted it as means for "Made-In-America Jobs" for Ohio. Yet, just two weeks after the Obama visit, Cardinal laid off 12 percent of its staff, and in June 2011, Cardinal Fastener filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Lastly, in January 2012, Cardinal Fastener was acquired by Germany’s Wurth Group for just $3.9 Million.

2. To follow on the data, a great analysis

Writing for the Huffington Post (of all places), energy economist Dr. Rob Bradley, CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research, has an insightful analysis of the politics of Obama’s green energy agenda. Bradley sums it up as follows:

Obama’s energy policy allocates taxpayer monies to time-disproven "green" (perpetually green?) technologies in a special-interest ruse.

Two special interests are benefitting from an energy policy that results in higher energy prices, less energy reliability and rising federal deficits. One is politically connected business that "rent-seek" in political venues. The profitability of ethanol, wind power, (off-grid) solar power, and electric cars is all about such special political favor, not underlying consumer demand. The second beneficiary is agenda-driven environmentalists who remain stuck to ecologically controversial energies to limit the natural growth of free-market capitalism.

No longer are the best energies determined by their BTU content, cost and chemistry; rather, the energy mix is stacked by lobbyists and politicians who tout "all of the above" so that the worst can edge-in with the best. Today, between four and five percent of U.S. energy is politically enabled rather than market-determined.

3. Ozone Report

The 2012 ozone season began on April 1 and each week during the ozone season this newsletter reports how many, if any, high ozone days have been experienced throughout the state during the previous week, where they were experienced, and how many have been recorded during the entire season to date. The ozone season ends on October 31. All reported data is from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, which is part of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

During the period October 22 to October 28 there were no reported high ozone readings on North Carolina’s ozone monitors. Since the beginning of the ozone season there have been 111 high ozone readings over 16 days on North Carolina monitors.

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