Archive for the ‘Eco-Terrorists’ Category

The Planet Vs. The Poor?

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Eco-Terrorists

Chuck Colson, BreakPoint

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Yesterday, I told you that the science surrounding man-made global warming was hardly “settled.” I noted the skepticism of respected scientists and said that, given these doubts, we ought to resist being panicked into taking drastic and costly measures.

One such measure is California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The 2006 act “aims to substantially cut the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions and to promote the use of renewable energy.”

Some of the plans are sensible—like increased energy efficiency in homes and businesses. The problem is that even if every home and business in California maxes out on efficiency—which, given the cost, is unlikely—that still leaves California 85 percent short of its goal.

That 85 percent is supposed to come from reductions in vehicle emissions and a substantial increase in the use of wind and solar power. By 2020, a third of California’s electricity must come from renewables.

Again, these are laudable goals, at least in the abstract. But in the real world, they face enormous technological, economic, and political hurdles. While California certainly has enough sunshine and wind to make a go at solar and wind power, it isn’t that simple.

For instance, the best place for wind turbines is in the high deserts east of Los Angeles. But this means building new transmission lines which—no surprise here—environmentalists oppose. Also, we are decades away from being able to efficiently store the power generated by solar panels and wind turbines. For the foreseeable future, you just pray for continuous sunshine and breeze.

These and other concerns cast doubts on Governor Schwarzenegger’s pledge that California can meet its goals without harming its economy. After all, the PBS special on the plan was called “The Big Energy Gamble.”

And we can’t solve the problem alone. Other nations have to go along with us. You can ask affluent Americans to sacrifice, but it’s quite another thing to expect poor people in other countries to do so. Countries like China and India have no interest in asking their citizens to remain in poverty without basic amenities like electricity that westerners take for granted.

Even Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore says it’s easy for westerners to romanticize living in a hut without reliable electricity. Even the most enthusiastic eco-tourist goes home. But it’s different to ask people living in poverty to cut electricity or do without.

What’s more, as another former Greenpeace member, Bjorn Lomborg has written, money spent on global warming diverts resources from efforts that actually help the poor: fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS treatment, and flood prevention. In the current global recession, money for these efforts will be even scarcer. The price of cutting CO2 emissions might well be measured in actual human lives lost.

None of this is a secret, which raises an obvious but important question: Why don’t global warming activists care about the potential impact of their policies on ordinary people? That’s the subject of tomorrow’s commentary. Please tune in.

Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.


President Obama’s Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy — but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March 2010, the Massachusetts energy storage company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives in part due to progress made on the $43 million energy loan, Securities and Exchange Commission records show. Last October, Beacon Power filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant in August 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toured a company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as one of the “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.”

Two months after Biden’s visit, EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives — including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer, who led Biden on the tour. This January, Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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At least two other firms that benefited from Energy Department funding — one a $500,000 grant, the other a $535 million loan guarantee — handed out hefty payouts to executives and later went bankrupt.

The Department of Energy, asked about the payments examined by the Center and ABC, said it is troubled by the practice and intends to convey that message to loan recipients.

“We don’t begrudge companies or their executives for their success, but it is irresponsible for executives to be awarded bonus compensation when their workers are losing their jobs,” said department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman. “We take our role as stewards of taxpayer dollars very seriously, and as such, we will make clear to loan recipients our view that funds should not be directed toward executive bonuses when the rest of the company is facing financial difficulty.”

The bonuses and bankruptcies come against a growing wave of trouble for companies financed with Energy Department dollars. Of the first 12 loan guarantees the department announced, for instance, two firms filed for bankruptcy, a third has faced layoffs and a fourth deal never closed.

The nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste counts nearly 20 energy companies that have gotten federal loan guarantees or grants that have run into financial trouble ranging from layoffs to losses to bankruptcies. An outside consultant hired by the White House said the Energy Department’s loan pool includes $2.7 billion in potentially risky loans and suggests the agency hire a “chief risk officer” to help minimize problems.

To watchdogs, the pattern of firms awarding bonuses only to file for bankruptcy raises questions about how well the Energy Department chose its winners, and how thoroughly it kept an eye on them once selected.

“Giving a bonus to the executives under these circumstances is rewarding failure with our money with no chance of getting it back,” said Leslie Paige, spokeswoman for the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste.

“Taxpayers need some representation here. They didn’t really get it.”

The setbacks have sharpened the focus on the president’s environmental mission, already under scrutiny following the collapse of Solyndra Inc., the first recipient of an Obama green energy loan.

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Solyndra, bankruptcy records show, was among the companies doling out thousands in executive payments — in its case, just months prior to its late August collapse and early September bankruptcy. As a criminal investigation and House inquiry continue into the company’s implosion, the government must navigate bankruptcy proceedings in hopes of recovering a piece of its $535 million investment.

In interviews, executives with companies backed by public dollars defended the payments as proper. Some said bonuses were granted for work done in a previous year, before financial storm clouds had fully developed, and that the executive cash infusions were sometimes linked to broad corporate milestones.

One company executive said the Energy Department explicitly allows for federal funds to be used to pay out executive bonuses.

DOE does not set salaries and benefits of companies it backs, “but we do closely scrutinize all of the expenses submitted by the companies before they are reimbursed to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used appropriately,” said spokeswoman Stutsman. “Funds are paid out as the work is actually completed.”

Secretary Steven Chu declined an interview request. The department has long defended the green energy movement as a way for government to help spur development of cutting-edge products that aid the environment and economy. Sometimes, they say, investments in potential game-changing technologies simply don’t work. The potential default rate, they say, is within the parameters set by Congress.

Yet some members of Congress — already concerned about lucrative paydays at bankrupt Solyndra — say they’re particularly troubled that failed companies backed by Energy Department funds would pay bonuses at all.

“Any company that’s going into bankruptcy or any executive that ran a company into bankruptcy shouldn’t be getting bonuses in the first place,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “In the case where there might be federal grants or federal loans, I would be very concerned.”

Grassley added: “The purpose of our grants for energy or almost any other grant of government is for the purpose of innovation. It’s not for the purpose of feathering the nest of a private company executive.”

Bruce Kogut, director of the Sanford C. Bernstein Center for Leadership and Ethics at the Columbia Business School, said it is not uncommon for corporate bonuses to be awarded when executives meet key achievement milestones.

“The problematic issue,” Professor Kogut said, is giving out bonuses “near the time of bankruptcy.”

Solyndra executives, bankruptcy records show, 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 per payment — on the same days in April and July 2011. The insider payments, reported last year in the San Jose Mercury News, came as the company catapulted toward bankruptcy in early September. A Solyndra spokesman did not reply to interview requests.

Solyndra’s crash last August put a sharp focus on the selection process the Energy Department follows in awarding taxpayer dollars. The administration backed the upstart firm despite concerns even from some government officials worried about Solyndra’s financial viability, email records show. And energy officials committed to the financing before all due diligence was in hand.

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Green Energy: Bankruptcies and Bonuses

Not as well-known are three other firms backed by Energy Department dollars — ranging from $500,000 to $118.5 million — that also suffered financial downturns. As with Solyndra, each corporate entity rewarded executives prior to its bankruptcy filing.

One example: Ener1, whose subsidiary EnerDel won the $118.5 million Energy Department grant in 2009 to help expand its manufacturing plant. The company also received supportive write-ups on the DOE website.

Vice President Biden’s January 2011 visit to the company’s Greenfield, Indiana, plant was part of the government’s “White House to Main Street Tour.”

“This Administration is forging a new path forward by making sure America doesn’t just lead in the 21st Century, but dominates in the 21st Century,” Biden said after a tour with Ener1 CEO Gassenheimer. “We’re not just creating new jobs — but sparking whole new industries that will ensure our competitiveness for decades to come — industries like electric vehicle manufacturing.”

A White House report listed the EnerDel project as No. 67 among the “100 Recovery Projects that are Changing America.”

In March 2011, Gassenheimer was awarded a $450,000 bonus, SEC records show. Two other Ener1 executives pocketed bonuses of $225,000 and $50,000 for a total payout of $725,000.

In January 2012, one year after Biden’s visit, Ener1 filed for bankruptcy, citing $73.9 million in assets and $90.5 million in debts.

Energy officials noted that while the bonuses were paid to executives from Ener1, the government grant went to a subsidiary called EnerDel, which was not part of the bankruptcy case. But the two are closely related — bankruptcy records show EnerDel now provides all of the employees for the parent company. And the distinction is new for the Energy Department — a press release touting Biden’s visit referred to the parent company Ener1 as the recipient of administration support, not EnerDel.

Gassenheimer, reached for an interview, said he could not comment. He is no longer with Ener1.

A company spokesman said the bonuses were paid through Ener1, the corporate holding company, not EnerDel. DOE said the subsidiary’s project is on schedule, and an Ener1 spokesman said the battery company aims to get back on its feet through reorganization.

Beacon Power’s bonuses were specifically linked to executives’ progress in landing the company’s $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009.

Securing the loan was among the measures used to establish how much executives would pocket in bonuses, company SEC filings show. “The DOE loan application was approved by the credit review board, making us the first public company and the second of 16 applicants to receive the commitment,” the document notes.

President and Chief Executive Officer F. William Capp received a $133,256 cash bonus in March 2010. Two other company officials pocketed combined bonuses that month of $126,029.

In an interview, Capp said the company’s pay structure was reasonable and that executives took pay cuts in a bid to help Beacon Power survive.

“The record is clear on that. The executives have not enriched themselves,” Capp said. “We all agreed to take a 20 percent reduction in pay just to make the funds last longer in order to keep the team together. There’s hardly been self-enrichment.”

Last week regulators approved Beacon Power’s sale to an equity firm that should help it repay $25 million of the $39 million Beacon had drawn down from the loan. The company, under new ownership, plans to continue operating the 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, a project the department said would “ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid.” It hopes to build a second plant in Pennsylvania.

Capp blamed the bankruptcy on a variety of factors, including government fears about restructuring loans after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy. His firm, he said, got swept up in “Hurricane Solyndra.”


‘It All Happened So Quickly’

Other energy companies struggled in the storm.

Among them: SpectraWatt, a New York state manufacturer of silicon solar cells. In 2009, SpectraWatt secured a $500,000 grant from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Photovoltaic Technology Pre-Incubator program. In March 2010, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and a local congressman toured the company’s Hudson Valley Research Park in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., highlighting the wave of coming green jobs.

“President Obama and I understand and believe that the first thing we have to do to turn the economy around is provide American families with good jobs,” Secy. Solis said, according to a SpectraWatt press release. “That is why we are committed to investing in greening our economy.”

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Yet, not long after, the company’s momentum suddenly halted.

Last August, SpectraWatt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“It all happened so quickly,” Richard J. Haug, SpectraWatt’s President and COO, said in an interview. The company’s innovative technology, he said, butted up against changing market and pricing conditions, competition from the Chinese — and the fact that some early investors did not follow through.

“They couldn’t locate any new money,” he said. “It was very disappointing.”

While the DOE’s early grant supported research and development, Haug said, a later funding request was denied. Last March, he said, the company laid off its workforce and effectively shut down. “It became increasingly difficult for us to make any more money. By the end of 2010 we basically dropped down to a cash level … that by March we would be out of business,” Haug said.

In March, the big payouts began. Five company executives, including Haug, received six-figure payments in late March or early April 2011, bankruptcy records show. The five “insider payments” totaled more than $745,000.

Haug said the payouts were not bonuses, but accrued vacation and pay for executives that had been spelled out in severance agreements. “There were no golden parachutes,” he said. “This was a very straightforward very honest group of people. I’d go to work with them again anytime.”

Energy officials noted that their early investment in SpectraWatt was relatively small compared to other project financing. Late last year, the company held auctions to sell off its plant and property.

In recent weeks, several other companies backed by DOE dollars have encountered deep financial woes.

At least six Energy Department loan and grant recipients — from electric car maker Fisker Automotive to electric-car battery maker A123 Systems to Colorado-based Abound Solar — have laid off workers or suffered financial woes. Those setbacks come on top of the companies that have already filed for bankruptcy.

Administration officials, from Obama on down, say they continue to support the green energy mission. “There were going to be some companies that did not work out,” Obama told reporters in October, after Solyndra’s meltdown. “All I can say is the Department of Energy made these decisions based on their best judgments.”–abc-news.html

Federal Land Grab in the Works

The Federal Government owns millions of acres, most of it in western states and Alaska. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Nevada : 84.5%
  2. Alaska: 69.1%
  3. Utah: 57.4%
  4. Oregon: 53.1%
  5. Idaho: 50.2%
  6. Arizona: 48.1%
  7. California: 45.3%
  8. Wyoming: 42.3%
  9. New Mexico: 41.8%
  10. Colorado: 36.6%

If this weren’t enough, plans have been in the making for even more land to be designated as federal land. Here’s part of a report from Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee. To my chagrin, I have not known about this:

A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job-creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.

President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it.

Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.


The 21-page document, marked “Internal Draft-NOT FOR RELEASE,”names 14 different lands Mr. Obama could completely close for development by unilaterally designating them as “monuments” under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

This is a story that hasn’t gotten much attention. I suspect that it hasn’t been acted on because the president is in a tough election fight. If he gets re-elected, a real possibility, don’t be surprised if more of America comes under the control of the federal government.

To show you what we’re up against, DeMint sponsored an amendment to block Mr. Obama from declaring any of the 14 lands listed in the memo as “monuments.” The Senate, because it is a Democrat majority, rejected it by a vote of 58–38. This means that some Republicans voted with the Democrats.

Read more: Federal Land Grab in the Works | Godfather Politics

West Valley seniors angry at proposed utility rate hike

500 seniors pack hearing

Whenever rich leftist billionaires gather secretly I get concerned. Supposedly they were discussing philanthropy.  Leftist are always seeking more power and money under the guise of helping others. It is a successful ploy that keeps people from suspecting foul play. (i.e. Hugo Chavez and his weekly TV show where he tries to convince everyone that he is good for them and America is bad for them)


The Cabal of Seven:

Oprah Winfrey

David Rockefeller

Bill Gates

George Soros

Ted Turner

Warren Buffet

Michael Bloomberg

 Billionaires Hold Secret Cabal in New York


Updated 10:47 AM EDT, Thu, May 21, 2009 NBC NEWS

 Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and a few more of the world’s richest people held a secret meeting in New York on May 5 to discuss how they could use philanthropy to shape the world in the midst of a tattered global economy.

Somehow all of these financial heavyweights were able to slip into Rockefeller University on Manhattan’s Upper East Side unnoticed by the throngs of media that patrol the New York City, the and Chronicle of Philanthropy report.

The meeting was called by Buffet and Gates. In their letter of invitation, Gates, Buffett and Rockefeller cited the worldwide recession and the urgent need to plan for the future, according to the Irish Times. Some of the other notable names on the guest list included Ted Turner, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and David Rockefeller Jr.

Each of the billionaires were allotted 15 minutes to lay out plans for how their money could make a difference. One of the attendees said Gates was the most impressive, that Oprah didn’t have a lot of ideas and Ted Turner was the most outspoken.

All told,  the collection of rich people have committed a total of more than $72.5 billion to charitable causes since 1996, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

 NOTE: Gates was considered the “most impressive”. Gates advocates for a vaccine that will limit population growth and for reducing the world’s population to 500 million from the current 7 billion which means the elimination of 90% of the earth’s population of people. How might that be accomplished? I can think of lots of ways but none of them are pretty.



A federal judge in Flagstaff sentenced a Fredonia man to probation and to pay fines for damaging land at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

According to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Melvin Mognett, 67, will be on probation for three years and pay $7,500 in fines for the damage. He is also banned from U.S. Bureau of Land Management land during his probation. Mognett pleaded guilty last week to one count of off-road travel with resource damage.

According to the investigation, a BLM ranger on patrol on May 29, 2010, near the Lake Powell-Utah border found ATV tracks that went off road for 3 miles. When the ranger found Mognett, he matched the tracks with the tires on the ATV Mognett was riding.

Mognett admitted that he knew off-road travel was prohibited, but he had wanted to look more closely at geological and archeological sites.

Vermilion Cliffs is a 294,000-acre national monument that includes the Paria Plateau, Coyote Buttes and Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.

“Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a national treasure, and inappropriate use of off-road vehicles can cause irreparable damage,” said Dennis Burke, U.S. Attorney for Arizona, in a press release.

Maximum penalty for a conviction for off-road travel with resource damage is a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Threats keep Arizona eatery’s lion tacos off menu
TUCSON, Ariz. – An Arizona restaurant has decided to scrap plans to offer African lion meat in its tacos.
Bryan Mazon, the owner of Boca Tacos and Tequila, said Monday that his Tucson eatery has received “many threats” against the restaurant, family members, customers and vendors since he announced last week that he was taking prepaid orders for the exotic tacos.
Boca planned to start serving the lion tacos Feb. 16 at a cost of $8.75 apiece.
Mazon says his restaurant received orders from people around the world. The eatery already has served up python, alligator, elk, kangaroo, rattlesnake, oysters, turtle, duck and frog legs in its tacos.
Mazon says he’ll continue to bring unique menu items to the Tucson community and his customers, but not at the expense of safety.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) 1-6-11– Two packages exploded in the mailrooms of two Maryland state government buildings on Thursday, local media reported.

There were conflicting reports on injuries.

Baltimore broadcaster WBAL said the first explosion was in the mailroom of the Maryland Department of Transport headquarters in Hanover.

The second blast occurred half an hour later in a building in Annapolis housing the Maryland Department of State.

WBAL quoted a Maryland official as saying no one was injured, but other local media reported that at least one person and up to six were hurt in the blasts.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle, editing by Sandra Maler)