Two Big White House ‘Green’ Cronies Unite: First Wind scored over $700 million of stimulus funds, now being acquired by SunEdison

Photo from The Spectrum: Operators stand atop one of the
165 wind turbines at the Milford Wind project in Utah

Did you catch “big” news in the wind industry this past November? Yep, “SunEdison & TerraForm Power to acquire First Wind For $2.4 Billion!” And, most are predicting that this transaction makes SunEdison “one of the world’s largest, if not the largest, renewable energy developers.”

TerraForm, on the other hand, a SunEdison Co., is “a global renewable energy company” that is helping “change the way renewable energy is generated, distributed, used and owned.”

Meanwhile, founded in 2002, the Boston-based First Wind “is an independent renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States.”

Sounds terrific.

Well, until you read the fine print, as reported by James Hall, directly following this wind development: “Sun Edison Buying First Wind Scam.”

Before you call your broker, review a recent edition of the BATR RealPolitik Newsletter on the topic – Another Green Energy Fraud. When Bloomberg announces that SunEdison, TerraForm to Acquire First Wind for $2.4 Billion, they are not disclosing the entire story.

“Expected to close in the first quarter, the purchase will consist of a $1.9 billion upfront payment and $510 million dependent on First Wind completing backlog projects.

TerraForm will add 521 megawatts of First Wind projects to its portfolio under the deal, with 1.6 gigawatts of projects expected to be developed by SunEdison and dropped down into TerraForm in 2016 and 2017, the companies said in the statement.”


The sordid history of First Wind strikes a record of questionable financial dealing, concealed debt obligations, flipping LLC ownership and holding company discrepancies…

Needless to say, after completing my month-long research on First Wind, I concluded with a few questions. Is this another green energy boondoggle that in reality needed a bailout? Will First Wind eventually warrant a place inside our “150 Billion Cleantech Crash” report that, last January, exposed the 32 Obama-backed green energy companies that have already gone bust, costing taxpayers over $3 billion?

What is clear is that First Wind will be added to our “Troubled Watch List,” of which was presented in three categories, and included the 22 green energy companies/projects that have been problematic for some time, placing that figure at over $6.7 billion. At that time, there were also five bailouts (half by taxpayers and half by foreign-owned entities), of which American taxpayers have already spent $7.5 billion.

Keep in mind that these 59 green energy failures ($17.2B) doesn’t factor in the numerous DOE funded projects that are still in the shadows, nor my scorching story on the “law-breaking, American hating” Spanish conglomerate Abengoa, that was subsidized with over $3.6 billion in stimulus loans and grants from U.S. taxpayers.

There’s the recent development on the Ivanpah Solar Plant and its shady 2011 $1.6 billion stimulus deal that now expects a bailout.

Also, this total does not calculate the tens of billions that Team Obama has spent on other non-stimulus clean-energy deals, nor the stimulus-created and/or funded programs as well as the “green jobs” promise that also flopped –– all costing taxpayers billions more.

Considering that my “cleantech failure” list was prepared a year ago, I’ve compiled many more that have gone down. So be on the look out for a 2015 release.

As we await the fate of this wind deal, we can confirm that both First Wind and SunEdison were winners of “green,” and, as usual, both have direct ties to the Obama White House.

To give you a hint into the “green” cronies –– those with access and influence –– behind First Wind, there is D.E. Shaw & Co. and Larry Summers; Madison Dearbon Partners and Rahm Emanual; as well as Larry Rasky and Vice President Joe Biden. SunEdison, on the other hand, is tied to Goldman Sachs, Tony Podesta and other high-powered lobbyists.


What is key here is that American taxpayers have been propping up First Wind since 2009, which was their plan all along –– “secure taxpayer money and then go public.” This includes a Department of Energy (DOE) stimulus loan worth $117 million as well as over $661 million of free taxpayer cash from the 1603 Grant Program.

As of October 2014, 1603 Grant Program Has Dished Out $23 Billion of Taxpayer Cash

Before I begin documenting First Wind’s taxpayer cash, let me reiterate that unknown to most American taxpayers is another “green” government freebie blowing out of the stimulus package. This is the 1603 Grant Program, which is part of President Obama’s trillion-dollar spending spree, whereas $100 billion was earmarked for renewable energy.

According to Energy.gov, “The Section 1603 program was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the deployment of renewable energy resources. The 1603 program offered project developers the option to select a one-time cash payment in lieu of taking the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the Production Tax Credit (PTC), for which they would have otherwise been eligible.”

Currently, “the 1603 American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act (ARRTA) program “offers renewable energy project developers cash payments in lieu of investment tax credits (ITC).” The value of an award is equivalent to 30% of the project’s total eligible cost basis in most cases.

Excuse me while I go off on a tangent, because understanding the difference between these three costly “green” incentives, is not only important, but also infuriating.


Production Tax Credit (PTC) 

Originally enacted as the part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), as explained by WRI Digest, “reduces the federal income taxes of qualified tax-paying owners of renewable energy projects based on the electrical output…”

This decades old, controversial, and expensive tax benefit has been recycled and renewed numerous times since –– even as part of the 2009-Recovery Act as well as the 2012 “fiscal cliff” wheeling and dealing.


Recently, Tim Philips, president of Americans for Prosperity, in the Wall Street Journal, gave some alarming figures: “Over the past seven years, the PTC has cost taxpayers $7.3 billion. It is expected to pay out $2.4 billion more in 2015 alone.” But I’m not sure if that’s the big picture as reflected in a January 2013 report by the Institute for Energy Research called “The Hidden Costs of Wind Power.” 
Despite the costs, the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014reinstated the PTC, along with more than 50 other tax credits that expired at the end of 2013.

Why? Because the PTC has been hyped as a jobs creator and measure to “save the planet,” as well as the fact that behind the scenes, exists intense and powerful lobbying, especially from those pushing and benefiting from green power.

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Again, as explained by WRI Digest, “The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) reduces federal income taxes for qualified tax-paying owners based on capital investment in renewable energy projects (measured in dollars). The ITC is earned when the equipment is placed into service.”

It seems that the “Federal ITC was first signed into law as a part of the Revenue Act of 1962,” and has gone through its share of recycling on Capital Hill. But it was the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (“to ensure jobs for our future with secure, affordable, and reliable energy”), which some say “made the Federal ITC more or less what it is today” –– even giving the credit to President George W. Bush, “who increased the tax credit from 10% to 30% of eligible costs for solar and fuel cell projects.”

Like the PTC, the ITC has been extended through various legislation –– and under current law, the ITC will remain in effect through December 31, 2016.

Considering that most renewable energy companies/projects (especially wind and solar) rely heavily on these “green” subsidies, and Congress is in cahoots with them, you can bet your bottom dollar (if you have any left since this administration took over), they will be extended many more times.

And, it’s doubtful that the 1603 Grant Program (created by the 2009-Stimulus law) is going anywhere soon –– a government giveaway, which as of October 15, 2014, has dished out $23 billion (and counting), funding 98,816 projects.

Worse is that this program (now tied to the PTC and ITC) has become another vehicle to fuel corporate welfare and crony deals –– with Big Green leeching off of these subsidies, while some even feeling entitled. Case in point is the recent absurdity when the mega-firms NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy and Google dared request more taxpayer cash for their $2B pet solar project in California.

Yep, this past November, blaming lack of sunshine, Fox News reported the following: “after already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers [in 2011], the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal [1603] grant to pay off their federal loan.”

Yet, there is no shame in this type of taxpayer money grab. This is known as “double dipping,” where developers (sponsors and investors) of the stimulus-backed projects continue to gorge “themselves on a multi-layered cake of federal, state and local subsidies” –– even to the point where they provide “little skin in the game,” leaving taxpayer to foot the risk.


Another alarming aspect of this program is the billions of renewable U.S. money that is being outsourced to other countries, which I had alerted to in January 2013 when the “green tab” was at $16 billion. At that time, the Energy and Commerce Committee had released an “in-depth report on its ongoing investigation into the implementation of President Obama’s green energy stimulus spending.” What they found is this shocking detail: “foreign corporations have received approximately one-quarter of $16 billion spent on ‘Section 1603’ renewable energy stimulus program.”
Big Wind: Its Dirty Secrets & Eco-massacre

During the course of my masterpiece, “Big Wind Energy Subsidies: A Hurricane of Carnage, Cronyism and Corruption,” I addressed the aforementioned stimulus program as well as many other areas important to those of us that care about our environment, our wildlife, and our hard-earned money.

One key area that I updated in my August 2014 post was “Big Wind: Its Dirty Secrets & Eco-massacre.” Besides the fact that “wind energy is not clean, not green, and not free,” American taxpayers are funding mass murder. As a reminder, in late 2012, Paul Driessen of the Washington Examiner presented some of the gory details: “…The horrific
reality is that in the United States alone, ‘eco-friendly’ wind
turbines kill an estimated 13 million to 39 million birds and bats every
year.”

Where’s PETA and the environmentalists screaming bloody murder?

Crickets…

But then again, hypocrisy always follows green energy, because money is the real motive  –– environment be damned. Consider what Peter Roff, a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report, expressed in May 2014:

There are very few people in the environmental movement that seem to care about the number of birds and other species of flying animals who are being decapitated in mid-flight by giant turbines spinning in the breeze. They also don’t seem to care that wind, which is already unreliable because it doesn’t blow all the time, is also more costly to generate than electricity produced though already proven means, such as natural gas and nuclear power. What they care about is the way the Wind Production Tax Credit makes wind energy attractive on the bottom line, not because it is profitable but because of the way the profits and losses line up against the tax credits.

Also, consider the words of Obama’s buddy, billionaire Warren Buffet last year:

I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate…  For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.

While that is enough to make your head explode, today’s Green Corruption File will be following the taxpayer cash and connecting the political cronies.

First Wind Cash: Scored over $778 million in stimulus funds 

Two years ago, I briefly covered First Wind, but there is more to report. We’ll begin by pointing out that this renewable energy firm has 21 projects listed across 10 states, two of which are solar, and two are still under construction. That leaves seventeen, of which… wait for it... 82 percent won a significant amount of stimulus funds (over $778 million, and the vast majority from the 1603 Grant Program): eleven are confirmed winners of taxpayer money, with three unconfirmed as well.

Hawaii with 4 projects; 2 cashed in so far

#1) Kahuku Wind is a 30 MW wind farm located on the island of O`ahu in Hawai’i.

In July 2010, the DOE issued a $117 million loan guarantee that helped the Kahuku Wind Power project and its sponsor, First Wind, to finance the construction of a 30 MW wind energy project. This too, was one of those 22 DOE junk loans that I began to expose in April 2012, whereas $16 billion was awarded via the 2009-Stimulus law.

According to the DOE, the project, which was completed in March 2011, “created 200 jobs during construction. It also provides 10 permanent jobs for plant operations.”

But that’s not all: on February 3, 2012, this same project (Kahuku Wind Power, LLC) snagged a 1603 grant­ for over $35 million [docket #2890 / $35,148,839].

#2) Kawailoa Wind is a 69 MW wind farm located on the island of O`ahu in Hawai’i.  While it seems they proposed this plan along with CH2MHill (another Democrat crony) in September 2010, they began operation in November 2012. On February 28, 2013, this project snagged a 1603 grant for over $58 million [docket #2891/ Kawailoa Wind, LLC / $58,458,629].

Idaho with one; it cashed in


#3) The Power County Wind project in Idaho was developed and came into operation in 2012. On August 12, 2012, Power County Wind Park North LLC, Idaho snagged two large 1603 grants, topping $29 million [docket #2953 / $14,140,490 and #2954 / $15,057,099].

Maine with 6 projects; at least three cashed in so far

#4 & 5) Stetson Wind is an 83 MW wind farm near the Town of Danforth in Washington County, ME, which, according to First Wind, was completed on January
23, 2009 & March 12, 2010. On 
September 1, 2009, this project won a huge 1603 grant for over $40 million. And then on May 27, 2010, this same project (most likely for phase 2), received another 1603 grant worth over $19 million [docket #3404, Stetson Holdings, LLC, Maine, for $40,441,471 and docket #3405, Stetson Wind II, LLC, Maine for $19,328,865].

#6) The Bull Hill is a 34 MW wind farm located near the Town of Eastbrook in Hancock County, Maine, which, according to First Wind, was completed on October 31, 2012. Via OL’s Bull Hill Power Trust c/o Wilmington Trust, National Association, Maine, they, on May 31, 2013, snagged a 1603 grant worth over $21 million [docket #3401 / $21,836,928].

New York with 3; one confirmed has cashed in

#7) Cohocton Wind is a 125 MW wind farm located near the Town of Cohocton in Steuben County, NY that was completed on January 27, 2009. This project is kind of tricky, because the funding was found in a 2010 report by Investigative Reporting Workshop: Map: “Wind farms awarded stimulus grants before program started,” which tied Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC to this Cohocton First Wind project.

However, the dates (September 2009) and total funds are slightly different than what is recorded on the federal government’s spreadsheet. Needless to say, they won a truck load of cash (two 1603 grants) on September 1, 2009, which can be found at docket #6869 and 6870: Canandaigua Power Partners II, LLC for $22,296,494 and Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC for $52,352,334.

Utah with two; and both confirmed winners 

#8 & 9) Milford Wind [I and II] is a 306 MW wind farm located near the Town of Milford spanning Beaver and Millard Counties in Utah. According to First Wind, these were completed on November 16, 2009 (I) and May 2, 2011 (II). Yep, and both via Milford Wind Corridor Phase I & II, LLC –– one on March 10, 2010, and the other on July 28, 2011 –– scored a humongous 1603 grant ($200 million) [docket #8784 and 8785 / $120,147,810 and $80,436,803].

Vermont has one; and it too, cashed in

#10) Sheffield Wind is a 40 MW wind farm located in the Town of Sheffield in Caledonia County, Vermont, which First Wind states that is was completed on October 16, 2011. Now, on January 23, 2012, Vermont Wind, LLC, Vermont was awarded a 1603 grant worth $35 million [docket #8863 / $35,914,864].

Washington has one; cashed in

#11) The Palouse Wind is a 105 MW wind farm located near the Town of Oakesdale in Whitman County, WA, which as First Wind states, it was completed on December 13, 2012. Just a couple of months later, February 28, 2013 to be exact, Palouse Wind, LLC, Washington won over $57 million of free taxpayer cash [docket # 9002 / $57,309,032].

The others 

According to RNC Research back in July 2012, these three are also First Wind projects that snagged grants from the 1603 Federal Program:

  1. Rollins Wind Farm in Maine: $53,246,347 
  2. Dutch Hill Wind Farm in New York: $22,296,494 
  3. Steel Winds II Wind Farm in New York: $12,778,751 

What does this mean? Well, as stated in my opening: at least 82 percent of First Wind’s projects won major subsidies. Since 2009, they scored over $778 million of taxpayer money, of which over $661 million was free cash. 


First Wind Political Cronies

D.E. Shaw & Co & Larry Summers 

Even as the Boston-based First Wind company has direct connections to the former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (a “green” Democrat linked to many “green” deals), the first-rate, high-powered political ties to First Wind are vast, starting with D.E. Shaw & Co, a New York-based investment firm –– “a $34 Billion Hedge Fund Giant” ––– that is a backer of First Wind Holdings Inc.

By the way, D.E. Shaw is also a First Solar investor, which won a huge amount of green energy stimulus funds –– $3 billion, last time I checked. Yep, this can be found in the July 2012 Green Corruption File entitled, “The First Solar Three Billion Dollar Swindle.”

While D.E. Shaw & Co. are big Democrat donors (candidates and causes), even contributing $49,400 to Barack Obama for the 2012 election cycle, they also, since 1998, have spent a significant amount of money lobbying, specifically toward the Securities & Investment industry.

What’s rather interesting is that this firms lobbying efforts dramatically increased in 2009, spending $850,0000, which is reflected in the graph to the LEFT provided by Center for Responsive Politics.

More telling is that the founder, David Shaw, is a two-time Obama bundler, who employed Larry Summers before he headed to the Obama White House as the top economic advisor, where he was designated on November 24, 2008 and served until sometime in 2011. 


As I’ve noted many times, Summers, Obama’s economic czar (not subject to pesky confirmation hearings), is a friend to Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs (more on them later) that also infiltrated the Obama White House, and won massive amounts of green energy money. Summers is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress (CAP), the dark, driving force behind the president’s massive green energy scheme. 

What’s worth repeating at this juncture, are the key revelations that came to light from the New Yorker’s January 2012 piece in entitled, “The Obama Memos.” These “secret letters” included an initial debate on the grim state of our economy at that time, and as they were plotting the so-called economic stimulus package –– which eventually, in February 2009, was enacted into law as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

According to the New Yorker, it was framed inside a 57-page, “Sensitive & Confidential” memo, dated December 15, 2008, written by Larry Summers to President-Elect Obama, whereas Summers warned Obama “that the government was already spending well beyond its means.”  

While there were other spending bills on the table (Bailouts for the Big Banks and Big Autos), Summers also cautioned Obama, who had run as a fiscal conservative, that “he was about to preside over an explosion of government spending.”  

In the course of reading through this immense memo, we find on page 12 its core: “The short-run economic imperative was to identify as many campaign promises or high priority items that would spend out quickly and be inherently temporary...” 

On page 47, and elsewhere in this memo, we find that green energy was a top priority: “The stimulus package is a key tool for advancing clean energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments…


But that’s not all: Check out “11 Stunning Revelations From Larry Summers’ Secret Economics Memo To Barack Obama” which was published by the American Enterprise Institute in 2012.

In essence, despite the hype and deception behind the 2009-Recovery Act, it was more about implementing the Obama agenda, then saving our economy from the brink of disaster or creating jobs. Worse, this gigantic legislation that costs taxpayers $840 billion, yet some place the price tag just south of a trillion dollars, has been an epic failure –– even the massive spending to “save the planet.”

Let’s get back to the Shaw connection: as reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2009, noting his “frequent appearances before Wall Street firms including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers,” Lawrence Summers, who joined D.E. Shaw Group in late 2006 as a managing director, “received about $5.2 million over the past year (2008) in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw.” It turns out that he left the firm in 2008, but may have rejoined at some point after his economic czar gig.

While Summers’ bio brags about his work with the both the Obama (Director of the White House National Economic Council) and the Clinton (71st Secretary of the Treasury) administration’s, what is missing are some interesting stats that can be found at Bloomberg News, which was documented in August 2013 when Summers was being considered to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

Summers’ current and previous work as a paid consultant to financial firms including Citigroup Inc. (C), Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co.

Consulting work helped make Summers a wealthy man between the time he left government service in 2001 and when he returned in 2009…

Also not on Summers’ resume is this: Summers in 2009, along with freshly elected Obama, who lashed out at Wall Street, calling bankers “fat cats” who don’t get it, also slammed Wall Street. “Here is what I think they don’t get…It was their irresponsible risk-taking in many cases that brought the economy to collapse,” Mr. Summers said on CNN’s State of the Union.

But I digress…

Madison Dearbon Partners & Rahm Emanual

As revealed by Peter Schweizer in his 2011 bombshell book, Throw Them All Out, “another 42 percent of First Wind is owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, the Chicago-based investment firm “with close ties [and friend] to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual.”

It turns out that “the founder of the firm, David Canning, had been a bundler for George W. Bush. But he switched sides in 2008 and gave heavily to Obama. Madison Dearborn gave more to Emanual’s congressional campaigns than did any other business.”

Larry Rasky & Vice President Joe Biden

Back in July 2012, the GOP ran with this headline: “Biden Caught In The Cookie Jar.” Yep, while The Green Corruption Files has been on top of the vice-president’s participation in many of the green energy stimulus loans, this was when First Wind’s taxpayer total was over $500 million in loans and grants. But as reflected in this report, First Wind has since scored at least $200 million more in special stimulus grants.

Furthermore, even as the GOP found that “Julia Bovey, First Wind’s Director of External Affairs, was formerly Director of External Affairs for Obama’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (June 2009 to June 2010),” there are much bigger fish here: Two key lobbyists.

First is Brownstein, Hyatt et al, who is primarily a Democrat friend and donor (with some Republicans in the mix), whereas, in 2010, FutureofCapitalism.com reported the following:

First Wind, for its part, paid $150,000 in the first 6 months of 2009 to lobbyists at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.  Disclosure forms indicate the firm lobbied the Energy and Treasury departments on behalf of First Wind in relation to the stimulus law. Brownstein Hyatt listed four lobbyists working on the case: a former Treasury department official, Michael Levy; a former Energy department official, C. Kyle Simpson; Michael McAdams, and Norman Brownstein. Mr. Brownstein goes back so far in Democratic politics that a New York Times article back in 1996 was already describing him as a “longtime Gore friend.” This release from the Campaign Finance Institute reports that Mr. Brownstein pledged to raise $1 million for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver at which Mr. Obama was nominated, over and above Mr. Brownstein’s law firm partner Steven Farber‘s efforts as a co-chairman of the convention host committee.

Second, enter in Larry Rasky’s lobbying firm
with ties to the top. Reports claim that a month prior
to the passing of the 2009-Recovery Act, on January 5, 2009, First Wind retained lobbyists Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communication. 

While this firm is also another big Democrat donor, Larry Rasky is “a longtime confidant and campaign strategist” of Vice President Joe Biden. Moreover, Rasky was a 2012 Obama bundler, and since Obama took office (as of July 2012), Rasky had visited the White House at least 21 times.

Between the two lobbying firms, First Wind dished out $465,000 in 2009, $360,000 in 2010 –– yet after 2011, they only maintained the services of Rasky.



Inside the $117 Million Energy Department Stimulus Deal 

First Wind was one of the four-sweetheart wind deals found in the DOE’s junk bond portfolio that I highlighted in January 2013. While I’ll spare repeating the cash and cronies, here is quick rundown of those four risky loans that were doled out via the 2009-Stimulus package (1705 Loan Program).

#1) Caithness Shepherds Flat for a wind project located in eastern Oregon

  • 11/12/2010: Fitch rating BBB-
  • December 2010: $1.3 billion partial loan guarantee 
  • Commenced operations in September 2012
  • JOBS: “The project directly created 400 construction jobs, in addition to 35 permanent jobs for the facility’s operation.”
#2) Granite Reliable Power, LLC for a wind project in Coos, NH: 
  • 8/10/2011: Fitch rating BB 
  • September 2011: awarded a partial loan guarantee of $168.9 million. This project also got stimulus grants. 
  • Commenced operation in December 2011 
  • JOBS: “Work on the project created 198 construction jobs and six permanent jobs.”

#3) Kahuku Wind Power, LLC (First Wind) for a wind project in Kahuku Oahu, HI 

  • 5/26/2010: Fitch rating BB+ 
  • July 2010: $117 million loan approved / February 3, 2012, Kahuku Wind Power, LLC snagged a 1603 grant­ for over $35 million  
  • Completed in March 2011 
  • JOBS: “The project created 200 jobs during construction. It also provides 10 permanent jobs for plant operations.” 

#4) Record Hill Wind, LLC for a wind project in Roxbury, ME
  • 1/7/2011: S&P rating BB+ 
  • August 2011; awarded a $102 million loan, which was announced in March 2011. This project also got stimulus grants. 
  • The power plant has been operational since January 2012 
  • JOBS: “The project created 200 construction jobs and eight permanent jobs.”

And let’s not forget that last summer, the DOE heralded that they are ready to dish out billions more –– even a $150 million gamble on a controversial, expensive and risky offshore wind project. This is Cape Wind, which is also tied to a slew of high-profile Democrats –– a Green Corruption File unleashed last August. However, as of late (December 2014), TradeOnlyToday.com, reported that the Cape Wind farm is in trouble.


Nevertheless, we’ll stay focused on First Wind and its $117 million Energy Department loan, starting with a reminder that within the House Oversight leaked emails that were unleashed in the fall of 2012, is where evidence emerged that basically prove that the White House, Secretary Chu, and certain DOE Officials lied about how they handled the green energy loans on various fronts.

Inside the 350+ page Appendix II, there is a series of intriguing emails dated in May 2010where the DOE staff was discussing the Kahuku loan just months prior to the final approval that occurred in July 2010.

On May 12, 2010, LPO Credit Advisor James McCrea (at that time) was concerned about the Loan Guarantee Program Office’s “credit policies and procedures.” So much so that he intensely clarified the importance of order:

…everyone needs to understand is all that has to go in order to put the transaction into the Federal accounting system which requires collaborating among OMB, Treasury, and parts of DOE with which you do not normally interact. To be clear, one of the reasons this is so carefully handled is that there are several penalties for a violation of the Ant-deficiency Act including jail time…

Later McCrea writes:

I know the process is frustrating for First Wind. However, neither the Final Rule nor the Credit Policies and Procedures have changed in some time. The deal will close when it is time. Credit will do everything that it can to speed up the process but we do not have the ability, on our own, to ignore or modify either the Final Rule or the Policies and Procedures. At some point, when the transaction is closer to closing, there may come a time when it may be appropriate to work through Jonathan to collapse timetables a bit.

Five days later, McCrea writes:

 To fill Brian in, we have a pretty good mess on First Wind and it is looking like it is going to get a lot worse and quickly at that. Someone is pressing Jonathan [the former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office] who is now pressing hard on the everyone as the sponsor has an IPO in the works. I have told Jonathan that the deal has huge issues and the sponsor’s overriding is not helping at all and that further, the sponsor’s pending IPO is irrelevant.

While there’s no mention of where that pressure came from, we do know that in July 2010, just two months after this email interaction, the DOE issued First Wind a $117 million loan guarantee.

This is also another case that flies in DIRECT contrast to what Jonathan Silver told (under oath) the House Oversight committee during the July 18, 2012 hearing on the green energy mess.  

Silver first informed the Committee: “This loan [Abound that went bust after Solyndra] –– like all the loans underwritten by career professionals, supported by outside specialists –– it was reviewed by career professionals from multiple executive branch offices.” “It was not rushed, the review took place over several years.” “It was not given to friends –– indeed no one in the Loan Program had any idea what individuals were involved in this [Abound] or any other transaction, nor did we care.”

After the questioning continued, Silver was asked if he saw any evidence of pay-to-play during his tenure. Silver concluded with this DENIAL: “None whatsoever, Sir — as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly into these companies.”

By the way, Jonathan Silver, reported to be an Obama bundler, served as the Director of the Loans Programs Office at the DOE from November 2009 to early October 2011. Besides his powerful role inside the Energy Department, Silver has interesting connections that we’ve profiled many times –– even recently in chronicling the entire Solyndra Saga, which was unleashed last October.

While Silver has appeared at three oversight hearings (September 2011, July 2012, and September 2013) since is departure, this same hearing revealed Silver’s shady email practices in handling the DOE deals (close to $40B worth), which at best, violates the Federal Records Act of 1950. Worse (and probable), something more sinister went on.

Nevertheless, his statements are far from the truth in the case of Abound, First Wind, and many others. In fact, President Obama’s Energy Department has been a “Den of Deception.”

And, as far as First Wind’s IPO….

According to Schweizer, the First Wind “plan was to secure taxpayer money and then go public [paperwork filed in 2008]. But in October 2010, First Wind had to delay its IPO because of weak demand.”

In fact, when the news hit about the struggling IPO, Boston.com reported this: “Stock analysts say investors didn’t like the First Wind offering because the company had piled up a lot of debt and leaked cash. In fact, First Wind owes more than $500 million, loses money on a steady basis, and reports a negative cash flow.”

The first part of First Wind’s plan panned out: scoring over $700 million of taxpayer money, with only $117 million having to be paid back. However, no IPO yet. Still there are some deeply disturbing questions that need to be answered. With First Wind’s debt being public knowledge since 2010, why did the Obama administration continue to give them hundreds of millions of taxpayer cash? And, is there still trouble in paradise? Or has corruption blown in?

SunEdison and its Big Wig Obama Cronies

Even though SunEdison didn’t score the kind of taxpayer cash that First Wind has, it does have its fair share of high-powered political connections.


Goldman Sachs

First up is the fact that this “global provider of solar-energy services” was an early Goldman Sachs clean-energy investment. Moreover, as recent as April 2014, Goldman Sachs “provided $250 million toward” to SunEdison YieldCo, a newly formed yieldco vehicle wholly-owned by
SunEdison.

From what I gather, SunEdison started getting “green” stimulus funds from the start. Reports quietly emerged that on September 22nd, 2009, “SunEdison receives its first grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” A $992,000 grant was issued for a 443-kilowatt (KW) photovoltaic (PV) system at Owens Corning’s facility in Kearny, New Jersey.

At that time, following this “award notification by the Department of Treasury

September 22, 2009 White House “clean-energy “summit
that included SunEdison & First Wind

(DOT), Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu invited Carlos Domenech, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SunEdison, to participate in a White House round-table meeting of select industry executives to discuss expanding development of clean, domestic sources of energy.”

And so they did, along with other well-known winners of green energy money, including First Wind.

In filtering through the 1603 Grant Program spreadsheet that stops at the July 2013,  SunEdison was awarded 5 stimulus grants for “solar electricity” that ranges across 5 states, totaling over $1.8 million tax dollars. Now, it is unclear if the New Jersey one that they won in 2009, is related to the New Jersey one listed below. 

  1. California [docket #1325]: 4/29/13 SunEdison Residential Services for $465,886
  2. Massachusetts [docket #3997]: 2/28/13 SunEdison Residential Services for $600,377
  3. New Hampshire [docket #4744]: 2/28/13 SunEdison Residential Services for $13,304
  4. New Jersey [docket #6030]: 7/13/13 SunEdison Residential Services for $769,531
  5. New York [docket #6776]: 4/29/13 SunEdison Residential Services for $8,073

In case you haven’t been following my work, Goldman Sachs that was mentioned earlier as a “friend” of Larry Summers, is the same Wall Street giant that was a top 2008 Obama donor. Additionally, two Goldman executives sat on Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee, and a slew of executives bundled for both Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Needless to say, since 2010, I’ve been following Goldman and tracking how this Big Bank –– now heavily involved in “green” ($40B) –– has been cashing in on the stimulus funds.

As of March 2013, Goldman Sachs (Alternative Energy Group) had an invested interest –– via various roles, and having entered the scene at different junctures (before, during and after taxpayer subsidies were awarded) –– in many projects and firms that received loans, grants and special tax breaks. So far, I’ve tracked at least 14 firms, which includes SunEdison, connecting Goldman to over $8.5 billion from the Green Bank of Obama, the majority from the 2009-Recovery Act.

Keep in mind too, that Goldman is associated  (former executives and investments) with the Big VC firm Kleiner Perkins as well as Generation Investment Management
(GIM). As a reminder, Kleiner Perkins
is where we find the “climate duo,” whose combined carbon footprint is
larger than my entire city: Billionaires John Doerr and Al Gore, both partners at the firm.

Obviously, Gore is a huge part of this green energy scam and he’s “Making A Killing On Anti-Carbon Investment Hype” as well as his climate change fear-mongering, but recent history tells us that Doerr, who was “a very big-ticket Obama donor,” is also a key player.

In January 2009, Doerr’s persuasions were reflected in the 2009-Recovery Act via his “meetings with Obama’s transition team and leaders in Congress” as well as the fact that he made “five recommendations to Congress and President-elect Barack Obama to jumpstart a green-tech revolution and fight global warming.”


Meanwhile, back in 2004 Gore started GIM with former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management David Blood, who is another Obama bundler. Apparently, Blood is the “wizard behind” GIM –– a “sustainable firm” where several former Goldman executives and partners exist, with Mr. Doerr joining the GIM advisory board in 2007.

Thus goes the tangled web of clean energy and the dirt that follows…

This and more insight were profiled in my January 8, 2013 Green Corruption File on Doerr and Gore, whose “Greentech Portfolio
(at least 50%) and GIM’s “Sustainable Investing” secured billions in
loans, grants and special tax breaks. Two years ago, I found that the two firms combined are tied
to at least $10 billion from the taxpayer-funded Green Bank of Obama,
the majority coming from the 2009-Recovery Act, of which Doerr had
helped author. Meanwhile Goldman’s $8.5 billion “green” footprint is documented here.


Still, Goldman Sachs is not the only SunEdison financial partner in the mix, as reflected on their site, and pictured left.

Tony Podesta: “The Lobbyist”

Another White House ally and direct tied to SunEdison is Tony Podesta –– dubbed “The Lobbyist” by Newsweek, and the founder and Chairman at the Podesta Group, which he started with his brother John Podesta in 1987.

John Podesta (Tony’s bro) is the founder of the Center for American Progress (CAP), and as mentioned much earlier in this post, Larry Summers a Distinguished Senior Fellow at CAP.

In 2008 and early 2009, John Podesta, an Obama bundler, while still at CAP ran Obama’s transition team as the co-chair along side Valerie Jarrett and Peter Rouse. Meanwhile by 2011, Podesta stepped down from his CEO role and became the Chair of CAP and the CAP Action Fund –– only to leave CAP and join the White House at the end of 2013 in his new role as Obama’s “executive power czar.”

Now, over the course of unleashing this scandal, I’ve labeled CAP as “a dark, driving force behind President Obama’s massive green energy scheme” which can be found in my March 2014 Green Corruption File. These are roles that range from legitimate to shady lobbying practices, to the fact that numerous CAP “fellows” were at the helm of the green energy deal making. They have held, and continue to hold key positions inside the Obama White House, his Green Team, and his Energy Department.

We can also add the fact that CAP donors in the renewable energy business have cashed in from
the green energy funds: at least 17 that I tracked last March, including Goldman Sachs.
What is directly relevant in this case is Tony Podesta. As documented by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Podesta Group’s lobbying income went from $16,070,000 in 2008 to $25,780,000 in 2009, and has since significantly increased. Their client lists (past and present) includes large corporations such as Bank of America, BP America, and General Electric (GE aviation), General Motors, and Google (Computers/Internet) –– some also CAP donors, yet these firms that are now in the green energy business, also won a huge amount of cleantech funds from the Obama administration.

However, here is a brief list of  Podesta Group clients –– each carrying additional White House cronies as well as their very own green corruption tales –– that also raked in green taxpayer money: 


Additionally, in 2012, the Podesta Group added SunEdison to its list of clients, whereas they have been paid handsomely:

The Lobby Powerhouse: American Council on Renewable Energy 

It turns out too, that SunEdison is also a member of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the renewable energy lobby powerhouse, of which in 2011, PJ Media had alerted the following:

Michael Eckhart and the ACORE membership also helped design the Department of Energy grant programs that partly offset the loss of tax equity financing arrangements. The tax equity financing schemes had been Wall Street’s main vehicle for bankrolling large wind and solar power plants, but they became moot when major losses …

Not only is ACORE in the “legislative writing business,” but they are powerful champions and cheerleaders behind the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the “green” subsidy that was detailed earlier in this post.

This brings me to another reminder: Those individuals and groups that were involved in crafting the green energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, and who ultimately financially benefited directly (and/or the firms and friends they represent) from the $100 billion that was earmarked for renewable energy. This part of the clean-energy dirt was detailed a while ago here:  “The RAT in the Recovery and the Gang of Ten.”

While my October 2013 post listed the fact that at least 29 members of ACORE cashed in at the Obama administration’s (taxpayer-funded) green energy spending spree (loans, grants and PTC), it’s worth noting that SunEdison is not the only ACORE member that is part of this Green Corruption File. We can add Goldman Sachs to the mix.


Obviously, this is crony capitalism run amok.



President Obama with John Podesa: Photo from Politico 


In closing…

With President Obama’s “save the planet slush fund” at over $150 billion through 2014, the 1603 stimulus cash still pouring out, while his Energy Department is ready to dish out billions more, we know that his second term screams more “climate change.”

This carries a serious and continuous fear-mongering campaign –– with even the Pope on board –– coupled with an “all of the above” strategy: rewarding his wealthy green cronies with taxpayer money, cramming through costly legislation, regulations and mandates as well as his Climate Action Plan. The latest attacks have come in the form of executive action –– and with a Republican controlled House and Senate this year, be prepared for Mr. Obama to use his “veto pen” as another “weapon of mass destruction.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom for 2015: “We the People” can stand up and fight the climate change deception as well as the devious and destructive crony capitalism that follows.