When he is confronted about the failed green-energy loan program, President Obama deflects blame—pointing to “career bureaucrats” in the Department of Energy (DOE) who supposedly approved the loans that have become an embarrassment to the White House.
For months, along with researcher Christine Lakotos, I’ve been reporting on, first, the junk-bond rated projects (such as Solyndra) that received fast-tracked approval from the DOE and, then, the failed and troubled stimulus funded companies. Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg. Embarrassment after embarrassment has come to light as the projects touted as the hope for America’s future have filed for bankruptcy, sent money and jobs overseas, and faced technical difficulties.
The 1705 loan guarantee program had 460 applicants, but only 7% were approved—26 projects were funded. Of those 26 projects, 22 were junk-bond rated—meaning private investors wouldn’t fund them. So why did we, the taxpayers?
Our research showed that at least 90% of the projects had close ties to the White House and other high-ranking Democrats. Despite the obvious connection, President Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement—preferring to blame “career bureaucrats” who could take the fall with no political consequence.
In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, testified that “We looked at the loans on their own merits.” Also, back in November 2011, he said: “I am aware of no communication from White House to Department of Energy saying to make the loan or to restructure.”
Just last week, on October 26, President Obama affirmed Chu’s position when he said: “Decisions made in the loan program office are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”
However, late Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a new report of “over 150 emails that contradict statements by the President, Secretary Chu, and White House and DOE officials.” The emails reveal a series of questionable practices, including coercion, cronyism, and cover-ups.
The Committee has been asking for the emails and additional testimony since the Solyndra story broke in September of 2011, but the DOE has been refusing to cooperate. Emails were finally leaked from former DOE employees. Some of the incriminating evidence includes the following:
From an email dated March 1, 2010 from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan
Origination to LPO Credit Advisor McCrea and others:
“Jonathan just said at our staff meeting that, opposite the message received
on Thursday, AREVA is now a “go” (seems on Friday POTUS himself
approved moving it ahead).”
From an email dated June 25, 2010, LPO Executive Director Jonathan Silver
encourages LPO Credit Advisor Jim McCrea to remind a Treasury official of
White House Interest in now bankrupt Abound Solar:
“You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy
will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound.”
From an email dated September 9, 2010 from LPO Credit Advisor McCrea to
DOE contractor Brian Oakley:
“Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.”
These emails are just a snippet of the 150 emails we are reviewing as a part of the just-released report. We have covered each of the projects listed above and will report further.
We know that the Obama Administration operates from a “culture of corruption”; now we see that there is also a culture of deception within the White House walls. The White House green lies are bigger than innocent, little white lies; they are expensive green lies that have produced $34.7 billion in red ink for the taxpayers. The Obama green energy program is the largest, most expensive, and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.
Photo credit: charlesfettinger (Creative Commons)