Taxpayer Millions Squandered on EV Charging Study Project

Volt recharging photoAn audit by the Department of Energy’s Inspector General found that the persistent weak demand for electric vehicles harmed the deployment and timeliness of a $135 million-plus taxpayer funded charging network, which spun a cycle of excessive grants and project expansion, that led to an enormous waste of public money.

The investigators, led by IG Gregory Friedman, determined that conditions for reimbursement to Ecotality, Inc. (and its subsidiaries) for the EV charging demonstration project were “very generous,” although not explicitly prohibited under federal regulations.

“While we acknowledge that the Department had maintained and archived award documentation, an independent reviewer cannot understand the rationale behind important decisions made by Department officials, as required by government internal control standards,” Friedman’s report said. “Additionally, the Department’s weaknesses in oversight of administrative aspects of Ecotality’s awards may have led to funding items that were not directly attributable to the grant.”

The IG noted … Read More ➡

Who Paid for Weiner’s Wedding?

Weiner and HumaCharles Johnson of the Daily Caller reports:

Anthony Weiner may have violated federal law when he failed to disclose his lavish six-figure wedding in his financial disclosure forms, says a government accountability group.

Ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center examined the federal Financial Disclosure Reports for both Weiner and long-suffering wife Huma Abedin for 2010, the year of their wedding.

The cost for the ceremony was at least $100,000 but probably ran closer to $250,000 including all accommodations, clothing and extras. Neither Weiner nor Abedin had the resources to pay for the ultra-expensive wedding, yet neither recorded gifts on their Financial Disclosure Reports for that year.

Click here to read the entire article.

 … Read More ➡

Obama Administration Still Stonewalling on Delphi Pension Scandal

The lack of transparency from the Obama Administration continues as leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continue to try and persuade the Treasury Department to hand over documents relating to the Administration’s involvement in the termination of non-union Delphi retirees’ pension benefits. Non-union Delphi retirees saw their benefits lost while unionized UAW retirees at the company had their benefits “topped off” and preserved with taxpayer dollars funneled through General Motors during the 2009 auto bailout process.

Evidence surfaced about a year ago that the Obama Administration played a role, once again, in choosing winners and losers by protecting friends in the UAW over less-favored groups when the Daily Caller unearthed emails pointing to Treasury’s involvement. The emails confirmed that the Treasury Department was the driving force behind the termination of non-union pension benefits. The evidence suggests that Treasury officials lied when they testified, under oath, that the … Read More ➡

Obama, Holder, Sharpton Misrepresent Facts in Trayvon Martin Case; Seek Federal Charges

The acquittal by a six-member Florida jury on July 13 in the trial of George Zimmerman for second-degree murder, with an option to convict for manslaughter, at least among rational people, produced relief and apprehension – relief because Zimmerman wouldn’t be headed to state prison; apprehension because the verdict likely would be a prelude to a federal probe. The latter is now underway. Attorney General Eric Holder, with the tacit approval of President Obama, has launched a campaign to delegitimize and overturn the verdict on the belief that Zimmerman, a white of partial Hispanic ancestry and a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., wantonly shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, to death, and with racial intent. Any Justice Department action on this score would jeopardize rule of law and public safety. So it’s only fitting that this campaign got a boost this past weekend from demonstrations across the U.S. organized … Read More ➡

‘Demand’ for Nissan Leaf is All Hype and Subsidies

Nissan Leaf photoReports have trickled out lately that, all of a sudden, demand is so great for the all-electric Leaf that Nissan’s production just can’t keep up.

“We’re going to be short on inventory all through the summer,” said Erik Gottfried, director of electric vehicle sales for Nissan, to Automotive News. “It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody.”

Then the appropriate question from taxpayers should be, “What did we pay $1.4 billion for you to do in Smyrna, Tennessee then?!?”

That’s how much stimulus-backed money went to the Japan-based automaker to design a factory outside Nashville to crank out up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 Leaf batteries per year. The plant began production late in 2012, and according to the Department of Energy, was to create 1,300 permanent “green” jobs, remove 11,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road annually, and lead to 51,000 … Read More ➡

Obama’s Ex-Car Czar Wants Taxpayer Bailout for Detroit

Rattner photoPresident Obama’s former head of the Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner, helped orchestrate the auto bailouts that saw billions of taxpayer dollars spent to save General Motors and Chrysler in a rigged bankruptcy proceeding favorable to political allies (i.e., the UAW). Rattner is now calling for taxpayers to come to the rescue of Detroit as the city struggles to restructure through a bankruptcy process without federal handouts.

Rattner penned an op-ed piece for the NY Times that trumpeted the success of the auto bailouts and called for similar action to save Detroit. Rattner likens the Detroit situation to Hurricane Sandy, and as such, deserving of taxpayer money. Perhaps Mr. Rattner should contribute his own money to help the noble folks of Detroit rather than continue to try and redistribute the wealth of others to those he deems worthy.

There were many contributing factors to the bankrupting of Detroit, all of … Read More ➡

Senate Bill to Repeal Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Repackages Old Problems

For nearly five years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have operated under federal conservatorship. A number of observers, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill, think that’s too long. What’s more, they want to pull the plug on the mortgage giants’ existence. On June 25, Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced a bill, the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1217), that would replace these companies with a new insurance-based system. Supporters champion the legislation as a way to protect the public from future bailouts and promote more home mortgage lending.

 Yet the measure may invite a rerun of the 2008 credit meltdown because it doesn’t challenge the prevailing assumption of homeownership as a right. An alternative bill, at least, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., would reduce taxpayer exposure. Created by Congress, respectively, in 1938 and 1970, Federal National Mortgage Association … Read More ➡

GM’s Hypocritical Embrace of Free Enterprise

sushiThe US Chamber of Commerce’s “On the Road with Free Enterprise” tour has quietly entered its second month. The main story currently on the “Free Enterprise” website is a piece titled “First Ever Sushi Tech Combats Fish Fraud.” The fact that General Motors is hypocritically co-sponsoring a free enterprise tour might bring to mind the words fishy and fraud as well.

“Beneath the deep purple cuts of healthy tuna and the smell of fresh wasabi, there lies a sushi underbelly in America that will make your stomach turn,” reads the first line of the all-important “fish fraud” story. Likewise, GM’s anti-free enterprise bailout process exhibited an underbelly of political cronyism that turned the stomach of those (like GM bondholders and Delphi non-union retirees) who saw there rights subordinated to the politically-favored UAW.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines free enterprise as: “freedom of private business to organize and operate … Read More ➡

Obama Brings Little Hope to Africa With Clean Energy Agenda

Obama GhanaPresident Obama’s trip to Africa revealed how despicable his “green” agenda, couched in the excuse of “climate change,” truly is.

It’s one thing to hamstring the U.S. economy – one of the strongest and resilient in the world – with the ridiculous, self-inflicted insistence that we not use all the energy resources at our disposal, all to save us from the phantom crisis of global warming. While temperatures haven’t risen for 15 years and there’s actually been cooling since 2002, the president and his alarmist minions have designed failed scheme after failed scheme in the name of solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

But now Obama is bringing his “green” folly to the Third World. During his Africa travels he shared widely his naïve outlook, and his ignorant analysis of energy’s crucial function within it, to people groups who could greatly improve their condition with cheap … Read More ➡

Shallow Analysis Deems DOE Electric Vehicle Loans a Success

A popular automotive Web site’s attempt to set the record straight on the degree of success and failure of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program was well-intentioned, but missed the mark on several points and overall gave the initiative far too much credit.

Jalopnik.com contributor Patrick George was pointed in the right direction when he characterized DOE’s boastful Loan Program Office as “rosy,” but more accurate descriptors would be “excessive” and “unrealistic.” It’s clear his analysis was one of an automotive enthusiast and reviewer, rather than someone who regularly watchdogs government with a skeptic’s eye and knows how bureaucrats fudge and exaggerate numbers to claim credit for their politician bosses. As NLPC has reported often, DOE – before a taxpayer-backed bank check was ever issued to an electric automaker – has made absolutely unbelievable claims about jobs, fuel savings and carbon dioxide emission reductions that were … Read More ➡

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