A foreign renewable energy company, that U.S. taxpayers hold a major stake in via the Department of Energy Loan Program Office, is imperiled by massive debt and has begun the process of negotiating with its creditors as a prelude to possible bankruptcy.
The company is Abengoa, based in Spain, which reportedly holds 887 subsidiaries around the world. Reuters reported at the end of last month that investors declined to provide needed capital for the firm, which led to what is called, under Spanish law, “pre-insolvency proceedings.” That entails a four-month attempt to alleviate debt burdens. If that falls short, then formal bankruptcy proceedings would likely follow, which would be Spain’s largest in history. Effects would ripple globally.
Several international banks have investments at risk, to the tune of about $21.4 billion, according to Reuters. American taxpayers could be on the hook for $2.34 billion, which is the amount of debt … Read More ➡
The evidence could not be any clearer than what has happened in Atlanta. As Watchdog.org has reported, since a $5,000 state tax credit expired on July 1, sales of “zero-emission” electrics such as the Nissan Leaf have plummeted. Whereas monthly sales averaged 915 in 2015 until the year’s midpoint, sales in the month of August fell to 148, according to vehicle registration data compiled by R.L. Polk & Co.
“It was essentially taking money that would have been paid into taxes in Georgia and a subset of people were getting their car paid for,” said state Rep. Chuck Martin, a Republican, to Watchdog.org.
The steep drop was expected after the tax credit expired, but gasoline prices that are approaching $2 per … Read More ➡
Imagine a product that performs so well, that an evaluator says it busted through the top of its grade scale, yet that same scorer can’t recommend the product due to issues of reliability. That would be a seeming disconnect in the real world, but in this case we are talking about the immortal Tesla Model S. The illogical appraiser is Consumer Reports.
Two years ago the media enthusiastically reported how the all-electric luxury vehicle scored a 99 out of 100, as measured by conscientious buyers’ favorite magazine. Then, two months ago, CR’s researchers were even more ecstatic after their follow-up tests, and awarded the Model S a score of 103. Green-minded journalists were over the moon. “This is a glimpse into what we can expect down the line, where we have cars with the performance of supercars and the comfort, convenience and safety features of a luxury … Read More ➡
Allegations in civil lawsuit threatens to mar the reputation of Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (Flickr Photo: MTyndall).
Hehas been sued in the case of defunct DesignLine USA. The Charlotte-based hybrid electric bus-maker declared bankruptcy in 2013 after years of missteps that included maintenance problems, production problems, missed deliveries, lawsuits, and an FBI investigation. Its assets were sold to an investment group and the company now operates with a much lower profile, under the name EPV Corp.
Foxx’s role and responsibilities with DesignLine had been a mystery, and during his confirmation to the Obama cabinet, there was little curiosity about it, despite the company’s many troubles. The lawsuit brought against him this month was initiated by a trustee for DesignLine’s unsecured creditors, who seek to recover whatever losses they can. Other former executives and supporters of the company – including NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick – were sued as well.
In a follow-up to her recent story detailing how Cheryl Mills simultaneously served as State Department Chief of Staff and General Counsel of New York University, Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacontoday reports that Mills helped arrange to have Hillary Clinton be the speaker at the 2009 NYU commencement.
The information about Mills' role in the commencement speech was contained in emails released last week by the State Department. From the article:
“The NY University emails to Cheryl Mills show a textbook example of a conflict of interest. The fact that a wealthy institution was paying Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff while seeking—and getting—access and special favors speaks for itself,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the public ethics group The National Legal and Policy Center.
As the nation awaits a decision from a grand jury Ferguson, Mo. about whether they will charge a police officer for shooting and killing black teenager Michael Brown, the new leader of the Congressional Black Caucus has already publicly stated that anything but indictment will not represent justice.
The comments (audio) came as Congressman G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, assumed the chairmanship of the CBC last week. He expressed his concern in an interview with WUNC in Chapel Hill, a NPR affiliate, when asked about the problem of civil unrest in “places like Ferguson” and what he thought his role was in “moving conversations forward” with regard to race relations.
“I would certainly hope that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri will find that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that a crime probably was committed,” Butterfield responded. “To lay out that crime, and to let a jury of … Read More ➡
Last week the unions upped the ante. The president of the national American Federation of Government Employees, J. David Cox, and his chief of staff Bryan DeWyngaert, were two of 20 labor organizers and other protesters who were arrested last Monday for failing to leave the N.C. Legislative Building when instructed to do so. In addition, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka called attention to the Tar Heel state demonstrations.
“North Carolina has quickly become a shining example of a people-driven movement and a microcosm of what’s to come,” Trumka said. “When the labor movement and the entire community band together to stand up for what is right, everyone wins. … Read More ➡
Following last week’s attention-getting demonstration at McDonald’s Corp.’s shareholder meeting in Oak Brook, Ill., Rev. William Barber returned Tuesday to his weekly routine of leading stomps and rants at the North Carolina General Assembly.
The supersized president of the NC chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People relaunched his so-called “Moral Mondays” on May 19, which coincided with the return of legislators to the state capital for a few weeks. Sizes of the crowds he is able to bring to Raleigh vary, but with the aid of the local spectacle-loving media, Barber can always count on overestimates of head counts and exaggerations of his effectiveness.
He started these harangues last year when Republicans assumed full control of the governorship, state House and state Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. The protests started with minimal participation, but thanks to (unjustified) journalistic attention, they grew because … Read More ➡
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) admitted to the FBI that he accepted free upgrades on a town home he purchased from convicted Chicago influence-peddler Tony Rezko, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The congressman has previously been the subject of a federal investigation for engaging in real estate deals with a developer named Calvin Boender.
During a 2008 interview with the FBI, Gutierrez reportedly said that he asked Rezko for upgrades on the town house before purchasing it. The congressman claimed that the price of the home had risen by $35,000 since he had first considered buying it, and Rezko agreed to give him an additional bathroom and a higher quality carpet to make up for the increase in cost.
Gutierrez’s claims to the FBI contradicted previous statements that he made to the Sun-Times in 2006.
“I walked in with my wife — as any other consumer could have — and … Read More ➡