NLPC readers by now have learned there is more than meets the media’s eye when it comes to the Obama administration’s “Green” initiatives, and specifically, the government-subsidized electric vehicle program. Particularly egregious might be how American taxpayers have helped save a troubled EV company in the United Kingdom for its burdened investors.
Under the surface in this case is Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., a company that did not exist in its U.S. form until January 2009. The company does not make passenger vehicles, but commercial trucks. Once Smith-U.S. established itself in Missouri, somehow that was enough of a track record for the Department of Energy to award the company $10 million in August 2009, and an additional $22 million in March 2010, for an ET (electric truck) demonstration program.
The founders of Smith-U.S. did not come from the automobile or electricity businesses, or anything even … Read More ➡
It’s another day, and another round of layoffs by a recipient of millions of dollars under the Obama Administration’s renewable energy initiatives, administered by the mismanaged Department of Energy.
This time the Recovery Act largesse – taken out of the hide of taxpayers – went to A123 Systems, Inc. The Massachusetts-based energy storage company was given $249.1 million to help launch two battery-manufacturing plants in Michigan. A123 also received grants and tax credits from the state that could total more than $135 million. In a separate federal grant as a subcontractor for another grantee, A123 received nearly $30 million for a wind energy storage project.
In the Wolverine State, the company will lay off 125 employees at the two plants in Livonia and Romulus. Officials said diminished production by a top customer – Irvine, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive – led to the cutbacks. A123 had expected to deliver batteries for 7,000 … Read More ➡
Coca-Cola’s just-announced holiday campaign to supposedly protect Arctic polar bear habitat – highlighted by the company changing its iconic red cans to white – is ending, with the company killing off its new packaging two months earlier than planned.
No, Coke hasn’t seen the light on its disguised support for the global warming hoax. The images of polar bears will instead appear on redesigned red cans, after many consumers mistakenly grabbed the white cans believing they were selecting the silver-canned Diet Coke.
For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that in recent days about a half-dozen customers at an Atlanta deli returned their opened cans of “polar bear” Coke because they believed they had chosen Diet Coke. They were given the sugar-free colas without additional charge.
And other classic Coke drinkers said their sodas tasted differently in the white cans than they did in the red ones. The … Read More ➡
The competition in corporate America to show who is “Greenest” or “most sustainable” has spun out of control, with the Alinskyite effect that drives corporations to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to address the whims and requests of every Leftist niche group that waves some kind of scorecard in their faces.
Meanwhile customers pay for the lunacy in higher prices, and shareholders (those not in the Corporate Social Responsibility movement) bear the burden in diminished returns on their investments.
A Businessweek report from Thanksgiving Eve illustrated how unwieldy the demands of eco-graders and CSR activists have become, as “companies are buried in requests for data as groups jockey to be the arbiters of sustainability.” And you thought IRS and other government regulatory compliance was a headache.
The article explains how companies like Intel and Walmart are inundated by organizations who seek to rank their performances on … Read More ➡
In 2009 Google announced a project in which it would pursue a so-far elusive goal – to produce “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal” (“RE<C” was Google’s acronym). Why the Internet search giant thought it could succeed where other more experienced and knowledgeable companies (like electric utilities and alternative energy businesses) have failed for many decades shows the level of arrogance reached at the upper management levels. Either that or it illustrated how much Google’s leaders sought to ingratiate themselves with the Obama administration by following its “Green jobs” agenda.
But last week the company announced it will end RE<C, as part of an effort under CEO Larry Page to eliminate a number of non-core projects, which it called “spring cleaning, out of season.”
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” wrote Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of … Read More ➡
Last week, the sequel to 2009’s Climategate scandal was introduced to the global Internet audience, and preliminary reviews show it to be potentially more explosive than the original. Gems include iconic Hockey Stick scientist Michael Mann advancing a “cause” and admitting “we certainly don’t know the GLOBAL mean temperature anomaly very well,” and University of East Anglia scientist Phil Jones advising colleagues involved in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “to delete all emails at the end of the process,” so to avoid being subject to any Freedom of Information Act requests.
And the Solyndra-splattered Department of Energy doesn’t come off too well either, with Jones warning:
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and
… Read More ➡
NLPC has piled pixels in reporting the crony capitalism and gaming of government regulations by Duke Energy CEO James Rogers, who has favored a political engagement approach to the conduct of business rather than the delivery of services to consumers at affordable prices. That’s how the electricity business works: when you have monopoly control and are guaranteed a profit by your regulators, then you don’t have to worry about besting your competition to earn your customers.
No less passionate an advocate for regulatory favoritism – especially in support of greenhouse gas regulations such as cap-and-tax and carbon (dioxide) taxes – is Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe. While not as big a supporter of Democrats as Rogers, Rowe – like your typical corporate honcho – has thrown money to both Democrats and Republicans, most which have supported his GHG-restrictive policy beliefs.
Over the weekend National Journal published an … Read More ➡
Last week NLPC reported about a Consumer Reports reviewer’s unpleasant experience driving the all-electric Nissan Leaf. Despite Liza Barth’s frequent range anxiety and endurance of freezing temperatures so as to avoid using the Leaf’s heater to preserve its power, she declined to give it a “thumbs down.” Instead, she seemed to chalk up the inconveniences (like “numb fingers and toes”) to her own inability to adapt to new technology, rather than calling the electric vehicle what it really is: a failure that is massively subsidized by taxpayers.
Last month another Leaf customer wrote about his experience, and as opposed to Barth’s presumed objective perspective, this driver went into his purchase with eagerness and enthusiasm. Now he calls his EV “my 2011 Nissan Solyndra.”
“I am ready to turn over a new Leaf – my own,” wrote Rob Eshman, editor-in-chief of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
Eshman … Read More ➡
Two weeks ago Texas Gov. Rick Perry made what many formerly mainstream media pundits thought was his crowning debate gaffe in Michigan, when he could not remember the third of three cabinet departments (after Education and Commerce) he would eliminate if he were elected president.
The one he momentarily forgot, the Department of Energy, should have been the first one on his lips.
Republican presidential candidates like Gov. Perry (as well as Rep. Ron Paul and a couple others) aren’t alone in their view of the DOE as a frenzy of incompetence, waste, fraud, and crony capitalism – better known as (Secretary Steven) Chu’s Chum, which lures scavengers of subvention from the most desperate of bottom-feeders (Solyndra) to those at the top of the chain who need it least (like Duke Energy, Nissan). It’s the enclave where the top fish toggles between his unfailing-but-unfounded belief in catastrophic sea … Read More ➡
A scandal that won’t go away for Duke Energy CEO James Rogers revealed over the weekend, once again, that he will turn over every government rock he can to try to find money to pay for his irrational Green agenda, with reckless disregard for taxpayers and his customers.
The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday that Rogers, frustrated with the skyrocketing costs associated with the company’s experimental coal gasification plant that is under construction in Edwardsport, Ind., met with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels in February 2010 to discuss problems with the project. Reporter John Russell obtained from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission documents that provided details about the meeting, which Duke and IURC previously tried to keep confidential. They were pried loose after some legal wrangling.
According to a copy of a memo the newspaper acquired, it appeared that Rogers wanted from Daniels some kind of mediation or intervention between … Read More ➡