Hillary’s energy policies: enriching Wall Street cronies, while the poor are pawns in their political game

Commentary by Marita Noon

In his less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of Hillary Clinton as the Democrat’s choice for President, Sen. Bernie Sanders decried “Greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior” and declared that we couldn’t let “billionaires buy elections.” Perhaps his opposition research team discovered what we have about Clinton’s connections with the very entities he despises: Wall Street – which he’s accused of “gambling trillions in risky financial instruments;” and “huge financial institutions” that he says: “simply have too much economic and political power over this country.”

Wall Street and its “huge financial institutions” are Clinton allies – supporting both her campaign and donating big bucks to the Clinton Foundation.

In the batch of Democrat National Committee (DNC) emails WikiLeaks made public on July 23, DNC Research Associate Jeremy Berns tells his colleagues: “She [Clinton] doesn’t want the people knowing about her relationships on Wall Street.” He adds: “She wants to achieve consistency and the best way to do that is to keep the people ignorant.”

For the past four years, I’ve collaborated with citizen activist/researcher Christine Lakatos (she’s been at it for six years) on what we’ve called: President Obama’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Together we’ve produced the single largest body of work on the topic. In her blog, the Green Corruption Files, she posts her exhaustive research – what I affectionately refer to as the drink-from-the-fire-hydrant version. I, then, use her research to draft an overview that is appropriate for the casual reader.

More recently, our efforts have morphed to include the Democrats’ presidential nominee, as Lakatos found the same people are her “wealthy cronies,” too.

In Lakatos’ most-recent, and final Green Corruption File, released on July 19, she states: “While there are numerous ways you can ‘buy access to the Clintons,’ I’m only going to connect the dots to the Green Gangsters, which we’ve already established are rich political pals of President Obama, as well as other high-ranking Democrats and their allies, who were awarded hundreds of billions of ‘green’ taxpayer cash.”

Her lengthy report is “devoted to proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the Democrat presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is not on only in bed with Big Money (Wall Street, the Uber-Richspecial interests groups and lobbyists) and Dark Money (Super PACS and Secret Cash), she’s also bankrolled and is in cahoots with – directly and through her husband and her family foundation – the wealthy Green Gangsters, who are robbing U.S. taxpayers in order to ‘save the planet.'”

While the dozens of pages prove the involvement of names you know – like former vice president Al Gore, former Governor Bill Richardson, and billionaire donors Tom Steyer and Warren Buffett, and names you likely don’t know: David Crane, John Doerr, Pat Stryker, and Steve Westly – I’ve chosen to highlight the Clinton’s Wall Street connections that have benefited from the green deals that were cut in the Obama White House and that will continue on if Clinton wins.

Lakatos points out: “Clinton’s ‘ambitious renewable energy plans’ move far beyond Obama’s green mission that has been rife with crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and corruption.” Along with more climate rules, she “wants an open tab for green energy.” Remember the DNC’s official platform includes: “the goal of producing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2050” and “a call for the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for misleading the public on climate change.”

Three Wall Street names of my limited-word-count focus are Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Bank of America. Each is a top-contributing Clinton campaign supporter and a Clinton Foundation donor. They have benefited from the hundreds of billions in taxpayers dollars given out for green energy projects through the Obama Administration. All three have expectations that Clinton will continue the green programs put in place by the Obama administration.

Goldman Sachsdonated between $1 million to $5 million and the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund has contributed between $250,000 to $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

As Lakatos pointed out in previous reports, Goldman Sachs is connected, via various roles, to at least 14 companies and/or projects that won green taxpayer cash – a tab that exceeded $8.5 billion. One specific example: Goldman is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for the now bankrupt Solyndra ($570.4 million loss). Then there is now-bankrupt SunEdison – an early Goldman Sachs investment. SunEdison received $1.5 billion in federal and state subsidies. And, in 2010, Goldman Sachs handled the IPO of government winner, Tesla Motors that was awarded $465 million from the Department Of Energy (DOE) ATVM program – they got much more if you factor in the state and local subsides: $2,406,805,253 to be exact. Also, according to Goldman, “In May 2013, [they] helped raise over $1 billion in new financing for Tesla Motors.”

Citigroup/Citi Foundation – donated between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

This big bank is connected to approximately $16 billion of taxpayer money. Lakatos, in 2013, reported that Citi was actively involved in securing the 1703/1705 DOE loans; was a direct investor; and/or served as an underwriter for the initial public offering (IPO) of at least 16 of Citi’s clients that received some form of government subsidies. One green company where Citi is a major investor is SolarCity, which has been subsidized through various stimulus funds, grants and federal tax breaks at the tune equaling almost $1.5 billion. Billionaire Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla and Chairman at SolarCity. He’s a Clinton Foundation donor ($25 million to $50 million) and Hillary supporter, too.

Bank of America/Bank of America Foundationdonated between $500,000 to $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Bank of America, amongst other green efforts, participated in Project Amp – a four-year, $2.6 billion project to place solar panels on rooftops in 28 states. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported: “Bank of America Merrill Lynch unit will provide $1.4 billion in loans for the project,” of which “the financing is part of Bank of America’s plan to put $20 billion of capital to work in renewable energy, conservation and other clean technologies that address climate change.” In the final days of the DOE loan program (September 2011), the DOE awarded a partial guarantee of $1.4 billion loan to Project Amp. According to a press release, Bank of America increased its second environmental business initiative from $50 billion to $125 billion in low-carbon business by 2025 through lending, investing, capital raising, advisory services and developing financing solutions for clients around the world.

It’s important to remember that climate change – which is the foundation of the green agenda – is part of the Clinton Foundation’s mission statement: “In communities across the globe, our programs are proving that we can confront the debilitating effects of climate change in a way that makes sense for governments, businesses, and economies.” Additionally, the Foundation’s coffers were enriched when Clinton and her State Department staff solicited contributions from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, as we detailed in our coverage of her clean cookstove campaign.

In addition to Clinton’s obvious Wall Street connections, one of the many startling realizations that can be gleaned from the report on Hillary’s Horrendous Hypocrisy, is the fact that these companies – some of which would not be in existence without the grants and tax credits – that received millions in taxpayer dollars, took our money and gave it to the Clinton Foundation and to the Clinton Campaign. As was the case with Clinton Foundation donor/campaign fundraiser George Kaiser, these billionaires are making lucrative profits, at taxpayer expense, from bankrupted green companies like Solyndra.

In short, we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing the well-connected millionaires and billionaires – and Hillary Clinton is part of all of it. Meanwhile, she admonishes the average American to combat climate change by driving less and reducing our personal use of electricity.

Bernie Sanders was right to be alarmed. Huge financial institutions do have too much political power. Wall Street billionaires are trying to buy Clinton the White House. In return, she’ll be sure their green energy investments pay off for them by demanding that America go green.

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). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy – which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

Secession over energy

You might recall that an ongoing, back-burner thought we on the Eastern Shore have had is the idea of seceding from the state of Maryland – a state which otherwise belittles us, doesn’t share our concern about the agricultural community, and tries to lord it over us because we only have a small percentage of the population. With a Republican governor that sentiment has diminished somewhat but it’s still active among a few.

The southern tier of counties in the state of New York have a similar beef. Their state is controlled by the denizens of the Big Apple, which overshadows both the urban enclaves of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany and the rural areas upstate. Those who represent the urban areas have prevailed on the state government to ban fracking in the state, which means areas within the Marcellus Shale formation can’t tap into that valuable resource, while just a few miles away Pennsylvania towns and cities are thriving. This story by Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times makes it plain that residents in that area are frustrated, just as those who live in the western end of Maryland have been pleading for the state to lift its de facto ban on the practice. Instead, the Maryland General Assembly put yet another two-year delay on the books.

In both cases, the problem lies in the small minority of citizens who are blessed to live in an energy-rich portion of a state being forced by a majority who thinks they know better to suffer, watching those who live just a few miles away prosper.

Also in both cases, the chances of secession vary between slim and none, with slim vacating town to pursue a fracking job in an adjacent state.

Of course, this is the small drawback to having 50 different state governments: it allows for some to fail in their economic efforts. Both New York and Maryland have an economic engine which depends on the growing alliance and partnership between Wall Street and the federal government, with thousands of financial sector workers in New York City and thousands of federal employees in Maryland. In their worldview, we can secure all our energy needs from renewable sources and oil and natural gas are dirty, nasty fossil fuels. Problem is we still use an awful lot of those fossil fuels because renewables are extremely expensive or highly subsidized.

Perhaps what needs to secede is the crazy idea that fracking is something to be avoided at all costs from the laws of the several states. Until then, those poor people in New York and western Maryland will continue to see prosperity from afar.

The economic snow job

It’s funny to discuss this when we just had an 80-degree day yesterday, but the recent reports showing the economy grew at a snail’s pace in the first quarter of 2015 were blamed to some degree on the terrible winter weather we had, just as the contraction we endured in Q1 2014 was also blamed in large part on a tough winter. (So much for global warming, huh?) But is that really the problem?

Robert Romano at NetRightDaily did some quick analysis and found that there was some legitimacy to the argument, though not much. Now if I were to take a shot at it, I would come to a different conclusion.

In most of the nation, winter is already “priced into the market,” so to speak. We know that most northern regions of the country will have two to four bouts of significant snow, which will prove to be a disruption for a day to a few days. During the most recent winter, Boston was the unlucky recipient of huge snowfall in the latter half of the season – early on, it was an area considered in a “snow drought.” These fickle factors tend to average out over time, so I don’t think weather is the true issue.

So let’s look at a different factor. In the last quarter of the year, consumers spend a large part of their disposable income on holiday gifts. Stores ramp up their hiring during that time of year, usually picking up the pace in October so their new personnel is trained in time for the Black Friday crush of shoppers.

Once Christmas has passed, though, there’s necessarily a decline in consumer spending because people are tapped out after the holidays – they maxed out their credit cards or, if they were one of the dwindling few employees who received a holiday bonus, that money was spent. Moreover, many who were hired for the holidays are let go, meaning they have to tighten their belts as well.

In short, the first quarter of the year is spent catching up on bills and the family budget – the old “Christmas Club” bank account is a relic of a bygone age. And unless they filed relatively early, tax refunds often don’t arrive until the quarter is almost over.

But Romano also makes the point that the economy hasn’t seen consistent growth in over a decade:

(T)he economy has not grown above 3 percent since 2005, the longest sustained slowdown in output in U.S. economic history since the Great Depression.

Once upon a time 3% annual growth was considered almost recessionary  – just like the “experts” wrung their hands over 5% unemployment during the Bush 43 years – but now both these factors are cause for a happy dance.

I think the truth is that we have distorted the market so badly that economic growth like we had 30 years ago isn’t possible without significant changes in policy. The amount of manipulation being made by the Federal Reserve and Wall Street (but I repeat myself) has placed us in a situation where all eyes watch these two entities like hawks, peering for a sign that interest rates will return to normal or quantitative easing (which has propped Wall Street up for several years, leading to market highs) will come to an end. This balancing act can’t go on forever.

So our economy sputters along, sometimes firing on all cylinders but more often in a near-stall. It’s not the weather, folks.

Odds and ends number 50

Half a hundred now of these items which deserve a paragraph or three, and in this rendition several are of national interest.

I wanted to start out with a rather comprehensive look by Accuracy in Media at voter fraud. In truth, this is less of an expose than a confirmation because we on the Right had been thinking about this for years, and some of these accounts have filtered down to a local level.

Now I’ve heard people claim that voting should be a privilege reserved to property owners or to those who pay taxes rather than receive goodies from the government. I don’t agree with that approach, but I think that perhaps if local election boards are running into a problem with last-minute registrations scant weeks before an election, the simple solution would be to simply move back the deadline. Honestly, if people wish to register to vote they’re going to do it well in advance of the election. This would also do away with the open invitation to fraud known as same-day registration.

But I also agree we should do away with motor voter laws and eliminate early voting. If people are serious enough to vote they already have the right to get an absentee ballot. To me it’s a waste of taxpayer money to spend thousands on multi-day elections when just 2% of voters participate.

And don’t even go there and tell me I want to suppress turnout, because I don’t. I want prospective voters to take their responsibility more seriously. The left always screams “voter suppression” whenever some common-sense idea like photo voter ID or those others above are introduced, but they are all in favor of oppressive campaign finance laws. Isn’t that monetary suppression? Hypocrites.

The report is well worth a read.

Along that same line, writers Peter J. Boyer and Peter Schweizer ask why certain corporate interests can go scot-free under the Obama regime while others are hounded by the Justice Department. That’s not to say that Wall Street is a batch of crooks by any means, but in politics perception is reality and the fact that Wall Street gave far more to Barack Obama than John McCain leads to the thoughts of pay-for-play and cronyism.

Speaking of entities which give Democrats a lot of money, Matt Patterson and Trey Kovacs of the Competitive Enterprise Institute asked in the Washington Times why unions just won’t let go if a bargaining unit doesn’t want to stay with them. Well, the answer seems pretty simple to me – as they write:

There is a reason why unions are fighting to hold workers against their will and challenging laws that bring greater freedom to the workplace. Union leaders need a monopoly on labor in order to bankrupt governments and corporations, and they require unfree markets to maintain their own power and wealth.

That goes in the category of “duh,” workers be damned.

And this is a video worth sharing, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the point.

Personally I would prefer Medicare eventually be phased out or devolved to the states, but I realize that’s a decades-long process. Having said that, though, it’s obvious that Obamacare is the wrong direction to go despite the fact it cuts Medicare. Paul Ryan’s not pushing seniors off the cliff.

Finally, I wanted to bring up the attention being paid to a national issue by our own Congressman, Andy Harris. In a recent release, he decried the abuse of taxpayer dollars by those here illegally:

Illegal aliens are filing false tax returns claiming numerous fake child tax credits.  Once our tax dollars are in the hands of illegal aliens, it’s impossible to get the money back.  Once I learned about this outrageous loophole that allows billions of dollars per year to be stolen from US taxpayers, I knew I had to act.

In November of 2011, I joined Rep Sam Johnson in introducing H.R. 1956, Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act, to close this loophole.   The bill is necessary because the IRS claims that they are simply following the law.  We had hoped that the IRS would act without legislation.

One would think that the White House would instruct the IRS to stop giving away tax dollars to illegal aliens scamming our tax system.  This is an urgent and immediate problem, especially as we’ve passed the tax filing deadline of April 15th.

The child care tax credits have grown from $924 million in 2005 to $4.2 billion last year.  H.R. 1956 will curb the fraud in this program by requiring the IRS to only allow this tax credit for children with a social security number.  H.R. 1956 was assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee and I am waiting for the hearing to be scheduled any time. (Emphasis in original.)

So my question is why there’s been no hurry to move this bill? I guess one would have to ask Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) because it’s his committee. Perhaps his contributors would like the waiver to stand?

In truth, though, I think this is another in the series of ill-advised cautions by the Republican establishment to not risk alienating the Latino vote. Never mind that they turn off millions of voters who are concerned about the illegal alien problem – I’ll grant it’s less of a concern now that migration by illegals is now a net outflow due to a poor economy, but once conditions improve we may become a magnet once again.

Well, that cleans out my mailbox for the most part. Glad you stopped by for some original monoblogue content – I can’t put all my good stuff on Examiner because in all honesty I’m not sure their format would lend itself to such a post. That’s why I maintain this independent, conservative site!

But by all means you should subscribe to my Examiner page to get notice of when I do post there. I’m having fun juggling  all these writing plates! Haven’t broken one yet.

And a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I wrote this yesterday so I could devote a little time to the moms in my life today, so enjoy.