“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Sacrificing taxpayer dollars on the altar of green ideology is destroying our economy
“We’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced, and help end our dependence on foreign oil,” candidate Barack Obama pledged in a November 1, 2008 radio address.
Three years and eight months later, as unemployment has exceeded 8 percent for 41 straight months, Obama seems incapable of keeping this promise. With the worst employment figures since at least 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ started measuring them, Obama has made a dog’s breakfast of jobs – green and otherwise.
Consider three key Department of Energy programs. DOE’s website boasts that its “clean energy” initiatives – dubbed 1703, 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) – loaned $34.7 billion and launched “nearly 60,000” jobs. This totals a staggering $578,333 per position.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, private employers pay average workers $62,757 in wages and benefits. So, Obama is “creating jobs” at 922 percent of the private sector’s cost. Thus, for every green job that Obama supposedly spawns with taxpayer dollars and borrowed Chinese money, private enterprises could hire nine people.
Obama touts green-energy “investments,” even though this is not Obama’s money to invest. Rather than choose winners and losers, which would be bad enough, Team Obama picks losers. It subsidized at least ten “clean” companies that went kaput.
• Solar Trust envisioned Earth’s largest solar-power plant. DOE enthusiastically offered it a $2.1 billion loan guarantee in April 2011, provided that it raised private capital. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar attended the company’s Blythe, California groundbreaking and hailed “a historic moment in America’s new energy frontier.” Solar Trust missed DOE’s benchmarks, however, and announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy last April 2.
• Energy Conversion Devices, a solar-laminate supplier, received a $13.3 million Stimulus tax credit in January 2010 to update its Auburn Hills, Michigan factory and hire some 600 people. ECD pleaded Chapter 11 bankruptcy last Valentine’s Day.
• Ener1 received a $118.5 million DOE Stimulus grant in August 2009. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Greenfield, Indiana to tour Ener1 on January 26, 2011. “Here at Ener1,” Biden said, “we’re going to harness electricity and bring it to the world, like Edison did more than a century ago.” The electric-car battery company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last January 26, exactly one year after Biden’s visit.
• Aptera Motors aspired to build three-wheel electric cars. DOE offered it a $150 million ATVM loan, conditioned upon Aptera’s raising $150 million in non-government capital. Aptera never convinced private investors to finance glorified tricycles. So, last December 2, CEO Paul Wilber stated: “After years of focused effort to bring our products to the market, Aptera Motors is closing its doors, effective today.”
• Massachusetts-based Beacon Power Corp. received a $43 million loan guarantee in October 2010 – DOE’s second such subsidy. The energy-storage concern declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 30, 2011.
• Solyndra, the most notorious of Obama’s green-energy baubles, filed for bankruptcy on August 31, 2011. Taxpayers are liable for this solar-panel maker’s $535 million in loan guarantees – the first that DOE made under Obama.
In death, Solyndra has proved to be anything but green. As San Francisco’s KCBS-TV reported last April, Solyndra’s Milpitas, California facility features metal drums marked “Hazardous Waste.” Cadmium, lead, unidentified black chemicals, and other toxins haunt the premises. A company called iStar said it would remove these poisons — as soon as Solyndra pays its bills.
Solyndra also discarded still-valuable solar-panel components, even though selling them could have generated capital to reimburse it creditors, including America’s taxpayers.
• In June 2009, SpectraWatt scored a $500,000 grant from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory PV Technology Pre-Incubator program and $150,000 from the National Science Foundation in June 2010. Facing stiff Chinese competition, this solar-cell manufacturer closed its Hopewell Junction, New York factory and dismissed all of its 117 workers in April 2011. SpectraWatt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 19, 2011.
• Raser Technologies received a $33 million Treasury Department Stimulus grant in February 2010. As its dreams of a geothermal plant in Beaver County, Utah turned to steam, its payroll subsequently evaporated from 42 workers to 27 to 10. Raser declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2011.
• Despite Mountain Plaza, Inc.’s 2003 bankruptcy, the EPA decided to inject $424,000 in Stimulus funds for that Tennessee company’s “truck-stop electrification” technology. Nonetheless, Mountain Plaza again went bankrupt on June 3, 2010. EPA officially awarded those funds 12 days later, despite Mountain Plaza’s insolvency and a related lawsuit.
These doomed projects alone devoured $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds and commitments.
Rather than slam Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital – which deployed private capital behind Staples, Sports Authority, and other still-thriving corporations – President Obama should beg taxpayers’ forgiveness for pouring their hard-earned cash down at least ten “green” rat holes.
New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News Contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. This column was originally published by National Review Online in July 2012.
Enemy Of Oil: President Obama has said that his administration has an all-of-the-above energy plan. Apparently “all” doesn’t include offshore drilling. No president has ever offered fewer offshore leases.
The Congressional Research Service reports that the Obama administration is offering 15 offshore drilling leases in a new plan.
Even Jimmy Carter, America’s first green president, had a better record. He offered 36 leases to be sold in response to the 1978 amendments to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
If not for Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act that requires the Interior Department to submit energy plans to Congress that include proposed public lease sales in U.S. waters, it’s safe to say that the Obama administration likely would be offering zero offshore leases.
As it is, it appears it is doing just enough to comply with the law, and no more.
Perhaps worse than offering a paltry number of leases, this administration has canceled previous lease offers and conducted only 11 of the 21 sales that were scheduled by the Bush administration for 2007-12.
This White House has even been found in contempt for refusing a judge’s order to lift an illegal moratorium it had placed on offshore drilling.
When gas prices were soaring, Obama thought it clever to point out that oil output has increased on his watch. Unlike many of his other claims, this was true.
But the increase has been from development on private property, not public lands rich in energy resources. It’s not an increase he can take credit for. It’s an increase that occurred in spite of his policies.
Dear Ms. Pelosi:
I write to you out of utter disdain! You are as despicable and un-American as the traitor Jane Fonda.
I am a soon to be 65 year-old who has voted in every state and local election since 1966. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats alike. I have worked on campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats, white and black. I served the country that I love in Vietnam , as my son did in the Middle East . I was awarded two bronze stars. I have been involved in politics since age 6 when my father was campaign manager for a truly great American Congressman, Charles Raper Jonas, who worked for his constituents and his country, and was to be admired, unlike you.
You obviously havent read the Constitution recently, if ever, the Federalist Papers, or even David McCulloughs book on John Adams. You ought to take the time while riding around in your government provided luxury executive jet to do just that. You represent Socialistic and even Marxist principals that our founding fathers tried to avoid when setting out the capitalistic republican form of government represented by our Constitution.
I find it interesting that you and your husband are multi-millionaires with much of your fortune being made as a result of your public service. You have controlled legislation that has enhanced your husbands investments both on and off shore. At the same time you redistributed the wealth of others. Our system of a free market economy is being destroyed by the likes of you, Harry Reid, and now our President. You ride around in a Gulfstream airplane at the tax payers expense while criticizing the presidents of companies who produced something for the economy. You add nothing to the economy of the United States ; you only subtract therefrom.
I would like to suggest that you return to the city of fruitcakes and nuts and eat your husbands’ canned tuna and pineapple produced by illegal immigrants and by workers who have been excluded from the protection that 90% of the legal workers in the United States have.
I await your defeat in the next election with glee…
Don’t ever use the term un-American again for protesters who love this country and are exercising their rights upon which this country was founded. By the way, while I served in the Army, I was spit on by the same type of lunatics who support you and who you probably supported in the 60s and 70s. You are an embarrassment to all of us who served so that you would have the protected right of free speech to call us un-American. But at the same time, I have the right to write you to notify you that I consider you to be un-American, as do the majority of the people of this formerly great country. You are a true disgrace to most of the people who served this country by offering themselves for public service in the United States Congress.
I feel certain your aides will not share this letter with you, but I intend to share it with many…
Dennis I. Guthrie
North Carolina , 1969
U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina , 1969
U.S. Tax Court
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Education: Woodford College , 1966 A.B.
Mercer University , 1969 J.D.
Phi Alpha Delta
Vice-Justice, District XIV, 1968 – 1969
Professional Associations and Memberships:
North Carolina and American Bar Associations (Member, Sections on: Administrative Law; General Practice; Litigation)
26th Judicial District and North Carolina State Bar
Mecklenburg County Bar Association
American Association of Justice
North Carolina Trial Lawyers Association
Captain , U.S. Army, 1969-1971, Vietnam
National Defense Medal, 1969
Republic of Viet Nam Service Medal, 1970
Bronze Star Medals (2), 1971
Assistant District Attorney, Mecklenburg County , 1971 – 1974
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
Chairman, Board of Trustees Providence United Methodist Church
Board of Directors, Alexander Children’s Home
Board of Directors, Charlotte Culinary Institute
Wofford Alumni Executive Council
Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America
Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America of Mecklenburg County
Board of Directors, Girl Scout Council
Life Member, National Eagle Scout Association
Life Member, Girl Scouts of America