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  • Lawmakers Probe Fast-Track Approval for Connected Green Companies


    Congressional investigators are probing potential cronyism in a pair of federal green energy programs, including the Energy Department loan program that guaranteed a $535 million loan to now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra.

    In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar sent on Tuesday, embedded below, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the Budget Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, ask for information on federal support for six different companies: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal, NextEra Energy Resources, and SolarReserve.

    Sessions initially requested the information last year, but DOI has yet to respond. The letter calls the department’s silence “unacceptable.”

    Session and Issa are wondering whether DOI fast-tracked regulatory approval for a spate of green energy projects with notable political connections and ties to the Obama administration.

    According to a Republican aide on the Senate Budget Committee, Salazar’s department has created a two-tiered system for energy companies looking to secure federal support. “Politically favored, and often connected, renewable energy plans [receive] less rigorous review than traditional energy projects,” the aide asserted.

    Each of the companies mentioned in the letter has a significant political footprint. For instance, former BrightSource CEO John Bryson is now Commerce Secretary. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was instrumental in securing federal backing for Nevada Geothermal, even pressuring Interior to fast-track the company’s loan guarantee approval process.

    Steve Black, a senior official at DOI, leads the Renewable Energy Policy Group, which also includes NextEra lobbyist Manal Yamout. Black and Yamout are reportedly in a romantic relationship.

    The lead lobbyist for First Solar, vice president of government relations Kathleen Weiss, has had numerous meetings at the White House, according to visitor logs. She has met with senior White House official Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, among others.

    While Interior has yet to respond to the request for information on these and other companies, the appearance of political favoritism in DOI’s review of green energy projects fits with a pattern of cronyism in the administration’s “green” initiatives.

    Here is the full text of the letter to Salazar:

    Sessions Issa Letter to Salazar

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Lawmakers Probe Fast-Track Approval for Connected Green Companies

    1. Bobbie says:

      Irresponsiblity, incompetence, ineptness, seems to be the only things Obama and the dems are good at and get done while slandering everyone that sees through them. Lots of unproductive time usage. He looks so cute when he knows he's busted. Stand him accountable to all he's accountable for, that's how WE ALL learn!

    2. Nancy says:

      With all of the request for information from the White House by Congress (House and Republicans in the Senate) the White House and those under its management continue to ignore these request. So why aren't they out before the microphones demanding this President adhere to the request or be held accountable? This President is turning 2 of the 3 branches of our Government into useless institutions. Meanwhile the President is using his Executive Orders, the EPA, DEP, HHS and all those under his control to implement his radical leftist agenda without oversight, authority or the knowledge of the American citizens.

      When will someone have the spine to "blow the whistle on this President's "take over" of our government so all will know, using "all means of media!" The internet, twitter etc. are great ways but many older loyal Americans only get their news from the "lame-stream press" and the leftist newspapers. Pro-Constitutional Groups need to blast these facts out as well as the Republicans in the House and Senate who know these facts before November. This President and his Administration would be defeated if the majority of the American People would know what he is doing and just how much stuff he has done already without notice by the public! A second term will only open all the doors for this President to push full-throttle to completely enact his agenda. Not just a more powerful, centralized Government, but one run from the Office of the President, with little input from the other branches of our Government. The American people need to get past his charm and see the man’s agenda! Charm is a masterful part of deceit’s success!

    3. Bobbie says:

      the minds of people have become so deranged, they call truth a cop out!!!!!!! Unbelievable!

      True Americans, don't settle for anything less than the truth!!!!! And know through God's graces to judge the difference between good and evil. Everything positive is good, everything Obama and his cohorts, evil!

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