Government Bytes


Secrets to Green Energy Success

by Nan Swift / /

Need to make some serious money?  Childhood “firefighter by day, Batman by night”dreams not working out?  Here’s how tocash in on the green energy racket.

Step 1: Think of a “green” idea: renewable energy, plug incars, $50light bulbs.

Step 2: Get government funding, subsidies, and/or mandates.

Step 3: Roll around in your amazing new money pool.

Probably one of the best parts about this genius plan isthat your green idea doesn’t even have to be that good.  It doesn’t have to work at all.  Your company can totally fail.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, the governmentwill pay you NOT to work.  Best of all,the system is so bogged down in bureaucracy; it could be years before anyoneeven notices.  Here’s just one example:

From the PacificNorthwest, wind farms that are paid to shut down:

Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest -- built with government subsidiesand maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced -- are now gettingpaid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region'selectricity grid says there's an oversupply of renewable power at certain timesof the year.

Now,Bonneville is offering to compensate wind companies for half their lostrevenue. The bill could reach up to $50 million a year.

Theextra payout means energy users will eventually have to pay more. 

"Werequire taxpayers to subsidize the production of renewable energy, and now wewant ratepayers to pay renewable energy companies when they lose money?"asked Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment of the WashingtonPolicy Center and author of "Eco-Fads: How the Rise of TrendyEnvironmentalism is Harming the Environment." 

"That'sa ridiculous system that keeps piling more and more money into a system that'sunsustainable," Myers said.

Thatis as good a deal as being paidnot to farm!  And what makes this scam allthe better is that even when wind farms areworking, even with all the subsidies and renewable energy mandates, windprovides less than halfa percent of the total energy generated each day worldwide.  This, of course, is shocking considering whata killing one could make off it.  And whenI say killing, I’m referring to birdsand bats.

Ofcourse putting up giant windmills all day is hard work.  An even smarter way to grab taxpayer cash isto make big promises, get a giant loan from the Department of Energy, giveyourself an enormous bonus and get out of town. It is essential in this scenario that you are an executive, and notsomeone lower on the food chain who will simply be out of work in a tough jobmarket.  ABCNewsexplains how Solyndra was far from an isolated incident, indeed it ispractically a recipe for success in today’s corporate welfare world:

EnerDel,maker of lithium-ion battery systems, landed a $118.5 million energy grant inAugust 2009. About one-and-a-half years later, Vice President Joe Biden toureda company plant in Indiana and heralded its taxpayer-supported expansion as oneof the "100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America."

Two monthsafter Biden's visit, EnerDel corporate parent Ener1 paid $725,000 in bonuses tothree executives -- including $450,000 to then-CEO Charles Gassenheimer, wholed Biden on the tour. This January, Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcyprotection.

At least twoother firms that benefited from Energy Department funding -- one a $500,000grant, the other a $535 million loan guarantee -- handed out hefty payouts toexecutives and later went bankrupt.

Thisis a great time to be a not so great entrepreneur.  In the old days, you had to make somethingbetter or cheaper than others to compete in the marketplace.  Luckily, those uncivilized days are over andnow all you need is someone in government to make people buy your product, orto give your business special treatment that others can’t compete with. 

Doyou have a great product no one wants to buy? Extra oiltanker bladders you need to get off your hands? Not to worry, here are two simple ways to get someone on the inside topull a few strings: donatemoney to their campaign, or make them stockholders.It’s just that easy.

Nowgo enjoy your new taxpayer funded money pool.