The thief in chief strikes again. – Tea Party Nation

The thief in chief strikes again. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Did anyone see Obama today?

 Once again, Obama was out pandering for higher taxes. 

 From Fox News:

 President Obama, amid charges of class warfare, pushed Monday for a tax hike on families earning more than $250,000 — and an extension of the Bush-era tax rates for families making less than that. 

The president, speaking in the East Room of the White House, said he wants to break through the “stalemate” over taxes in Congress. He argued that sustaining the current tax rates for top earners puts too big a hole in the federal budget, saying “we can’t afford to keep that up.” Obama called on Congress to extend those rates, for one year, for families earning less than $250,000 — failure to do so, he said, would be a “blow” to families and a “drag” on the economy. 

“We don’t need more top-down economics,” Obama said. “We need policies that grow and strengthen the middle class.” 

The president urged Congress to pass a bill that deals with the middle-class tax rates only, and then move on to a separate debate over extending the rates for top earners. Obama, though, made clear he is adamantly opposed to doing so. 

“I will fight to end them,” Obama said, adding that he doesn’t want that debate to “threaten” those making less than $250,000. 

 A big hole in the federal budget?    How the hell can he even say that with a straight face?  The only reason is that he is practiced liar who can say anything.

 The big hole we have the in federal budget is from the spending we have seen from the Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis of fiscal evil.

 These people have been spending like there is no tomorrow.  This issue is not totally black and white has Republicans in many cases have been just as guilty.

 There is a lot of pressure building up on Capitol Hill for a tax increase.  Even some solid Tea Party Congressmen and Senators have even started talking about the need to increase taxes.

 This is a bright line, litmus test.

 There can be zero tax increases.  There can be none.  And we as the Tea Party must be prepared to make war on any Congressman or Senator that supports raising taxes.

 Why?

 Is this more intransigence and gridlock?  Is this more of what the Party of Treason whines about?

 It might be gridlock, but it is good gridlock.

 Washington has proved repeatedly it is incapable of managing our money.  It cannot balance a budget.  The Senate has not even produced a budget in 1200 days!

 Our so-called leaders in Washington are unable to rein in their insatiable desire to spend other people’s money.

 That is why there can be no compromise on taxes.

 There can be no tax increase.  We cannot have “fee increases.”  We cannot have any growth in government revenues other than those that may occur because the economy grows. 

 What we must have is a serious reduction in government spending.  Obama and his cronies have blown far too much money in corrupt ventures such as Solyndra.  They have wasted too much money by sending billions to the new Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. 

 We can no longer afford this. 

 If we increase taxes, all we will do is give them more money to spend and we will never see the end of their spending.

 The message to Congress from the Tea Party must be simple. If you vote for any tax increase, we will do everything we can to end your political career. 

 We cannot make it any simpler than that.

Obama’s priorities. – Tea Party Nation

Obama’s priorities. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

If you are a member of the military, you must make sacrifices.   You can be deployed away from family and friends for extended periods of time.  You do things that have you run the risk of being seriously injured and possibly going into combat and being killed.

 We do not pay our military members nearly enough.  However the Obama Regime wants to send the military a message about its priorities. 

 What is the message and what does it mean for the military?

 Obama, who allegedly wants free health care for everyone, wants military members to pay more for their healthcare.  In fact, he is threatening to veto the Defense Appropriations bill unless Congress forces military members to pay more for their own healthcare. 

 That’s right.  Obama does not want our military to have the best weapons or for that matter weapons at all.  Obama does not want America to have a military.  He wants America to be a weak, defenseless nation.

 Most of our military gear dates from the Reagan military build up.  That was thirty years ago.  The USS Enterprise is on its final deployment.  It was launched when Dwight Eisenhower was still president.

 Our military budget desperately needs to be increased.  Yet what does the Obama Regime want to spend money on?

 Solyndra got money from the Obama Regime and we see how that played out.  The military could have used that money and put it to better use.

 Yesterday we found out that yet another stimulus backed green energy company is going bankrupt.  It has been granted a $400 million dollar loan but had only used about $70 million of the loan from the government.   Solyndra went belly up in 2011.  Then Beacon Power died, followed by Ener1. 

 Does anyone possibly think that the millions that were lost in these stupid ventures might have had a better use in providing good healthcare for our military members and their families?

 Given the Obama Regime’s track record of being wrong, they should not be allowed to pay for ice cream in a hot day, much less have the authority to spend any real amount of money.

 Meanwhile, Obama continues to show his contempt for the men and women who serve America.  Last year, he threatened to veto the Defense Authorization bill because it had a provision that awarded the Purple Heart to the military members wounded or killed by Islamist Hassan Nidal at Fort Hood.

 The simple truth is Obama hates everything about America and wants to see us fail.

 We need to make sure we see him fail in November.

Romney: Obama had little to lose in Solyndra – Washington Times

Image representing Solyndra as depicted in Cru...

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Romney: Obama had little to lose in Solyndra – Washington Times.

‘It’s the taxpayers that get stuck’

By Seth McLaughlinThe Washington Times

Standing outside the shuttered California headquarters of Solyndra on Thursday, Mitt Romney said President Obama must answer to voters for the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars he gambled on the politically connected solar technology company, which went belly-up in 2011.

Across the country in Boston, Mr. Obama’s top campaign strategist charged that Mr. Romney, the Republicans‘ presumptive presidential nominee, failed to help a struggling economy in Massachusetts when he served one term as governor from 2003 to 2007.

In an election that is being billed as a referendum on Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy and federal spending, Mr. Romney and congressional Republicans have accused Mr. Obama of being more interested in using taxpayer money to reward his allies and push his ideology — even as Democrats have argued that Mr. Romney’s job-creating credentials fall short of the smart businessman’s image he is trying to portray.

“If the business had done spectacularly well, the shareholders — his friends — would have done very, very well, but the taxpayers would have just gotten their money back,” Mr. Romney said. “On the other hand, of course, if the business failed, as it did, it’s the taxpayers that get stuck with losing a half a billion dollars. So it’s heads and his cronies win, and tails and the taxpayers lose.”

With deep ties to the White House, Solyndra was awarded $535 million in government-backed loan guarantees, even as some staffers in the administration warned that it was a worrisome gamble and cautioned the president and his advisers against the plan.

Mr. Obama toured the solar panel facility in 2010, holding it up as one of the success stories to come out of the $831 billion in federal stimulus spending. At the event, he called companies like Solyndra “the true engine of economic growth.”

“Well, you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today. It’s a symbol not of success, but of failure,” Mr. Romney said Thursday, arguing that the way the administration handed out the federal grants sent the wrong message to companies “that the best way to get ahead is not with the best ideas and the best technology and the best people and the best marketing, but instead with the best lobbyists.”

“That is not the nature of how America works,” he said.

David M. Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s top strategist, looked to deliver a different message in Massachusetts, where he opened his remarks, just steps away from the Statehouse that Mr. Romney used to occupy, by saying, “It is great to be in Massachusetts — Obama country.”

He painted the Republican as a political huckster, saying that Mr. Romney is once again peddling the false narrative that his experience as a “corporate buyout specialist” has given him special insight into how to jump-start the economy and get Americans back to work.

“After selling himself to Massachusetts as an economic savior, the Massachusetts record was alarmingly weak,” he said. “As you’ve heard, under Gov. Romney, the state was 47th in job creation — fourth from the bottom.”

Manufacturing jobs, he said, vanished at twice the national rate, household income fell, the size of the state government grew and Mr. Romney raised more fees than any other governor in the country — including for marriage licenses and home sales.

He also held up a 2007 study from Northeastern University that he said showed that on key labor market measures, the state often ranked near or at the bottom when compared with other states.

“It wasn’t happenstance that Massachusetts stumbled under Gov. Romney,” Mr. Axelrod said. “He brought the orientation of a financial engineer, whose career has not been about generating jobs, it has been about generating short-term profit. Not about generating long-term growth, or building for the future, but about taking what he can when he can.”

The news conference, though, was largely overshadowed by a boisterous group of Romney supporters who crashed the event after word of it leaked overnight.

While Mr. Axelrod and local Democratic leaders spoke, the pro-Romney forces booed and taunted them with noisemakers and chants, including “Where are the jobs?” and, perhaps fittingly, “Solyndra, Solyndra.”

Clearly rattled, Mr. Axelrod tried to silence them early on, but to no avail.

“You can shout down speakers, my friends, but it is hard to Etch-a-Sketch the truth away,” he said.

The punch-counterpunch came less than 24 hours after Mr. Obama phoned Mr. Romney to congratulate him on clinching the Republican nomination Tuesday, following his strong showing in the Texas primary.

Five months from Election Day, polls show the race is basically a dead heat, with Mr. Obama running a couple of points ahead of Mr. Romney in the latest Realclearpolitics.com average of polls.

Most of the same polls, though, also show that while Mr. Obama is the more likable of two candidates, voters tend to side with Mr. Romney when they are asked whom they trust more to strengthen the economy.

The Year Solar Goes Bankrupt – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

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The Year Solar Goes Bankrupt – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

Get ready for a new round of green bankruptcies, as Europe trims back subsidies for solar companies and taxpayers lose their appetite for subsidizing green power.

“The mini-bubble resulting from the rush to cash in on solar subsidies in European and U.S. markets is ending, as feed-in tariffs drop in Europe while loan guarantee and tax credit programs tighten up in the U.S.,” says a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch according to CNBC.com.

Germany is dialing back subsidies for solar this month by 29 percent with subsequent decreases each month, according to Bloomberg.com.

Rasmussen has recently released a survey of voters that show a diminishing number of voters support subsidizing the production of the Chevy Volt.

Only 29 percent of likely voters agree with Obama’s latest proposal to include a $10,000 subsidy in the federal budget to support the purchase of every electric vehicle.

The survey found that 58 percent oppose the plan, while 13 percent remain undecided.



And make no mistake, without subsidies solar, electric vehicles, wind power and other alternatives remain a chimera.      

 “Steven Cortes, CNBC contributor and founder of Veracruz Research, also sees solar stocks declining further and wonders about the impact of the recent natural gas boom on the sector.

“’As much as I love sun, I hate the solar space. This is not a real business, it’s a political construct,’” Cortes said on Fast Money Wednesday. “’And they can’t compete with natural gas at these levels.’”

According to the Associated Press the U.S. now has 2.433 trillion cubic feet in storage.

“That figure is 48.3 percent more than the five-year average, the Energy Department said,” reports the AP. “Natural gas fell 3 cents to finish at $2.27 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York. The price has fallen about 27 percent this year and is at the lowest level in a decade.”

Last week Abound Solar announced it would lay off half its workforce despite receiving a $400 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy last year. The rating agency Fitch’s hit Abound over failures to meet stated goals, old technology, calling the company “highly speculative” according to ABCNews.

Reports ABC:

It remains way too early to determine whether Abound is poised to follow the trajectory of the best-known solar manufacturer to receive a sizeable government loan — Solyndra, the California firm that filed for bankruptcy in September after having burned through the bulk of its $535 million federal loan.

Perhaps.

However, there is an old saying in the market that the tape doesn’t lie.

And the tape on solar companies is horrendous.

In the second quarter of 2008 First Solar (Symbol: FSLR) briefly touched $300 per share. Today it trades at $27.49. That equals losses of about $24 billion in market capitalization in just four years.

In April of last year Trina Solar LTD (Symbol: TSL) was trading just under $30 and is now trading at about $7.31. Earnings estimates have gone in the last few months from Trina losing about 17 cents per share for 2012 to losing about 63 cents per share.

The Guggenheim Solar ETF (Symbol: TAN) has also moved down from around $300 per share in mid 2008, until it trades now at $27.02.

And the fundamentals aren’t getting better for solar soon, because solar can’t compete with coal-fired or nuclear generated electric.

“Fewer solar panels will be installed this year,” reports Bloomberg “as the first drop in more than a decade worsens a glut of the unsold devices that’s already slashed margins at the top five manufacturers, an analyst survey showed… Without government incentives, even record low prices for solar panels may not be cheap enough to encourage solar farm developers and homeowners to install them in the volumes needed to work through the glut, said Rozwadowski, the most pessimistic analyst in the survey. He expects installations to drop to 20.7 gigawatts.”

It’s important to note that the poor performance of the solar industry came at a time when government financial support has been at an all-time high world-wide. It only goes to show that politics and public policy are poor substitutes for free market economics.  

Expect the solar industry to continue to crash and burn as government money continues to dry up along with public support.   

Colorado’s Own Green Loan Sinkhole – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Image representing Abound Solar as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Colorado’s Own Green Loan Sinkhole – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

There’s no escaping Solyndra Syndrome. Here in my home state of Colorado, citizen journalists have uncovered our own gaping government green loan sinkhole. The stench of Chicago-on-the-Potomac is fouling the fresh Rocky Mountain air.

Meet Loveland-based Abound Solar, the lucky winner of a $400 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration. Earlier this month, the thin-film cadmium telluride solar module-maker announced layoffs of nearly 300 employees (70 percent of its workforce). In addition, the firm froze plans to build a new factory in Indiana. Abound says it will ride out bad market conditions and “hopefully” survive until the market recovers.

But White House hope-a-nomics is what got Abound and taxpayers into trouble in the first place.

Back in 2010, President Obama promised America in his weekly radio address that Abound would “manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu waves his green pom-poms, too. “Not only is this investment creating thousands of jobs, but it is also increasing our renewable energy manufacturing capacity and putting us on the path for our future prosperity.”

Like the rosy projections Obama and Chu used to justify pouring half-a-billion dollars in eco-subsidies down the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar drain, Abound’s financial outlook was based on mathematical make-believe. Hope plus change equals fail. Turns out Abound raked in green government funds despite big red flags from Fitch Ratings.

GOP House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wrote: “Fitch describes Abound as lagging in technology relative to its competitors, failing to achieve stated efficiency targets, and expecting that Abound will suffer from increasing commoditization and pricing pressures. DOE’s willingness to fund Abound, despite these concerns, calls into question the merits of this loan guarantee.”

The financial mess was reported by ABC News, but the Obama administration has so far escaped real scrutiny of his crony venture socialism.

How were Fitch’s warnings ignored? Thanks to the intrepid investigative work of Colorado’s Todd Shepherd at CompleteColorado.com, Amy Oliver at the Independence Institute and Michael Sandoval at the People’s Press Collective blog, the crass political science driving this latest Department of Energy loan scandal has been exposed. The loan deal appears to be textbook “pay-for-play” between Team Obama and one of Colorado’s wealthiest progressive activist scions, Pat Stryker. She’s the billionaire heiress whose family founded a medical device and software company. Her investment firm, Bohemian Companies, dumped nearly $500 million into Democratic coffers between 2008 and 2012. Bohemian also invested considerably in Abound.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey, a backer of job-killing cap-and-trade policies and other stifling environmental regulations, pushed for the massive Abound DOE loan. As CompleteColorado.com noted, Stryker donated personally to Markey’s campaign, and Abound ran ads thanking Markey for her eco-radical voting record. Like Solyndra chief investor George Kaiser, Stryker has visited the White House on more than one occasion. Like Kaiser, Stryker is a top Obama bundler.

This week, CompleteColorado.com obtained a new set of documents revealing “that Abound Solar created an unexpected, and previously unreported 10 day production shutdown over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and then went on to tell employees, ‘Don’t let the rumor mill create false purposes for this shutdown.’ The shutdown was announced to employees just after Thanksgiving by company president Craig Witsoe.”

On Thursday, Chu refused to tell House lawmakers and the public how many more DOE solar boondoggles are at risk of going under. He couldn’t “recall the exact number.” Funny how fraudulently exact they can be in cooking up jobs numbers, but how chronically amnesiac they are when it all blows up.

Hope-a-nomics: It’s every green bundler’s paradise and every taxpayer’s nightmare.

The State of the Obama lie – Tea Party Nation

 

English: Barack Obama Deutsch: Barack Obama

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The State of the Obama lie – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

There are words to describe Obama’s State of the Union Speech last night.  They just aren’t appropriate for this website.  Bovine Scatology is the one that immediately comes to mind that is polite enough to use. 

 

What was the worst lie?

 

It had to be his lies about demanding people pay their “fair share” of taxes.  There is no such thing as a “fair share” of taxes.  Obama said he should pay more.  Well guess what Barry, you can.  All you have to do is write the United States Treasury a check and they will gladly accept it.

 

While Obama was whining that he thought millionaires should pay even more money to a bloated government, there was something he did not talk about that should be discussed before anyone, regardless of wealth is asked to pay one more cent in taxes.

 

Almost a year ago, the General Accounting Office released a report saying there is “hundreds of billions of dollars” in waste, fraud and duplicated services.   Government employees use their government issued credit cards as their own personal cards, ringing up millions of dollars in personal charges.

 

The hundreds of billions in waste figure was determined before some of Obama’s greatest disasters.   This was before Solyndra became news.  Why should anyone be forced to pay another cent in taxes when the government is wasting money on idiotic projects like Solyndra? 

 

Thanks to Obama, the nation lost $14 billion in the auto bailout.  Why should anyone be forced to pay another cent in taxes for the Obama mismanagement of an overblown crisis?

 

In 2009, the government wasted almost $20 billion in pork projects to help Senators and Congressmen get reelected.  Why should any American be forced to pay more in taxes so that Congressmen and Senators can be reelected?

 

We spend hundreds of billions a year in foreign aid.  Most of that money is wasted.   Do you ever wonder how all of these third world dictators become rich? It is from American aid dollars!

 

To call the government inefficient would be an understatement.  It is a joke

 

In short, no American, not the richest American nor the poorest American should be required to pay one more cent to a government that wastes money.

 

It was not long ago that our elected officials looked upon their jobs as being the stewards of the people’s money.   No more.  Now far too many of them, including Barack Obama, look at the public treasury as their own personal bank account.  They look at the treasury and the government as an extension of their reelection campaigns.

 

Until the government works to cut the waste, fraud and abuse from the budget, neither Obama nor any other politician has the right to demand anything else from the American taxpayer.

EDITORIAL: The dirty politics of clean energy – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: The dirty politics of clean energy – Washington Times.

Disturbing revelations continue to emerge about how more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars were shoveled into the Solyndra solar-panel boondoggle. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only “green” involved in this scandal is money.

There is no compelling reason to empower the government to use public funds to engage in risky investments. There also is no reason to believe that government bureaucrats – especially political appointees, not usually known for their business acumen or technical expertise – are smart enough to pick winners in competitive business sectors. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has proved that receiving a Nobel Prize in physics doesn’t make one qualified to make key judgments about which companies can survive in a complex emerging market. The real experts were lined up against Solyndra. They knew the company was a failure waiting to happen, and they were right.

What the experts didn’t know was that the deck already was stacked. The reason Solyndra was given shockingly preferential treatment was not because of its promise as a profitable business venture but because of its insider connections to President Obama and his administration.

This was not the story the public was told originally. The Obama administration defended its actions based on an ideological attachment to “green energy,” a liberal faith bordering on mania. The administration pleaded not guilty by reason of sincerity; the environmental cause is so pressing, so dire, that its well-intentioned failure should be excused. All decisions administration officials made were based on merit, they claimed, and at least they were trying to do something.

The appearances of impropriety, however, are hard to ignore. Newly released documents show that in 2010, Solyndra board member Thomas Baruch met with then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who afterward reportedly pushed for “POTUS [president of the United States] involvement” with Solyndra. Mr. Emanuel, who is now the mayor of Chicago, claims he can’t remember any of this. Meanwhile, at least three companies in which Mr. Baruch invested have received federal support. Another Solyndra investor wrote that when the company was mentioned at a meeting, Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s staff “about had an orgasm.”

Billionaire Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser’s role is most curious. It was reported initially that Mr. Kaiser was only vaguely involved with the company in which his family foundation had a one-third ownership stake. But Steve Mitchell, who managed the George Kaiser Family Foundation investment fund, sat on Solyndra’s board and consulted regularly with Mr. Kaiser on matters relating to the company. Documents reveal that Mr. Kaiser kept close tabs on Solyndra, actively pushed for federal assistance, and had an “intoxicating” two-hour discussion on solar panels with Mr. Obama at a 2010 fundraising dinner in Las Vegas.

There are no allegations that Mr. Kaiser has engaged in any illegal activity, but the nexus between Mr. Kaiser’s political contributions and the intense White House interest in Solyndra cannot be ignored. This and numerous other personal, financial and political links between Solyndra and the Obama administration send a signal to those businessmen without insider connections that the system is rigged. Just how extensively it was rigged remains to be revealed.

Disasters Keep Hitting Clean Energy Scam – Amy Oliver – Townhall Finance

Disasters Keep Hitting Clean Energy Scam – Amy Oliver – Townhall Finance.

By Amy Oliver Cooke and Michael Sandoval

It’s hard to keep up with all the disasters plaguing “clean” technology. We’ve highlighted some of them in previous columns, but now find ourselves overwhelmed with bad news for the green-at-any-cost crowd. So periodically we’ll provide a “renewable roundup,” reading and deconstructing the latest developments so you don’t have to.

Running on Empty: Electric Cars

Fisker Automotive, maker of luxury electric/hybrid vehicles, got a $529 million taxpayer guaranteed loan courtesy of the Department of Energy (DOE) in April 2010.  According to the DOE the money was for two production lines that would “create or save” up to 2,000 jobs in Wilmington, Delaware and “displace” 17,400,000 gallons of gasoline. Up to this point, Fisker has created only 700 jobs in California and Deleware.

All that money; all that potential; and very few cars. Forbes contributor Bill Frezza writes that Fisker has delivered a total of 40 cars, and those have gone to the less than one percent among us such as “Leonardo DeCaprio and Ray Lane who received tax credits because they bought an electric car.”

That’s only $13,225,000 per car. Don’t worry Leo and Ray didn’t have to pay that much.  According to Car and Driver the 2012 Fisker Karma is in the $100,000 neighborhood and can go a full 50 miles without using a drop of gasoline! Let’s face it; the Karma is not just an eco-feel good vehicle. It’s sweet looking, not like “smart cars” that resemble a Fisher-Price Cozy Coup with a battery.  But it isn’t really economical.

Frezza reports that Fisker’s problems produce a ripple effect. Because the auto manufacturer keeps delaying production, a Michigan electric vehicle battery manufacturer laid off 125 employees just before Thanksgiving and reduced its 2011 earnings projection.

Even in the face of brutal economic reality, green dreamers keep fantasizing and predict “electric cars would become the leading application for lithium ion batteries by 2015, surpassing laptop PCs and other handheld devices.”

Stop laughing. 

Frezza asks, “Who are they kidding? How many portable electronic devices do you own? How many electric cars have you ever even seen?”

The more economical Chevy Volt is having its own problems.  General Motors has sold just over 5,000 of the $40,000 electric vehicle so far this year. Now GM is offering a rental program to Volt owners worried about possible fire hazard in the electrical system. Drivers will have access to the free vehicle until GM resolves the issue.

GM is quick to point out that the problem is not unique to its Volt, making sure it threw other electric automakers under the big green bus. According to the New York Daily News, “the company was working with other automakers to look at issues caused by what happens when electric vehicle power systems are damaged in a crash.”

Tilting at Windmills: Subsidized Failure

As detailed in our earlier reports on the fragility of the solar panel industry in light of its addiction to government subsidies, we noted that without taxpayer-backed funding on both sides of the artificial supply/demand equation, solar companies are facing a harsh economic reality.

Consumers really don’t like paying higher prices for energy, and not just American consumers. Even the Dutch are “Fall[ing] out of love with windmills,” according to a recent Reuters article. Pulling government subsidies due to budgetary constraints, the Netherlands seeks to push the enormous costs of this form of renewable energy source back on to individual household and businesses, and those customers are not too happy.

For a country synonymous with windmills, the reality that given a true market choice of energy available at cost and not artificially manipulated with subsidies has forced consumers in that country to reevaluate their energy options. They already appear to be choosing “less expensive technologies than wind.”

Abandoned wind farms containing thousands of idle windmills could be the future—as it already is in the present in places like Hawaii.

Companies like Vestas, heavily invested in Colorado to the tune of more than $1 billion spread out over four production facilities, say “the industry is under a dark cloud.”

The reason? The looming end of federal tax credits propping up the windmill business. In early November, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Vestas Wind Systems CEO Ditlev Engel, who said the market for wind energy would “disappear” without the production tax credit (PTC) of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“Our concern is that if the PTC is not extended, history has shown us that these markets tend to fall off a cliff,” Engel told the Chronicle. Industry estimates claim that as much as 85 percent of the market would simply vanish without the PTCs.

Perhaps in anticipation of the looming downturn in wind energy prospects, Vestas plans to shed $207 million in costs, cutting an undisclosed number of jobs. It wasn’t clear if those jobs to be eliminated would come from its Colorado operations.

Without these federal tax credits scheduled to sunset in 2012, not only is wind not an economically viable alternative with little residual market demand, it isn’t even a consistently reliable energy source.

Dimming Solar Prospects

To say that that the prospects of that other renewable ‘panacea’—solar—aren’t bright (at least in the near future) would be quite an understatement. We’ve explored the ramifications of questionable government-backed and taxpayer-subsidized loan guarantees in earlier columns. But the externalities explored focused primarily on the implications to the U.S. solar industry.

U.S. downturns in subsidized market production and demand have been mirrored in Europe, and now we’re beginning to see those factors play out for the bull in the solar panel array: China.

Chinese solar panel manufacturers have already begun to respond to the “weak market demand and industry oversupply” of solar cells by reducing production.

But even slashing manufacturing likely won’t save the vast majority of Chinese solar manufacturers over the next few years, according to Bloomberg. A “glut” of available inventory spurred on by anticipated sales to subsidized consumers in places like Europe has sent prices plummeting, dropping as much as 25 percent for components like solar wafers, in just a month’s time from October to November.

Price per watt, one of the strongest measures of market pricing in the industry, have nearly halved in the last year, as government subsidy-driven investment, plant creation, production, and oversupply have dissipated once those “taxpayer” investments are taken off the table.

The result? More bankruptcies. For those companies that remain, that means falling revenue as shipments of solar modules decline.

Lowering prices on Chinese-manufactured solar panels has lead to accusations that the Chinese companies, backed by government subsidies and other preferred institutional support from Beijing, have begun to “dump” their excess inventory in the U.S. market at “less than fair value.”

These complaints could lead to punitive tariffs, and a solar trade war with China. For their part, the Chinese have countered that similar U.S. subsidies for renewable energy production have created an “improper trade barrier” while denying any favoritism from the Chinese government.

Global Warming Burn Out

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens recently described global warming as “another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen” complete with “an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences.”

All the green, clean technologies such as windmills, solar panels, and electric cars need the unwavering devotion of the faithful.

Right now, “the conclave of global warming’s cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years.” The goal is to guilt rich countries into ponying up another $100 billion for their sins against Mother Nature that somehow will help poor nations “cope with the alleged effects of climate change.”

Good luck with that. The U.S. is $15 trillion in debt and trying to throw a fraying lifeline to the European Union that is drowning in debt.

No good revival is complete without hell, fire, and brimstone.

“’We’re all going to die in five years’ unless a legally binding framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions is accepted by the 192 parties attending the United Nations’ confab…” That’s how Cathie Adams of Eagle Forum described a question posed to a group of “environmental extremists.”

It’s difficult and exhausting to keep up the emotion necessary to have faith in that kind of doomsday prophecy, even more so when your scriptures have proven false. Two years ago Climategate exposed the fallacy of global warming with the “hide the decline” emails and now another fresh batch of emails have been released.

While these emails do little to shake the faith of true believers, those on margins became a little more skeptical with reason. “Papers were withdrawn; source material re-examined. The Himalayan glaciers, it turned out, weren’t going to melt in 30 years. Nobody can say for sure how high the seas are likely to rise—if much at all. Greenland isn’t turning green. Florida isn’t going anywhere,” Stephens explained.

With no environmental foundation and no economic foundation, global warming has little left but faith. And now that’s even shaky.

Conclusion

Whether it’s a ‘failure to launch’ or ‘failure to thrive,’ renewable energy solutions have so far failed to demonstrate the necessary economic and energy-efficient capacity to succeed in a true energy market or even to begin to meet government-mandated targets that creep steadily closer each year. Agents acting in a free market, as Megan McArdle points out in The Atlantic, show their hand when it comes to how they feel about the future—hence the hesitation to be “bullish” on solar.

Governments in the U.S. and abroad have attempted to select winners (renewables) and losers (fossil fuels) in the energy with all the success of a resounding thud. Removing the government-mandated energy targets, loan guarantees, tax credits and other taxpayer-funded support and the renewable energy house of cards begins to topple in resounding fashion. The “myth” of “renewable” energy recycled by politicians and crony capitalists, driven by climate change alarmists and environmental fearmongers, withers in the face of the reality of markets and consumer preferences.

Amy Oliver Cooke is the founder of Mothers Against Debt (www. Mothersagainstdebt.com). She is also the director of the Colorado Transparency Project for the Independence Institute and writes on energy policy.  She can be reached at amy@i2i.org. Michael Sandoval is the Managing Editor of People’s Press Collective and a former political reporter for National Review Online

EDITORIAL: Chu’d out – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Chu’d out – Washington Times.

Americans can’t afford a wasteful energy secretary

If only the administration’s Solyndra scandal were a garden-variety case of crony-capitalist payback to political supporters. It’s much worse, as President Obama’s energy policy is fixated on solving the supposed global-warming crisis, regardless of the economic cost.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu traveled to Capitol Hill on Nov. 17 to defend his decision to pour $535 million into the ill-fated Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in August. He denied that his order was “based on political considerations” and told lawmakers the United States must compete for business in an $80 billion clean-energy market that is expected to grow by hundreds of billions in coming decades. “We are in a fierce global race to capture this market,” he argued.

Then Mr. Chu pointed an envious finger at Beijing. The China Development Bank has extended credit lines of more than $34 billion to Chinese solar companies, he lamented, but Congress has appropriated only $10 billion to backstop the Energy Department’s loan program. The energy secretary concluded his testimony, saying, “When it comes to the clean-energy race, America faces a simple choice: Compete or accept defeat. I believe we can and must compete.”

What Mr. Chu didn’t mention is the “clean” energy market is an artificial one built upon an unsound theory. It posits that combustion of the carbon-based fuels that power modern civilization is elevating levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, trapping heat and cooking the planet’s biosphere. What’s missing in this scary tale is the link between cause and effect. If an increase in carbon dioxide from human activity causes rising temperatures, then the warming trend should have accelerated as industrialization has spread. It hasn’t.

Global warming, renamed “climate change” to downplay the embarrassing absence of actual warming, is an article of faith, not a product of science. It appeals to utopians who believe human beings are defiling an otherwise pure planet. The idea is to impose restrictions on conventional power sources and to favor antiquated sources of energy like windmills – as if reversing the effects of civilization will somehow restore Earth’s equilibrium. For those who buy into this, Solyndra was just a temporary setback.

Mr. Obama used his Australian visit last week to reaffirm his adherence to the global warming credo: “I share the view of … most scientists in the world that climate change is a real problem and that human activity is contributing to it, and that we all have a responsibility to find ways to reduce our carbon emissions.” As he did so, China was wooing TransCanada with an offer to buy the oil that Mr. Obama refused when he blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline the week before. While Mr. Chu covets China’s trendy energy subsidies, Beijing has the good sense to pursue real fuel sources.

An artificial solar and wind energy market propped up by ideology rather economics is destined to collapse, taking taxpayer funds with it. It doesn’t have to be that way. Americans stand upon the world’s most expansive reservoirs of affordable, conventional energy resources. The nation can no longer afford the policies of Steven Chu and Barack Obama that keep domestic energy sources off-limits.

The Accountability Charade – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

The Accountability Charade – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

You can’t spell “accountability” without “A,” “C” and “T.” But in Washington, government officials routinely get away with “taking personal responsibility” by mouthing empty words devoid of action. Heads nod in collective agreement that mistakes were made. But heads never roll. The Obama administration has raised this accountability charade to an art form.

At a House Energy Committee hearing on the half-billion-dollar bankrupt Solyndra loan-guarantee disaster, Energy Secretary Steven Chu made a grand pretense of falling on his sword. The neon-green solar energy zealot told lawmakers in prepared testimony that the “final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind.” But again and again, Chu admitted, those decisions were made with serial cluelessness about the political jockeying, dire financial warnings, legal red flags and conflicts of interest that “everybody (else) and their dog” knew about (as GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas politely pointed out).

While former Democratic chief inquisitor Henry Waxman praised Chu’s “reputation for integrity” as “unimpeachable,” Chu came across as more Mr. Magoo than Mr. Clean.

Chu said he was “unaware” of the Department of Energy’s own staff predictions two years ago that Solyndra would face a serious cash-flow crisis today.

Chu said he was “unaware” of administration pressure on Solyndra to suppress layoff announcements until after the November 2010 midterm elections. “I don’t know. I just learned about that,” he shirked.

In fact, he used the phrase “I am aware of it now” at least a half-dozen times. If there were a Nobel Prize for Unknowing, Chu would be two-time shoo-in. GOP House Energy Committee Chairman Cliff Stearns summed up:

“We talked about the August 2009 email predicting Solyndra would be out of cash in September 2011. You knew about that, but you didn’t seem to know about that.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers concerns about Solyndra, you didn’t seem real concerned or weren’t aware of it.

The White House emailing your chief of staff regarding their concerns with the PricewaterhouseCoopers report, you didn’t seem to know too much about your chief of staff’s awareness of that.

The request to hold off announcement of the DOE loan, and request by your agency to Solyndra to hold off on announcing layoffs till after the midterm election, you don’t have any recollection of this. So what I am saying is that through all of this you seem to have an unawareness.”

In short, Chu took full responsibility for everything he wasn’t aware of … until it was too late.

Sound familiar? It was the leitmotif played in last week’s Fast and Furious hearings with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Despite a raft of briefing memos with his name on them, Holder claimed he never received or read them. Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ran interference, sanctimoniously explaining for all the non-career government attorneys in the audience — including the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — that nooooooo one in the top echelons of the federal lawyers’ bureaucracy actually reads memos addressed to them. It’s merely a “convention” for junior staff to feel better and more important about themselves.

Taking his boss’s lead, former Holder Chief of Staff Kevin Ohlson — who is seeking a federal judicial slot — explained away his failure to do anything about the festering Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal. He had “been informed that routine courtesy copies of weekly reports were forwarded to me that referred to the operation by name, but that did not provide any operational details and did not refer to gun walking or anything similar.”

Although his name was on the documents, Ohlson just didn’t bother to read them because they weren’t marked important or sensitive. Imagine an ordinary small businessman or taxpayer trying that one out on the IRS.

Situational unawareness in the private marketplace or on the battlefield will cost you your livelihood or your life. In the Age of Obama, however, such willful ignorance is a job prerequisite. The less you know the better.

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