SOURCE: RIGHT SIDE NEWS
“The pattern is clear, projects like this which generate electricity that is far above the going market rate and supported by politicians like Sen. Reid, and constructed by their corporate cronies, and invested in by their supporters, all at the expense of taxpayers and rate payers for the benefit of the well-connected. Those who profit, donate to the politicians, who in turn funnel more government loans and subsidies to projects like the Searchlight Wind Energy development.”
File Photo: Wind Turbines
A court ruling last week might be the end of the line for a large wind energy project was slated to be constructed near Sen. Harry Reid’s home town of Searchlight, Nevada. The project may not be constructed, after being stopped by a federal court ruling last week, in which the court cited a flawed report by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the project. The 87-turbine wind generating facility would have been built on 18,949 acres of federally owned land managed by the BLM near Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Searchlight. U.S. District Court Judge Miranda M. Du cited “unexplained inconsistencies” regarding the numbers of threatened species living on the land that would have used for the development, which was intended to be built by Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy.
Du’s ruling follow a three year legal battle between the developers of the project and local opposition from Friends of Searchlight Desert and Mountains, Basin and Range Watch and Las Vegas resident Judy Bundorf.
“This is a stupid place to try to build an industrial-scale energy facility,” said Dave Becker, an attorney who represented the plaintiffs, as reported by the Las Vegas Sun, who also said the victory shows the dilemma for environmentalists who support renewable energy projects but also realize in many instances the projects would be build on lands with sensitive habitats. Becker suggested that the BLM should choose sites for renewable energy that would have “big benefits and low impacts.”
This massive wind energy project was likely the result of Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and President Barack Obama working with corporate cronies to promote the development of more renewable energy projects. Last August, Sen. Reid joined President Barack Obama for the National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas, where he proclaimed, “Solar isn’t just for the green crowd anymore,” speaking before lobbyists, investors and corporate executives involved in the renewable energy industry, “It’s for the green eyeshade crowd, too.”
The summit was sponsored by several “K Street firms, giant corporations and industry lobby groups” as the Timothy P. Carney reported, writing for American Enterprise Institute, and one of the key lobbying groups involved was Cassidy & Associates, a K Street firm with close ties to Sen. Reid, who donated $50,000 to Reid’s Senate Majority PAC.
“Cassidy lobbyist Rebecca Lambe was also treasurer of Reid’s Senate Majority PAC — the largest member-run super PAC in the 2014 election. Cassidy proudly touted Lambe’s connections to Reid, and her concurrent job at Reid’s SuperPAC,” Carney reported for AEI.org.
Carney pointed out that MGM Casinos was a major sponsor of the summit where President Obama was the keynote speaker, and that Kai Anderson, a former Chief of Staff for Sen. Reid, is a lobbyist for Cassidy, and lobbyist also for MGM Casinos.
The sponsors of the Las Vegas summit on renewable energy also included billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who is one of a group of billionaire environmentalists who profit from and promote heavily government-subsidized renewable energy projects, as well as Elon Musk, the creator of the heavily subsidized Solar City company.
“You see what’s happening here: Elected officials accrue more control over tax dollars, businessmen come to the trough for the tax dollars, the politicians demand a cut in the form of campaign contributions, and the aides demand a cut in the form of lobbying contracts or other revolving-door gigs,” Carney writes for AEI.org, “The insiders all win, the taxpayers and the politically unconnected companies lose. This is somehow considered acceptable because everyone shows up wearing green.”
The pattern is clear, projects like this which generate electricity that is far above the going market rate and supported by politicians like Sen. Reid, and constructed by their corporate cronies, and invested in by their supporters, all at the expense of taxpayers and rate payers for the benefit of the well-connected. Those who profit, donate to the politicians, who in turn funnel more government loans and subsidies to projects like the Searchlight Wind Energy development.
This pattern of corruption and cronyism is highlighted by the involvement of the Clean Energy Project (CEP), in promoting renewable energy projects, which received contributions in 2013 from Fulcrum Bioenergy. One of the nine corporate donors to CEP, Fulcrum received federal financing that was likely secured by Reid.
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