Wednesday wit – Josh on yet more wasted Green

Josh writes: This week Eric wrote on this blog about the Obama administration announcing $12 billion in new Federal loan guarantees for renewables businesses – somewhat ironic considering the debt-laden ill wind blowing in from the East at the moment.


Cartoons by Josh

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August 27, 2015 3:34 am

Sounds familiar:
Solyndra received a $536 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee, the first recipient of a loan guarantee under President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. [21] Additionally, Solyndra received a $25.1 million tax break from California’s Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.
Following the bankruptcy, the government was expected to recoup $27 million under the Solyndra restructuring plan, but no money was ever recovered.
What could possibly go wrong?

Reply to  soarergtl
August 27, 2015 4:13 am

“What could go wrong?” Well, given the equation that this administration was involved, what could go right might be the better question. 🙂 Here is a good description of what apparently went down:
Gee, who didn’t see that coming.

Reply to  csanborn
August 27, 2015 8:35 am

I’m more concerned that the taxpayer dollars were designated as the first to absorb losses. Normally the government stipulates that taxpayer money is the first out in the event of a bankruptcy. But in this case the Dept of Energy negotiated to allow all the Solyndra execs and private investors to get their money back first under bankruptcy while the taxpayers were left holding the bag.
This agreement was “without precedent” according to the NYT, yet they couldn’t bring themselves to find even a smidgen of corruption in the deal.
You know the fix is in when the argument being made by the media is that although the actions were highly unusual, very damaging to the taxpayers, and wholly unjustifiable, it’s probably okay because it might not have violated federal law.

Reply to  csanborn
August 27, 2015 10:18 am

The people who would be going to jail if an illegality were to be found, are the same ones determining whether or not an illegality had occurred.
Yes sir, no conflict of interest there.

Reply to  soarergtl
August 27, 2015 7:07 pm

Solyndra restructuring plan, but no money was ever recovered.

That isn’t exactly true.

At the same time, many Solyndra executives and employees were opening up their checkbooks to make political donations. Additionally, iWatch News reported that Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, who bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, was one of Solyndra’s lead investors.
Converting tax payers’ money into political donations for the Democratic Party is the one thing Democrats do very very very well. To the Democrats, Solyndra was a huge success story.

Reply to  co2islife
August 27, 2015 8:11 pm

Essentially the same thing that happened in the government take-over of GM as well. Lots of taxpayer monies funneled to democrat election war chests through the UAW. Now we get the horrible, corrupt government I guess we deserve. This is not the USA we used to know. We’re now a third-world country in terms of political corruption (yes, some of which has always existed, but now it’s on a trillion $ scale).
Hey registered democrats, do you really want to be associated with such underhanded, unfair, likely illegal actions on the part of your guys/gals? Yes, look the other way for the greater good, right? Situational morality, right? Hold the other side to a higher standard, right? Really hypocritical IMHO. But what’s new.
Hey liberals, most of what you learned in school is not true and most things you are told by your leaders are lies. You are all good little tools. You think they really care about you and saving the world? How naive.
And yes, a significant number of registered Republicans are only marginally less bad in the hypocrisy department.

Peter Miller
August 27, 2015 3:54 am

Just how much green money has been poured down the drain to achieve absolutely nothing, other than humoring a slew of smug politicians intent on saving the world from a non-problem and encouraging swarms of vapid greenies, who are unwilling to try and understand the difference between climate reality and climate alarmism?
It’s is certainly hundreds of billions of dollars per year, but have we yet reached a trillion?

Reply to  Peter Miller
August 27, 2015 5:09 am

But it has achieved something. Our evolution at the state and local levels into a dirigiste crony economy. This matters a great deal now that every state has to file its economic development plan with the federal Departments of Labor and Education by early next year.
The dirty little secret in every state is that WIOA passed in July 2014 has turned K-12 education into workforce development around federally pushed Sector Strategies and workforce development and economic development are what the governors, legislatures, and City Councils all now believe to be their domain. These green job cronies are always part of the local workforce boards and the Department of Labor has now added a 17th Career Pathway category for K-12 to emphasize: Green Jobs.
It all fits together like a Jermyn Street bespoke glove fit to order. Plus this way some of this money can come back to politicos as donations for the 2016 elections to both parties at every level. More dirigisme.

Reply to  Robin
August 27, 2015 6:25 am

Robin, all they need to do is apply some Carbon Dioxide Austerity Measures (CDAM) and any damage to the economic climate will be mitigated.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  Robin
August 27, 2015 9:58 am

Robin – Maybe a bit off-topic, but I wanted to thank you for causing me to look up in Webster’s (yes, a hard-copy version) and learn a new term today – ‘dirigeste’. Hopefully others unfamiliar with the word will do the same. I try and add bits of knowledge to my aging brain each day, and this was among the first added today. Some may understand the term as loosely fitting the descriptor of ‘ fasc-ism’. And your deep interest and understanding of what is happening in Common Core K-12 has in the past opened my eyes to the ever-increasing involvement of government in all facets of (what used to be considered) private life in the US in recent years – all by advance and coordinated PLAN. Agenda for the 21st Century? Laid bare for all to see….if you are just willing to do some research and learn. Please, keep up the good work in promulgating the truth about what is happening in education.

Reply to  Robin
August 27, 2015 11:46 am

The goal is a single-party UN-abiding system hence the need to shape young minds and shepherd them through a life described by Agenda 21. It is why the current government sees no reason for national borders, and why the constitution of the US is ignored in all matters.

Reply to  Peter Miller
August 27, 2015 6:39 am

It has not achieved nothing. It has achieved a net negative.
Windmills sit on a cement base structure, and require various maintenance and servicing activity. The result is, typical windmills produce roughly twice the CO2 per kWhr as do nuclear stations. This is before the provision of backup power, and the consideration of extra grid capability that is required by a diffuse intermittent power source.
That’s right. Windmills increase CO2 output and increase the cost. And they insert even more government interference into an already heavily government-interfered-with industry.
Achieving nothing would be a very great improvement.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Dan
August 27, 2015 9:01 am
Bloke down the pub
August 27, 2015 4:00 am

Anyone might think there was an election approaching and O’Bama had some supporters he needed to pay off.

August 27, 2015 4:05 am

It’s not “Debt” going down the drain – its’ money and the debt is increasing.

Kevin Kilty
Reply to  taptoudt
August 27, 2015 8:30 am

The debt is flowing out the drain.

August 27, 2015 4:20 am

There’s nothing more dangerous than a second term president on the way out but determined to poison the waters for his successor.

Reply to  Pointman
August 27, 2015 4:25 am

I recall news reports that the Clinton’s staff ripped up the offices, and Bill and Hillary stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of government property. I wonder what the Obama’s will do, probably invite BLM to torch the place.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Pointman
August 27, 2015 5:40 am

It’s all part of Obama’s new program, ObamaDon’tCare.

August 27, 2015 4:21 am

Here’s a witty tidbit.
The climate Malthusian patron saint’s name is “Malthus,” which literally means “bad conclusion”.
MAL = bad
THUS = introduction of a conclusion
In the Old Testament, the names of noteworthy people was often a prophesy about their lives, whether for good or evil. God must have a sense of humor about the green movement because they’re all venerating “St. Bad Conclusion”!

UK Sceptic
Reply to  LarryFine
August 27, 2015 4:31 am

MAL – evil, bad
ICIOUS – pseudoscience

August 27, 2015 4:30 am

So true…

August 27, 2015 5:29 am

Yesterday in Federal Court (NY), Rhode Island and other Pension funds had their lawsuit thrown out against the stock exchanges.
Judge dismisses lawsuit against Barclays inspired by ‘Flash Boys’
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against Barclays PLC that was inspired by the best-selling book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” by Michael Lewis.
The suit filed in the Southern District of New York by the city of Providence, R.I., and other investors cited the book and alleged that Barclays (BCS) (BCS) and the U.S. stock exchanges defrauded investors in its dark pool, a private trading venue, and gave high-frequency traders an unfair advantage over others.
Judge Jesse M. Furman said in his opinion that the plaintiffs failed to show their complaints were “legally sufficient.” The plaintiffs may opt to amend their complaint and refile, the judge said.
“We are pleased with the court’s thorough and well-reasoned decision dismissing all the allegations in the complaints concerning Barclays LX and concluding that the plaintiffs were unable to identify any materially false or misleading statements by Barclays,” Barclays spokesman Marc Hazleton said in a statement.
Lawyers for the city of Providence said they were still discussing the judge’s decision and hadn’t yet decided whether to appeal. Frank Bottini, a lawyer for another plaintiff, Great Pacific Securities, said he was planning to amend the complaint and seek to have it moved to California where it was originally filed.
Representatives of NYSE Group, a unit of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) , Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.(NDAQ) , and BATS Global Markets Inc. declined to comment. The exchanges have previously denied allegations that they were creating an uneven playing field for investors.
NOTE: According to the judge, the exchanges are SELF REGULATORY and have IMMUNITY. In other words the CFTC and SEC are useless. The markets have been proven by NANEX that they are rigged and now that doesn’t matter. The market plays favorites and you can bet that renewables concerns will get that treatment in our rigged markets.
Here is some background on the lawsuit:
Pension Funds Joins Lawsuit on High Frequency Trading
The Art of the Steal!
As we enter the closing stretch of the baseball regular season, a season where the NY Mets have a better record than the NY Yankees this late for the first time in ages, it only seems appropriate that today’s note has a baseball tie-in!
Regretfully, the tie-in has to do with pickoffs and stealing…
The term “picked-off” is used in very different ways in baseball and in dark pool trading.
In baseball you have a player, and the bastard is trying to steal a base! Only when he is napping, can he get picked-off, and his 2nd base – theft thwarted! The picking-off stops a theft in progress!
On the other hand, in dark pool trading this whole picking-off concept is very different. it is done by offenders, and not defenders. The pick-off in a dark pool does not prevent stealing – it is stealing, and it works like this:
You rest passive midpoint hidden orders in a dark pool to accumulate your portfolio manager’s positions in manner that is supposed to be non-aggressive.
Trading occurs so fast that quotes change extremely rapidly.
Short-term high speed traders know that many dark pools are slow to update their quotes. When the NBBO changes, they swoop in to the slower venues and “provide liquidity” to your passive order at an old price.
The execution you receive is always to your detriment versus the actual price in the market.
The short term high speed trader has “intermediated” you. They picked you off and pocketed the difference between what they made by executing for themselves at the current actual market price versus the old stale price that they filled you at….
Here is how it works:

Bruce Cobb
August 27, 2015 5:41 am

Typo alert: “Obama adminsitration”.

Jimmy Haigh
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 27, 2015 5:53 am

Oxymoron alert….

August 27, 2015 6:32 am

A better (official) term for it is “experimentation” with taxpayer funds.

Reply to  Resourceguy
August 27, 2015 6:48 am

“Experimentation” is not what Mussolini called it.

Mark from the Midwest
August 27, 2015 6:52 am

If we took 30 billion and applied it to improving the energy efficiency of every home in the U.S. we would be saving about 3-4% of all the energy consumed in the U.S., and saving the average homeowner about 600 bucks a year. Then take another 30 billion to improve roads, and reduce energy use another 5%, while creating about 30,000 well paid jobs.
Now take the incremental taxes from 30,000 employees over 10 years, and there’s a few billion to fund the R&D for thorium salt reactors, which cuts fossil fuel use by another 10%
Right there we are more than half the way to reducing fossil fuel use to meet the 28% goal, and we haven’t even lined Nancy Pelosi’s brother’s pockets one dime.
OK: The numbers don’t really add up, but they’re close …. at least a better projection than anyone at OMB is capable of making

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
August 27, 2015 7:18 am

Mark, that is common sense; which is the last thing anyone uses when they are hysterical or deluded

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
August 27, 2015 10:24 am

At one time there was a tax credit for buying energy efficiency products for your home. And it was one of the few 1st dollar deductions out there.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
August 27, 2015 11:34 am

Right there we are more than half the way to reducing fossil fuel use to meet the 28% goal, and we haven’t even lined [any politician’s] pockets one dime.
I think I might see why your plan could experience some problems…

August 27, 2015 7:16 am

An unheralded aspect of the private sector is the business idea that is tried but fails in bankruptcy. It is failure as much as success that guides Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” Government shouldn’t get itself involved in profit seeking enterprises. They are too risky for the public weal. They are also a broad avenue for corruption. Gyro Gearloose appears with a gadget to save the world and the government will underwrite his enterprise once he has paid the politician for access.

Reply to  HankHenry
August 27, 2015 8:57 pm

Hank-There never was an invisible hand not even in Adam Smiths time. Whomever owns the government is the “invisible hand”.

August 27, 2015 7:24 am

Nice cartoon as always Josh! I seem to remember calculating a few years ago that if we (UK) cut our CO2 emissions to the EU required level, we would save the planet a 0.00001 Celsius temperature according to the IPCC, well worth destroying our economy for (sarc)

August 27, 2015 7:31 am

He is more like Hugo Chavez and Maduro than people realize. Instead of throwing oil revenues around like in Venezuela when prices were high, this administration is throwing debt capacity of a reserve currency around for political points. Each country pays the piper in due time.

August 27, 2015 7:37 am

I always like to remind people of the billions of dollars Australia spent on desalination plants because the alarmists were predicting long term drought. Those billion dollar plants are sitting mothballed, never having been used to produce any water whatsoever because the reservoirs are full of rain water.

Reply to  Terry
August 27, 2015 7:53 am

Interesting. Are there some links summarizing the policy fail with timelines etc.?

Steve R
August 27, 2015 8:36 am

For better or worse, this Federal debt gig is just about up.

Reply to  Steve R
August 27, 2015 9:12 am

It required low debt service costs in recent years to get this far. So it will be a subtle phase shift at first that better growth pushes interest rates higher and the true cost to maintain what the Stimulus-in-Chief did earlier becomes more clear when stacked against real budget categories of services. For comparison, the deck chairs on the Titanic did not move for some time after the fatal gash split the hull exposing the design flaws. And the Captain was mildly perturbed at the thought of not making a record run to NY on the maiden voyage.

August 27, 2015 11:04 am

Does Pelosi have more brothers?

Svend Ferdinandsen
August 27, 2015 11:52 am

I wonder if the drain ends in China. The new form of “China syndrome”.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
August 27, 2015 2:44 pm

What was that old movie? “The Andromeda Strain”? All we need to do is lower the ocean’s pH! 😎

August 27, 2015 7:10 pm

WUWT should start a new column of article that details the extreme waste and cost of the tax payers’ money this “green” economy. Put the spending in terms of opportunity cost such as Solyndra cost 40 schools, 20 hospitals, etc etc.

August 28, 2015 12:32 am

Solyndra’s Lying Officials blamed but somehow not to blame
– or How To Rip-off the Taxpayer for $500m and Walk

The report by the Energy Department’s inspector general []the inspector general said the actions of the Solyndra officials “…were at the heart of this matter. Solyndra’s failure to directly disclose these significant material changes in its contractual relationships distorted the view the department and its consultants had of the market for Solyndra’s products. In our view, the investigative record suggests that the actions of certain Solyndra officials were, at best, reckless and irresponsible or, at worst, an orchestrated effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the department.”
But strangely enough… the IG’s report did not provide any response to its findings from a Solyndra representative. Nor did it identify by name any particular Solyndra leader who gave misleading information. And the Department of Justice informed the inspector general’s office that it would not pursue criminal prosecution of any Solyndra officials.
So who is to blame for the half billion dollar loss? A congressional report concluded it was down to “Solyndra’s financial condition” and “turbulence in the solar market.”

Chris Wright
August 28, 2015 2:11 am

It seems that, slowly, slowly, the UK is edging back towards energy sanity. The headline on today’s printed Daily Telegraph:
“The solar boom is over in UK…
Ministers to slash amount of money given to people who install panels on homes”
Solar power was always nonsense in cloudy Britain. It was outrageous that poor pensioners were being forced to subsidise rich people who put useless solar panels on their roofs.
Some time ago David Cameron famously spoke of the need to “cut the green crap”. But he made Amber Rudd energy secretary. Rudd said she wanted to “unleash a new solar revolution” across Britain. It looks like she has been overruled, thank goodness.
But the war is far from won. The government still plans on squandering vast sums of money on offshore wind farms – the very same wind farms that were generating just 78 MW a couple of weeks ago. It’ll be a long time before I again vote Conservative, if ever. They’ll have to promise to scrap the Climate Change Bill, for a start.
Maybe when Boris is Prime Minister!

old construction worker
August 28, 2015 4:15 am

I’m about to teach my 13 year old about finance and money management. First lesson: He already owes the federal government about $60,000,00.

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