Environmentalism or Chrony Capitalism?

By W. C. (Bill) Augustine

President Obama has been criticized as an advocate of an extreme brand of environmentalism that borders on religion. He is also accused of using the government to curry favor toward selected parties, (i.e. crony capitalism or ‘the Chicago way’).

Although the underlying philosophy of extreme environmentalism is certainly open to further analysis, a comparison of the weight of President Obama’s alleged propensities may give us clues as to his priorities.

When dispensing favors to friends or creditors clashes with a classical concern for human environment, on which side does the President come down?

 Tonopah, a Nevada solar project , owned by PCG, whose number two person happens to be Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, receives a $737 million DOE guarantee even after the  Obama-campaign-donation-bundler  owned, Solyndra debacle. In Tonapah taxpayers are on the hook for $737 million— over $16 million per job for 45 permanent jobs created and, given the 110 megawatts of production, about $7,000 per kilowatt of capacity.  An environmentally sound investment of money?

Although a  new study conducted  at the University of Tennessee concludes electric cars are more dangerous to human health than combustible engine cars, President Obama is increasing the per electric car tax credit from $7,500 to $10,000, thus bringing the total federal and state subsidies for the United Auto Workers and government-owned Chevy Volt to $250,000 per car sold .  It is interesting that the average income of the  Volt buyer is $170,000 making them part of the despised 1%.  Choosing the whims of the 1% over human health?

Although a moratorium was placed on US off-shore drilling, President Obama failed to stop the  US Export-Import Bank  from lending $2 billion to Brazilian Petrobras of which Obama financial supporter  George Soros  was a major investor. Are non-US refineries more environmentally-friendly than US refineries?

 The Duke Energy Corp , whose CEO Jim Rogers is a major Obama contributor and co-chairman of the Democratic National Convention host committee, offered Charlotte, NC a $10 million line of credit to fund the Democratic National Convention after receiving $230 million in stimulus money.  What does the $10 million do to enhance the environment?

 The SunPower Corp , which posted a $150 million in loss the first half of last year, nevertheless received a $1.2 billion Federal loan guarantee amounting to an astonishing $80 million per permanent job created.  Amazingly, the company has paid $290,000 to lobbyist Patrick Murphy, a confidant of Senator Harry Reid, $16,500 to Democratic congressional candidates in 2010 of which Senator Reid received the largest donation. Could more have been attained environmentally from $1.2 billion?
President Obama nixes the keystone pipeline, which would have much more efficiently carried crude than railroads to the more environmentally friendly Gulf refineries than those in Asia. Coincidently, no doubt, Obama supporter Warren Buffet,  who benefited greatly from the bank bailout , owns  Burlington Northern Santa Fe through Berkshire Hathaway , which is among the railroads that will move the Canadian oil without the pipeline. Best choice for the environment?

Whether President Obama is an advocate of classical or the post-humanist religion-like brand of environmentalism, his choices appear to reflect a priority of extending state control through dispensing favors regardless of the human impact.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

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