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"I see fields of green ..."

Actually I see mountains of money being raked in by green profiteers as the Obama Administration's Carnival of Crony Capitalism rolls on:

Last month, the Obama EPA began enforcing new rules regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from any new or expanded power plants.

This week, the EPA issued its first exemption, Environment & Energy News reports:

The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.

According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to "grandfather" projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

There's something interesting about the Avenal Power Center:

The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine. (emphasis added)

You will recall that President Obama recently appointed the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, to head his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  An examination of GE's political and lobbying donations reveals that they dumped an unprecedented amount of campaign cash into the 2008 and 2010 elections, giving about twice as much to Democrats as Republicans in 2008, and increased their lobbying expenditures by over 30% between 2008 and 2010.  In 2010 alone, GE spent over $32 million on lobbying.  If you are trying to buy your way into the government, that's the way to do it.  So much for President Obama's promises of an administration that would not be swayed by high dollar corporate lobbyists.

Writing about the Avenal Power Center, Captain Ed Morrisey snarks, "GE: They bring good waivers to life!"

This story also fits nicely with Rick's post earlier this morning, which exposes the ruse that is Obama's new "Startup America" program.  In the minds of Obama's egghead roundtable members and business cronies, nothing could be more beneficial for America than yet another attempt to pull the technology industry deeper into the government fold with promises of corporate welfare, no-bid contracts, and the ability to write their own rules and regulations ... at the cost of millions in protection money - er, campaign donations - for Democrats of course.  Democrats and crony capitalism win; the free market -- and the rest of us -- lose.

One more thing.  Have you noticed the obnoxious GE advertising banners celebrating the centennial of Ronald Reagan's birth?  Nothing wrong with that of course, particularly since President Reagan had a long and distinguished association with General Electric.  In fact it's fair to say that Reagan's connections with General Electric and his service on their Board of Directors helped launch his political career as Governor of California.  Yet, it's worth noting that as President, Reagan never played political favorites with GE the way President Obama is, today.

Still, I wonder if the Reagan-GE-Obama nexis is a source of inspiration for the Obama Administration's laughable attempt to convince the mainstream media that there is a favorable comparison between Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. 
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Comments (10)

Dang it, Michael. ... (Below threshold)

Dang it, Michael.

I'll have Satchmo's version of that ol' ditty in my head all day now...

Barry disliked Reagan. But... (Below threshold)

Barry disliked Reagan. But you'll never see the MSM publish anything about that. Guess they've burned their archives.

And all the people that com... (Below threshold)

And all the people that complained about the Bush\Cheney Haliburton connection are.............

"And all the people that co... (Below threshold)

"And all the people that complained about the Bush\Cheney Haliburton connection are............"

Finding it hard to breathe with their heads buried firmly up Barry's ass.

thehill.com:"Judge... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:


"Judge holds Interior in contempt over drilling ban
By Ben Geman - 02/03/11 08:30 AM ET

A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday held the Interior Department in contempt for re-imposing a deepwater oil-drilling ban last year after the judge had struck down an earlier version of the moratorium...."


"...Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling — which is stuffed with harsh words for Interior — orders the department to pay attorneys' fees in the case against last year’s drilling ban brought by several offshore oil services companies...."

Great. So Obama is breaking the law in order to harm America.
And we waste taxpayer money to pay legal fees on top of everything.
And nobody will be punished for it.

You're worried about crony... (Below threshold)

You're worried about crony capitalism now? Have you been in a coma since 2000? Your indignation rings hollow when presented solely in the context of partisan bias. The sooner we all wake up and realize our government is of the cronies, by the cronies and for the cronies the sooner we can try and fix it, even though I'm afraid it's probably too late to stop our descent into oligarchy/corporatocracy. One person's GE is another person's Halliburton and until we take private money out of elections we deserve everything we get.

Personally I'm fine with transitioning away from fossil fuels sooner rather than later. I'm not bothered by the yowling from the current energy elite and the bullshit that spews from their congressional henchmen who see the sun setting on their day at the public trough. Besides, someone has to try and stop the Koch monsters.

Groucho - "I'm afr... (Below threshold)

Groucho -

"I'm afraid it's probably too late to stop our descent into oligarchy/corporatocracy" ... agreed.

But here's the thing -- Barack Obama specifically campaigned as a non-DC insider who would run an administration that would not be influenced by big corporate lobbyists with deep pockets. That promise obviously has been broken; no, not just broken, but smashed to bits.

And the mainstream news media isn't reporting this stuff, certainly not the way they reported Cheney-Halliburton just a few years ago.

Why not? Do they just assume that Messiah Obama is such the epitome of purity and justice that all of his promises will be kept? Likewise, did they pound Bush and Cheney because they were eeeeevil Republicans whose every move had to be monitored and reported?

Just what the hell is going on?

They all find out it's easi... (Below threshold)

They all find out it's easier to campaign than to govern. The complaints of corporate welfare, no-bid contracts and the ability to write their own rules and regulations only stick in your craw and cause you to yell foul because of your radical partisanship and apparent visceral dislike for the president. By the way, the only people I've heard suggest that Obama is the messiah or that he is the epitome of purity and justice are the denizens of the deepest rabbit hole.

Are you aware that Rep. Ryan addressed the secretive Koch brothers' picnic, no doubt with visions of collusion dancing in everyone's head? And Darrel Issa has already been soliciting for suggestions from the fattest of the plutocats about which regulations they might like to see go away; but, hey, it's OK when they do it, right?

The current champion, though, remains Cheney, for his closed door meeting with the energy cabal and his duck hunting trip with the federal judges before they ruled in his favor. That's an in-your-face, take it to the bank corruptapalooza two-fer that's going to be hard to beat, my friends.

As a retired utility vetera... (Below threshold)
dunce :

As a retired utility veteran i can say from experience that they had little choice in approval. No coal plants are allowed, no new nukes, no new hydro,solar and wind are hugely expensive even with federal subsidys and are inefficient, part time, and unreliable. That leaves proven technolgy like combined cycle gas plants to replace older plants being phased out and new demands. Industrial customers escaping oppressive regulation and taxes give them a small amount of time to adjust the generation infrastucture.

Laws under which politician... (Below threshold)

Laws under which politicians are free to grant "waivers" at will aren't laws at all -- they're edicts from royalty.

Personally I'm fine with transitioning away from fossil fuels sooner rather than later.

Good. Go ahead. We aren't stopping you.






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