Breitbart - WORSE THAN SOLYNDRA: Angus King Wind Dealings


 10 Sep 2012, 11:36 AM PDT 181 POST A COMMENT

The Obama administration is famous for its crony capitalism. It’s famous for wasting money on disastrous investments like Solyndra to pay off its political allies. It now appears, however, that they go a step further: they put public funds in bad investment loans, then double down on their bad loans with free cash grants.

Here’s the short story: Angus King, former governor of Maine, Obama supporter, and front-running independent Senate candidate, owned a wind company. Obama’s Department of Energy handed over a deeply questionable $102 million loan to that company. It appears that as that company was coming under investigation, King quickly divested himself of his interests, hoping he was doing so just in time to escape scrutiny, and as he was preparing to announce his candidacy for Senate. 

But that's not where the story ends. It seems that before he left the company, King helped apply for a Department of Energy grant worth some $33 million. Which means one of two things: either the company was thriving, in which case King was helping bilk taxpayers for an additional $33 million; or the company was having financial difficulties, in which case the $33 million grant was designed to help cover the cost of the loans, $23 million of which was coming due with a maturity date of April 27, 2012.

Either way, the situation doesn’t look good for King, or the Obama Administration. Either the two were working to ensure that King’s company got paid millions so that King could reap the benefits, or they were working to cover up a troubled company and highly questionable investment subsidized with federal tax money.

Here’s the more complete story.

In 1997, Governor King signed into law a bill that would require utilities to generate at least 30 percent of their energy from “green” sources like wind.  In 2007, King decided to take advantage of his mandate and founded a wind energy company, Independence Wind. The first major project of Independence Wind was to build the Record Hill wind farm, near Roxbury, Maine.

Ironically, King once said, “In the process of rebuilding Maine, we must never compromise the integrity of our environment. It’s not only immoral, it’s bad economics.” Yet his wind project has blasted the tops of mountain ridges along many of bucolic Maine’s well-known and beloved mountaintops to make way for a new and much less attractive landscape consisting of hundreds of windmills.

In 2011, King’s company received a $102 million for development of Record Hill. The loan came through the same stimulus program that funded Solyndra. The original federally-guaranteed loan was as questionable as the Solyndra loan. As it turned out, there was no need for a federally-guaranteed loan on the surface; the company supposedly had $127 million in liquid assets available, assets it had to have under Maine state law in order to commence construction. The loan program was specifically designed to help companies that couldn’t get private loans otherwise.

Furthermore, the company may not have been eligible for the loan, since its technology wasn’t innovative under the applicable regulation. But the company got the loan anyway, from an Obama administration eager to help out its cronies. Angus King was, of course, an Obama supporter, endorsing him and having contributed at least $10,000 to Obama’s reelection campaign.

Record Hill promptly used the money on foreign companies. Just a quarter of the cash was reinvested in the State of Maine; 58 percent of the cash went to Siemens to pay for building 22 windmills. The turbines themselves were manufactured in Europe “because that’s where the biggest turbine market is, and the tower sections are made in Asia, because that’s where the new efficient steel mills are,” said King’s partner in Record Hill, Rob Gardiner. About 467 people worked on the site, reportedly, but “at least some of these jobs could measure their duration in days rather than weeks or months.” Today, nobody is employed by the wind farm itself.

In March, King declared his Senate candidacy. He would run as an independent, but he would likely caucus with the Democrats. He was a solid lock to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

But the loan was coming under scrutiny. As steam picked up on the curiosity about Record Hill, King spoke out. “The project is operating and actually is ahead of its production schedule,” he claimed. “The risk now basically is that the wind won’t ever blow again, and that is a pretty low risk.”

Despite King’s assessment of the situation, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Darrell Issa, released a report bashing the Department of Energy and singling out Record Hill as a loan that shouldn’t have happened. Two days before the report was released, King dropped his association with Record Hill, dumping all of his stock. He told a Maine news outlet the timing was an “amazing coincidence.” Actually, Record Hill was notified that they’d be mentioned, and King almost certainly wanted to avoid blowback. Gardiner admitted that he’d received a letter of notification from the Committee two days before King sold his stock.

But wait, there's more! From August 2011 to January 2012, the federal financing bank signed checks worth $101.5 million to Record Hill. In March 2011, King and Gardiner said they’d expect another $70 million in stimulus funds; as of July 2012, they’d received another $33.7 million in Section 1603 cash grants. A grant, not a loan.

Was the grant designed to help Record Hill cover loan repayments that the company couldn’t pay? Or was it just double-dipping by a highly-connected company?

If it’s the former, this is fraud. For the federal government to guarantee a loan, know the loan is going bad, and then give a “grant” to a company to pay off that loan is cooking the books.

If it’s the latter, King and company were all too happy to grab more and more taxpayer money.

King, for his part, continues to maintain that the company is in solid financial shape. But if it is, why should the Department of Energy give it a $33 million grant? What need would the company have for such a grant? Angus King and his former partner are wealthy magnates; the company supposedly had $127 million in liquidity when it began. If these 1 percenters are so flush, why do they insist on taking money from the 99 percent to pay for their already-flourishing company?

This isn’t Solyndra. This is far worse than Solyndra. It wasn’t just a Solyndra-like loan to a wind energy company designed to make a Senate candidate rich – although it appears that the Department of Energy loan was Solyndra-lite. It’s the follow-up grant that’s even more troubling. The cash grants arrived just two months after King cut ties with the company – and it takes several months for such grant applications to be filed. If the company was doing well, it wouldn’t need a grant; if it was doing poorly, it didn’t deserve a grant. But it got a grant nonetheless.

This is not the first time that Angus King has been involved in a Solyndra-like situation. King’s son, Angus III, is vice president of First Wind, another wind boondoggle that received federal stimulus dollars and almost went bankrupt.

King’s wind fixation certainly enhanced his wealth. It hasn’t enhanced the wealth of Maine or American taxpayers, though. It’s cronyism at its finest. And it’s a double-down Solyndra story that should make any
taxpayer cringe.

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Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on September 11, 2012 at 3:06pm

they need to be stopped in their tracks and if we are not able it is devastating..major media needs to be disclosing this and will not...hope that tide changes.

Comment by Long Islander on September 11, 2012 at 11:07am

And if you don't think Angus and the wind cartel hasn't hurt our pocketbooks, just read the following:

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on September 11, 2012 at 12:07am

The following piece is an EXCELLENT read.

Op-Ed: Maine’s wealthy elite profit from political connections

Pictured at right with President Obama is Bobby Monks, minority owner of Maine Today Media and a "bundler" for the President

But hey, what are friends for?

By J Dwight


Here are a couple of short extracts from the article:


By now everyone knows that former governor Angus King and his business partner Robert Gardiner used their political connections and friends (Congresswoman Chellie Pingree) to help get an unnecessary Federal Loan Guarantee for the Record Hill Wind Power Project, as reported by The Maine Wire.

That loan guarantee immediately added some $4 million to $5 million to the bottom line for King and Gardiner by enabling them to sell the debt at below-market interest rates. This kind of advantage comes at the expense of the ratepayer and taxpayer. The means by which that federal loan guarantee was obtained is now under investigation by the Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, as also reported by The Maine Wire.

One of King’s first jobs in Maine was lobbying for the Natural Resources Council of Maine at the State House. He later made millions by taking advantage of laws he lobbied at the State House for while employed by NRCM.

After being governor, he returned to the NRCM as a board member, along with other highly prominent political figures, such as Obama Bundler Robert “Bobby” Monks and long-time friend and political ally Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (who is still an advisory board member).


Comment by Whetstone_Willy on September 10, 2012 at 11:55pm

"This is not the first time that Angus King has been involved in a Solyndra-like situation. King’s son, Angus III, is vice president of First Wind, another wind boondoggle that received federal stimulus dollars and almost went bankrupt."

Former Governor Baldacci's former Chief of Staff Kurt Adams took over $ 1million in stock options from his then future employer First Wind while Chairman of the PUC. While there, Adams helped grease the skids for the $1.5 billion CMP transmission upgrade. It was needed solely for Baldacci's wind friends who without it would be dead in the water with their big plans to fleece us. 

Baldacci and company said it was needed for reliability because our transmission lines were old. PATENTLY FALSE. The lines were and are fine. Moreover, population growth is forecasted to be nil.

Of course when Kurt Adams, who had been interviewing with First Wind months before while running the PUC was hired by First Wind, he became their Director of Transmission. Is there no shame?

Should there be laws in place to stop this sort of thing? Or to stop wind industry beneficiaries from sitting on the Energy and Utilities Committee squashing EVERY citizens-proposed protection against wind factories in their tranquil locations? 

Meanwhile, Baldacci told us not to worry for we only will pay our 8% share of the ISO-NE grid on the $1.5 billion. But he neglected to tell us that we will also pay the same 8% on the $30 billion of similar wind-required transmission across the New England grid. That is an extra $4,500 per Maine ratepayer!

A Maine PUC whose former Chairman jumped to a wind company to head transmission after taking over $ 1 million in stock options. A Maine Attorney General in the form of Janet Mills who looked at this upon citizen complaints and ruled everything was perfectly fine with Mr. Adams. (Janet Mills is now Vice-Chairman of the Maine Democratic Party ) A Maine CDC Director, Dora Mills (Janet's sister), who denied that 400' tall wind turbines on top of homes could cause health problems? State environmental officials who are now on tour across the U.S. shilling for wind power.  Maine at the bottom of the states in the U.S. with its recent "F" for transparency.

Read all about this Kurt Adams tale at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. It is truly must reading.

PUC chairman took equity stake in wind company


First Wind SEC filing change questioned


Group asks AG to probe official of First Wind

The blatant conflicts are now a mile long. The deep filth needs to be cleaned up. All of these people work for us, not the other way around.

Comment by Long Islander on September 10, 2012 at 11:41pm

Separate but related:


"In my original post about the Obama administration's awarding of $503 million in "stimulus" funds for alternative energy projects, I wrote that the recipient of $294 million, Iberdrola SA, had executives who had donated more than $21,000 to the Obama campaign and related funds. Another $115 million in funds for windmills went to a company called First Wind, which, I noted, had owners that included D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn Partners. Shaw is the firm at which President Obama's chief of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held a $5.2 million a year, one-day-a-week job, and Madison Dearborn is the firm of which Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff, said, "They've been not only supporters of mine, they're friends of mine."

Comment by Jim Lutz on September 10, 2012 at 11:27pm

Every dollar of this "Investment" into the failed destruction of Maine is BORROWED money we don't have.  It is driving our debt to levels that won't be recovered in any of our lifetimes.  At some point we are going to have to tear these monstrosities to failed technology down, and none of the companies that have built them are going to have any money left to do the job.  We are going to be on the hook for that, too.  Otherwise we are going to have to look at them for a long time. 

Comment by Jim Lutz on September 10, 2012 at 11:15pm

OK all you King and Obama doubters . . . . Here is enough of a smoking gun to get both these crooks brought up on charges.  What money that didn't get put into Angus' pocket, more than likely went back to the Obama campaign in the form of a donation, just like the crooks at Solyndra.  This is corruption in it's worst form and these guys should hardly be elected, they should be prosecuted.  I just can't understand how anyone can sit there and deny what these criminals are doing to us and our environment.  This is not just for lining their pockets - this is for crashing our economy.  And it is their plan.  Mark my words.

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on September 10, 2012 at 10:03pm

King and wind should be blown out of Maine and called on their crimes to this State.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

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 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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