Massachusetts' GREEN SWAMP needs to be DRAINED first, Mr. President

I'm probably too annoyed to write about the most recent of MA Public Officials writing green rules that ultimately benefit them.  But, this swamp drained will benefit New Englanders and silence is the voice of complicity. 

There were zero comments on this Boston Globe 1/18/17 piece I read this AM which demonstrates very troubling public apathy.

'A State House go-to guy on energy issues finds a new place in the sun'

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Ben Downing became the go-to energy expert at the State House during his decade representing his hometown of Pittsfield and much of Western Massachusetts in theSenate. Now, he’s putting that expertise to use by helping Boston solar developer Nexamp Inc. realize its national ambitions.

Downing (right) chose not to run again for his Senate seat last fall, opting instead to make a move to the private sector. The Nexamp opportunity followed conversations Downing had with Zaid Ashai, the chief executive. Nexamp hired him in November to be vice president of new market development, although Downing continued to serve out his term until it ended earlier this month. He also recently moved with his wife to Boston..."

This article quote by Ziad Ashai felt like a slap-

“He’s been on the regulatory side,” Ashai says of Downing. “We’re in a regulated industry."

That's called *“Regulatory Capture” a term attributed to Chicago School of Economics Professor George Joseph Stigler whose theory is that regulators eventually identify with and aspire to join the well-heeled people they regulate.  Regulatory Capture advances renewable ventures based on politics, not public or environmental merit.

Another article quote:

"Downing was the Senate’s lead negotiator on energy issues, and he was instrumental in guiding the state’s big clean- energy bill..."

Could it be worse?  Yup!  Follow the money!

From this article:

"[Senator] Downing joins Nexamp at an interesting time for the company. Mitsubishi made a major investment in it last August, and Ashai hopes to leverage that investment to become a national player.

I've looked into Mitsbishi Corp. as a Cape Wind opponent having read Mitsubishi was ready to invest in this awful yet dejected offshore wind project.  And, Mitsubishi Corp.'s energy subsidiary, Diamond Generating Corp., has acquired a near-majority stake in Boston-based energy developer Nexamp.

A bit of history on Cape Wind:

Now, with the help of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Cape Wind is much closer to becoming a reality – $2 billion closer. Last month the Japanese bank signed a term agreement to become the Coordinating Lead Arranger for Cape Wind. The money will pay for development and construction costs of the project, which is to be installed in the Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts.

A bit of history on Mitsubishi, money laundering, violating U.S. sanctions, threats to national security, fines and sentencing...

Financial Times (CLIPS)

December 13, 2012 5:27 am

Mitsubishi fined for US sanctions breaches

By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has agreed to pay a $8.6m fine after admitting to violating US sanctions against transferring funds to accounts held by citizens of Myanmar, Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

Japan’s biggest banking group is the latest financial institution to settle with US authorities over alleged breaches of sanctions HSBC this week paid a record $1.92bn fine for alleged money laundering while Standard Chartered paid $667m to settle charges that it violated US sanctions.

MUFG said its violations came to light after it conducted an internal investigation and found 97 cases between 2006 and 2007, totalling $5.9m, in which the bank had transferred dollars from Japan to accounts in a third country held by citizens from the four countries then facing US sanctions.

More than 80 per cent of the transactions involved accounts held by Sudan and Myanmar nationals, MUFG said. Employees at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, the main bank in the MUFG group, had deleted or omitted information that would have prevented the transfers going through, it said.

In a statement, the bank said it had “fully reviewed its operations management framework and OFAC [Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control] acknowledged that BTMU has undertaken significant remediation efforts”.


Legal/Regulatory June 20, 2013, 9:35 am 22 Comments

Regulator in New York Sets Tough Bank Fine


Yuriko Nakao/ReutersA branch of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Tokyo.

It took just $8.6 million for Japan’s largest bank to settle with federal regulators in Washington who accused it of routing tainted money through the United States.

A regulator in New York proved harder to satisfy.

On Thursday, the state’s top financial authority, Benjamin M. Lawsky, imposed a $250 million fine on the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ — nearly 30 times what the federal government extracted last year.

The bank, which agreed to settle the New York case, was accused of routing 28,000 payments worth about $100 billion on behalf of Iran and other countries blacklisted from doing business in the United States. In contrast, federal authorities at the Treasury Department cited the bank for processing 97 fund transfers, worth about $6 million.

The disparity stemmed partly from the wider latitude that Mr. Lawsky has to dole out punishments on the banking industry; the Treasury Department is somewhat hamstrung by a quirk in federal law that permitted certain transactions with Iran until 2008.

The Tokyo headquarters of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, whose subsidiary, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, was accused of routing tainted money.

But the action on Thursday also underscored the gulf between the two regulators. Mr. Lawsky, a former terrorism prosecutor known for his aggressive style, has at times clashed with the more staid philosophy entrenched at the Treasury Department.

Mr. Lawsky, who was born on a naval base in San Diego, has drawn additional ire from Wall Street. Some white-collar defense lawyers have privately complained that his office is overreaching its authority.

In the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ case, the bank initially proposed settling with Mr. Lawsky’s agency for roughly $20 million, according to several people briefed on the matter. But Mr. Lawsky balked, the people said, pushing for a bigger fine and additional requirements, like an independent third party to keep an eye on the bank’s activities.

“We have and will continue to take a hard line in rooting out misconduct at banks that threatens our national security,” Mr. Lawsky said in a statement announcing the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ deal.

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Federal authorities were slower to act against the bank, reaching their own deal in December for $327 million. That fine, according to people close to the case, was larger than federal authorities initially planned. It swelled after Mr. Lawsky announced his penalty.

For its part, the Treasury Department said on Thursday that it “has been relentless in its pursuit of illicit activity by banks in the U.S. and around the world.”

“We have led the international community in both creating and enforcing powerful sanctions against rogue regimes, terrorist groups and proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, with crippling effects on the government of Iran in particular,” said a statement from the agency.

The Treasury Department, along with the Justice Department and Manhattan prosecutors, has brokered a series of settlements with foreign banks accused of allowing illicit funds to swirl through the American financial system.

Last June, the ING Bank agreed to pay $619 million to resolve claims that it had transferred billions of dollars through its American branches for countries like Cuba and Iran that are under United States sanctions.

Despite the complaints from Wall Street and Washington, consumer advocates and some lawmakers have cheered Mr. Lawsky’s tougher tactics, noting that he might goad federal regulators into action.

“I don’t think Lawsky is running ahead of Washington. He is simply running, while Washington sits,” said Bart Naylor, a policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit group critical of the federal government for not taking a harder line with Wall Street.

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In the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ case, he seized on the bank’s attempts to disguise the transfers from Iran. To avoid detection, Mr. Lawsky said, the bank told employees to omit information from wire transfers that could have exposed how the bank was working with an “enemy country.”

The bank, Mr. Lawsky said, approved the illegal transfers over at least five years, ending in 2007. The transfers involved “government and privately owned entities” in Iran.

Additionally, the bank had dealings with Sudan and Myanmar. At the time, those countries were all operating under United States sanctions.

In a statement, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said it was “committed to conducting business with the highest levels of integrity and regulatory compliance.” The bank also noted that it voluntarily alerted regulators to its activity and has since moved to bolster its internal controls.

The action against the Japanese bank capped a busy week for Mr. Lawsky. On Tuesday, he took aim at the financial consulting industry, leveling a $10 million fine and one-year ban against Deloitte, one of the nation’s most prominent consultants. Mr. Lawsky accused Deloitte of watering down recommendations “aimed at rooting out money laundering” at Standard Chartered. It did so, he said, “based primarily on Standard Chartered’s objection".

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In the case against the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mr. Lawsky ordered the bank to hire an outside consultant to examine its operations. The consultant will have to abide by a new set of standards that Mr. Lawsky announced this week.

A version of this article appears in print on 06/21/2013, on page B1 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Regulator In New York Sets Tough Bank Fine.

Mitsubishi UFJ to Pay $250 Million to N.Y. Regulator

By Greg Farrell and Monami Yui Jun 20, 2013 10:20 PM ET  (CLIPS)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) agreed to pay $250 million to the state of New York to settle claims it transferred billions of dollars for countries facing U.S. sanctions including Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., the main lending unit of Japan’s biggest bank by market value, moved an estimated $100 billion through the state for government and privately owned entities on the Specially Designated Nationals list issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) between 2002 and 2007, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement yesterday.

The transfers involved about 28,000 clearing transactions and the bank routinely stripped information from wire transfer messages that could identify countries and people subject to international sanctions, the department said. The agreement follows HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s record settlement with the U.S. last year, stemming from sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to halt its nuclear program.

“We have and will continue to take a hard line in rooting out misconduct at banks that threaten our national security,” Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of the department, said in the statement.

Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ fell 2.8 percent to 566 yen as of 10:46 a.m. in Tokyo trading, compared with a 2.3 percent decline for the benchmark Topix Index.

One-Year Review

The Bank of Tokyo instructed employees that “in order to avoid freezing of funds” they should “omit” information that could have identified transactions involving an “enemy country,” according to the DFS statement.

The bank in 2007 identified the issues cited by the DFS, voluntarily and promptly ceased the practices, reported them to all of its regulators and has been cooperating fully with them, Mitsubishi UFJ said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today.

The company will retain a consultant approved by the department for a one-year compliance review of the bank’s operations, it said.

“We have no higher priority than conducting our business with integrity and full regulatory compliance.” Yuji Okumura, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Mitsubishi UFJ, said today. “We will continue to work constructively with DFS, the compliance consultant and all our regulators in our key markets around the world.”


Sept. 18, 2007, 12:50 a.m. EDT

U.S. fines MUFG unit in money-laundering case

By Chris Oliver, MarketWatch

MUFG's U.S. unit fined in money-laundering case

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- A Japanese bank's U.S. subsidiary will pay fines and penalties totaling $31.6 million for violating U.S. laws in connection with the laundering of alleged cocaine-trafficking proceeds by its customers, the U.S. Justice Department said.

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"Banks that knowingly disregard their legal obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act are easily exploited by drug cartels and other criminals," Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher said in a statement.

Shares of MUFG fell 2.9% in afternoon trading in Tokyo Tuesday.

Chris Oliver is MarketWatch's Asia bureau chief, based in Hong Kong.

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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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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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