Corporate wrongdoing by Volkswagon is by Financial Times compared to Enron. Interesting to note government favor, hiding massive losses, have much to do with ENRON that launched commercial wind in the U.S. How coincidental that former ENRON execs have reappeared the wind sector?
Business Insider (8 hrs ago)-
Volkswagen's scandal is 'worse than Enron,' and reports say the company was warned about 'cheat' devices
A piece in the Financial Times argues that the scandal is worse than that of Enron, the American energy giant whose colossal accounting fraud was revealed in 2001:
"There are reasons to believe that the fallout from this scandal will be as big as Enron, or even bigger. Most corporate scandals stem from negligence or the failure to come clean about corporate wrongdoing. Far fewer involve deliberate fraud and criminal intent."
The article offers seven reasons:
- Higher air pollution actually costs lives.
- VW has been at the head of a Europe-wide push for diesel, prodding governments to favour it through policy.
- The fines and lawsuits looming for VW will most likely be larger than for Enron.
- Enron's fraud hid massive losses, whereas "Volkswagen could get wiped out even though the company is financially healthy."
- The scandal damages Germany's image more broadly and the image of other German automakers.
- Other firms that have invested in the rise of diesel will be damaged even if they have not cheated in any way.
- The scandal could taint the idea of using cleaner technology to mitigate against.
It's a pretty brutal list.
When the news first broke about the scandal, all eyes were on the massive potential $18 billion (£11.85 billion) fine in the US alone. Now attention is shifting away from specific fines and toward the less quantifiable damage to the company and industry more widely.
The BBC reports that a Brussels-based group called Transport & Environment says carbon-dioxide standards are "widely manipulated."
Likewise, Emissions Analytics founder Nick Molden told the Independent: "If widespread illegality is found among car manufacturers in Europe...."
Speaking of ENRON, special government favor, rent-seekers, revolving doors, corporate welfare, renewable LLCs, and green bubble bankruptcies...
Do leopards change spots?
It's incomprehensible to me that the below red flags are being ignored or endorsed by government. While Enron, recognized as the U.S. most notorious corporate fraud case in history, relied upon government collusion. The result was the CA energy crisis. Considering history is known to repeat, should we expect former ENRON execs behind wind to deliver public and environmental benefits? When the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results?
ENRON (WIND) vets are assembled 15 years following the CA Energy Cris ENRON triggered in the sWINDle-
The launch of the MA renewable industry according to the former Gov. Deval Patrick admin., began with the Wind Turbine Testing Center (WTTC) in Charlestown, MA. The WTTC is made possible by ratepayers $13.2 million in grants and loan guarantees through the Mass Clean Energy Center MassCEC, and by $24.7 million in ARRA stimulus funding.
The first customer of the $40 million dollar Charlestown facility was Clipper Wind, founded by ENRON Director James Dehlsen. Clipper Wind has since filed for bankruptcy protection. MA Wind Turbine Testing Center Executive Director Rahul Yarala is the former Director of Engineering at Clipper Windpower, Inc., formed by ENRON. Yarala is listed among the "Top 5 Officers and Compensation" at the testing center who received approximately $798,937.00 in ARRA Stimulus funding, with Yarala of MassCEC collecting $150,000.00.
Mike Cutbirth is former head of Global Finance for Zond Corporation and ENRON Wind. He served 4 years as the first CEO of Clipper Windpower. CGEI Wind that is jointly owned by Good Energies and Champlin Windpower, LLC is led by Mike Cutbirth.
ENRON Energy Services Chris Wissemann is offshore Fishermen’s Energy Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Freshwater Wind. Wissermann is Chief Operating Officer of Winergy Power, LLC and the Founder of offshore DeepWater Wind, and past President of Garden State Offshore Energy. Wissermann spearheaded legislation to create long term power purchase agreements for DeepWater Wind which he founded.
DeepWater Wind Board Member Brian Redmond is Founder of Paragon Energy Holdings, LLC; former President of Houston Pipe Line Company and President of Louisiana Resource Company, Managing Director of ENRON, and Executive Director of UBS Warburg Energy.
DeepWater Wind Board Member Michael Alvarez is listed as President of Kentech Energy Systems, Inc., (KES) and Enron Development Corporation (Enron). Kenetech Corp also owns KES. Buenergia B.V. and Buenergia Enron de Puerto Rico, C.V., are both indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Enron Corporation, the Parent Company of Enron Development Corporation.
APEX that acquired Outer Banks Ocean Energy Corporation ("OBOE"), is a North Carolina-based developer of utility-scale offshore wind energy. APEX Wind EVP of business development Steve Vavrik is listed as Apex Clean Energy, Inc., Chief Commercial Officer. Vavrik is former VP of First Wind, and served as Vice President of Risk Management for UPC in 2006 that changed its name to First Wind in 2008. Vavrik was with ENRON in London in a project development and gas trading capacity. His role at ENRON included trading natural gas forward contracts and negotiating structured power deals. (Vavrik is/was Chair Managing Director of SunPower Corp. Investors, tax and ratepayers have lost approximately $10 Billion dollars between Enron and SunPower).
ENRON on ENRON
In 2002, GE with CEO Jeffrey Immelt, spent $358 million to buy the assets of the bankrupt ENRON Corporation, Zond Wind, founded by James Dehlsen in 1980. Months later, GE petitioned the courts for the return of over half the money they spent on ENRON assets claiming the value of these assets wasn't worth the price GE paid. GE’s Immelt led President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
ENRON CEO Ken Lay’s public policy guru and speech writer for 7 years, Robert L. Bradley Jr., was with ENRON for 16 years. Bradley makes a compelling case against the business model of wind energy (ENRON’s) as an ENRON insider. Bradley calls industry alleged wind benefits the ENRON “Myth”. Bradley observes ENRON (Wind) required government intervention. And, that President Obama’s Energy Plan is like ENRON that benefits rent-seekers who help craft regulations that give special government favor to their industry in Robert L. Bradley, Jr.: Obama's Enron Problem, available on YouTube.