Monday, March 7, 2011

The Green Industry - A few things you probably already knew

This bit of brilliance is by Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner
No, the industry of painting machines green isn't driven by a a desire to save the planet. 
Environmental policy is not driven by tree-hugging activists, earnest liberal bloggers, or ecologically minded citizens. Instead, it flows from the lobbyists and executives of well-connected multinational corporations and built-for-subsidy startups that see profit in the loan guarantees, handouts, mandates, and tax credits Congress creates in the name of saving the planet.
K Street is the epicenter of this green-industrial complex, and ground zero might be the firm founded by Democratic revolving-door earmark lobbyist Steve McBee.

McBee, a former top staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and powerful House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., reportedly wrote key provisions in the stimulus bill to open the spigot of green corporate welfare. Also, he has hired up the Capitol Hill staff at the center of big environmental legislative pushes like cap and trade.

Exploring corporate lobbyists' central role in Obama's "green energy" push provides us two important lessons. First, it reveals as hypocritical the Democratic attack that opponents of cap and trade and other green policies are simply shills for big business.

Second, it ought to heighten our skepticism that these "green" policies are really crafted with an eye to helping the environment -- they are more likely skewed toward the bottom line of lobbied-up Big Business.

McBee's clients include SolarCity and the Green Tech Action Fund as well as electric-car maker Better Place Inc., waste-to-power company Ze-gen, and solar-power developer BrightSource Energy. But the big guys -- Boeing, JP Morgan, and Google -- also hire McBee to lobby for green-energy subsidies.

Electric car company Tesla signed on with McBee days after Obama's election, and soon won a $465 million loan guarantee to aid in building a new all-electric car.

With McBee's former boss being a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, McBee Strategic used to be an earmark factory. After Obama's election, though, McBee pivoted to green energy and saw revenues soar in 2009.

"I attribute it to the bets we've made on clean energy and energy," he told Roll Call.

Late last year McBee hired Kathleen Frangione, described by Politico as "Sen. John Kerry's top climate staffer." You see the play: advance green legislation, then lobby for the companies trying to make money off that legislation.

Hit the link up top to read the whole thing. 
The pictures of the Room Cleaner (a space heater with a feather duster taped to it) and the gasoline powered alarm clock, both of which were approved as "Energy Stars" by regulators, came from here. 

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