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Via Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard, it has been revealed that the Department of Energy went ahead and approved $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies — including a $737 million loan guarantee to a company known as SolarReserve.
“SolarReserve LLC, a closely held renewable energy developer, received a $737 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee to build a solar-thermal project in Nevada,” reports Bloomberg.”The 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes project, near Tonopah, Nevada, will use the sun’s heat to create steam that drives a turbine, the agency said today in a e-mailed statement. SolarReserve is based in Santa Monica, California.”
On SolarReserve’s website is a list of “investment partners,” including the “PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East) LLC.”
As blogger American Glob quickly discovered, and Hemingway points out, PCG’s number two is none other than “Ronald Pelosi, a San Francisco political insider and financial industry polymath who happens to be the brother-in-law of Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives.”
One of SolarReserve’s other investment partners is Argonaut Private Equity.
“Steve Mitchell and Argonaut Private Equity might have a chance to recoup some of their losses in the Solyndra debacle now that the Department of Energy has given a $737 million dollar loan guarantee to a company backed by Argonaut that also lists Mitchell among its board of directors,” reports Joel Gehrke of The Washington Examiner
How would Mitchell be able to “recoup some of the losses” suffered in the Solyndra debacle?
Turns out, Mitchell had served on the Solyndra Board of Directors (and what a great job he did there). Not surprisingly, he serves as Managing Director for Argonaut Private Equity, a company that invested in Solyndra through the LLCs parent company.
After Solyndra went under, two Democratic members of the U.S. House asked that Mitchell testify about Solyndra. Though he has not appeared before Congress, he has “been asked to provide documents to Congress” pertaining to Solyndra.
But why not emphasize some more favoritism just for good measure?
How about this: Obama is also about to hold a big money fundraiser at the home of Tom Carnahan in St. Louis, according to stltoday.com,
Carnahan, a member of the prominent Missouri Democratic family, has been tapped by the Obama campaign as its chief Missouri fundraiser, reports the online news source.
“He is chairman of the board of Wind Capital Group, a wind energy company that makes it corporate headquarters in St. Louis. He formerly was president and CEO of the company.”
Last year, Wind Capital’s Lost Creek Farm facility in northwest Missouri received a $107 million tax credit from the Treasury Department, among many such wind operations receiving support from from stimulus funds. Tom Carnahan is the son of former Missouri governor Mel Carnahan and former U.S. senator Jean Carnahan. He is also the brother of current Missouri secretary of state, Robin Carnahan.
It would seem that it is getting to the point where politicians do not even care if Americans make these connections. The glaring favoritism in Washington, D.C. has reached new levels of audacious shamelessness.
Update: Versions of this story have come under fire for implying that Pelosi (or family members) stood to profit directly from the loan. Although The Blaze never claimed that Nancy Pelosi or Ron Pelosi would monetarily benefit from the loan, there are some useful clarifications that should be made.
Ronald Pelosi is an executive at Pacific Corporate Group, one of the private equity firms that have plugged more than $100 million into SolarReserve. However, he personally will not benefit from the loan, reports Dan Primack of Fortune. His report continues:
Ronald Pelosi joined PCG this past spring, whereas the firm first invested in SolarReserve three years ago. More importantly, Ronald Pelosi does not have a financial interest in the fund that houses SolarReserve. If the fund generates big profits on its investment, Pelosi gets nothing. If the fund’s investment gets wiped out, Pelosi’s bank account won’t take a hit.
Moreover, a PCG spokesman insists that no member of the firm had any contact with the White House about the SolarReserve loan.
Ronald Pelosi’s political contacts [may] have been a reason why he was hired by PCG, but not from a federal perspective. The firm has been indirectly caught up in a California pay-to-play scandal, which resulted in it getting fired last fall by the state’s largest pension fund. If Pelosi is supposed to get PCG back in political good graces, it’s a local issue.
By the author’s own admission, there are enough elements to the story to question the motives behind the awarding of the loan. While neither of the Pelosis stand to gain financially from the transaction, the existing political connections and the nature of the industry the loan went to should still raise some eyebrows.