The American people have been reduced to shouting to stop taking all of our wealth and retirements even as neo-liberals are indeed doing just that!
IS YOUR POLITICIAN, MEDIA OUTLET, OR LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS SHOUTING OUT AGAINST THIS? WELL, THAT MEANS THEY ARE WORKING FOR NEO-LIBERALS AND NOT YOU AND ME! THIS IS NEO-LIBERALS DOING MORE DAMAGE THAN REPUBLICANS!
I have referenced how corporations are now the welfare queens with so much corporate welfare as to make our taxpayer money an income for shareholders. I want to look at development since the crash to show that all those tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud we have not gotten back are now being used for merger and acquisition in ever greater consolidation that gives us this situation of only a few global corporations owning all. Maryland is ground zero for this so as I point out how Maryland citizens are affected negatively by these policies and how the neo-liberals you elect over and over are working to do great harm to you and me and our communities.....know that the same thing is happening in your neck of the woods!
The concern today is the energy sector consolidation. We know that the same people owning the oil companies are the ones doing the natural gas fracking and as a result, when Obama and neo-liberals talk about funding an national infrastructure project, it will be these same corporations and investment firms getting all the money as natural gas lines, wind mills, processing plants will all be the infrastructure funded.
O'Malley has handed the most public assets over to corporate interests than any other -------BGE going to Exelon.....HighStar and Veola getting incinerator and waste management that will produce a small amount of energy, and now the wind farm project I wanted to emphasize today. I've spoken about the wind mills as a loser for jobs and taxpayers/ratepayers, but I wanted to look at how deeply Maryland is tied over and over to Wall Street investment vehicles and the few shareholder corporations tied to all this privatization of public assets.
REMEMBER, THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE MARYLAND HAS THE SAME NEO-LIBERALS ELECTED EACH TIME OVER DECADES WHO WORK FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT AT OUR EXPENSE. YOUR POL IS NOT CUTE AND FUZZY HANDING OUT A PROGRESSIVE BONE NOW AND THEN. THEY ARE GREAT BIG GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS BENT ON HANDING ALL PUBLIC ASSETS AND REVENUE TO CORPORATE PROFIT ESPECIALLY FOR MARYLAND'S 1%.
Regarding wind farms and McCord's ode to Ocean City views:
As an environmentalist recently from Seattle, I have always pushed wind and solar. The idea was to move away from fossil fuel and carbon emission. The problem with any progressive issue in the age of neo-liberal control of the democratic party is that none of it is done for the environment....it becomes public subsidy of another corporate industry. When O'Malley and the corporate Maryland Assembly did their usual sell of jobs and environment to push public subsidy of a wind farm that will do absolutely nothing for global warming....it became a pay-to-play. There will be no jobs created from a Federal program outsourced to private contractors with a wind turbine factory from Germany. As with all these subcontracted projects....the workers are brought from out of state or the work is done in a Right to Work state where workers are impoverished....not a real job.
As this article shows, the amount of energy created by a Maryland wind farm is so small that the public subsidy for building and operating these farms will far exceed the value of energy produced. It is like subsidizing mid-west farms for crop loss during prolonged drought from global warming. IT SIMPLY SETS A PATH OF TAXPAYER SUBSIDY TO AN INDUSTRY NO DOUBT OWNED BY THE GLOBAL CORPORATE GROUP. These turbines not only kill birds and wildlife but as the article below shows, the need to keep them running burns more electricity than running a gas-fired plant. It is the money made by building these turbines and the ongoing public subsidy that drives this industry.
If we were indeed moving away from fossil fuel this would be a good move. As I have said time and again, neo-liberals want to make the US a third world source of raw energy by exporting the worst carbon-emitters......oil, natural gas, coal, and raw timber. Maryland wants to do all of the above. So, the goal is not environmental, it is profits. The citizens of Maryland should be offended that O'Malley and the Maryland Assembly tied them with yet another corporate subsidy and in the very least, making this a public utility.
MARYLAND NOW HAS A TAX TO PAY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND OPERATIONS OF A NATIONAL ELECTRICITY AND GAS CORPORATION EXELON EARNING BILLION IN PROFIT EACH YEAR.......WE ARE GOING TO PAY HUGE INCREASES IN WATER AND SEWAGE TO BUILD A NEW SYSTEM FOR WHAT NEO-LIBERALS INTEND TO HAND OFF TO VEOLA ENVIRONMENT-JOHNS HOPKINS.....AND NOW THIS WIND FARM TAX SUBSIDY TO OPERATE THIS ENERGY SOURCE. NONE OF THESE ARE PUBLIC UTILITIES BRINGING PUBLIC VALUE AS WAS ONCE THE CASE.
The solution is voting neo-liberals out of office by running labor and justice. ......WAKE UP AND GET RUNNING!
MAINE COMPASS: Industrial wind power a catastrophe on every level
As a lifelong Democrat, environmental activist and renewable energy advocate, I commend Gov. Paul Le Page’s recent criticisms of the huge taxpayer-funded industrial wind power scam, which will ruin Maine unless it is stopped.
click image to enlarge
Select images available for purchase in the
Maine Today Photo Store
Though initially a proponent of industrial wind, I’ve learned it’s a catastrophe on every level — environmental, fiscal, social and economic. And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.
Industrial wind projects have been clearly proven to slaughter millions of birds and bats, destroy scenic beauty, lower property values and tourism, sicken people and drive them from their homes, increase erosion and raise electric rates. But they make billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the investment banks that develop them.
Yet the biggest trouble with industrial wind is it doesn’t lower greenhouse gas emissions or fossil fuel use. Not one molecule. The reason is that winds (particularly in Maine) are erratic, and as a result, industrial wind “farms” have to be backed up constantly by “fixed” generation, e.g, fossil fuel plants. This problem, called spinning reserve, basically invalidates any claim that wind projects lower fossil fuel use or carbon dioxide generation.
Online one can find numerous scientific, utility and environmental studies showing that, despite nearly three decades of huge federal subsidies, industrial wind projects don’t lower greenhouse gas emissions or fossil fuel use, and in some cases even increase them. In Germany and Britain, for instance, development of wind projects has led to an escalation in coal use.
This is without even considering the extensive greenhouse gases produced by constructing these huge towers, shipping them across the ocean, trucking them to wherever the wind industry has overridden the local folks and imposed a wind farm and building them.
Consider a typical Maine wind farm advertised as 100 megawatts, about 35 turbine towers. Because Maine winds are poor, turbines run at a low rate, sometimes as little as 4 days a month. Even industrial wind developers admit the capacity of wind projects in Maine is only 25 percent of their advertised amount. Thus a 100MW project creates only 25MW.
Even when the turbines are turning, however, the power can’t always be used, such as at night, so utilities curtail or dump it. In Maine, this reduces our wind projects used power to barely 17MW. And because most wind electricity will be transmitted out of Maine to Connecticut or Massachusetts, the transmission loss could exceed 5 percent, lowering this to 16.6MW.
One also has to deduct the fuel to run the spinning reserve, which means the real power provided to electricity consumers by a 100MW industrial wind project is barely 8 percent of advertised capacity — 8MW, not 100MW.
This 8MW is disastrously low for a project that could cost taxpayers $300 million. By comparison an 8MW gas-fired power plant could be built for less than $15 million and would create far less carbon dioxide. Or, for the same $300 million, we could equip 20,000 Maine homes and businesses with rooftop solar, and significantly reduce Maine’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Ever noticed the turbines turning when there’s no wind? To keep them from seizing up, they have to be turned by buying electricity. This is why three of the largest electricity consumers in Maine are wind projects. They each use more power than Maine’s largest pulp mill.
I may not agree with LePage about everything, but he has clearly enunciated an absolute truth for Maine. If we care about the beauty of our precious state, the superb individuality of our Maine people, and the enormous economic engine that this beauty and cohesion represents, then we must all, Democrats, Republicans and independents stand for what is right for Maine, and reject what is wrong.
We hear a lot of pro-wind commercials on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and a lot of pro-wind talk from groups such as Maine Audubon, the Sierra Club of the Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Guess why? Many such organizations get major funding from industrial wind developers.
Years ago, I learned a lot about life as newspaper boy, delivering it sometimes in a blizzard at 30 below, but I made sure my customers got their papers. That’s a spirit Maine inculcates: fairness and reliability. Industrial wind projects have neither.
Mike Bond of Winthrop is an environmental activist, renewable energy advocate and author of a wind industry exposé, “Saving Paradise.”
It's not that wind energy was never a good idea or could be implemented on small scale to good return. It's that it is profit-driven and the money made is not re-invested to wean from public subsidy.....it increases public subsidy to maintain profit.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS WIND FARM SCAM WILL DO IN MARYLAND. WHATEVER COMPANY IS SELECTED TO RUN THIS BUSINESS....THEY WILL SEE PROFITS GROW AS PUBLIC SUBSIDY GROWS. If a state and country is not serious about global warming with policy that exports the worst of emitters of carbon....this is all a corporate profit-driven hoax.
January 13, 2014 • Germany
German wind farm operator Prokon warns of imminent insolvency
Credit: UPI | Jan. 13, 2014 | www.upi.com ~~
The controversial German wind farm operator Prokon has warned 75,000 retail investors of imminent insolvency, perhaps by the end of the month.
Prokon, based in Itzehoe, Germany, warned in a letter to investors published on the Internet that if they don’t waive repayment of the money, it will be bankrupt by the end of January, making it one of the largest bankruptcies ever in the German “grey capital” market, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Consumer advocates have long warned against the company, which spends heavily on online advertising and direct mail solicitations promising incentives of 8 percent returns on its over-the-counter shares, the German newspaper said.
In the letter, the wind farm operator’s board appealed to its investors for further financial help.
“If our investors do not succeed, together with you, to stabilize the liquidity situation very quickly, by the end of January, we will probably be forced by law to initiate an insolvency plan for threatened bankruptcy,” it said.
The shares are essentially unsecured loans, without the participation rights of regular shareholders – thus the investors are threatened with a loss of their capital.
Over the years Prokon says it has collected nearly $2 billion through such advertising. It has built wind farms and sold the electricity into the German grid, and also invests in biodiesel and biomass.
For several years its has faced criticism from investors, consumer advocates, the media and prosecutors. They suspected the company could not keep its promise high returns and that investors’ money would possibly be lost in the wind farm projects.
Critics have asked where the profits that have been paid out to investors have been coming from – now those fears could be borne out.
In the letter, the company used dramatic language in an appeal to investors asking them to accept delays in paying out the millions of dollars owed to them under a profit participation plan, the newspaper said.
“An insolvency plan can only be prevented if we receive the agreement of at least 95 percent of the profit participation capital that you will not (demand) your capital at least until Oct. 31, 2014, and a payment within 12 months, which may be paid out in installments,” it said.
At the end of the letter, company president Carsten Rodbertus escalated the request into an open call for help.
“Don’t let there be an insolvency plan!” he wrote, urging investors to not let “locusts” and negative media reports destroy “a flagship” green energy company.
The Higher Regional Court of Schleswig-Holstein in September upheld an unfair advertising complaint against Prokon made to the government consumers affairs office in Hamburg, Deutsche Welle reported.
It found a company prospectus contained misleading statements about the supposed safety of the advertised participation rights after claiming the investments were “as safe as a savings account.”
In December Prokon called on its investors to forgo their returns for the second half of 2013 to ease what it called a temporary liquidity crunch.
Officials of the company could not be reached for comment on Saturday, the German broadcaster said.
Source: UPI | Jan. 13, 2014 | www.upi.com
Turbine Trouble: Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry
By Michael Fröhlingsdorf
August 2, 2013
Only recently, the offshore wind industry was seen as an opportunity to regenerate Germany's coast. But amid changing political attitudes and spiraling costs, several companies are struggling to survive. Is the wind boom over before it even really began?
Below is an example of what this Maryland wind farm will look like with all the Wall Street financial instruments and investment firms owning and running it. One way these wind farms have proved useful is when a corporation like Google builds its own wind farms to augment the super amount of power it burns running its main frames. So, having corporations buying and building these systems is the first step. But no, we need the public paying for all the costs and getting soaked with a bad deal as these articles show! You see these investment firms are getting Federal subsidies to build these things.....they get greening tax breaks for being environmental.....and they get the Maryland taxpayers and ratepayers subsidizing the operations.
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU KNOW BLACKSTONE GROUP IS INVESTED IN ALL KINDS OF FOSSIL FUEL PROJECTS THAT NEGATE ANY CARBON-SAVING THIS PROJECT WILL BRING------EVERYONE.
STOP VOTING FOR CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS WHO DO NOTHING BUT WORK FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT!
Blackstone blows $3.5B into German wind farms
by Jonathan Braude | Published August 5, 2011 at 10:18 AM
New York private equity house Blackstone Group LP brushed up its green credentials on Friday, Aug. 5, with the announcement of a gusty €2.5 billion ($3.5 billion) investment in two offshore wind farm projects, one 50 kilometers and the other 100 km off the German North Sea coast.
The deal taps into a government-backed commercial lending program set up through state-owned development bank KfW Bankengruppe as part of a consortium of German and international banks. The banks will provide €822 million for the first €1.2 billion project, known as Meerwind, or Seawind. The equity has been committed by Blackstone funds and initial permit holder Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH.
Blackstone vehicle WindMW GmbH said the completed funding would come from Commerzbank AG, KfW IPEX-Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Dexia SA, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Banco Santander SA and Siemens Bank GmbH together with EKF, the export credit agency of Denmark, and KfW Bankengruppe. About half the financing will reportedly come from KfW.
The 80-turbine, 288-megawatt Meerwind project is scheduled for completion in 2013 and is expected to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 households, although, even in the North Sea, wind output can fluctuate dramatically. It is expected to help Germany eliminate approximately 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year.
The Meerwind operation includes the installation of turbines supplied by Siemens AG and the connection to the national power network by grid operator Tennet TSO GmbH.
Sited northwest of the island of Helgoland, Meerwind will be followed by a second 64-turbine project, requiring a further investment of €1.3 billion and situated much further out at sea. The second project, known as Nördlicher Grund, will be completed in 2016.
Blackstone's and the banks' funding for Meerwind follows the German government's decision to phase out nuclear energy in the country by 2022 in the panic following the Japanese tsunami earlier this year. Although widely criticized as a hasty decision that will do more to promote investment in fossil-fuel generation than renewable energy, the government has also committed itself to a program of rapid adoption of new technologies.
The German government looks for renewable energies' share of power generation to rise from the current 17% of power consumption to at least 35% in 2020. On its website, the Environment Ministry also says, "The German government will strive to ensure this share is 50% by 2030, a figure that should rise to 60% by 2040, then 80% by 2050," though critics argue that is neither a firm commitment nor a sufficiently ambitious target.
WindMW was established in 2008 as a Blackstone portfolio company to develop German offshore wind farms. Meerwind first obtained the permit to build its wind park in 2007.
WindMW was advised by Green Giraffe Energy Bankers, KfW IPEX-Bank and Dexia with legal advice from Gleiss Lutz. The lenders were advised by Watson, Farley & Williams LLP.
Blackstone's announcement comes as its New York rival Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP reportedly agreed to invest a further $75 million in Indian fossil-fuel power company Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd. to take its share in the company from 9% to 20%. It invested the initial $50 million in October.
As we see here.....Blackstone is getting all kinds of tax breaks for this wind farm while it is invested in natural gas and coal-fire stations. The key here is that it is cornering the energy market and these wind turbines will be using tons of electricity to keep the turbines running when no wind will. It is a money-making deal with you and I paying the tab.
NEO-LIBERALS ARE WORKING TO CONSOLIDATE THE ENERGY MARKET SO THAT YOU AND I WILL BE CAPTURED FOR ANY KIND OF ENERGY NEEDED FOR EVERYDAY LIFE.....REMEMBER, THIS ALL USED TO BE PUBLIC.
FERC approves Blackstone's acquisition of Dynegy
EBR Staff Writer Published 02 November 2010
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved a joint application of Dynegy and an affiliate of The Blackstone Group relating to the acquisition of Dynegy by an affiliate of Blackstone. Dynegy Inc. is an electric utility company based in Houston, Texas, in the United States. It owns and operates a number of power stations in the U.S., all of which are natural gas-fired or coal-fired.
As we see with Blackstone Group capturing a monopoly on all energy sources, Maryland's policies are being directed by HighStar and Johns Hopkins as a major shareholder. Below you see why Maryland is tapped to be a natural gas exporter ----a raging global warming policy tied to these windmills------
O'Malley and Maryland Assembly has tied all of Maryland public utilities to mega-corporations and this windmill project will not be any different. Good idea to have one global investment firms controlling all the regional energy? OF COURSE NOT. WE ARE GOING PUBLIC WITH OUR UTILITIES IN THE FUTURE!
Highstar Capital to invest in Caiman Energy
EBR Staff Writer Published 28 July 2011
Private equity firm Highstar Capital IV has entered into an agreement to invest up to approximately $270m in US-based midstream energy firm Caiman Energy through a preferred equity investment.
This investment will provide Caiman with additional growth capital for the ongoing expansion of its midstream infrastructure network in the Marcellus shale.
Highstar Capital founder and managing partner Christopher Lee said that Caiman will continue to play a key and growing role in helping Marcellus producers get their gas and liquids to market.
Caiman provides midstream services including natural gas and condensate gathering, compression, dehydration, measurement, treating and conditioning, processing, liquids transportation and fractionation.
Highstar Capital currently manages over $5bn of investments on behalf of its managed funds and co-investment vehicles in a diversified portfolio of energy, transportation and environmental/waste management assets and businesses.
Highstar is a group of investment professionals specializing in value added equity investments in infrastructure assets and businesses. Since 2000, the Highstar has led or co-led infrastructure investments totaling in excess of US $10 billion in enterprise value, including investments in power generation, water and waste water, natural gas transmission and storage, waste management, waste-to-energy, transportation logistics and port concessions and operations. Currently, Highstar is managing a portfolio of assets valued in excess of US $3 billion.
This is a look with whom is all this energy and infrastructure going and as we know Blackstone is BUSH and AIG/HighStar is the Harvard/Hopkins cabal. Blackstone/AIG are partnered in many deals and as we know, AIG spun off HighStar to gut AIG of assets as it was ready to collapse from the AIG subprime mortgage loan fraud and CDS insuring of what all knew to be toxic mortgage loans. So, much of that profit from the massive mortgage fraud including all the homes lost to the American people from fraud was spun off as HighStar and Harvard, Hopkins and other Ivy Leagues have billions in their endowments from it.
THIS IS WHAT DRIVES MARYLAND POLICY IN ENERGY AND UTILITY PRIVATIZATION AS O'MALLEY SENDS ALL PROJECTS AND I DO NOT DOUBT THESE WIND FARMS WILL BE WITH THIS WALL STREET GROUPS AS WELL.
The citizens of Maryland had a system of public utilities that worked fine and employed workers getting a strong wage and benefits with corporations paying taxes and supporting community. It was William Donald Schaffer that started handing over Maryland public agencies with O'Malley supersizing it and all this is driven by Hopkins' profit.
Blackstone IPO: Mega-Payday for Bush Cabal (continued)
Blackstone IPO: Mega-Payday for Bush Cabal
NIST, asked by INN World Report in February 2004 in New York, answered, they would look into these circumstances.
"In 1985 Blackstone opened its first small office with a staff of four, including the two founders Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman and a balance sheet of $400,000.
"Strictly friendly private equity investing in corporate partnerships has been a signature form of investing for The Blackstone Group since 1987 and accounts for 69% of the firm's private equity investments in terms of equity capital invested. The firm, investing side-by-side with 32 corporations and their management teams, has invested over $3.5 billion in such partnerships with a total transaction value of more than $40 billion. Such partnerships have included AT&T (Bresnan transaction), AOL Time Warner (Six Flags transaction), Union Carbide, Union Pacific (CNW transaction), USX, Vivendi, IBM, BP Amoco, Arthur Andersen and many others.ï¿½
Blackstone Group & 7 World Trade Center
"New York, NY October 17, 2000: Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, the global real estate investment and management arm of The Blackstone Group, L.P., announced today that it has purchased, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the participating mortgage secured by 7 World Trade Center, a commercial office complex controlled by real estate developer Larry Silverstein" (source)
"But before the building can rise further than the substation, major financing issues have to be resolved by Larry Silverstein, who controls the long-term lease on 7 World Trade Center as well as the World Trade Center complex.
The good news for Mr. Silverstein is that the company that insured 7 World Trade, Industrial Risk Insurers, has indicated that it will make a full payment under its $861 million policy. But it's not clear whether Mr. Silverstein can use those proceeds to start building without first reaching an agreement with the mortgage holder on 7 World Trade Center, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. (source)
Blackstone - Kissinger McLarty Associates - American International Group
Kissinger McLarty Associates has a "strategic alliance" with the Blackstone Group. The Blackstone Group describes their relationship thus:
"Blackstone's alliance with Kissinger McLarty Associates is designed to help provide financial advisory services to corporations seeking high-level strategic advice. The relationship was announced in 2000 and recently completed its first strategic advisory assignment on behalf of a NYSE-listed company." (source)
In fact the alliance also incorporates Maurice Greenbergï¿½s American International Group, as per this press release on February 21st 2000:
"American International Group, Inc. (AIG), The Blackstone Group L. P. and Kissinger Associates Inc. announced the establishment of a new venture to provide financial advisory services to corporations seeking high-level independent strategic advice. The venture will operate globally and will take advantage of the existing relationships between the partners:
- AIG has an ownership interest in Blackstone and is an investor in several of Blackstone's private equity funds;
- AIG and Blackstone have a joint venture, specializing in restructuring and M&A advisory services in selected Asian countries;
- Henry Kissinger chairs both AIG's International Advisory Board and the advisory boards of several AIG-sponsored Infrastructure Funds.
The AIG-Blackstone-Kissinger Associates venture recently completed its first advisory assignment on behalf of a New York Stock Exchange listed U.S. company." (source) (note: "M&A" means ï¿½Mergers and Acquisitionsï¿½)
Indeed: "In 1998, American International Group ("AIG") acquired a 7% non-voting interest in The Blackstone Group for $150 million and committed to invest $1.2 billion in future Blackstone-sponsored funds." (source) And Maurice Greenberg sits on Blackstoneï¿½s Domestic Advisory Board.
(& an anecdotal story about Blacktoneï¿½s Peter G Peterson & Enron)
"When Enron executives started dumping stock, and the warning signs that Enron was in deep trouble were everyone except on the evening news, Winokur and Rubin called Peter Fisher, the current undersecretary of the Treasury to determine the practicality of artificially supporting Enron's credit rating in order to enable Enron to borrow enough money to stave off bankruptcy. Fisher, a former New York Fed governor, called his former boss, Peter G. Peterson, the New York Fed chairman - and the current chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. Peterson was also a top Enron financial advisor through his own company, Blackstone Group. Peterson was also against the idea of artificially supporting a phony credit rating for Enron." (source)