The Washington Post reports:
Just before leaving public office in 2001, [Vice President Al] Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million....Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama's historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.
Iberdrola Renovables, a wind subsidiary largely owned by the Spanish electricity giant Iberdrola, received $1.5 billion for 20 wind farms it built across the United States.
The company benefited from a program that had been reshaped by the Obama transition team to award cash grants to defray construction costs for renewable energy plants. The grants, available to any eligible builder, replaced tax credits that had become worthless in the financial crisis. With early warning from the Obama team, Iberdrola and other developers could time construction and qualify for the cash for some plants largely built in 2008 — before Obama took office.
GIM [Gore's investment firm] had invested modest amounts in Iberdrola Renovables in early 2008 but began dramatically increasing its holdings in early 2009, eventually owning 4.2 million shares.
Genuine supporters of clean energy ought to be as irked at these sorts of stories as climate-change skeptics are, because when a company's competitive advantage is "early warning from the Obama team," the companies whose competitive advantage is better technology rather than better relations with the Obama administration are the ones that get left behind.
Link via the Morning Examiner email.