When you combine Marc Thiessen’s argument that Energy Department investments in green energy reek with political favoritism with the CBS allegation that $6.5 billion of the $30 billion of Energy Department guarantees for green energy is at risk for immediate default, it is easy to conclude that government involvement in green energy is bad for America.
The interesting question is whether “crony capitalism” will be bad for green energy development over the long term. When I lived in Houston we had a saying that the oil boom is over when the lawyers and doctors start investing in the oil partnerships. Something similar can be said about the government involvement in green energy. Although I am mildly enthusiastic about green energy prospects, I am very suspicious of green energy proposals with government involvement. The green energy bubble has popped.
In his outstanding book, Throw Them All Out, Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer goes through Obama’s 2008 campaign finance records and cross references Obama’s list of donors against the list of those who got grants and loans under the green energy program. Here is what he found:
”¢ 71 percent of Energy Department grants and loans went to Obama’s political cronies. 71 percent!
”¢ Collectively, they raised about $457,834 for Obama’s campaign.
”¢ And they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.346 billion.
”¢ That means they got $24,783 in taxpayer dollars for every $1 they gave to Obama’s campaign.
Now that is one heck of a return on investment.