The Competitive Enterprise Institute has uncovered, via a Freedom of Information Act request, a fascinating instance of the symbiotic relationship among 1) left-wing advocacy groups, 2) left-wing Obama administration officials, and 3) lobbyists for moneyed interests who benefit from left-wing policies. It has to do with wind energy. The Obama administration has hailed Spain’s wind energy initiatives as a model for its own wind subsidies. Unfortunately, a devastating study (which we highlighted here) showed that Spain’s wind subsidies were a disaster: they eliminated more than two jobs for every one they created, only one in ten “green jobs” created by the subsidies was permanent, and each wind energy job cost more than $1.3 million.
Did this cause the Obama administration to realize that its wind energy policies were misguided? OK, that was a joke. Christopher Horner at Pajamas Media describes what did happen:
Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Obama Department of Energy is using the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) — the lobbying arm of “Big Wind” in the U.S. — to coordinate political responses with two strongly ideological activist groups: the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the George Soros funded Center for American Progress (CAP).
This is further proof that Obama has betrayed his promise to ban lobbyists. Further, this incident suggests yet another questionable appointment — Cathy Zoi, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the DoE, injected politics into public policy. Cathy Zoi also happens to be the former CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. …
The emails expose active coordination between the Obama administration, the DoE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the AWEA. These emails show the Obama DoE using the AWEA as a conduit to both the CAP and the UCS, and taking steps to ensure that aspects of its coordination were not committed to paper (or email) because the emails might be revealed later.
The emails reveal three principal issues in the 900 pages received so far. …
The three principal issues:
* The Obama DoE’s relationship with the Big Wind lobby and left-wing ideological activists. What role did those groups play in producing an official administration response to the Spanish “green jobs” study?
* Apparently misleading — or false — statements made to Congress by the DoE. Particularly the statements made by Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi. What was her role in developing the response to the Spanish report?
* Career DoE staffers’ and scientists’ confusion, then concern, then scrambling, and finally dissembling regarding how the response was initiated and at whose request. Was the report — which cost taxpayers around $5000 to prepare — instigated and directed by an industry lobby?
There is much more. I haven’t had time to read the emails yet; you can read them here.
Two final observations: 1) Repeat, over and over: you cannot create wealth by subsidizing the inefficient production of energy. 2) There is no more corrupt entity in the world than the enviro-industrial complex.