Friday, May 22, 2015

Sec Moniz & Crony Capitalism at the Department of Energy

Crony Capitalism continues at the Department of Energy.

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed by after President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was an agreement with “Geronimo Wind” to buy wind all the wind from a proposed Bureau County, Illinois Walnut Ridge Wind Farm.  This was to meet a Presidential Mandate for the federal government to buy 15% of its energy from renewable sources.   Here’s a link as a refreshers.   

Also, as classic propaganda, it was an Executive branch Presidential mandate to authorize this, the article from RECHARGE should the Capital Building, home of the Legislative Branch and Congress.

Well Walnut Ridge Wind Farm llc has hit a couple snags. 

Geronimo Wind (owned by Noel P. Rahn of Minnesota) sold the project to Berkshire Hathaway.  As Secretary ofEnergy Moniz parades the project as minority owned partnership with the Department of Energy,  the company sells out to Warren Buffett.   It will be interesting what Berkshire does with this project as they are clearly doing it to be a financial investor and take advantage of a potential Production Tax Credit.  Mesa Grande Band of Missions Indians was the original partner to Geronimo and supplying the investment capital.  Then again, maybe the band of Mission Indians never intended to invest one dime in Walnut Ridge, but exploit its name and flip the project to Berkshire Hathaway.  As one neighbor to Walnut Ridge put it in an BCRNEWS article;

“The federal tax credits are so rich that the companies start projects, collect subsidies and flip them to someone else,” Gerdes said. “Midwest Wind Energy flipped it, and now Geronimo sold it to BHE.”

Walnut Ridge has hit another snag.  In a federal lawsuit, since Walnut Ridge is selling 100% of its energy to the federal government, a judge has determined an Environmental Impact Study must be conducted.  Studies of this kind take years to complete and have proven to be a burden and hurdle many federal bureaucrats despise for the cost, time consumption, and preventing politically driven agendas. 

This is why America has become so jaded to Washington’s claims of “clean” energy and “minority” ownership.  Once the project is “developed” to the point right of ways are obtained, land and contracts are secured, projects are immediately sold to big business.  Development doesn’t mean build anything but to secure the necessary contracts without the burden of a larger corporation scrutiny.  This is classic crony capitalism under Secretary Moniz.

This is also why we have such a hard time with Clean Line Energy Partners llc’s claims to desire to build transmission lines across the Midwest for wind energy.  We all know there is an option to sell any and all Clean Line projects once they are “developed” to the point where easements are obtained and state approval is given. Clean Line is just a pseudo-landagent for National Grid the British utility company. 

Secretary Moniz, we all know the Department of Energy “partnership” with Plains & Eastern Clean Line to provide federal eminent domain under Sec 1222 is a crony capitalism sham.  It’s time to call off your dogs and put an end to this waste of money.  We, the people, are never going to allow over 16,000 acres of eminent domain for a project that isn’t needed.  

Secretary Moniz, you're looking good at the American Wind Energy Association.  Do mega wind corporations really need promoting by the Department of Energy?  Just a suggestion here, maybe you should go to Arkansas and Oklahoma and meet the poeple you are asking to sacrifice so wind corporations are putting money in their pockets.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Jayshree Desai - Perhaps the Person Running Clean Lie Energy llc's

Recently the Clean Line Energy Partners llc files with the Illinois Commerce Commission that the Grain Belt Express Holdings llc is no longer a limited liability corporation of Delaware.  Grain Belt Express Holdings llc is now a limited liability corporation of Indiana.  Apparently they packed up the UHAUL and it's an Indiana llc with no employees office or anything now.

For the time being this is being filed under WTF.  What’s the relevance to such a small irrelevant change?  Not surprisingly, these papers were signed by Jayshree Desai, Clean Line Energy’s Chief Operations Officer. 

Has anyone else ever wondered what does Jayshree Desai actually do for team Clean Line?  What does a Chief Operations Officer do for a company that has no operations?  A company with no wires, poles or towers.  A company with no transformers, no customers, no service trucks, and no operational employees.  There is no nuts & bolts to the business, so what does one do as Chief Operational Officer. 

She brings experience.  Like a many of the Clean Line llc core, she worked with Skelly at Horizon Wind.  Before that she was in the merger and accusation department at ENRON.  Clearly she has some business skills.  M&A was a key part of ENRON’s “success”. 

In an organizational chart, Skelly is the president.  He’s the guy with the title in the top square.  We get that, mister Harvard MBA, and all.  He sells the imaige (French word for phony) of this company in his own cheesy way.  He tries to come across as homey but with the ego of an “entrepreneur” title.  His main job is to sell the image of this company. 

Jimmy Glotfetly has the image of the grey suit ex-bureaucrat.  He sells the mirage of the stuffy Washington insider who attempts to add legitimacy as being in tight with other stuffies at the Department of Energy.  Ultimately, he’s just another political science diploma with little imagination.

Like Skelly and Jimmy, most everyone else in this company has the job of selling the perception of a company who has no physical assets.  People like Hans Detweiller and Mark Lawlor as “Directors of Development” bring lobbyist experience with close ties to the wind energy associations and other conservation-mitigation organizations.  Below that level, people who are more effective playing the "save-the-planet-while-my-new-child-is-in-a-Chicago-daycare" roll, cover the front lines with the county boards and local papers as "managers" and "associates"  .  They fill in the humanizing gaps where the Hans’ come across as something of an ass.  Still aggressive and professional but with attempts to be a little softer. 

But Jayshree Desai has been a bit of an enigma.  At big public affairs, like the Mendota public comments to the ICC, she tends to stand in the back against the wall and shy away from the public.   She doesn’t testify before the state utility commissions. 

In a company where nearly everyone from the President on down has the job of selling the perception of a transmission company that owns no transmission, she stand out.  By their nature, others who are professional lobbyists and glorified used car salesmen, she is neither.  People like Lawlor are professionals at feeding bull crap, make it an art, and people accept these people are full of crap.  

When people like Jayshree say the same talking points, it comes across as a liar is speaking.  It’s kind of like one person can say a dirty joke in a work environment and everyone thinks it’s funny, but when another says the same joke, it comes across as offensive.  Some people are artists at saying the offensive and can get away with it, while other people get slapped with a lawsuit before the end of the day. 

Perhaps, in many respects, that is an accurate perception of Jayshree.  In a company full of professional conmen, she can’t get away with saying the crap the rest of the team gets away with.  She’s not a Director of Development, Manager or an Associate.  These are the professional conmen.  She is not.  She is more apt to come across as offensive and a liar without the flare, flamboyancy, or panache.  Therefore at public functions an attempt is made to become a wallflower.  She has to be there, but when selling a product that is so toxic to the public like a 500-750 mile extension cord (aerial sewer), others are better in attempting to make it sound less offensive.  So why do they keep her around?

Perhaps, While not the mastermind brain of CLEP, she is one of the two smart people in the company.  Somebody has to do the actual work.  Someone has to file for permits, interview and hire people, sign legal documents, do the planning, budgeting, communicate with investors and explain what is going on.   Someone has to coordinate with the couple of analyst, and keep an eye on "brain-cancer-is-funny" Deral and "brain-cancer-powerlines-are-beautiful" Wayne (the engineers), and the two environmental guys.  Looking at her resume page at the Clean Line llc website, you’d think she runs the company. 

“As Chief Operating Officer of Clean Line Energy, Jayshree Desai oversees all company operations including strategy, planning, budgeting, finance, legal and human resources. Jayshree also leads negotiations for all commercial arrangements, including transmission service agreements, acquisitions and partnerships, equipment supplier agreements, and construction contracts. In addition she interfaces with Clean Line’s Board of Directors on company progress and milestones, capital needs, and investment opportunities.”

Actually, if this information was on a person’s resume, one would believe it is a bit inflated, but at Clean Line Energy Partner’s, it’s probably all true.  In a company with a variety of specialized artists in slinging poop, she probably does run the company.  No, she isn't the mastermind or brain behind this house of limited liability holding companies.  Although, she might be the one person capable of getting a job for an actual energy company when this house of cards collapses. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ziff Brothers Investments and Partners in Energy Infrastucture Beyond CLean Line

It’s been wondered what is the Ziff Brother’s reason for investing in the Clean Line Energy Partners.  E know the management team, formerly from Horizon Wind, is “not” a wind company.  We know National Grid’s true intent is to buy these projects once Clean Line has obtained the easements.  This was hidden until Michael Skelly (Clean Line Energy’s President) was testifying before the Illinois Commerce Commission and an attorney ask a question, perhaps fishing for information. 

What about Ziff?  What do the Ziff Brothers Investments want from this business relationship?

One thing we have all learned Is everyone who supports eminent domain for Clean Line’s projects, supports it because the project will put money in their pockets.  The former Horizon Wind management probably have plans to develop wind farms again once projects are sold to National Grid.  It’s probably not a coincidence Michael Skelly’s brother-in-law didn’t go to Clean Line like the rest of the management team, but stayed at Horizon as a project developer and just recently went to Calpine Energy to start their first wind division. 

But what about the Ziff Brothers?  They turned their family fortune into 12 billion.  That’s not by accident. One investment profits another and Ziff Brothers Investments has several other energy investments that can provide capitalize off the 53% investment in Clean Line. 

The Ziffs have another capital investment company they are a partner called Tiger Infrastructure Partners.   Like Jimmy Glotfelty, the former Bush Administration Department of Energy man at Clean Line Energy Partners, Ziff Brother’s Investments in Tiger is managed by a former Bush Administration employee.  As reported by, “Emil Henry serves as the Managing Director and Managing Partner of Tiger Infrastructure Partners. Henry was the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 2005-2007, reporting to Henry Paulson as his superior.”

Julian Robertson, Ziff’s partner at Tiger Infrastructure  practices environmental mitigation.  Robertson has donated $40 million to the Environmental Defense Fund between 2005 and 2009, funding the EDF’s climate change agenda. 

Tiger Infrastructure Partners is an independent private equity firm focused on middle-market infrastructure investment opportunities and related businesses.

Back in 2012 Tiger developed a partnership with Kiewit Construction.  Yes, the preferred construction company of Clean Line Energy is also a business partner of another investment company that Ziff owns a major interest.  Tiger and Kiewit’s joint venture is called TKT Midstream Partners.  According to IREACH the PRnewswire,  

TKT will design, build, own and operate midstream assets and networks on behalf of North American exploration and production ("E&P") companies. The joint venture will focus on delivering the customized infrastructure design, construction, ownership and operation needed to bring hydrocarbons to market.

So, Ziff Brother’s Investment is a partner in another investment company, Tiger Infrastuctrure Partners, who has partnered with Kiewit (Clean Line Energy Partners “Engineering Procurement, and Construction Alliance Partner”) in TKTMidstream Partners.   TKT Midstream Partners develops pipeline projects to promote shale oil and natural gas production. 

What does this mean?

Clean Line Energy Partners llc likely has a specific purpose to be is so steadfast that the right of way easement are written ambiguously to allow any type of development along the easement.  Perhaps there is a bit of logic to why Clean Line Energy Partners wants to be able to allow pipelines along the right of way.  Perhaps this is the strategic interest for Ziff Brother’s Investments.  Obtain the easement and multipurpose it to develop shale’s natural gas could be a goal to profit ZBI further. 

Tiger Infrastructure Partners is also the majority investor in Hudson Fiber Network.  This Is a data transport provider (fiber optic transmission) company.  Clean Line Energy Partners plans to sublease the easements for fiber optic transmission.  It’s not surprising ZBI has such a company in their family of investments. 

One last sidenote on “environmental mitigation”, Ziff Brothers Investments (a.k.a. Ziff Asset Management) appears to have a Trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council.  According to Stockwatch, shows ZAM Investments, controlled by Phillip B Korsant as a trustee for the Natural Resources Defense Council.  It’s good to have friends in high environmental places.

So Ziff Brothers have business associates tied to the Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resource Defense Council.   Ziff is a partner with Keiwit, the contractor for Clean Line, to develop shale infrastructure.  Ziff also is a majority owner in a fiber date transport company.  Finally, Clean Line’s proposed right of way easement contracts would support the development of fiber optic data transmission and potential natural gas sub-easements.  Coincidence?   Maybe there are alternate reasons for Ziff Asset Management to take such a keen interest in partnering in Clean Line.