Monday, February 2, 2015

Renewable Energy Mandates by Executive Order & Department of Energy Crony Wind Capitalism

The federal government has a Renewable Energy Mandate, much like the Renewable Portfolio Standard states have voted for and now are repealing as they learn the true cost of wind energy.   You don’t remember Congress voting on a Renewable Energy Mandate?  Well, that is because it is a mandate.  President Barack Obama has issues an executive order mandating the federal government buy at a minimum 15% of Renewable Energy in 2013 and up to 30% “clean” renewable energy by 2020%.

There was no discussion, no vote, and there was no bill.  This was an Presidential executive order that has become more and more famous and a defiance of democracy.  Can we get a House Resolution to have the authority to negate an Executive Order?  The December 2013 Presidential Memorandum also mandates the “clean” energy must preferably come from NEW energy sources.  Not sure, but it would appear existing wind, solar, or hydroelectric facilities are not “clean” enough.   More than likely, the Presidential Executive Order wants only NEW wind farms because that allows Pay-to-Play and is an avenue to promote unneeded wind energy development and circumvent the potential Production Tax Credit expiration.  

Unfortunately, when energy policy is made by an Executive Order, no one knows the true intentions.  No one knows how far the Administration will go to march goosestep like good little soldiers to the Executive Order.  There never was federal eminent domain, until this Administration used Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act.  What other abuses will this Administration take to promote wind energy and the subsequent transmission projects supposedly "needed" for the advancement of wind?  

The Government Service Administration, as directed by the President of the United States, has recently signed a Power Purchasing Agreement with the Walnut Ridge Wind Farm and it’s owners,  Geronimo Energy (d.b.a Geronimo Wind), which is owned the Rahn Group (an capital investment company), which is owned by Noel P. Rahn.  At any rate, it’s a Minnesota company.   

Like other wind energy companies, it would appear the Walnut Ridge Wind Farm has an investment partner supplying the money and receiving the benefit of the Production Tax Credit that was renewed at the end of 2014 to be retroactive.  Tekamuk Energy Services is partnering with Geronimo Wind to create MG2 Energy, the partnership that would own Walnut Ridge.  Tekamuk Energy Services is owned the Mesa Grande Band of Missions Indians located somewhere 75 miles northeast of San Diego. 

Do we need an organized crime flow chart to follow these LLC’s, the modern version of “holding companies”?  It comes down to Noel P. Rahn and Mesa Grande Band of Missions Indians want to build a wind farm near Princeton, Illinois

So to recap;
Walnut Ridge Wind Farm is owned by MG2 Tribal Energy
MG2 Tribal Energy is owned by Geronimo Wind (a.k.a. Geronimo Energy) and Tekamuk Energy Services
Geronimo Wind (a.k.a. Geronimo Energy) is owned by the Rahn Group.
The Rahn Group is owned by Noel P. Rahn.
Tekamuk Energy Services is owned by the Mesa Grande Band of Missions Indians. 

I’m just a simple man.  It took me a while to get a real clue how the Production Tax Credit works as the incentive for the money to finance wind farms.  Nevertheless, I still ask myself “why so many LLC’s”.  The obvious answer is to reduce liability but what’s the real angle here?

Why does a small time player in the wind energy business from Minneapolis area named Rahn chose to call his wind company “Geronimo Wind” or “Geronimo Energy”?

And why does this small time wind company hook up with an Indian group from San Diego area for financing and receive the first ever long term Power Purchasing Agreement from the federal government to build a wind farm in Illinois? 

Why does the federal government’s press release and PowerPoint fail to mention the actual price it will spend to buy this energy that is at an alleged savings?

When financers and benefactors of the Production Tax Credit always remain anonymous, why is the Mesa Grande Band of Missions Indians predominantly mentioned in the press release for this wind farm as a partner?

Why does the Obama Executive Order (memorandum) mandate renewable energy from new construction?

Something seems funny here. 

Is this Geronimo Wind, owned by Noel Rahm, actually Indian owned or is the name a marketing ploy?  Why is the name of the project’s financier so predominant?  Is it because the financier is more likely using their name for marketing reasons?  To borrow a Hillary Clinton phrase  “what difference does it make”.  Wind farms are bought, sold and traded like baseball cards to junior high boys. Will the owners of Walnut Ridge really keep this project or flip it?  How many times has Walnut Ridge been bought and sold with nothing built?

Even the Department of Energy’s press release states Geronimo is a “commercial wind developer” who “desires very interested in partnering with Tribes to develop energy projects on tribal lands. But they lacked experience working in Indian Country and sought to gain working knowledge of the federal opportunities available to Tribes.”  Even still the Department of Energy's spin on this Power Purchasing Agreement is that this company in Indian owned and this project wsa developed through the Indian Energy Act.  Again, if the commercial wind developer's s name  "Geronimo Energy" is for marketing, what difference does it make?

Why doesn’t the Obama Administration, Department of Energy and the General Services Administration just tell us how much this “clean” energy is really costing us in their press releases and PowerPoints?  It really is quite humorous how the federal government tells us wind energy is so economical with the Production Tax Credit included.  Who is paying for this energy?  Taxpayers.  Who is paying for the Production Tax Credit? Taxpayers.  Why does this “savings” by the federal government deal feel more like a crony capitalist scam?

No, I am not a big fan of company org charts that are littered with LLC’s.  Jimmy Glotfelty, now with Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, testified before the Senate Energy Committee created the 2005 Energy Policy Act and lobbied against repealing the Public Utility Company Holding Act (PUCHA) created under the FDR administration.  I believe somewhere this will play a key part in the next ENRON type scandal.  It is also my opinion as a society, we are setting ourselves up for such a problem by allowing wind companies and transmission companies to be allowed to layer themselves in so many LLC’s.  In spite of the altruistic claims of “clean” energy, how far must we, as a society, bend the rules to promote wind energy?

How far will this Administration go promoting wind energy corporations?  Are there any more Executive Orders?  Shall we expect an Executive Order mandating the TVA buy 4,000 megawatts of wind energy from Oklahoma?  Will the President demand through Executive Order that federal government buy 4,000 megawatts of wind energy through new construction from Iowa and Kansas for federal property inside the PJM region and thereby creating an instant “need” and customer for RICL and GBE?    Will the Department of Energy utilize the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs to further develop the DoE “partnership” with Plains & Eastern Clean Line LLC as a claim on a need for the demand, and a desire to promote wind farms on tribal lands to justify the existence of the Plains & Eastern powerline?   If the President doesn't want to see an insurrection across the Midwest, keep abusing the power of the office.  Wind energy needs to be competitive priced to other energy forms.  Favoritism or "flavortism" to wind hasn't made this energy source competitive.   

  • Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.  -Ayn Rand

When the President hands out sweetheart deals to wind, he is discouraging competition.  Ratepayers pay more for electricity  When the President and his Department of Energy abuse eminent domain for wind energy, individual liberties are taken away so wind corporations can profit.  If the President continues down this road, there will be insurrection.  That is inevitably what happens when a dictator mandates his will on a society through Executive Order.   Sec Moniz, call off your Section 1222 dogs at the Department of Energy.  Energy Policy should not be mandated on the people abuse of Section 1222, through Executive Orders, or marketing as the case with "Geronimo Energy".

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