Archive | ENRON RSS feed for this section

Will Terry McAuliffe’s Green Dole Carpetbaggers Stripmine Virginia Taxpayers?

9 Oct
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s fraudulent green companies, that bilked taxpayers to fund his company that then produced no products, but sold VISAs to Chinese investors, is well known.

But a group of crony capitalist green business people are hoping to elect him so they can also stripmine the Virginia taxpayers.  And they aren’t even Virginia residents!

Are they hoping to bring DC and Maryland levels of economic decline and dependence on government to Virginia?

Dan Yates, one Opower founder, lives in the 1600 block of Hobart Street in DC’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood

Alex Laskey, his Opower co-founder, sweetly owns a house a block away, in the 1700 block, though his FaceBook page announces he moved to Brooklyn NY in September

Anya Schoolman is their DC/Mt. Pleasant neighbor a few blocks away on Lamont Street!  (Mt. Pleasant should maybe secede and join Virginia?)

Ken Stadlin, of Kenergy, lives in the Annapolis, MD area town of Millersville


A VAEI Event with Terry McAuliffe

Posted by Va Advanced Energy Industries 13sc on September 11, 2013 · Flag


Tony Clifford
Standard Solar
Kerinia Cusick
Sun Edison
Nick Giannotti
Lighthouse Solar
Scott Hennessey
Solar City
Mike Healy
Skyline Innovations
Francis Hodsoll
E&E Frontiers
James Huff
Abakus Solar
Paul Risberg
Alt Energy
Anya Schoolman
Community Power Network
Scott Sklar
Stella Solar
Tony Smith
Secure Futures
Ken Stadlin
Kenergy Solar
Joel Meister
Solar Grid Storage
Jon Hillis
Prospect Solar
Jim Kapsis

Dan Yates
Alex Laskey


Invites You To A Virginia Advanced Energy Industries PAC Event
With Special Guest Terry McAuliffe

Terry-at-the-Port.jpgJoin VAEI PAC and Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor for this special event. Meet the only Virginia gubernatorial candidate who supports energy jobs of the future, not the entrenched interests of the past.

Together, we’ll move our industry forward and showcase the strength of our collective voice.

*Candidate McAuliffe is scheduled to attend the full Host Committee reception, which begins at 5 p.m., and beginning of main event.
To pay for your ticket(s) online, please select your preference below. To RSVP and pay with a check on the day of the event, please click here.

Host Committee Reception begins at 5:00 p.m.
October 02, 2013 at 6pm – 7:30pm
Venue Provided Upon RSVP
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
Google map and directions

Will you come?

 $250.00 Individual 
Get behind Terry McAuliffe’s campaign and demonstrate the strength of Virginia’s advanced energy sector.
 $500.00 Benefactor 
Support Virginia’s new energy governor.
 $1,500.00 Host 
Join the host committee. Includes a private reception with Terry McAuliffe before the public event begins.
 $3,000.00 Sponsor 
Sponsor the event. Ticket price includes a private reception with Terry McAuliffe before the public event begins.

Showing 22 reactions

 Nicholas Giannotti followed this page 6 days ago

 Lauren Hall rsvped 9 days ago

 Phillip Collins rsvped 9 days ago

 Test Entry canceled rsvp +1 9 days ago

 Fred Widicus canceled rsvp 12 days ago

 Laura Jones followed this page 12 days ago

 John Finnerty rsvped +1 13 days ago

 William Laska rsvped +2 13 days ago

 William Laska rsvped 13 days ago

 Joel Griggs rsvped +2 13 days ago

 Lee Salmon rsvped +1 13 days ago

 Nick Bernel rsvped +2 13 days ago

 Fred Widicus rsvped 13 days ago

 Pat Jakopchek rsvped 13 days ago

 Pat Jakopchek canceled rsvp +2 13 days ago

 Francis Hodsoll rsvped +2 13 days ago

 Test Entry rsvped 13 days ago

 Francis Hodsoll followed this page 14 days ago

 Collins followed this page 18 days ago

 Pat Jakopchek rsvped 20 days ago

1  2  Next →

Oops! Is OPower the next Solyndra? Non-prices for non-production.

7 Oct
I just became aware of a company, what we in DC call a Beltway bandit, Opower, that has grown rapidly since 2007, when many other companies have shrank or folded.  Presumably since they were founded in 2007 the “O” is not a paen to Barack Obama, though the company has close ties to him – he visited recently and published an endorsement of them on the White House website, and they have in turn donated a lot of money to him.  Here’s what founder Alex Lasky says about Opower in his TED bio: Opower works with more than 80 utilities on three continents, and serves over 15 million customers. Since its launch in 2008, it has cumulatively saved utility customers more than $200 million and 2 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy — enough to power a city of more than a quarter million people. It’s all through a powerful combination of behavioral science, data analytics and good marketing.

It’s privately held so it may be harder than with publicly traded companies to figure out how they make money.  (For example do utilities purchase Opower services because they are covered by green subsidies or green tax credits, but would not without those programs?)  Paradoxically what they mainly do is work for government sponsored utility monopolies, helping them get “customers” to buy less, to “save” energy — they are making money by getting producers to produce and sell less, and buyers to buy less.  One of their two founders even gave a kindergarten level (props and all) TED talk on it.  Inverting a title from Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek, you could say that their business plan is NON-Prices and NON-Production.  They seek to create websites and other social media, door hangers, mailings, etc. that encourage people to purchase less electricity – the 15 million customers now receiving Opower reports (how many resources do these mailing use?) supposedly have dropped their power consumption 2.5% (though some people who used much less power than their neighbors have reportedly starting using more after discovering that they were unusually frugal).  They claim research shows that prices and budgets don’t lead people to conserve power, and neither do guilt trips and environmental preaching.  But engaging competitiveness, by telling people their neighbors’ have superior talents at saving energy by turning off lights or using fans instead of air conditioning does have bigger impact, according to Opower.  It’s Ayn Rand’s The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, but with new millionaire hipster nerds instead of unwashed Occupy protestors.

It’s hard to say where their money comes from (green subsidies?  green tax credits?  contracts with utility monopolies), but you can see where they spend it.  By DC standards it actually isn’t that much, though the ideological hegemony is telling.  Everyone there donates to Democrats and only to Democrats, $35,000 in 54 donations since 2010.  This does not including spouses’ donations — founder Daniel Yates’ wife Tobie Withman gave Obama her own $5000 in 2012.   And I don’t know if they participate in the buying of papal indulgences like giving to Hilary Rosen’s Business Forward bundling for Obama, which reportedly had a minimum entry fee of $75,000.    Here’s the search from OpenSecrets: Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors | OpenSecrets.

Obama and other politicians visit their Arlington offices.  If one scratched, it might smell a little Solyndra-y or even ENRON-y (the old employer of Paul Krugman, this tribe’s fave economist).  This campaign donating is clearly an investment.  Having President Obama speak at Opower, endorse them, and post his speech on the White House website helps them get venture capital and deal with regulators, maybe even get special treatment from regulators, in the states and countries where they operate.

If you search their twitter feed and tweets about them you find some interesting stuff.  MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is a fan.  You also find geeky statist “green” flaks saying things like it is great that Opower is going to help America cut down its energy use to the level of the British, apparently absolutely clueless that the British don’t generally have need of air conditioning, and that other countries that use less energy, from France to Cuba, are countries where people are poorer and don’t have air conditioning or adequate heating, live in small houses and apartments, or live with many generations packed into one dwelling.  Americans are 9th by energy usage per capita, with the top 8 being wealthy countries that are either hot most of the year or that have very cold and long winters Americans and Australians generally live in homes over 200 square meters, while many Europeans live in homes under 100 square meters.

I also am not sure anyone if this crowd knows that energy prices, from gasoline to electric bills, may be higher in those other countries — in part because here in the U.S. Opower’s political co-religionists populate the local utility rate commissions that both prevent competition in utilities but also set rates low so that (1) power is “affordable” to more consumers, who then buy more electricity, and (2) utilities disinvest, deferring maintenance and upgrades (for example in Washington, DC, and its suburbs, where every major storm knocks out power for tens of thousands of people, who get their power from overhead power lines running between limbs of century old trees).  By encouraging consumers to use less power, instead of to demand cheaper power, new power sources, or even renewable power sources, Opower incentivizes and fossilizes the status quo, with dirty power and decaying infrastructure.

The founders of Opower are likely true believers, despite how well they have cashed in on the green movement.  One founder, Dan Yates, drove from Alaska to the southern tip of South America with the woman to whom he is now married (a wonk in the non-profit DC policy world), and was disturbed by the environmental degradation he saw.  (He now lives in an almost million dollar home on the Adams Morgan/Mt. Pleasant border in DC, though at least it’s old enough it counts as recycling.) He also profited off selling a $20 million software company that services government “schools.”  The other, Alex Lasky, worked as a campaign manager for state ballot initiatives for the Nature Conservancy and the League of Conservation Voters.

One wonders if a future look at OpenSecrets will show lots of donations from founders Alex Lasky, Dan Yates, and their employees, to Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who created a fake shell company to take green subsidies and build no actual green technology products, while obtaining fraudulent US Visas for any Chinese investors in his ventures.