For Release: November 3, 2009
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 or email [email protected]
Obama "Bailing Out" Al Gore and Utilities
Obama Rewards Companies Supporting Cap-and-Trade with Over $600 Million in Grants, Says Free Enterprise Project
Washington, DC - Today's page one New York Times story on Al Gore profiting from global warming advocacy illustrates how taxpayer money is being used to reward businesses that support Obama's energy agenda, says Tom Borelli Ph.D., director of the Free Enterprise Project.
Gore's venture capital company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, will benefit from the Department of Energy grants to support the development of the so-called smart grid, according to the Times."The Department of Energy is doling out $3.4 billion in smart grid grants and some of these funds are being steered to friends of Obama," said Borelli.
The Department of Energy (DOE) funds were part of the "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" – President Obama's economic stimulus plan.
According to the Times, $560 million in grants were awarded to utilities that had contracts with Silver Spring Networks – a company that Gore's firm has invested in. Silver Spring Networks develops technologies to increase the efficiency of the electricity grid.
John Doerr, a partner in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is member of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
"Grants to Gore, unfortunately, are only the tip of the global warming iceberg. The big money is going to companies that are lobbying for cap-and-trade legislation," added Borelli.
Utilities lobbying for cap-and-trade legislation are recipients of over $600,000,000 in DOE grants. Duke Energy, FPL Group and Exelon are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership – a lobbying group seeking a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions.
DOE awarded the following grants:
- Duke Energy Carolinas: $3,927,899
- Duke Energy Business Services LLC: $200,000,000
- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL): $200,000,000
- PECO Energy Company (Exelon): $ 200,000,000
"It's outrageous that taxpayer money is going to corporations that have their own resources. Clearly, it pays to be on Team Obama. No wonder Exelon is turning in its membership with the U.S Chamber of Commerce and Duke Energy left the National Association of Manufacturers," said Borelli. "These trade associations are opposing the global warming bill moving through Congress."
Visit the Free Enterprise Project's website at www.freeenterpriser.com.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, DC. It is a truly independent think tank, receiving 94% of its funding through hundreds of thousands of individual gifts.