With the Solyndra controversy still unraveling, President Obama has moved undauntedly on to the next suspicious entanglement with corporate beneficiaries of federal largesse.
It is being reported that in a couple of weeks President Obama will be the benefactor of a fundraiser being organized by a Missouri businessman whose company benefited from a $107-million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.
The name of this Friend of Barack is well-known in the Show Me State and in Democratic Party circles. Tom Carnahan is the 42-year-old son of the former Governor of Missouri Mel Carnahan and former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan. The younger Carnahan was an attorney and is the founder of Wind Capital Group.
It is Carnahans Wind Capital Group venture that has caused eyebrows to raise (yet again) with regard to President Obamas apparent proclivity for inviting big-dollar donors to feed at the federal trough.
Carnahan is certainly a donor. On the Obama 2012 website the Carnahan family is listed as having committed to host a $25,000-per-person fundraiser in St. Louis during the first week of October.
Being a fundraiser for Barack Obama is not of itself a condemnable act. One is free to choose for himself the direction he would like to see this country take in the next four years. The problem for Carnahan, however, is that he is scratching the Presidents back after his own back was scratched.
And a lot of scratch it was. Wind Capital Group received a $107-million federal tax credit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the so-called stimulus package.
Carnahans eagerness to fuel the Obama 2012 campaign was certainly stimulated by the stimulus money his company received.
Wind Capital Groups Gentry County, Missouri wind farm, known as the BlueGrass Ridge Wind Farm, consists of 27 massive turbines reaching 252 feet in the air. Each of the three blades [is] 140 feet long. Each turbine is rated to generate up to 2.1 megawatts of power.
While the development of alternative forms of energy may be laudable, there are certainly lingering and legitimate concerns over the viability of wind to produce the power necessary to justify its exorbitant cost.
A report published by the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration stated that while the subsidy per megawatt hour for all available energy sources was about $1.65, the subsidy received by solar and wind power companies was about $24 per megawatt hour. Hardly a cost-effective allocation of money taken unconstitutionally from the American taxpayer in the first place.
What of the energy produced by wind? According to one published report, it is only 1% of our electricity, compared to 49% for coal, 22% for natural gas, 19% for nuclear power and 7% for hydroelectric. Wind turbines generally operate at only 20% efficiency, compared to 85% for coal, gas and nuclear power plants.
Why, then, would President Obama be found chasing the cool breezes of Midwestern wind farms when the benefit to the American people is negligible at best?
Follow the money. While so much of our domestic energy resources (coal and oil, in particular) go untapped, nearly impotent wind energy is attractive to the President only because its blowing piles of cash into his campaign coffers.
On the other hand, if President Obama were serious about putting Americans to work, would he not exert his substantial influence to authorize the tapping of billions of gallons of oil lying undisturbed under our feet? An act that would bring jobs to hundreds or thousands of Americans desperate for employment?
There is, sadly, neither logic nor legitimacy in the Presidents actions. Equally lamentable is the fact that his repeated use of Chicago-style political quid pro quo goes unmentioned by the majority of mainstream news sources.
There are, of course, a few Republicans who are denouncing the Presidents apparent favoritism for his political cronies. In a statement made to Politico, Missouri Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith said:
At a time when Barack Obama is under fire for steering hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funds to a failed company linked to a major campaign donor, it is stunning that he would come to Missouri and raise money with another recipient of stimulus cash. Sadly, Missourians have come to expect this kind of pay-to-play from the Obama administration. November 2012 can't come soon enough.
Missourians aren't the only Americans familiar with the Presidents pay-to-play policy. Corporate welfare is favorite tool for politicians on both sides of the aisle in their efforts to dismantle the framework established by our Constitution and throw our liberties onto the scrap heap of history
Photo: Wind Capital Group generators at King City, Missouri