U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, cited over the weekend for a felony hit-and-run, is no stranger to controversy.
As WND reported, he served as chairman of the board of a solar energy company that recently received a $1.37 billion federal loan guarantee – the largest the Department of Energy has ever given for a solar power project.
WND also reported how until his recent government appointment, Bryson served as chairman of a major globalist organization whose stated goal is to build a “network of globally oriented business, civic and government leaders.”
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That internationalist intent may conflict with the announced purpose of Obama’s new White House Office of Manufacturing Policy, which says its aim is to keep businesses in America. Bryson is the office’s co-chairman
Bryson on Saturday reportedly rear-ended a Buick in Los Angeles as it was waiting for a train to pass.
The Los Angeles Times reports that after briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the scene and then struck the same car for a second time, according to police authorities.
The men followed Bryson's car and called 911 to ask for police assistance, according to a police statement.
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Bryson continued to drive until allegedly crashing into a second vehicle. After that, officers found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car. He wasn’t booked because he was taken to a hospital.
Yesterday, Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman told reporters Bryson suffered a seizure while driving.
"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend. He suffered a seizure," Friedman said in a statement. "He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation. He was released and has returned to Washington. The investigation is ongoing. Secretary Bryson has no public events scheduled for today."
Bryson was appointed in June 2011 as commerce secretary.
WND broke the story last September that Bryson served as chairman of the board of BrightSource Energy, which recently received the $1.37 billion federal loan guarantee.
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Bryson co-founded an environmental activist group that is a member and funder of the controversial Apollo Alliance.
Apollo is run by a slew of socialists and radicals, including Jeff Jones, a founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization. Jones himself boasts of doing work for the environmental group founded by Bryson, the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Until his appointment as commerce secretary in June 2011, Bryson served as co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a globalist organization whose members can be found throughout the Obama administration.
Besides his position at BrightSource, which he vacated when he was selected as Obama’s Commerce pick, Bryson is the former chairman, chief executive officer and president of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison.
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He served on the U.N. secretary-general’s advisory group on energy and climate change and as co-chairman of the globalist PCIP, a partner of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In 1970, Bryson co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, with a $400,000 seed grant from the Ford Foundation.
The group is also funded by the Tides Foundation, to which philanthropist George Soros has donated more than $7 million over the years. Tides itself is a major funder of leftist causes, including ACORN, whose founder and former chief organizer, Wade Rathke, is a Tides board member.
The NRDC is a major proponent of fighting so-called global warming. It recently endorsed a document called the Earth Charter, which, Discover the Networks notes, blames capitalism for many of the world’s environmental, social and economic problems.
The charter maintains that “the dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening.”
The NRDC is a member of the Apollo Alliance. NRDC’s president, Frances Beinecke, is on Apollo’s board. The NRDC is also listed by Apollo as a funder of the group, having donated between $1,200 to $2,999 to become an Apollo “clean energy benefactor.”
The NRDC endorses many Apollo initiatives.
Apollo’s New York office is run by Jeff Jones, who founded the Weather Underground with Bill Ayers and Mark Rudd when the three signed an infamous statement calling for a revolution against the American government inside and outside the country to fight and defeat what the group called U.S. imperialism.
Jones currently boasts on his personal website that he has done consulting work for the NRDC.
Apollo has been credited by the Obama administration with helping craft portions of the $787-billion “stimulus” bill signed into law.
The Apollo Alliance has boasted in promotional material that it was behind several of the Obama administration’s “green” initiatives, in addition to crafting “green” sections of the stimulus bill.
Among Apollo’s board members are a group of extremists including:
- Van Jones, President Obama’s controversial former “green jobs czar” who resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Jones also called for “resistance” against the U.S.Jones, himself, described the Apollo Alliance’s mission as “sort of a grand unified field theory for progressive left causes.”
- Joel Rogers, a founder of the socialist New Party. WND reported evidence indicating Obama was a New Party member. In an interview with WND, New Party co-founder and Marxist activist Carl Davidson previously recounted Obama’s participation with the New Party.
Following publicity of Apollo’s radicalism, including scores of articles by WND and investigations by the Fox News Channel, Apollo announced its merger with the BlueGreen Alliance, a collaboration of large environmental groups and unions.
Meanwhile, until his appointment as commerce secretary, Bryson was co-chairman of the PCIP, which was founded in 1995 in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations.
The group says it is the “premier international affairs organization focused on policy issues of special resonance to the West Coast.”
Its goals include “building our network of globally oriented business, civic and government leaders.” Also, the group aims to convene exchanges with global policy makers and opinion leaders while partnering with organizations around the world to “promote mutual understanding and coordinated action.”
The PCIP is funded by the Ford Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Members of the PCIP can be found throughout the Obama administration.
Obama’s ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, is a member of the PCIP. Last October, he invited a 29-member delegation from the PCIP to a conference in France for the stated purpose of discussing Arab and Islamic relations in the country.
Rivkin was at the center of a scandal when WikiLeaks released a cable in which he proposed the U.S. Embassy in France initiate a multipronged effort to “engage” and help to “empower” France’s Muslim minorities.
Rivkin called the effort a “Minority Engagement Strategy,” which was largely directed at Muslims in France.
Other PCIP members abound through the Obama administration, WND has learned.
James B. Steinberg, deputy secretary of state, serves on the PICP board of directors. He also serves on the science and security board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a journal that argued during the Cold War for the U.S. to hand over its nuclear weapons to an international organization.
The Bulletin, as WND reported, was founded by scientists who were long accused of spying for the Soviets and passing along vital nuclear secrets.
Vilma S. Martinez, U.S. ambassador to Argentina, is the chairman of the PCIP’s Mexico Study Group.
Former Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr., a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, was appointed by Obama as ambassador to China in August 2009. He is a PCIP founding director.
Jeffrey L. Bleich, Obama’s appointment for U.S. ambassador to Australia, is a PCIP member.
Diana Farrell, deputy director of the National Economic Council, is a member of the PCIP as well as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bretton Woods Committee. She is a frequent speaker on U.S. global engagement.
Byron Auguste, a member of Obama’s White House Council for Community Solutions, serves on the PCIP board. He is also on the board of trustees of the Center for American Progress, which is funded by Soros and led by John Podesta, who served as co-chairman of Obama’s transition team.
Last year, PCIP member Steven Myers joined the State Department’s advisory committee on international economic policy.
John B. Emerson, appointee for Obama’s advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations, is a member of both the PCIP and CFR.
In April 2010, Obama nominated PCIP member Janet Yellen to serve as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.
PCIP member Alan D. Bersin was appointed commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Last March, Obama appointed PCIP member Michael Camuñez to the position of assistant secretary for market access and compliance in the Department of Commerce.
Ernest James Wilson, a member of the PCIP board, was elected chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in September 2009. He served as a policy adviser on Obama’s presidential transition team on matters of communication technology and public diplomacy.
Also on Obama’s transition team was Jonathan Greenblat, chairman of the PCIP’s energy and environment committee.
The PCIP has some ties to billionaire activist George Soros. Among PCIP fellows is Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist and writer who is a member of the advisory board of Eurasia Net of the Soros Foundation. He is also a scholar of the Davos World Economic Forum and a consultant for Human Rights Watch.
At the invitation of the then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Rashid became the first journalist to address the U.N. General Assembly in New York, in September 2002, and the first journalist to address NATO ambassadors in Brussels, in September 2003.
Worse than Solyndra?
Bryson served as chairman of BrightSource Energy, which received a $1.37 billion federal loan guarantee meant to build an expensive California desert solar plant known as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
The system produces electricity through mirrors that reflect sunlight toward a massive central tower that heats up and produces steam to spin turbines.
The BrightSource plant is thought to produce enough power to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Californians.
During a national address in October 2010, Obama mentioned the possible benefits of BrightSource Energy’s “revolutionary new type of solar power plant.”
However, some have doubted that the massive solar plant will actually work.
The Bay Citizen quoted Michael Boyd, president of the nonprofit Californians for Renewable Energy, as saying there is “no evidence” BrightSource’s project will succeed.
Boyd complained that most of the equipment used at the plant would be manufactured in China and Germany.
“Stimulus money isn’t going to jobs here in the U.S. It’s going to jobs overseas,” he said.
Boyd’s group in 2010 reportedly filed an administrative complaint seeking to block the U.S. loan guarantee, alleging in the complaint the solar project “could have the unintended consequences of killing innovation if these projects fail.”
In a briefing last August, BrightSource CEO John Woolard was confident his plant would significantly lower the costs of energy.
“We were able to drop costs down significantly,” he said. “Ivanpah is the culmination of two and a half decades of work and thinking around solar.”
However, the entire solar energy enterprise is now being questioned as overseas manufacturers, particularly China and Taiwan, have produced similar products and services at much lower prices.
Already, the cost of generating power with panels plunged about 37 percent in the past year as Chinese factories cut prices. The price slashes pushed three U.S. makers, including Solyndra, into bankruptcy protection.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott