NEW YORK – When solar energy giant SunEdison, together with its spinoff TerraForm Power, acquired wind-turbine powerhouse First Wind Holdings LLC for $2.4 billion in May 2015, the deal was touted as “transformative,” as SunEdison’s stock rose 29 percent and TerraForm gained 27 percent.
But when SunEdison finally declared bankruptcy on April 21, investors were forced to face the sad reality that the company’s cash flows from its various solar and wind-turbine energy projects had proved to be insufficient to cover debt-payment requirements.
The Chapter 11 filing revealed assets of $20.7 billion and total debts of $16.1 billion.
Now, the First Wind acquisition that arguably made SunEdison “one of the world’s largest, if not the largest renewable energy developers,” has returned to haunt the renewable energy conglomerate. New York-based investment firm D. E. Shaw & Co. and Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners have filed suit against TerraForm Power, seeking $231 million in deferred payments the two investment firms claim they were owed but never paid in the SunEdison acquisition of First Wind.
Clinton and Obama green energy corruption
According to OpenSecrets.org, D. E. Shaw & Company contributed in excess of $5.6 million in 1992-2014, primarily to Democratic Party political candidates.
As noted by Peter Schweizer in his 2011 bestselling book “Throw Them All Out,” David E. Shaw, the firms founder and the largest shareholder in First Wind, was a two-time bundler for President Obama and one of the top three donors to the Democratic Party prior to First Wind receiving $232 million in Obama stimulus funds, including $115 million for a wind-turbine project in Hawaii called Kakuku Wind for which First Wind created a total of 125 jobs.
Shaw served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under President Clinton in 1994 and President Obama in 2009.
Lawrence Summers, a part owner of First Wind, was a part-time employee of D. E. Shaw from 2006 until 2008, earning approximately $5 million with the New York-based hedge fund, working one day a week for the firm in an advisory capacity, at what Business Insider calculated was a rate of $52,000 per day or $4,333 per hour.
Summers served as secretary of the treasury from 1999 to 2001, under President Clinton, and was appointed Director of the National Economic Council by then President-elect Obama on Nov. 24, 2008. Summers has also held a position as a distinguished senior fellow at John Podesta’s Center for America Progress.
Vice President Joe Biden also plays a role in providing First Wind with government loan guarantees.
After First Wind hired lobbyist Larry Rasky, the press secretary for then Sen. Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign and a bundler who pledged to raise over $500,000 for Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, the company secured over $500 million in government energy loans and grants.
For his services, First Wind paid $405,000 between the first quarter 2009 and the third quarter 2011 to Rasky Baerlain Strategic Communications, the lobbying/public relations firm with offices in Boston and Washington.
In 2006, Goldman Sachs was named the lead investor in then start-up SunEdison, a firm that Goldman Sachs managing director Alan Waxman bragged would “help transform the U.S. solar market and drive growth for many years to come.”
In April 2014, Goldman Sachs provided $250 million in the initial capital to form SunEdison’s “yieldco’ spinoffs, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global.
“We’re pleased to have Goldman Sachs support SunEdison,” said Carlos Domenech, CEO of SunEdison Capital, accepting the Goldman Sachs seed capital. “This is a significant step in executing SunEdison’s asset ownership strategy. SunEdison YieldCo will utilize proceeds from the $250 million facility to acquire projects from third party developers as well as projects developed by SunEdison.”
On April 19, Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon reported that Paul Pelosi, husband of Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, bought a quarter million dollars of SunEdison stock just weeks prior to the First Wind acquisition that sent SunEdison stock prices soaring, resulting in a windfall profit for the Pelosi family.
Left’s war on carbon-based fuels
SunEdison’s bankruptcy should call national attention to the economic reality that the underperforming renewable energy sector is collapsing under a mountain of debt, including hundreds of billions in federal government loan guarantees issued under various Obama stimulus programs.
Moreover, it should reveal to the American taxpayer a massive network of green energy corruption that touches both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as many of their political campaign donors, including several Wall Street investment funds and related hedge fund investors, as well as close Democratic Party-affiliated political associates.
The wide net of green energy corruption also threatens to involve Republicans Ted and Heidi Cruz through their close association with Goldman Sachs, one of the prime Wall Street investment firms bankrolling the green energy revolution.
Ultimately, the recent explosion of bankruptcy filings in the renewable energy sector, including the collapse of Spain-based Abengoa and the near-collapse of solar giant Ivanpah in California, exposes the economic failure of the political left’s determined attempt to recruit the American public, along with the United Nations and the Vatican, to replace carbon-based fuels with renewable green energy.
At the bottom of the green energy corruption is the political left’s antipathy to carbon dioxide emissions, stemming from an ideological belief that human consumption of carbon-based fuels leads to a “greenhouse effect” that solar and wind energy enthusiasts, including former Vice President Al Gore initially branded as “global warming” before migrating to more broadly stated “climate change” arguments.
“The Paris Climate Agreement sent a clear signal that the future of the global economy will be powered by low-carbon, climate-smart growth,” the United Nations stated in a press briefing on Friday, celebrating the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Decarbonizing the economy is not only the responsible thing for the private sector to do, it also makes clear business sense,” the U.N. press announcement continued.
The U.N. press announcement linked to a U.N. webpage explaining how the Paris Climate Agreement ties into the United Nation’s “Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development: 17 Goals to Transform Our World.”
Most recently, the reliability of the science behind the left’s “greenhouse effect” theory has been called into question by John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel.
Coleman has joined more than 1,000 international scientists dissenting against the anthropogenic climate-change hypothesis advocated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.