This wasn't supposed to happen. Just 11 months after President Obama made the environment and climate change his top priority in the Inaugural Address, green energy firms are facing abandonment and even fines from his administration, now viewed as cozying up to Big Oil.
Two major events occurred this month that has the green industry yelling “sell out” at the White House.
First, the administration abruptly abandoned its promise to demand that more biofuels be used to make gas from renewable sources like corn and grasses, a major blow to farmers and biotech execs who saw the president's Inaugural Address promises as a green light for massive investment in green fuel production, said an industry official.
Green energy represented by the Fuels America coalition were stunned. “We are astounded by the proposal released by the administration today. It reflects an ‘all of the above, except biofuels’ energy strategy. If implemented, would cost American drivers more than $7 billion in higher gas prices, and hand the oil companies a windfall of $10.3 billion,” they said in a statement to Secrets.
Then the Justice Department made its first-ever enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for bird collisions to sock Duke Energy with a $1 million fine and five years of probation because some federally protected birds including golden eagles and sparrows died crashing into turbine blades at two of the firm's Wyoming wind farms.
Industry officials said that the administration has let them down and that they are reconsidering future investments.
One noted that in his Inaugural Address, Obama said that the United States “cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries.” The green executive said, “it looks like we are ceding.”
Fuels America added that the administration’s decisions will “siphon investment in cellulosic and advanced renewable fuels off to other countries and put U.S. jobs at risk. And it will idle ethanol plants, adding to the unemployment rolls and devastating rural economies.”Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.