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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Solyndra 'It's Not Easy Being Green' tarnishes green jobs

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Solyndra tarnishes green jobs

By BOB KING
 politico.com
September 18, 2011

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President Barack Obama’s green-energy agenda may survive Solyndra, but he might need to keep his distance for a while.
Tours of clean-technology companies have been a hallmark of Obama’s presidency, giving him a chance to tout green jobs, the success of his administration’s stimulus program and the promise of a new era of American leadership.
But now, with Solyndra’s odor seemingly everywhere and even “The Daily Show” mocking Obama’s May 2010 visit to the solar company, the president’s personal stamp may no longer be helping.
And while the White House is remaining steadfast in its efforts to champion clean energy, supporting the technology doesn’t necessarily require having the president tour the factory floor and speak in shirtsleeves in front of television cameras.
“This is a growing industry, and it will continue to grow without the president visiting factories,” said Jonathan Rothwell, a senior research analyst at the Brookings Institution.
“At this point … it seems to have politicized an issue that should, if anything, be a bipartisan commitment,” Rothwell said of Obama’s visits. “It almost obligates Republicans to speak out against green jobs and green policies.”
Rothwell said a great need exists for the federal government to continue supporting the development of clean energy, which he argues could eventually yield the same type of economic boom that the once-modest information technology sector did in the 1990s. That’s especially crucial in later stages when companies are trying to get financing to bring products to market, without the kind of successful track record that a bank would demand.
The White House said it’s not backing away from its clean-energy agenda.
“The president is absolutely committed to the idea that the United States must compete in the cutting-edge technologies of the 21st century,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday. “We will be buying renewable energy products, whether it’s wind, biofuel, solar, advanced battery technology — we’re going to be buying that stuff. Do we want to buy it with a stamp on it that says, ‘Made in America,’ or are we going to buy it from the Chinese or from other countries?”
Daniel Weiss, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said his inbox shows no evidence that the administration’s support has slackened. “Every day, I get press releases from [the Department of Energy] announcing $30 million here, $50 million there for various and sundry energy projects,” he said.
In the pre-Solyndra scandal days, Obama’s presence could produce a far sunnier spotlight than any news release.
For example, Manitowoc, Wis.-based Orion Energy Systems aggressively pursued a presidential visit until Obama finally arrived in January, just after his “win the future” State of the Union speech. Obama also gave his weekly YouTube address from Orion’s factory on Jan. 29.
“We were incessant to the point of probably being annoying” in inviting the president, said Kevin Crawford, senior vice president of government relations and corporate communications for Orion, which produces energy-efficient lighting and solar projects. The company’s stock showed an uptick just before Obama’s visit, and Crawford said the presidential attention seemed to draw the notice of state leaders while boosting workers’ morale.


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. Important Note: FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted (©) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. "Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use." . ________________________________________________________________________

Big Banks Pimp Geithner Gets Cold Shoulder From European Officials

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Geithner's "succinct" message irks Europeans

WROCLAW, Poland 
September 18, 2011

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(Reuters) - It was an unprecedented visit designed to spur the euro zone into action. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's high-profile trip to Europe left some European officials more dumbstruck than starstruck.
Geithner's decision to travel to the small city of Wroclaw to discuss the sovereign debt problems of Greece, Ireland, Italy and the wider euro zone was the clearest indication yet of the severity of the near two-year-old crisis, which now threatens the global economy not just the single currency bloc.
Officials said Geithner was coming to propose how the region might try leveraging its emergency bailout fund -- the 440 billion euro European Financial Stability Facility -- to better tackle the crisis, much as the United States used leverage to handle the fallout from the subprime collapse.
But however good Geithner's intentions, the indications were that the meeting did not go as smoothly as he might have hoped.
Held in a concert hall, the gathering lasted for about 30 minutes. The euro zone ministers arrived together by bus. Geithner was sped to the doors in a private car.
There was no word on whether voices were raised or what the temperature of the exchanges was, but Austria's finance minister, for one, was less than warm to Geithner's message.
"I found it peculiar that even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the euro zone that they tell us what we should do and when we make a suggestion ... that they say no straight away," Maria Fekter told reporters afterwards, recalling a difference of opinion between Geithner and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on how to reinvigorate the euro zone and tax financial deals.
Although some dropped hints of disagreement behind the meeting's closed doors, few were prepared to disclose Geithner's full prescription to heal the euro zone crisis.
"He was very succinct. He was kind of headlining, that is the way he deals with things," said Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, adding that the leverage plan was the main thrust of what Geithner had delivered.
But his language was perhaps too blunt for European ministers, fatigued by the crisis and the countless disagreements it has prompted amongst them.
"We can always discuss with our American colleagues. I'd like to hear how the United States will reduce its deficits ... and its debts," Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders said somewhat tartly.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of the Eurogroup, was even more to the point.
"I don't think it would be wise for me to report from an informal meeting that we have with the treasury secretary. We are not discussing the expansion or increase of the EFSF with a non-member of the euro area," he said.
The clearest sense of Geithner's thoughts came after the meeting, when he briefed policymakers and bankers on his views of the crisis.
"Of course your financial challenges in Europe are within your capacity to manage financially, you just have to choose to do it," Geithner told the audience, sitting cross-legged and slightly slouched in his chair.
"And that is why I said how important it is to us that Europe doesn't face a protracted period of weakness," he said, answering a series of polite questions delivered by Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski.
But he also spoke openly about his concerns.
"One of the starkest ways to emphasize the importance of Europe getting on top of this is that you don't want the future of Europe to rest in the hands of those who provide financing to the IMF," he said.
"There is no reason for Europe to be in that position and it would be very damaging to the credibility of the endeavour here in Europe," he said, before departing to warm applause.
But his frank tone and warnings of "catastrophic risk" is unsuited to European diplomacy.
For many in the meeting, Austria's Fekter most particularly, his message fell flat.
"I had expected that when he tells us how he sees the world that he would listen to what we have to say," she said. (editing by Ron Askew)
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VIDEO: Germany The New Superpower Competing with China, U.S. LONG GONE - Debt Slavery- MAX KEISER
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. Important Note: FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted (©) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. "Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use." . ________________________________________________________________________

California GOP Straw Poll Winner: Ron Paul, Rick Perry distant 2nd

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Ron Paul Wins California GOP Straw Poll

September 18, 2011
|NewsCore

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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul won a California GOP straw poll Saturday night, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The Texas congressman picked up just under 45 percent of the 833 ballots cast at the state party convention in downtown Los Angeles.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry,  the so-called  frontrunner in the nomination battle, came in second with 29 percent of the vote.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was a distant third with nine percent of the votes cast, while Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann came in fourth with 7.7 percent.
No other candidate polled more than two percent of the vote.
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VIDEO: MISSOURI THE BEAUTIFUL Take a patriotic tour of the Show Me State's natural wonders . . ==========================================================

. Important Note: FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted (©) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. "Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use." . ________________________________________________________________________

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