The dirty side of clean energy
“There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics.” – President Obama, Aug. 11, 2011 at Johnson Controls battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI.
Under investigation in China for its roll in the diagnosis of lead poisoning in as many as 25 children, Johnson Controls is one of the largest recipients of federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. the stimulus bill.
Headquartered in Wisconsin, Johnson Controls was awarded more than $400 million in federal stimulus funding grants (as a primary recipient) for green agenda projects throughout the United States. The largest single grant of the entire stimulus package totaled $299,000,000 and was awarded to Johnson Controls to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant that is currently less than 50% complete. (Source: Recovery.gov)
When President Obama visited the Holland, MI site touting his still unseen-by-Congress jobs bill, he said, “…the actions that we took together, as a nation, through our government… the fact that we helped create together the conditions where businesses like this can prosper. That’s why we’re investing in clean energy… and by the way, we didn’t go through Congress to do it.” (Source: WhiteHouse.gov)
Obviously politics has a huge role to play in the success of “green” companies as we have seen with the Solyndra and LightSquared scandals, the collusion between GE and the Obama administration, and at least 2 other solar companies that were praised by the president, received federal funding and shortly thereafter filed bankruptcy.
Johnson Controls, a multibillion dollar company even without public funding, isn’t likely to go bankrupt any time soon but recent activity at the company raises questions about how having political friends in this adminstration helps land hefty government contracts and stimulus dough.
Though CEO Stephen Roell and the Johnson Controls PAC (political action committee) have contributed to both democrats and republicans, they overwhelmingly contribute to democrats in higher numbers.
In the 2010 election cycle, Johnson Controls PAC donated over $16,000 to House Democrats and donated less than half of that amount to arguably left-leaning Republicans. The Senate Democrats saw nearly 5 times the amount of Republicans in the same election cycle with only one republican candidate receiving a donation. (Source: OpenSecrets.org)
And then there’s the abundance of support for President Obama’s new
stimulus jobs bill. The company released a statement 2 days before the president’s visit to Michigan in which C. David Myers, president of Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency Business, lavishes praise on the administration for their commitment to retrofitting our nation’s schools. Taking its talking points almost directly from the president’s address to Congress, the statement makes the case for reducing energy costs by investing in retrofitting the buildings.
Guess what Myers’ division of Johnson Controls does…. retrofits buildings for energy efficiency. No word yet on whether Johnson Controls will snag the largest chunk of the jobs bill pie like it did with Stimulus I.
Beyond the financial implications of failed solar companies and wasted tax dollars are the dangerous consequences of the green agenda. Lead poisoning, mercury in light bulbs and other environmental and health concerns seem to be lost in the political rhetoric, but perhaps the political pundits following the money will bring light to the multitude of other unintended consequences of the taxpayer-funded “greenifying” the United States.
Please view this video from from a Chinese news agency regarding Johnson Controls.