#Occupy the Department of Energy! Or, loans for Russian billionaires?

Posted by: Phineas on October 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

I must’ve missed the memo announcing the rebirth of the Friends of Angelo program under the aegis of the Department of Energy. Under the leadership of Secretary Chu (Like his boss, a Nobel Prize winner. Be impressed.), the DoE has fast-tracked and awarded loans with preferential terms (1) to a failing “Green” energy company, Solyndra; a “Green” car company, Fisker, which plans to make its cars in Finland, when they get around to actually making the cars; and another “Green” automaker, Tesla, which builds Gaea-friendly cars for the elite one-percent. And on which Tesla loses money.

All these loans, totaling about $1.5 billion taxpayer dollars, were doled out to companies with connections to big donors to the Democrats and Obama. (See also.)

But this one has to be the cake-topper — $730 million to a Russian billionaire:

Another controversial U.S. Department of Energy “green” loan is coming under scrutiny.

Last July the Obama administration issued a $730 million low interest “green” loan to Russia’s second largest steel company, whose chief executive is a Russian tycoon personally worth $18 billion and who has close ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

An influential House oversight chairman is now questioning why taxpayer funds from the Department of Energy are being used to assist the highly capitalized foreign-based steel company.

The DOE renewable energy loan was awarded this summer to Severstal North America to produce high strength steel at its Dearborn, Michigan facility. Steel is not in short supply in the United States and current U.S. steel plants are operating under capacity.

The DOE loan is part of a controversial $40 billion renewable energy loan program organized under its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program called ATVM. The program is supposed to help financially starved companies in the green auto manufacturing field by providing taxpayer-supported low interest loans.

As PJM’s Richard Pollock points out, the billionaire, Alexei Mordashov, is the 29th richest man in the world. Mordashov’s company, Severstal, recently made $1.2 billion from the sale of several steel mills in Ohio and other states. He could finance Dearborn plant out of his own pocket and still have enough left over to buy his own miniature giraffe. (2)

And then there’s the question of why Severstal, a fully-capitalized company that’s neither in the auto or “Green industries,” qualifies for loans meant to help “green auto manufacturing.”

Why, if I were a cynic, I might suspect some sort of a payoff here.

Nah. I must just be a RAAAAACIST!! and a hater. Or something.

(1) Read: “They get the gold mine, the taxpayer gets the shaft.”
(2) I love that commercial.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “#Occupy the Department of Energy! Or, loans for Russian billionaires?”


  1. Brontefan says:

    Clearly, the movement is not about the “fat cats” on Wall Street because most of them donate to Obama’s campagin. If the protesters were genuine, they would be in DC.

  2. Tango says:

    ….hang in there; it is bound to get worse. We have another year to go.

  3. Carlos says:

    But these are watershed moments, tipping points if you will, where the Congress of the United States has the opportunity to dispose of all the crony capitalism that has taken place in the last three years.

    Will they? That’s what makes this the tipping point, because my guess is the American public has gotten so jaded about the criminality of this administration they just don’t care any more, so in the next year expect the Chicago Gang to ramp it up and literally take over the country as their own private fiefdom.

    But the admin better be careful. If they don’t continue to steal money from the producers and lavish it on the bottomfeeders, it will come back to bite them in their big, fat behinds.

  4. bill glass says:

    The suction tube that’s been inserted into the treasury by all of these fraus is enormous, powerful and has no off-switch. What are we ever going to do to be rid of all the corruption that plagues us?

  5. Carlos says:

    Maybe this really is the ultimate aim of the greenie-weenie movement, and most the activist fools supporting it were/are too blind to see it.

    We’ve always known it was nothing more than a means to grab power and control lives. It appears now it was also to drain every treasury.