The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Obama’s green initiatives lobbied for by the same people who profit from them

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the country of what he called the “military-industrial complex,” a reference to the growing relationship between the military industry in the private sector and the federal government. Today, there is another industrial complex taking shape. Only this time, the president is not warning anyone about it – he’s actually directly involved in its growth.

One may call it the “green industrial complex.”

Enter John Doerr, a billionaire venture capitalist at the Silicon Valley firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers (KPCB). There, Doerr has been responsible for the firm’s successful investments in companies like Compaq, Intuit, AOL, Amazon, Netscape and Google.

No one would argue that Doerr hasn’t earned his spot on Forbes magazine’s annual richest people in the world list. However, in recent years, Doerr has redirected his talent from picking out successful start-up companies to successfully lobbying the Obama administration into supporting “green” initiatives.

While Doerr considers himself “a raging capitalist,” what he has been doing the last few years may be more akin to crony capitalism. With his lobbying, political advising and picky investing, Doerr has been one of the main movers behind green policy initiatives in Washington D.C, creating a web of players within a new industrial complex of green initiatives and renewable energy. He’s also been one of the biggest profiteers from it.

Since 2000, Doerr and his wife Anne have donated approximately $800,000 to Democrats. Moreover, KPCB has donated more than a million dollars to Democrats since 2005. Doerr has since been rewarded by being given at least some input in shaping the administration’s economic policy. In February 2009, President Obama named Doerr to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB).

“I think Doerr, like most, supports people he knows will support him,” Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller.

“He [Doerr] is invaluable to them as a committee hearing witness. And, because they [politicians] are promoting the coercive transfer of wealth to ‘investments’ of his – investments that he made on the cheap because they’re uneconomic, but can reap tremendous ‘rents’ if their agenda of taking effective control of the energy sector is affected – they are invaluable to him,” said Horner.

He added, “I don’t know if he has been trading tit for tat, but it is clearly a mutual benefits society.”

In the stimulus bill that passed Congress, $86 billion was earmarked for “green initiatives,” something that was heavily lobbied for by Doerr. The Department of Energy (DOE) was then put in charge of choosing which companies to award grants to.

However, close examination of those companies who have so far received grants reveals that KPCB venture companies – businesses in which Doerr has a vested financial interest – have received a large portion of the DOE’s fund.

Fisker Automotive is one example. In 2008, KPCB added Fisker to its portfolio of investment ventures. And last September, the automaker received a $529 million grant to manufacture a hybrid sports car called the Fisker Karma.

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  • aposematic

    Concentrating power through redistribution of wealth…the Marxist’s self righteous fantasy dream of destroying everything true and moral through the promotion of a despotic and insane pet ideology!

  • http://to-god-and-country.blogspot.com flataffect

    The big difference is that national defense is in the Constitution. I can see some basis in the preamble for some environmental regulation, but not for subsidizing “renewable energy” which sounds suspiciously like perpetual motion. The phrase is misleading, since energy, once used, is not renewed. It may be replaced, but one expended, it’s converted to work or wasted. I don’t think it should be the government’s business to attempt to reverse the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  • sandra3dee

    Sounds like he took a page out of GE’s book.

  • chuckbareass

    It is so frustrating that companies are getting financial incentives to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. I wish we could go back to the old days where farming, banking and oil were the only industries receiving massive tax breaks, subsidies and handouts. Ergh, damn Obama and his attempts to clean up the environment and wean us from the Saudi tit.

    • jdkchem

      You’re an idiot. You’re more than willing to trade foreign oil for foreign lithium. The top importer of crude oil to the US is Canada and morons like you have no problem with sending 2 billion dollars to Petrobras in order to line the pockets of George Soros. Furthermore you have no problem with destroying the environment in another part of the world as long as you do not have to see or hear about it. So much for your typical ignorant libturd comment.

      • chuckbareass

        Ergh, libtards and their dependence on foreign lithium! Ergh, I’m so angry about foreign lithium and the 3 trillion dollars it has cost in attempting to oust Saddam Hussein so we can get cheaper access to lithium! Why did the libtards make such a terrible investment with the 3 trillion we borrowed against our children’s future! Ergh libtards and their lithium!

        • recovered dem

          The one thing I totally agree with you on is: Damn Obama!

    • aposematic

      Ignorance is bliss! Green energy will result in more dependence on foreign sources of energy, not less. The present plans for green will not supply 20% of America’s energy needs in the next 50 years and beyond. Without more domestic sources of energy (real fossil fuel, not green fake energy); just where do you think that energy will come from: Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, or foreign sources. Get your head out of the Liberal elites backsides, and your own.

      • recovered dem

        Yes, you are right on! Just look at Obama’s electric car! It’s electric batteries are good for 40 miles. In other words, they will get you to a gas station if you run out of gas.

  • truebearing

    Green initiatives my ass. Green is the new RED. Red as in Communist/Marxist.

    The Marxists hijacked the Green Movement in Europe, and then here. The original founders of the Sierra Club left it, complaining it had been hijacked by radical leftists, and that is the story with every environmental organisation in this country, and probably on earth.

    The left is using the environment to create a fulcrum of fear and guilt from which they can leverage themselves into totalitarian power, and for those suffering from terminal naivete, that is the ONLY kind of power leftists want. They don’t share well (kind of like Muslims).

    Global Warming is a classic example of the environmental fulcrum being used to leverage fear in the world. The left’s favorite tactic is demagoging issues that create fear because a fearful populace is vulnerable to deception and ultimately total control.

    Welcome to Obama’s Grave New World.