Pro-Obama company builds wind power project in same area where coal plant closed

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The energy company Duke Energy, which has close ties to President Barack Obama’s administration and is involved with the pro-Obama political operation Organizing for Action, completed two new expansive wind power projects this month in the same region near Corpus Cristi, Texas where a major job-creating coal power project was recently disbanded.

Chase Power announced January 23 that it has canceled construction of its $3 billion Las Brisas coal power plant, which was supposed to be part of the larger Las Brisas Energy Center in the Inner Harbor of Corpus Cristi. The Las Brisas Energy Center, including the coal plant, was projected to create 3,900 new jobs in Texas before its termination.

Chase Power CEO Dave Freysinger blamed the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency for the project’s cancellation.

“The [Las Brisas Energy Center] is a victim of EPA’s concerted effort to stifle solid-fuel energy facilities in the U.S., including EPA’s carbon-permitting requirements and EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for new power plants,” he told a local reporter.

Chase Power’s announcement came in the same month that Charlotte-based Duke Energy announced the completion of two new wind projects near Corpus Cristi.

Duke Energy announced the completion of the Los Vientos I and Los Vientos II wind projects on January 14.

The Los Vientos projects are located “approximately 120 miles south of Corpus Christi and 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico,” according to a 2011 Duke press release.

A Duke Energy executive said the company is “proud … to bring renewable energy to this region.”

The brand new advocacy group Organizing for Action, which was created from the remnants of Obama’s 2012 campaign and will advocate for Obama’s second-term policies, “closely affiliated itself” this month with Duke Energy.

Outgoing Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers recently suggested that he would be interested in becoming Obama’s next secretary of energy.

Duke Energy gave Democrats a $10 million loan for their 2012 convention. Rogers was co-chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention and contributed the maximum $100,000 to support the convention. Duke Energy employees contributed more than $19,000 to Obama’s re-election campaign during the 2012 election cycle.

Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in 2008 that he planned to bankrupt companies that wanted to build new coal-powered plants, to clear the way for renewable energy projects.

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