Harry Alford

By Harry C. Alford
NNPA Columnist

Yes, the dot-com era was filled with fraud. One year, we had 14 high tech startups pay sponsorship for our annual conference. The next year they were all gone – bankrupt. They got quick funding from investors. Then, they ripped off as much of the cash without detection and killed the company through the bankruptcy courts. All of the funding that went into the project would now be in the hands of the perpetrators (off shore accounts, etc.). The investors would be left holding the bag.

The Green Hustle is quite similar but this time the perpetrators stick up government money, i.e. tax money – yours and mine. Why rip off investors when the money is already sitting around in Washington, D.C. and state capitals throughout the land. Like with the high tech games, former Vice President Al Gore is leading the charge. He makes millions, perhaps billions, of dollars along the way. Nobel Peace Prize, big selling documentary (Inconvenient Truth), books and the sale of a television network (Al Jazeera) that he bought for pittance and sold for nearly $1 billion.

What is so ironic about Gore’s passion for fighting fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, coal, etc.) is that his family’s wealth comes from the coal and oil business. They have ownership in Occidental Oil and his clever father was a U.S. Senator known to make crazy deals on the side in the coal business. You couldn’t have any major business activity with coal in Tennessee without the “old man” blessing it.

Al Gore is a good example of the “Billionaires Club.” That is a nickname Senator David Vitter (R.– La.) calls them. These very wealthy environmental zealots put up a relentless fight against energy companies and anything else that improves our infrastructure and promotes industrial progress. They make their money by promoting the idea that we produce too much greenhouse gases and are threatening the ozone. Their investments are counter to those who have ownership in the manufacturing and energy industries. That’s the long-term answer for their advocacy. They pour billions of dollars supporting groups such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc.

President Obama’s agenda is to kill coal and drive oil and natural gas usage to a minimum. His belief that if we provide funding new environmentally safe things will come about throughout the nation. That belief has opened the way for a myriad of con artists. Early in his presidency, he put up $80 billion in subsidies and/or guaranteed loans (guaranteed by us the taxpayers). One of the first big awardees was Solyndra with a whopping $535 million loan guarantee for solar production. Never mind that the principles of Solyndra had no experience whatsoever in the solar industry. They were good fundraisers for the Obama campaign and that is all it took. Obviously, this matter was headed for disaster and it happened at lightning speed. Every one of those tax dollars was written off. They got the money and we got the shaft.

Don’t think this is isolated. Billions of dollars are being written off as each political crony comes up with a clean air gadget to pitch. We know of no successful funding by the federal government on any innovation experiment. That is just the federal government. States are just as reckless or should I say corrupt. Keep in mind that these hustlers get the money and then declare failure and hide behind bankruptcy laws. They are getting rich as our tax money is going to waste. It is a mild form of robbery. No one seems to complain.

For states, California is one of the worst when it comes to environmental fraud abuse. The state has recently cut back on funding for education, assistance to the disabled and law enforcement. However, they have increased money for these environmental failures. Cali has even created new taxes, including $3 on each license plate to fund more and more of these fraudulent projects. New taxes exceed more than $15 billion for Californian citizens.

Recently, the governor of Oregon has been busted for hiring his girlfriend to oversee issuing loan guarantees for new environmental projects. Funny, she also kept her lobbying job of finding funding for environmental projects. This was clearly a pay-to-play scheme using the guise of helping the environment. The governor was in his fourth term and now he has resigned and is awaiting indictments for him and his girl.

It’s getting worse. Now the Billionaires Club is encouraging student and activist groups to demand institutions with pension funds to divest from energy companies. This is nothing but a scheme to artificially depress the value of the energy stocks. They would quickly sell their energy stocks which would drop in market value and then buy all of the energy stocks they could find and laugh as their values return to normal. This is Wall Street short selling at its best. Meanwhile, the retirees will be robbed of the true value of their pensions.

Wake up America!

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.


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