Al Gore, who left public office with an estimated net worth of two million dollars, is worth an estimated 100 million dollars today according to the Washington Post.
Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.
Green energy bankruptcies are now a regular feature on the business page. Witness today’s bankruptcy announcement by Waltham, Massachusetts based battery maker A123 which won’t be paying back it’s $249 million federal grant. Green investors like Gore and corporate executives get rich leaving while workers and taxpayers pay the price.
Charles Lane followed up with an editorial in today’s WashPo:
Gore’s sanctimony doesn’t help. The erstwhile Tennessee populist bristles at any suggestion that his climate crusade is about money. And, no doubt, he cared about the planet before he got rich. Still, his investments, including in such flops as Fisker, the maker of $100,000 plug-in hybrid cars, create a patent conflict of interest. This hurts his credibility — if not about climate change per se, then certainly about the particular solutions he advocates.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.):
calls the aid “reflective of a disturbing pattern that those closest to the president have been rewarded with billions of taxpayer dollars . . . and benefited from the administration’s green bonanza in the rush to spend stimulus cash.” The Hill
How long will struggling Americans dealing with the worst economy in a generation stand by and watch while a favored few build fortunes out of their tax dollars?