Regulations: crony capitalism’s tool

Obama's EPA writes regulations that hurt the poor, enrich his billionaire donors.

On Good Friday, a day fewer people would be paying attention to the headlines than on most other days, the Obama Administration released news about its plans to raise the price of gasoline. Gasoline prices for the first quarter of 2013 are higher than the same time in 2012. Intentionally pushing prices up would seem stupid in the midst of a struggling economy—that is, if your goal is to help those most impacted by higher fuel and food prices, rather than boosting the bottom line for your billionaire donors.

The plans, announced Friday, call for stricter limits for sulfur in gasoline—from the current 30 parts per million to 10. (Sulfur is an important element that is found naturally in crude oil has many industrial uses.) The EPA estimates that the low-sulfur gasoline will raise the price of a gallon of gas by “less than a penny,” while industry sources say it will be closer to ten cents a gallon.

Energy analyst Robert Rapier told me that the new regulations “will certainly make gasoline more expensive.” He said: “Note that diesel was historically less expensive than gasoline until the ultra-low sulfur diesel standard was passed. Since then, diesel has often been more expensive than gasoline. I am not saying whether or not those standards were needed, maybe they were. But the impact on cost is undeniable. I worked in a refinery when those standards were passed, and we spent a lot of capital making sure we could comply.”

Though air pollution is a worthy consideration, it is low on the public’s list of priorities, while gas prices are of utmost importance. If the public doesn’t see air pollution as a problem, and the President’s popularity has peaked, why would he put out policy that would hit the middle class the hardest? Because, despite his campaign rhetoric, he’s not “a warrior for the middle class.”

One year ago, Christine Lakatos launched her blog — “The Green Corruption Files”— through which she set out to prove that “Green corruption is the largest, most expensive and deceptive case of crony capitalism in American history. Stay tuned as we expose one piece of this scandal at a time.”  Last summer, Lakatos and I partnered to draw more attention to Obama’s Green-Energy Crony-Corruption Scandal. To date, I’ve written fifteen columns based on her research—this is the sixteenth.

A week ago, she posted her exposé on George Soros and his profiting from his apparent insider information on Green energy investments. Within her post, Lakatos says: “be prepared for regulations and legislation that will, in some form or another, resemble cap-and-trade and demand additional funds to bank roll Obama’s efforts to save our planet.” Exactly one week later, the new EPA standards on gasoline were released. The standards will raise the cost of fuel—which has been the underlying goal of the Obama energy agenda: make what works more expensive so people will accept the high cost of “green energy” in the name of saving the planet. (Remember outgoing Energy Secretary Chu’s 2008 statement: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”)

But, as the Soros story shows, it’s not about the planet, it’s about the profit. Soros’ investment portfolio shows he invests where he can make money — both traditional and Green energy (though, as you’ll see, through Obama’s Green energy emphasis, he has more control over Green energy investments). In a 1998 interview on 60 Minutes, Soros said: “I am basically there to make money. I cannot and do not look at the social consequences of what I do.”

Soros’ relationship with Obama goes back almost as far as his manipulation of money and markets.

It is reported that, back before Obama became a Senator or announced his presidential bid, and before the founding of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), Morton Halperin (the director of Soros’ Open Society Institute), John Podesta (the former Clinton White House chief of staff), Jeremy Rosner (a former speech writer for Bill Clinton), Robert Boorstin (a Democrat strategist and also a former speech writer for Clinton) and Carl Pope (a Democrat strategist and former Executive Director of the Sierra Club) met in 2002 at Soros’ Long Island Southampton beach house to draft a plan to defeat President Bush in the presidential election of 2004. Without that meeting, Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Pattersonsays: “Barack Obama would be … an unremarkable and unheard of state senator. Instead, Barack Obama is the President of the United States.”

Soros was an early donor to Obama’s Senate race. “Soros and his family gave Barack Obama $60,000. This does not include money that Soros was able to funnel to so-called 527 groups (Moveon.org, for example) that have also been politically active; nor does it include money that Soros was able to raise from tapping a network of friends, business associates, and employees.”

Once Obama was running for President, Soros was there again with support to the tune of $5 million—which put him on the Forbes’ 2008 list of Obama’s Billionaire Buddies. But the king of contributions wasn’t done there.  In September 2012, Soros pledged $1.5 million in donations to a trio of super PACs backing Obama and congressional Democrats. Soros’ political contributions are widely known, as is his funding of Left-leaning organizations such as CAP, The Tides Center and the Apollo Alliance — which all play a part in his ability to cash in on Green.

Soros was instrumental at the least, integral at the most, in writing Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Bill that put nearly $100 billion into various Green energy companies and projects. Additionally, there is a little-publicized connection between Soros, Green energy advocacy, and the White House.

Since buying access, Soros has been a frequent White House visitor and met with Obama’s then top economist Larry Summers — exerting his influence.

The Soros-funded Apollo Alliance brags about its role in writing the 2009 Stimulus Bill. In an interview, the best-selling author of Throw Them All Out, Peter Schweizer, states: “Billionaire George Soros gave advice and direction on how President Obama should allocate so-called ‘stimulus’ money in a series of regular private meetings and consultations with White House senior advisers even as Soros was making investments in areas affected by the stimulus program.”

Schweizer then reveals: “In the first quarter of 2009, Mr. Soros went on a stock-buying spree in companies that ultimately benefited from the federal stimulus.” He continues: “It is not necessarily the case that Soros had specific insider tips about any government grants.” Nevertheless, Soros’ “investment decisions aligned remarkably closely with government grants and transfers.” The majority of those investments were in Green energy ventures that gained from the stimulus and/or government regulation such as BioFuel Energy that benefited when the EPA announced a regulation on ethanol.

Shortly after the 2009 Stimulus, more to secure his investments than because of any core belief, Soros launched several new groups to help propagate the manmade climate change narrative that is the foundation for Green energy investments—without belief in man-made climate change, we don’t need renewables, as there is no energy shortage.

Some of the little-publicized connections include Cathy Zoi, former CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.  Zoi, while at the Department of Energy, oversaw the disbursement of more than $30 billion in Green energy stimulus funds. In early 2011, she resigned to work for a Soros fund: Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Another is Denis McDonough, who has replaced Jack Lew as Obama’s Chief of Staff. McDonough was a Senior Fellow at Soros-funded CAP, which Bloomberg News called: “an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals.” Other CAP/Obama advisers central to the Green energy scheme include Carol Browner, Van Jones, and Steve Spinner.

What return has Soros gotten on his stimulus-inspired stock buying spree plus investments in companies like First Solar and Solar City? Lakatos’ thorough research discovered that Soros’ Green tab exceeds $11 billion of stimulus money (dwarfing Citibank’s) –– and we, the taxpayers, footed the bill. Keep in mind, this tally doesn’t factor in any profit Soros has made off these investments — or will continue to make as a result of Obama’s climate change agenda being pushed by EPA regulation.

As save-the-planet regulations and legislation come out of the Obama Administration that raise costs for the middle class and hurt America’s struggling economy, remember the Soros story. It illustrates that Obama is not the “warrior for the middle class” he campaigned as, but he’s most concerned about creating wealth for his “Green cronies”—of which Soros is just one. This new EPA low-sulfur gasoline proposal is just the latest in a series of Green regulations. We don’t know for whom it creates wealth, but we know it isn’t the middle class.

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About the Author: Marita Noon

Marita Noon

CFACT policy analyst Marita Noon is the author of Energy Freedom.,

  • kathy

    We have come soooo far from what our country stands for. Until We the People understand our own constitution, we will continue to elect those without integrity. We will continue to allow unlawful bills to be passed because we don’t take the time to do our job of making sure elected people do theirs. This seems to be changing now. More folks are waking up and doing research and helping others understand that it is our Liberties that are eroded every time our local, state and federal governments install policies that ignore the very law of the land! Thank you CFACT, your work is appreciated by many!

  • colleenf

    These eco terrorists and libs are going to destroy us and our way of life. They will never be happy as happy is to nebulous of an idea for them to comprehend. They will never be even remotely happy until everyone is as miserable as they are.

  • jameshrust

    This is a great exposure of the group of people trying to turn the U. S. economy upside down. Unfortunately the mainstream media pays no attention to the antics of these individuals and the public is unaware of befalling them.
    James Rust, Professor

  • Eckenhuijsen Smit

    Good Americans stand together in revolt and impeach the ruinous, ignorant traitor Barry Obama Soebarkah.

  • J.P. Katigbak

    I just hope that, someday, depressive politics deserved to be challenged much more vigorously for not letting the situation unresolved. – J.P.K.