Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive. The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. -Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo, AP
Special agents tasked with protecting the Department of Energy (DOE) have blown the whistle on what they describe as a dangerous culture of “fraud, waste, and abuse” that includes drinking on the job, mismanagement of weapons, falsification of security reports, and “wasteful spending” that reaches all the way to the deputy secretary of energy.
Environmentalist, Warming, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Science, Brilliance, Oops, Energy
The hills of southern Iowa bear the scars of America's push for green energy: The brown gashes where rain has washed away the soil. The polluted streams that dump fertilizer into the water supply. Even the cemetery that disappeared like an apparition into a cornfield. It wasn't supposed to be this way...
As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found. Five million acres of land set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined — have vanished on Obama's watch. Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Funny, Oops, Energy, Law, Regulation
Washington, D.C. may have the highest number of certified green buildings in the country, but research by Environmental Policy Alliance suggests it might not be doing much good... Washington, D.C.’s Department of Environment made the capital the first city in the nation to mandate LEED certifications in the construction of public buildings... Take the Green Building Council’s Washington headquarters. Replete with the group’s top green-energy accolade, the platinum LEED certification, the USGBC’s main base comes in at 236 EUI. The average EUI for uncertified buildings in the capital? Just 199.
Government, Incompetence, Oops
Hackers were able to obtain personal information from 104,179 Department of Energy employees and contractors during an attack this summer, according to the Inspector General. An attack in July 2013, one of at least three cyber security breaches at the department, allowed hackers to access individuals’ Social Security and bank account numbers with “relative ease.”
Government, Incompetence, Energy, Corruption
A lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday alleges mass favoritism in the Department of Energy’s decisions to award federal grants to major car companies to develop electric vehicles, according to a legal complaint obtained by Scribe. The plaintiff, San Francisco-based XP Technology, says in a complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that “corruption and negligence” pervaded DOE’s decision to award loan guarantees to Ford, Nissan, Tesla Motors, and Fisker Automotive for the development of electric vehicle technology. “Investigations have shown that DOE officials intentionally stalled numerous applicants’ reviews in order to force them out of business and protect favored players,” the complaint claims.
Democrat, Incompetence, Brilliance, Oops, Energy
“There would be no production out of [ANWR] for at least 7 years.” -Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)... “Oil extracted from [ANWR] would not reach refineries for seven to ten years.” -Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)... “No oil will flow from ANWR…until from 7 to 10 years from now.” -Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)... “Oil exploration in ANWR will not actually start producing oil for as many as 10 years.” -Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)...“Even if we started drilling [in ANWR] tomorrow, the first barrel of crude oil would not make it to the market for at least 10 years.” -Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Incompetence, Energy, Regulation
If any national park can make solar power work, it would be Death Valley, one of the world's sunniest and hottest landscapes. But superintendent Sarah L. Craigheadsaid the park's solar projects have been unplugged since she took the job 21/2 years ago. "We have been trying to get these agreements in place for quite some time. Everything is just sitting in the queue. Some panels were put up as part of the stimulus package," she said, referring to the economic initiative begun in the early days of the Obama administration.
Warming, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Fraud, Oops
"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Energy, Regulation
WASHINGTON — When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law. But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.
Environmentalist, Government, Incompetence, Obama
HOPEWELL JUNCTION — SpectraWatt, the solar-cell manufacturer that began operating here in early 2010 to great acclaim, only to close a year later, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code.
Government, Incompetence, Financial
A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.
Asked about the report, a spokeswoman for the Energy Department, Stephanie Mueller, said, “We can acknowledge there’s more work that needs to be done.”
To turn wood chips into ethanol fuel, George W. Bush's Department of Energy in February 2007 announced a $76 million grant to Range Fuels for a cutting-edge refinery. A few months later, the refinery opened in the piney woods of Treutlen County, Ga., as the taxpayers of Georgia piled on another $6 million. In 2008, the ethanol plant was the first beneficiary of the Biorefinery Assistance Program, pocketing a loan for $80 million guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers.
Last month, the refinery closed down, having failed to squeeze even a drop of ethanol out of its pine chips.