As much as I’d love to see renewable technologies work (without subsidies), I’d love to have a solar powered car, or a house powered by the sea breeze, the great “green energy” initiative has been a bust. Solyndra is not the only example, there are many more, GreenTech, once headed Terry McAuliffe appears to be such a venture.
In 2009, it seemed like every well connected Democrat in the country thought they had a sure thing in green energy. Suddenly “green” projects popped up all over the place with political big shots getting a piece of the pie. With the federal government behind green technologies how could they loose? Who could be a better VC than the government?
Of course it was the taxpayer’s money which was the capital. If the citizens got paid back that’d be great. But hey, we’ll see.
(From The Wall Street Journal)
Virginia was particularly alarmed by GreenTech’s use of an opaque visa program, called EB-5, to fund itself. Part of a 1990 immigration law, EB-5 lets foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. company receive green cards. A federal immigration agency approves “regional centers” that administer the program.
While these centers can be run by local government, GreenTech proposed running a Virginia center itself. One official at the Virginia development agency wrote to colleagues that she couldn’t view Greentech’s EB-5 program as “anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications.”
GreenTech is today using its own investment vehicle to run a regional center in Mississippi. The president and CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management is Anthony Rodham, the youngest brother of Hillary Clinton. Its board is composed of Democratic Party insiders, from former Clinton IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson to former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Neither the immigration agency, nor GreenTech or Gulf Coast, has divulged how much money the company has raised via EB-5, or how many visas it has issued.