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October 08, 2011

Curious: Management Company That Runs Zuccotti Park Recently Received $135 Million in Tax Money for Wind Farm [JWF]

Remember back in the day when the mere appearance of impropriety was enough to launch investigations? Good times, good times.

Well, if anything ever needed to be inspected more closely, this is it.

In the name of “green energy,” the Obama administration is using taxpayer money to subsidize a New Hampshire wind farm that is a subsidiary of a hugely profitable company.

New Hampshire’s largest wind farm, the Granite Reliable Power project under construction in Coos County, is jointly owned by BAIF Granite Holdings, LLC and Freshnet Wind Energy, LLC. BAIF owns 75 percent of Granite Reliable. BAIF Granite Holdings was created earlier this year by Brookfield Renewable Power, which is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management of New York.

That company, which runs clean energy operations around the world, has deep pockets. It reported net income of $454 million in 2009 and $3.2 billion in 2010. Brookfield Renewable Power financed the creation of BAIF Granite Holdings from its Brookfield Americas Infrastructure fund, which was reported in February to have $2.7 billion in assets. With that kind of backing, it is curious that the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would guarantee up to 80 percent of a $168.9 million loan for the Granite Reliable wind farm project last week.

Why would a company created by a $3.2 billion company and backed by a $2.7 billion private fund need federal loan guarantees? That would be an important question at any time, but it is more pertinent after the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that got a $535 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration last year.

But wait, there's more!


Now why does a company worth billions need taxpayer funding for some green energy project? Something surely smells here. Let's see: They opened the park in mid-September, and magically on September 23, here's a windfall of taxpayer cash.

You'll never guess who lobbies for Brookfield. The firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, founded by Joe Biden's son. Well, isn't that a cozy relationship?

In another remarkable coincidence, Mayor Bloomberg's girlfriend, Diana Taylor, is on the Brookfield Board of Directors.

There's actually more to it, as someone here has sifted through all the connections. Frankly, it reeks of cronyism and backscratching.

Follow me on Twitter and visit here.

H/T Colleen.

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posted by Guest Blogger at 09:15 AM

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