• Wind Cronies Funding Anti-GOP Attack Ads Through LCV

    Seeking Tax Subsidies as Their Reward

    Republicans in targeted Senate races are finding themselves under attack from millions of dollars in attack ads from the League of Conservation Voters (LVC). Seen as anti-business, the LVC has a new ally that has opened their pocketbooks in a big way to support their efforts — the wind energy industry.

    Wind power is inefficient, kills endangered birds at alarming rates and relies on taxpayer handouts and subsidies to survive. One of the subsidies is a tax credit that has been described as a “Wall Street wolf in green clothing.” Most of the tax benefits goes to big investors to offset tax liabilities on their other investments. Warren Buffet, for instance, admitted he invested in wind farms to lower his tax rates. “That’s the only reason to build them,” he said.

    The tax credit expired in the last Congress but the Democrat Senate is prepared to renew it. That’s why the wind power energy has become tight allies with LCV. For instance, Tom Kiernan, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) sits on the board of LCV and currently serves as Treasurer

    Peter Mandelstam also sits on the board of LCV. Mandelstam served for 13 years on the Board of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and chaired AWEA’s Offshore Group for 7 years. Mendelson even founded his own wind energy company, Green Sail Energy in 2012.

    The incestuous relationship between wind power industry and the LCV doesn’t end there.

    Theodore Roosevelt IV, the Managing Director at Barclays Capital for Investment Banking and Chairman of their CleanTech Initiative sits on the board of LCV too. Barcalys provided the financing for the Cape Wind offshore wind farm.

    Flush with cash and the help of the cronies who rely on the tax credit to profit, LCV and AWEA have launched ads in the Iowa and Colorado Senate races attacking Republican candidates and supporting Democrat candidates eager to keep the flow of taxpayer funds moving to these enterprises.

    It should be noted that when Tom Kiernan became the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) saying he wanted to strengthen ties between conservationists and the business community.

    Kiernan wrote in The Huffington Post, “For my entire career, I’ve sought to strengthen the ties between conservation and the American business community, because a strong environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. Wind power has enormous potential to reduce humanity’s overall footprint on the environment and the planet.”

    Kiernan does not talk about how LCV has become a front for the corporate effort to extend a tax benefit that does little to help the environment and a lot to help Wall Street investors pocket more money. AWEA’s top priority is “keeping the production tax credit” because “the political climate in Washington is getting tougher.” He has spent nearly $3 million so far lobbying to get the job done.

    If you live in a state with a targeted Senate seat and see one of these LCV attack ads, it would be prudent to remember the cronies priming the pump to put these ads on the air.

    Roberto Escoban

    Roberto Escoban is the pen name of a conservative activist who spent 20 years working in Washington including a decade on Capitol Hill.

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