Civitas Review

High Tech Cronyism


A crony coalition including tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple sent a letter Wednesday to NC legislative leaders urging them to keep the state's renewable energy portfolio standards in place.

Apple, Facebook and Google, which own energy-hungry data centers in North Carolina, have called on legislative leaders to halt a move to freeze the state’s renewable energy standard.

The three companies add powerful voices to the debate over the measure now before the state Senate. The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association cites reports that estimate their investments in data centers in Rutherford, Caldwell and Catawba counties at $2.7 billion.

In a joint letter Wednesday to Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, the tech giants predict the freeze would have “a significant negative impact” on the availability of green energy in the state.

As global operators, the companies say, “the right and ability to access power from renewable resources is not merely a goal, but an expectation.”

The letter was on the letterhead of TechNet, which calls itself a bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs and senior executives that promotes the “innovation economy.”

To read the letter, click here.

Make no mistake, this letter is not about "renewable energy" but is purely political. TechNet is a special interest lobbying firm that works to exploit political connections to gain advantages for their clients. The head of TechNet is Linda Moore, a long-time political operative and former Senior Advisor to Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, and Deputy Political Director of the Clinton White House.

And Apple's head of "Environmental Initiatives" is Lisa Jackson, former Obama appointee as head of the EPA, and Apple of course boasts Al Gore on its board of directors. Google has grown into one of the largest corporate political lobbying firms in the country.

Recall that Apple and Google received two of the largest economic incentive deals in state history when they chose to locate in North Carolina.

Moreover, the Apple solar farm in Maiden, NC has installed $30 million worth of fuel cells from Bloom Energy, whose cells have been described as "exorbitantly expensive" and are wildly inefficient, but just so happen to financially benefit investor John Doer, a former member of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Lastly, the letter indicates that the tech giants are interested in a "reliable, sustainable electricity supply" in North Carolina, which is a joke. If solar is such a "reliable" energy source, why does Apple need 44 diesel generators as back up at their Maiden solar farm?

The bottom line is this: wealthy Silicone Valley investors are using their political influence to further advance their financial interest through the scam of "renewable energy", and are doing so on the backs of North Carolina taxpayers and energy consumers.

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