Posts Tagged ‘Steven Chu’
One benefit of being a media lapdog to the Obama administration is that you can get access to administration figures not available to other branches of the government or the general public. The White House loves to try to slime others, but it is remarkably resistant to providing documents to the two other branches of the government, even under legal compulsion to do so. In fact, the administration has even refused to provide documents to senior investigator Richard Larabee, in a Department of the Interior (DoI) investigation, even though he is an employee of the executive branch. They are stonewalling investigations by all three branches of government. What are they trying to hide?
After enduring months of delay and stonewalling, Federal Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans has issued an order for the Justice Department to provide BP with 100 of its scientific documents regarding the flow rate of the well. The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Doc Hastings, just issued a press release blasting the DoI’s Inspector General Mary Kendall for not fully complying with a subpoena for documents regarding the drilling moratorium, particularly with respect to the wee-hour editing that took place the morning of May 27, 2010.
We also note that the Justice Department has arrested a BP engineer who was involved in the top kill operation being run simultaneously with that midnight editing. Having made a big splash in the media by forcing Kurt Mix to do a perp walk on TV, the truth is leaking out. It seems Mr. Mix had been offered a job in Australia by Apache Corp. and had applied for a green card to go there to work.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Pickens said Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, applied for a green card to Canada as recently as March and intended to leave for Australia, “never to return.”
Joan McPhee, one of Mix’s attorneys, said her client had a job with Apache Corp. waiting for him in Australia but “sat patiently at home for several months” because he knew he was the target of a federal probe.
“He was entirely compliant with what was a request by the government to remain in this country,” McPhee said.
However, Justice Department prosecutor Derek Cohen said investigators learned from Mix’s lawyers that he was no longer willing to wait and planned to accept the job offer. Cohen also noted that Mix’s wife is a native of China who has family in that country.
So the FBI filed an affidavit that accuses him of deleting some text messages from his phone, which his lawyer asserts have been preserved in other documents available to the government. The affidavit also admits that they were not telling the judge all they knew (more stonewalling?), including regarding Mr. Mix’s application for a green card. This has all the hallmarks of intimidation of a potential witness against the government. If so, that would be the crime of witness-tampering. Et tu, FBI? — are you now on an ethical subpar with the Secret Service presidential advance team in Colombia, the federal prosecutors who tried the late Senator Ted Stevens, and the Fast and Furious gang?
All this leads us to the question: “What does Mr. Mix know that the administration does not want to get out into the light of day?” That leads us to those e-mails in the possession of Washington Post blogger Joel Achenbach. They can be found on page 145 of his book, A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea, and were written by Alex Slocum of Steven Chu’s Science Advisory Group on the afternoon of May 26, 2010.
2:13: “So far it is a tie—the mud being pumped in seems to be mostly coming out of the riser. We have not yet hit a tipping point that indicates a killed well…”
2:24: “They seem to be having trouble outrunning the well (pumping in faster than the well can spit it back out). They have increased the kill flow rate to 70 bpm [barrels per minute]…”
3:19: “The situation appears to be relatively steady. They have [been] pumping mud at 60 to 70 bpm for the past hour and a half (about 4,500 [barrels] total). There are no indications that things are getting worse—but it is not clear that the kill has been (or will be) successful…”
4:35: “They just closed off all mud flow and are seeing whether the well will go stagnant. So far (4 minutes) the pressures are all going down slowly (a very good sign—but not conclusive).”
6:11: “…the pressure (kill/choke and below the BOP) starting creeping upward…”
So we know why there was that 16-hour period of time that BP was not pumping mud down the hole, a gap that so disturbed Anderson Cooper on CNN. And we have a motive for the reticence of the White House to give up those internal documents. Were they rushing to complete the drilling moratorium announcement before BP could successfully complete the top kill operation? Note that from 4:35 PM to 6:11 PM the pressure in the well was passively declining, indicating how close they were to success. Note also that BP had to be circumspect in releasing information that could affect the price of its stock, so reticence with public pronouncements was a legal necessity to avoid even more trumped up criminal charges.
We also know from another media lapdog, John Broder of the New York Times, that Steven Chu prematurely stopped BP’s efforts before their top kill program had completed its final two steps. Mr. Mix is sure to know the specific details of that program and any government interference with the BP plan. So he possibly could be the star witness against Steven Chu and company. That is a possible motive to attempt witness intimidation.
So the question before us is, did the administration deliberately sabotage BP’s top kill efforts for political reasons? They were in the midst of trying to pass “Cap and Trade” legislation in the Senate so as to take control of the energy business through taxation and regulation and thereby promote their political crony capitalist allies in the “green energy” sector. If they have nothing to hide, they need to fully comply with the legal requests for documents from the various investigations in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. Let the public know the whole truth. That’s the least we should expect from the “most transparent administration in history.”
By way of contrast, my own contributions to the debate are and always have been available to all on the internet under my own real name, not a screen name. They include this independent “Management of Change” document advocating a shift in strategy from surface collection of the oil to subsea intervention, a change put into effect as the successful “static kill” that finally met the presidential directive to “plug the damn hole!” in early August 2010.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/did_steven_chu_sabotage_bps_top_kill_effort_just_as_it_was_succeeding.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook#.T7EJifa8Agk.facebook#ixzz1w4S18fFd
“Perhaps the Energy Secretary will still do the honorable thing, if only for the sake of his reputation.”
However, these days such honorable traits are not of¬ten observed among our ser-vants in Washington. Share¬holders certainly “would be coming after him” for similar behavior in the private sec¬tor and, beyond termination, he could face serious legal is¬sues. Moreover, Mr. Chu’s lack of “start-up” credentials is not material to his job; he needs only to subscribe to President Obama’s green-en¬ergy ideas to be successful. Ignorance of or unbelief in free-market capitalism seems to be a resume builder for those running today’s DOE, as well as other departments.
A cause for greater alarm is that a case can be made that similar thinking, behavior and cronyism by our gov¬ernment and its partners re¬sulted in the economic collapse of 2008 and gave us the Obama administration to, er, fix it all.
On top of the damage Americans have already shouldered, ongoing Solyn-dra-type scandals remind us that greed, irresponsibility and cronyism still thrive in Washington. Furthermore, President Obama, rather than capturing a rare oppor-tunity in our history to elim¬inate the corrupt culture of Washington, as he promised to do many times, instead has adopted it for his politi¬cal gain. Thus, even more chaos and suffering likely await us—this time a result of grossly unsuitable, unaf-fordable and uncompetitive energy policies that will weaken or destroy our global standing, our security and our way of life.
The good news? Despite the Obama administration’s relentless attempts to incul-cate the practices of statist-driven crony capitalism, most Americans still prefer the proven economic opportuni¬ties, discipline and effective¬ness of our less fettered and less political version of free-market capitalism to what is looking increasingly more like a Venezuelan-style eco¬nomic model.
It will take more election cycles to reverse the direc¬tion that President Obama is taking our country and even longer to restore the confi¬dence Americans (and others) have always had, until re¬cently, in our system of gov¬ernment and free markets. Unfortunately, many Ameri¬cans may never recover from the damage still being done to them by the shameful be¬havior of those entrusted with their best interests.
MIKE CURTISS Hazel Green, Wis.
“The President’s Venture Capital¬ist” describes the Department of Energy’s green-energy loan program as another example of Washington’s assumption that it is a better allocator of the nation’s resources than are private investors. Demo¬crats who defend the DOE … program argue, however, that the beauty of loan guarantees (rather than investments) is that Washington generally serves as a backstop for de-fault, but otherwise does not really allocate resources. They made a similar argu-ment about the government’s role with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt, where Washington’s loan guarantee was only implied. The actual resource alloca-tion was deferred and hidden for decades.
DOE loan defenders also claim that Solyndra and a couple of other bad apples are distracting attention from all of the other green-energy successes. By “successes” they don’t mean that the fed¬eral government is achieving returns comparable to the winners in a venture-capital portfolio; they mean that the government isn’t losing any money—yet. Meanwhile, the Energy Department’s website suggests that its current $36 billion loan guarantee portfo¬lio is responsible for-65,000 jobs.
The smartest private in¬vestors who commit capital to early-stage business ven¬tures probably would be de¬lighted with two spectacular successes out of every 10 in-vestments, two total losses and six mediocre outcomes. The two big winners can pro¬duce returns of 500% or more, while the total losses can only go down 100% (to zero). Energy Secretary Ste¬ven Chu’s portfolio, assuming $36 billion in guarantees, al¬ready is down a $l billion or more. If he’s as brilliant as the best venture capitalists, at least another $5 billion will be lost. The rest of the loans then will be repaid (again assuming brilliant capital deployment by Mr. Chu) and the government’s return on those investments will be zero. Add to that, risk-return equation the fact that the majority of loan guaran¬tees went to financial back¬ers of President Obama and the lack of risk discipline, re¬turn potential or shame is astonishing.
ED HEWITT McLean, VA
“President Obama hired Mr. Chu as his chief venture capitalist, though his 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and work on climate change as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggested no special expertise in, say, financing start-ups.”
The venture fund goes from $4 billion under Bush to $77 billion under Obama.
“Every green energy firm has some kind of political connection, given that the entire industry is a creation of the government.”
“The Solyndra economic model is that government knows how to allocate the national wealth better than private investors do, with Mr. Chu among the oracles who saw something in the now-bankrupt solar panel maker that capital markets never did.”