Get out your hip-waders, folks, it’s going to get pretty deep!
According to this article, former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu appointed Lauren Azar to a position at the DOE in order to carry out the administration’s political agenda.
Azar got the finger pointed at her as the impetus for a controversial memo that urged federal power marketing agencies (PMAs) to use their authority to help get privately funded transmission projects built.
It’s not about reliability or economics of the grid, it’s about federal support for certain companies with personal ties to the DOE:
Clean Line, with its DOE-connected “vice president,” became the only transmission company to take advantage of Sec. 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 during a very convenient RFP process run by the DOE in 2010. But the pre-Azar DOE just wasn’t aggressive enough:
Shortly after Azar was appointed, Clean Line submitted an “updated” application under Sec. 1222 in order to use the federal power marketing agencies to take land for its private gain and override state denials.
Magically, the DOE entered into an Advance Funding and Development Agreement with Clean Line in early 2012, despite the fact that Clean Line did NOT meet all the statutory criteria in Sec. 1222. Sec. 1222 requires that a project:
Clean Line’s projects are not a part of any transmission expansion plan, therefore they cannot be “consistent with” a plan that does not include them.
Instead, the DOE relied on:
GRID2030 is probably the highlight of Clean Line “vice president” Glotfelty’s career at the DOE. And then Glotfelty leaves the DOE after setting the stage, and personally invests in Clean Line Energy Partners?
Let’s see… which office is undertaking DOE’s consideration of Clean Line’s application under Sec. 1222?
Wow! What a coincidence! A DOE appointee uses his office to set up a scheme whereby private investors can override state authority and regional transmission planning processes, and then leaves his position to personally invest in just such a scheme? And the office he “founded” is now in a position to approve his financial scheme?
Something stinks here…Maybe this guy should investigate and clear up the appearances of federal actions undertaken for private profit?
I don’t think that Moniz has a clue what his underlings are up to, but that’s no excuse to let this federal land-taking scheme continue.
Clean Line’s plans are a for-profit initiative masquerading as a political agenda. And DOE’s political agenda is favoring corporate interests over the interests of the citizens and consumers it is supposed to serve. Let’s clean the stink out of our federal Department of Energy!