Enough green energy boondoggles

To the editor:

President Obama’s waste of taxpayer dollars on failed green energy projects continues. Two senators called on the Department of Energy to explain whether the bankruptcy filing by an electric car battery maker, A123 Systems Inc., which was awarded nearly $250 million in federal stimulus grants, will result in any taxpayer losses. A123 had been struggling when the Energy Department decided to fund it.

The taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize poor investments in failed energy companies. There were clear warning signs that A123 was having financial problems even as the administration continued pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into this failing company. In July 2011, President Obama touted A123 Systems as a company that would create jobs. “There’s A123, a clean-energy manufacturer in Michigan that just hired its 1,000th worker as demand has soared for its vehicle components. Companies like these are taking root and putting people to work in every corner of the country,” Mr. Obama said.

A123 Systems’ failure adds to the list of energy companies with government-guaranteed loans that have failed, including Solyndra, which got a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee and shut its doors, laying off 1,100 workers in August 2011; and Abound Solar, which got a $400 million loan and filed for bankruptcy. Beacon Power LLC, filed for bankruptcy after getting $39 million.

Nearly half of the $2.4 billion in federal funds awarded to stimulate the U.S. economy and boost the production of hybrid and electric vehicles went to six companies with ties to places as far away as Russia, China, South Korea and France.

How many jobs could you create with $2.4 billion?

Conrad Ryan

Las Vegas

Oil boom

To the editor:

Thanks for the detailed article Wednesday explaining the ongoing U.S. oil and natural gas boom. For about a year now, the “rig count” of drilling activity in America is the same as the rig count for the rest of the world combined.

The Associated Press report explained that gasoline prices rise and fall in relation to the world market, and that U.S. drilling, or who is president, has little effect on price at the pump. There’s a silver lining in today’s gasoline prices, because more of what we pay now goes to American oil and gas workers and suppliers, not those overseas, and royalties are going to private landowners here. Moreover, the technology for “tight” oil and gas production is American know-how ready for export.

The article also made the gloom-and-doom political ads about U.S. energy production seem a few years out of date, and it showed that some of the Romney-Ryan campaign claims about U.S. energy production are just snake oil.

Jay Piper

Boulder City

No saviors

To the editor:

Anyone who thinks any president can save the U.S. economy is sadly mistaken. It’s a global economy. Americans are doomed to increasing poverty as the fast-rising tide of cheap labor and labor-saving technologies spread. Welcome to the Third World.

Brett Sporich


Identity theft

To the editor:

On Wednesday, the Review-Journal published a front-page Associated Press article about the increasing trend of illegal immigrants stealing the personal information of Americans, then actually taking over the their identities so they can get medical care, jobs, credit cards, and everything else an American citizen is entitled to. And they keep the identity for years. When the victim discovers the problem, the thief actually accuses the victim of stealing their identity.

The main targets of these identity takeovers are Americans with Hispanic names. I can’t imagine the horrific problems these identity takeovers cause the victims. It must be a nightmare that lasts forever.

What I don’t understand is why the Hispanic community doesn’t demand a crackdown on illegal immigrants, because the illegal immigrants not only take over the identities of those here legally, but also take jobs.

James Johnson


Lawmakers and the law

To the editor:

Corrupt politicians are always worried about a paper trail documenting the exchange of money between a donor and the lawmaker.

Earlier this year, a group of Assembly members filed amended campaign finance reports detailing how they had spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on living expenses. Seven lawmakers originally sought to keep those expenditures secret, based on the advice of their lawyer. Secretary of State Ross Miller disagreed, saying a failure to disclose any expenditure from a campaign fund is a violation of the state law.

After the Las Vegas Sun reported the secret expenses, the lawmakers reversed course and filed new expense reports, detailing about $45,000 in campaign spending on a slew of living expenses from the 2011 legislative session in Carson City. The lawmakers also paid for airfare and hotels to conferences in Hawaii and Florida. These lawmakers tapped their campaign funds for these expenses despite the fact that the state pays them per diem for each day of the legislative session to cover many of the same expenses.

Those who tried to keep their expenses hidden were Assembly Democrats David Bobzien, Debbie Smith, Skip Daly, Lucy Flores, Marcus Conklin, Peggy Pierce and Marilyn Dondero-Loop. Just another example of politicians thinking the law doesn’t apply to them.

Natalie Adams

Las Vegas

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