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UPDATED: ‘Green’ Energy Company Threatens Economics Professor … with Package of Dismantled Bomb Parts (Updated: No Threat)

The author of a damning study about the failure of Spain's "green jobs" program — a story broken here at PJM — received the threatening package on Tuesday from solar energy company Thermotechnic.

by
Christopher Horner

Bio

June 24, 2010 - 12:16 pm
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Dr. Calzada is a friend of mine, kindly writing a blurb for the jacket of my latest book: Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America. My book details the Spanish “green jobs” disaster uncovered by Dr. Calzada, plus similar “green” economic calamities occurring in Germany and Denmark — also programs Obama has praised — as well as in Italy and elsewhere.

As I detail in Power Grab, they felt Spain would be in a dire position without the U.S. playing the role of sucker. With today’s revelation, now we know just how far the “green energy” lobby will go to keep the money flowing.

(Click here for coverage on this incident from Spanish media.)

Update: A Spanish correspondent is following this story for us in the Spanish media; there are some reports that the underlying issue was a courier error , compounded by the less tangible threats and attacks Calzada has suffered. We continue to follow the story and will keep readers informed. — Editors.

Further update: There have been some developments since this was published.  The short version is that a series of coincidences led Gabriel Calzada to believe a package was a bomb threat.  Let’s just review what Calzada was responding to: he received an unsolicited package addressed as from a “green” company. Thermotechnic.  When he called to ask about it, he was told: “It’s our response to your study [on green jobs].”

It didn’t look like, or feel like, a letter or report, so at that point Calzada got a security guard to scan it — and what was inside was a cylindrical object with wires attached.  At that point, the security guard got an expert to examine it, with others in attendance. The contents were a container for diesel of some sort, and some other parts.  The expert saw this as a bomb threat, based on a pattern used by, eg., ETA: “This one is a hoax bomb.  The next one might not be.”

So Calzada took this as a threat based on the experts’ opinions. Remember that Calzada has been viciously attacked for having had the temerity to publish a study that questioned the economic effectiveness of “green jobs” in Spain, including having been threatened personally and professionally.  It was at that point Horner wrote this piece.

Since then, especially following the controversy becoming public in the Spanish press, the company contacted Calzada; what appears to have happened is this:

  • A package containing car parts was swapped for a package containing a report intended for Calzada.
  • The Thermotechnic person Calzada contacted said something that was ambiguous.
  • Calzada, already the subject of threats and intimidation, relied on expert opinion that it was a bomb threat.

As further information became available, it became clear it was a misunderstanding based on several coincidences. Calzada has written an open letter explaining this in detail, and now agrees there was no threat from Thermotechnic.

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Christopher Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and author of the recently-published The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information "Criminal".
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