Last week, E&E Publishing (subscription required) ran this item:
The president and co-founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy announced his resignation today so he can lead Citigroup’s environmental strategy desk.
Michael Eckhart, president of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, helped mold ACORE — born in a 2001 brainstorming breakfast with three colleagues — into one of the alternative energy industry’s chief interest groups.
“Eckhart and the ACORE membership also helped design the Department of Energy grant programs” that partly offset the loss of tax equity financing arrangements. The tax equity financing schemes had been Wall Street’s main vehicle for bankrolling large wind and solar power plants, but they became moot when major losses …
At what point does this sort of admission warrant some investigation by Congress? I know it’s just a group representing 650 companies writing a federal program from which they would benefit. Lobbyists writing policies and all that. But, still.
And why did Goldman Sachs or Government Electric ever let this guy get away? One reason may be that bailout recipient Citi’s hire is, shall we say, a curious fellow — he has a history of threatening people in a manner that calls his disposition into question. (I detailed some of Eckhart’s bizarre behavior in my book Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.)
His fanatical, written rants against two of my colleagues (Fred Smith, Ph.D. and Marlo Lewis, Ph.D.) presented an outstanding example of the liberal environmentalist pathology: he begins by dogmatically declaring a statement to be an unquestionable truth — along with a complete refusal to consider the merits of the arguments raised against it — then he proclaims the existence of a conspiracy among the evil polluting oil companies, refusing to accept any possibility of good faith fueling an opposing stance. Finally, he threatens investigation of people daring to express disagreement with you and your agenda by the Internal Revenue Service, an obscure scientific honors society, and … “the Harvard community.” Okaaaay.
While ACORE is a band of Music Man businesses and deep-pocketed backers if ever there was one, Citi’s substance people have long produced research articulating the economic and financial boondoggle promoted by Eckhart’s longtime patrons. For example, a 28-page research paper released by Citi in September — “The €1trn Euro Decade — Revisited Costs up, risks up, but governments are still in denial” — repeated the company’s warnings about the renewables mandates. It concluded: