Surprising documents made available to this author reveal that Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi has a huge financial stake in companies likely to profit from the Obama administration’s “green” policies.
Zoi, who left her position as CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection — founded by Al Gore — to serve as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, now manages billions in “green jobs” funding. But the disclosure documents show that Zoi not only is in a position to affect the fortunes of her previous employer, ex-Vice President Al Gore, but that she herself has large holdings in two firms that could directly profit from policies proposed by the Department of Energy.
Among Zoi’s holdings are shares in Serious Materials, Inc., the previously sleepy, now bustling, friend of the Obama White House whose public policy operation is headed by her husband. Between them, Zoi and her husband hold 120,000 shares in Serious Materials, as well as stock options. Reporter John Stossel has already explored what he sees as the “crony capitalism” implied by Zoi being so able to influence the fortunes of a company to which she is so closely associated.
In addition, the disclosure forms reflect that Zoi holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in “founders shares” in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss “smart meter” firm. She also still owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in ordinary shares.
“Smart meters,” put simply, are electric meters that return information about customer power usage to the power company immediately and allow a power company to control the amount of power a customer can consume. These smart meters are a central component of the Obama administration’s plans to reduce electricity consumption as part of the “smart grid.”
In a rare moment of candor, Obama “Energy Czar” Carol Browner said to US News & World Report last year: “We need to make sure that …[e]ventually, we can get to a system where an electric company will be able [sic] to hold back some of the power so that maybe your air conditioner won’t operate at its peak, you’ll still be able to cool your house, but that’ll be a savings to the consumer.” (emphasis added)
Clearly, DoE funding to encourage the adoption of “smart meters” would very likely lead to much increased sales by Landis+Gyr — and a potential windfall for Zoi. But surely Zoi doesn’t participate in the relevant “energy efficiency” policy?