Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Environmentalism, profit, and crime

Is "green energy" just a scam? Apparently, yes.  The Italian police have uncovered close links between organized crime and the wind and solar energy sector. The Washington Post reports:
In an unfolding plot that is part “The Sopranos,” part “An Inconvenient Truth,” authorities swept across Sicily last month in the latest wave of sting operations revealing years of deep infiltration into the renewable energy sector by Italy’s rapidly modernizing crime families.

The still-emerging links of the mafia to the once-booming wind and solar sector here are raising fresh questions about the use of government subsidies to fuel a shift toward cleaner energies, with critics claiming huge state incentives created excessive profits for companies and a market bubble ripe for fraud. China-based Suntech, the world’s largest solar panel maker, last month said it would need to restate more than two years of financial results because of allegedly fake capital put up to finance new plants in Italy. The discoveries here also follow so-called “eco-corruption” cases in Spain, where a number of companies stand accused of illegally tapping state aid.
How extensive was mafia involvement with "green energy"?
Roughly a third of the island’s 30 wind farms — along with several solar power plants — have been seized by authorities. Officials have frozen more than $2 billion in assets and arrested a dozen alleged crime bosses; corrupt local councilors and mafia-linked entrepreneurs.
Hat tip: Instapundit.

 PREVIOUSLY on "green energy":
Stimulus bill-funded 'green' disaster
Wind turbines pose threat to songbirds
Victims say clean energy is making life "unbearable" and destroying their property values
Alternative energy meets reality in NYC
Environmentalists and corporate welfare

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