#1 CO: Secret energy lab spawns million dollar govt employee02-24-2013, 12:14 AM
By Tori Richards and Earl Glynn | Colorado Watchdog
GOLDEN, Colo. – The federal government’s dream of a renewable energy empire hinges on a scrubby outpost here, where scientists and executives doggedly explore a new frontier.
If you live outside Colorado, you probably haven’t heard of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – NREL for short. It’s the place where solar panels, windmills and corn are deemed the energy source of the future and companies who support such endeavors are courted.
It’s also the place where highly paid staff decide how to spend hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.
And the public pays those decision-makers well: NREL’s top executive, Dr. Dan Arvizu, makes close to a million dollars per year. His two top lieutenants rake in more than half a million each and nine others make more than $350,000 a year.
But what is really going on there? Energy expert Amy Oliver Cooke drove out to the site, which looks something like Nevada’s Area 51 with its remote location and forbidding concrete buildings. NREL had started a construction project and Cooke wanted to see for herself. She didn’t get far: a man in an SUV seemingly appeared out of nowhere, stopped her car, and told her to leave.
02-24-2013, 01:53 AM
I like the part at the end of this piece---the old blame the Tea Party trick.
Who’s to blame for the industry’s troubles? Government subsidies? Poorly run companies? Insufficient demand? Foreign competition?
Perlmutter blamed the Tea Party.
“It is clean and it is the future of energy production,” Perlmutter wrote on his website. “Until the Tea Party took over this has always been a simple, noncontroversial tax credit.”
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02-24-2013, 04:34 PM
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OK, Rock. So what do you think is really going on here? A compound like Area 51? Sounds like more than solar panels and a few windmills.
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