A Tale of Two Newspapers - And Three Politicians, Part 2

MA Gov. Patrick is a mini-Obama with green boondoggles.

The first article in this series pointed out that Mr. Obama desires that Joe Biden succeed him as President, but if and only if he agrees to have Deval Patrick, two-term governor of Massachusetts, as his running mate.  Mr. Obama regards Mr. Patrick as a worthy successor to continue his policies of destroying the economy, extorting money from businesses, and lowering our international standing.  This article explains some of the reasons why Mr. Obana can be confident that Mr. Patrick will carry on with his legacy and perhaps take it to new heights.

Democrats Never Fail

Gov. Patrick is a golden-tongued speaker who is regarded as a "national political figure" despite an unbroken record of administrative failure, incompetence, and cronyism during his two terms in office.  The Herald reported incredulously that Gov. Patrick had said he needed to spend a few years in the private sector so that he could "make some money."

The Globe calmly treated Gov. Patrick's failings more or less as business as usual, which is actually the case in Massachusetts politics.  After all, they say, public servants make considerable sacrifices in terms of pay relative to the private sector; Gov. Patrick had done such an outstanding job of fleecing the Commonwealth that he deserved to spend a few years getting richer before getting back into public office.

The Herald waxed lyrical about his stated reason for not running again when it was revealed that he'd stuck his successor with more than a billion dollars worth of excess spending in the budget he left behind. That had nothing to do with his leaving, of course not!  He simply needed a chance to make some money for himself!

Gov. Patrick's Failed "Investments"

Gov. Patrick has imitated Mr. Obama's specific economic failings, notoriously in backing "green energy" projects which were predictable boondoggles.

Evergreen Solar made solar panels.  In spite of being in line for $21 million in grants as well as state tax incentives, it went bankrupt, closed its Massachusetts factory, laid off 800 workers, and moved to China, not long after Gov. Patrick said:

I've said all along that if Massachusetts can get clean energy technology right, the world will be our customer.  Evergreen Solar is one of the companies that is going to help us get clean energy right.

All was not lost, however.  On June 5, the Herald reported that a couple of real estate companies bought the empty Evergreen factory for $8.3 million in 2012 and sold it for $36 million.  Enough dust had settled by then that the Herald could put the state's total losses from Evergreen at $10 million, about half of the profit well-connected real estate barons earned from flipping the factory.

A123 Systems Inc. received millions in state and federal loans and grants.  It made batteries for electric cars until it went bankrupt and sold out to a Chinese firm.  Again, Gov. Patrick lauded this fiasco-in-the-making:

A123 has already established itself as a leading battery maker for the electric cars that are the clean energy future of the US auto industry. I am pleased to see this Massachusetts company growing its operations here, creating jobs and contributing to the commonwealth's clean energy leadership.

We somewhat doubt that funding companies which sell their technology to China as soon as they run through their grants and government-subsidized loans was quite what Gov. Patrick had in mind, but that's how it worked out every time.  This is pretty much the same outcome as Mr. Obama's green investments.  Could it be that they know this will happen and just want to give money to their friends?

Bad as they were, though, these fiascoes weren't the worst of his investments.  That dubious honor goes to Cape Wind and its supporting marine terminal at New Bedford.

The Cape Wind project called for putting 130 monster wind turbines out in Nantucket Sound.  This supposedly green miracle was opposed by the late Senator Ted Kennedy because he'd be able to see the turbines from his Hyannis Port compound and because he might hit the turbines when sailing his yacht.  In backing the project after Teddy conveniently shuffled off this mortal coil, Gov. Patrick said:

Offshore wind will not only provide a new, clean source of energy for the United States, it will reduce American reliance on fossil fuel, mitigate climate change, and jump-start a new US industry that will create thousands of clean energy jobs.

Would that this were true!  Alas, wind-generated electricity costs as much as 8 times more than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nobody will buy it if given a choice.  By threatening to abuse the regulatory process, Gov. Patrick strong-armed Massachusetts' electric companies into signing contracts to buy Cape Wind electricity at inflated prices.  Gov. Patrick then committed the state to spend $113 million building a marine terminal in New Bedford so that construction crews would have a place to load their imported turbines for shipment back out to sea for installation.

As expected with Massachusetts state construction projects, the terminal fell months behind schedule and $10 million over budget.  Not being complete fools, the utilities had inserted a clause in their contracts which let them terminate the agreements if Cape Wind couldn't meet its goals by a specified date.

When the financing didn't close on time, the utilities gleefully terminated the agreement.  Without a guaranteed way to sell overpriced electricity, Cape Wind was dead in the water.  The marine terminal sits empty, a tribute to green flim-flams, cost overruns, and Gov. Patrick's carelessness with taxpayer's money.

Unlike Mr. Obama who ascended to the Presidency without having ever had to manage anything more complex than the Harvard Law Review, Mr. Patrick has amply demonstrated his administrative incompetence while governor of Massachusetts.  The next article in this series addresses some of his non-accomplishments and administrative failures.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Environment.
Reader Comments

Actually, wind turbines are the cheapest way to add new capacity these days. Not offshore, though, that's a waste of money and always will be.

September 29, 2015 5:06 PM
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