During the debate on CNN between Republican Christine O’Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons who are the candidates for the U.S. Senate from Delaware, Chris Coons was asked a direct question.
Ms. O’Donnell asked Mr. Coons if there would be any direct benefit from cap-and-trade for the company that he formerly worked for, a company whose current CEO is Chris Coons’ father in-law and which Chris Coons owns stock in. The company, W.L. Gore, also known as Gore-Tex is involved in making air filtration filters for natural gas turbines and also a material used in fuel cells.
It is clear that such a company would be interested in a policy issue such as cap-and-trade that will mandate carbon levels in the air. Both the air filtration filters and the fuel cells are products that are marketed as being able to lower green house gases, a key issue in the debate over cap-and-trade.
Mr. Coons gave a typical politician’s answer that W.L. Gore would not benefit directly from cap-and-trade, in this quote, “to the best of my knowledge”. Well it would seem that either his knowledge is not so good, or he is intentionally misleading the voters of Delaware.
First it is important to know that Chris Coons was a lobbyist working for Gore-Tex, so he would be very aware of any interaction between the company and the government. So how did Mr. Coons miss the fact that Gore-Tex has already directly benefited from the green movement?
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, through the Department of Energy in early 2010, W.L. Gore has already received $814,000. They received $604,000 to re-equip two of their factories in Maryland and New York to produce the Gore Turbine Filter, used on natural gas turbines. They also received $210,000, to retool a factory that produces a key element in the manufacturing of fuel cells systems used to improve the efficiency of vehicles.
So it would seem that W.L. Gore has already directly benefitted from the green movement by having their facilities improved by tax payer dollars. Is it so hard to believe that a company that is already involved in this industry would see even more benefits from legislation such as cap-and-trade that would mandate even more compliance with government regulations on the emissions of carbon and greenhouse gases? Clearly W.L. Gore is deeply involved in the green movement and would continue to be as long as it is profitable. Which if cap-and-trade were to be passed, it would be for companies such as W.L. Gore.
W.L. Gore is already receiving tax dollars to expand their private company. If cap-and-trade were to be passed it is fair to expect that they would see even more benefit from tax dollars and increased sale of their products that would be mandated by the government regulations within any form of cap-and-trade legislation. This would mean that Chris Coons’ family would directly benefit. As CEO of W.L. Gore, his father in-law would benefit, and in so doing be a potential inheritance and benefit for Mr. Coons and his wife. As a stock holder of W.L. Gore Mr. Coons would benefit directly from that company improving its sales and bottom line through tax credits.
So it would seem as if Mr. Coons is the absent-minded professor, or he is intentionally misleading the voters of Delaware when he says he has no knowledge of any direct benefit to his family’s business from cap-and-trade legislation. Clearly W.L. Gore and Mr. Coons stand to make a lot of money from the mandated regulations that would be a part of any cap-and-trade style legislation. Legislation that Mr. Coons has stated that he would support. Gee ! I wonder why?
Here is a link to the Department of Energy which shows the pay out that W.L. Gore has already benefitted from, it is on page 5. And while you are on page 5, notice at the top of page 5 the name Ameresco Inc.. This is a parent company that has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to find ways for New Castle County government to be more energy efficient. Ameresco was awarded $1.1 million. Now what are the odds that some of Ameresco’s innovations to make NCC more efficient will involve products manufactured by W.L. Gore? http://www.energy.gov/recovery/documents/Recovery_Act_Memo__DC.pdf
It is clear to see that there will be benefits for W.L. Gore, for Mr. Coons’ family and for Mr. Coons if any cap-and-trade style legislation is passed. Legislation that is sure to be brought up in the lame duck session of congress. A session that the winner of this special election to seat Delaware’s next U.S. Senator will be included in. Do we, the voters of Delaware, want to send Chris Coons to Washington so that he can have a direct vote on legislation that “WILL DIRECTLY BENEFIT HIM”?
I say no! I say we must send Christine O’Donnell to Washington to stave off this sort of backroom dealing and not allow big government and its cronies to steal from the American people.