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Lawsuit targets “illegal” $117M federal loan guarantee for Kahuku Windfarm

News Release from Briggs Law Corp, Upland, California, December 1, 2011

On November 28, 2011, CAlifornians for Renewable Energy (CARE) and Michael Boyd filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to challenge more than two dozen federal loan guarantees illegally issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate 26 loan guarantees for utility-scale renewable-energy projects, including guarantees to the now-bankrupt Solyndra Inc. and Beacon Corporation, because DOE issued them before putting in place regulations that would enable it to properly vet projects and make sure they are unlikely to fail.

(Editor’s Note: The loan guarantees CARE seeks to invalidate include a $117M US DoE loan guarantee for First Wind’s Kahuku Wind Power project at Kahuku, Oahu. See page 6 of lawsuit.)

“No matter how you feel about federal loan guarantees as a matter of policy, the reality is that Congress passed a law prohibiting DOE from issuing guarantees until it put regulations in place to protect the taxpayer from Section 1705 projects with no realistic chance of success,” explained Cory Briggs, the attorney for the plaintiffs. “The Solyndra and Beacon bankruptcies are Exhibit A for why DOE should have issued regulations before putting taxpayers on the hook.”

Michael Boyd, the president of CARE and a plaintiff, lamented the way that big business with connections to the White House under Presidents Bush and Obama where given such easy access to the public’s purse. He describes the loan guarantees as “corporate chronyism at its worst.”

CARE works to promote public education concerning renewable energy and has been a consistent advocate for environmentally and community-sensitive energy projects that reduce greenhouse gases and are commercially viable without inappropriate taxpayer subsidies.

For more information about CARE, please visit www.calfree.com.

For more information about the lawsuit, please contact Cory Briggs at 909-949-7115 or at info@briggslawcorp.com.