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John Kerry Comes Out Swinging On Climate Change

Green Energy Chronicles

John's weekly update on graft, corruption and waste in the energy sector.


John Kerry Comes Out Swinging On Climate Change

John Kerry used his first major speech as Secretary of State to make that case that failing to confront climate change means missing big economic opportunities — and worse.  “If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation — generations — are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy,” Kerry said in a wide-ranging address Wednesday at the University of Virginia.

Kerry again signaled that he hopes to use his role as top diplomat to promote green energy technologies, arguing they can provide a major boost to U.S. industries in the “next great revolution in our marketplace.”


Kerry slams critics of foreign aid in first major speech as secretary

John Kerry on Wednesday ripped his former colleagues in Congress for contributing to public opposition to foreign aid during his first major address as secretary of State.  Kerry said many Americans believe that the United States spends 25 percent of its budget on foreign affairs, instead of the real figure of just over 1 percent. He said politicians looking for an applause line have contributed to that misperception.

“Where do you think this idea comes from?” Kerry asked. “Well I'll tell you, it's pretty simple. As a recovering politician, I can tell you that nothing gets a crowd clapping faster in a lot of places than saying: 'I'm going to Washington to get them to stop spending all that money over there.' ”


Italy makes 'Mafia' arrests over Sicily wind farms

Police have arrested five people in eastern Sicily suspected of involvement in Mafia corruption over contracts to build wind farms, Italian media report.  The mayor and a councillor in the small town of Fondachelli Fantina, in Messina province, were among those detained.  The five face charges including extortion, fraud and Mafia association.

The investigation, which began in 2009, is linked to sub-contracts awarded to build energy farms near Agrigento, Palermo and Trapani.  A total of 11 people were under investigation, including two managers from a firm that won the main contract to build one of the wind farms, installing 63 turbines.  The contract was worth some 120bn euros (£103bn).

In December, police arrested six people and seized 10bn euros (£8.6bn) in assets in an investigation into suspected Mafia infiltration of other renewable energy facilities in western Sicily, Ansa reports.  The proceeds from contracts are believed to have been channelled to the fugitive head of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Matteo Messina Denaro.

More on organized crime and wind...


Iberdrola backs subsidy freeze

Spain’s biggest power utility by market value says it is a sensible move for a country that has been paying too much for electricity it does not need. “What we were doing was irrational,” says Ignacio Galán, chairman. “It makes no sense. Spain is installing the most expensive technologies in Europe instead of looking for those which are cheapest.” One analyst says they fear retrospective cuts in tariffs from government. Another says a nuclear windfall tax is what they should worry about. As for plans in Britain, Galan says: ”The area that has the most uncertainty is the area of nuclear. We still don’t know how it’s going to be properly paid – what the return will be. The decision to go ahead (in a consortium with GDF Suez) is not going to be taken until the moment the framework is clear and predictable enough, with enough remuneration for those investments.”


Iberdrola suspends wind projects in US due to subsidy cut

After four years of constant aid to the wind energy sector in the US, Obama's administration has decided to end the subsidies to the sector and thus no more new wind farms or solar plants will be constructed. One of the companies most affected is Iberdrola, whose American subsidiary decided to stop the development of all of its projects in the US until the government decides to reinstate its subsidies program. Iberdrola USA said: "If we can't construct in 2012, we will not construct in 2013 either. Not until the government brings back the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the development of renewable energy.


EPA administrator resigns over hidden e-mail accounts

New Richard Windsor Emails Show EPA’s Transparency Problem More Widespread

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), today released findings from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) second tranche of Richard Windsor emails. The release shows that acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe used a private email account to conduct official business, similar to Region 8 Administrator, James Martin, who is the subject of an ongoing investigation launched by Vitter and U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Sen. Vitter also announced today that he has learned Martin is resigning this week, less than two weeks after hiring legal counsel.

 Read more about Vitter and Issa’s investigation into Martin here.


Smuggling drugs on oil and gas roads is the Government's problem

The boom in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas has spawned new business and bolstered a weak economy. But with growth, there are sometimes downsides.  Recently, drug smugglers have used private back roads on oil and gas field sites as their paths into the United States, avoiding the ramped up security the U.S. government has put on our borders.  Since public roads are heavily monitored, the drug smugglers had to get inventive -- using the private roads oil and gas producers use to maneuver to their sites.

According to a story appearing in the Houston Chronicle, almost 19,000 pounds of marijuana was smuggled in March aboard two trucks driving through the Briscoe Ranch -- on a road that bypasses a Border Patrol checkpoint. The trucks looked like the normal supply vehicles that come and go along these private roads.


GDF Suez to build Africa's biggest wind farm in Moroccan desert

With rising electricity demand and untapped wind resources, Morocco is luring developers including Enel Green Power SpA and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. to build clean-energy projects. The North African nation aims to build 2,000 megawatts of wind capacity by 2020 to curb dependence on fossil fuels.

GDF Suez and Nareva have signed a 20-year agreement to sell the power generated at their project in the southern coastal desert to Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricite & de l’Eau Potable. “Optimal” wind conditions will give the site a utilization rate of 45 percent, GDF Suez said.

More from Reuters

More regarding ENEL

ENEL Romania


Morocco Drug Trade

Illicit drugs: one of the world's largest producers of illicit hashish; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; significant consumer of cannabis.

Map of North Africa 


Roots of the Mali Crisis

Refugees at the camp in Sevare, a dusty town in central Mali, told RIA Novosti late last month that God is French.  Such exaltation has been rippling through much of the country, which managed to fight off an Islamist-tinged insurgency thanks to last month’s blitzkrieg intervention by the French Air Force. Red, white and blue French tricolors have been displayed all over Mali – for the first time, locals say, since the West African former colony gained independence in 1960.

As Bamako grew weaker in recent years, the Tuareg elites grew stronger. One important factor has been trans-Saharan trade, which has changed a lot since the time of the medieval Mali and Ghana empires that traded in gold and salt.  The modern Sahara thrives on smuggling, with goods such as consumer electronics flowing to Africa from Europe – the city of Gao in Mali’s north is advertised as the best place in the country to buy a satellite dish – and a steady trickle of would-be illegal migrants going the other way in hopes of securing passage to the European Union.

More importantly, the Sahara serves as a vital route for South African cocaine bound for Europe. An estimated 60 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine, pass through the desert every year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in 2009.  In addition to drug lords, the desert region has started to attract Islamists, who seek to complete an “arc of instability” from the Sahara to Afghanistan, said Korendyasov, the ex-ambassador.


Prized Phosphate Drives Controversial Investments In Africa (Must Read)

Last year, the Norwegian government, which has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, divested PotashCorp because of its purchase of Western Saharan phosphate. Several European banks have done the same. And the European Union last year ended a fishing agreement with Morocco, which included Western Sahara waters, because of concerns that it violated international law.

Other resources are still being exploited. Sand is exported to the nearby Canary Islands, owned by Spain, to bolster beaches there. Several international companies are exploring for oil in Western Sahara or off its shores. Activists say the Austin, Tex.-based company Crystal Mountain Sel Sahara is producing salt in Western Sahara. And several European companies as well as American company UPC Renewables are developing wind farms in Western Sahara, with plans to export the energy. Such investments go forward with little controversy, despite the legal gray area.

Italian mob moves in on environmental energy scam 

For an industry all puffed up about its supposed environmental virtue, green energy sure is attracting a dirty crowd. Witness its latest entrant, Italy's Mafia. The mob knows a good fraud when it sees one.  Alongside strip joints, drug smuggling, human trafficking, leg-breaking and political shakedowns, Mafia soldiers have moved in on the something-for-nothing world of green energy.

The Washington Post, in a page-one story, reported last week that a major sting operation by Italian authorities yielded a swarm of corrupt front groups run not by green hipsters, but by the Cosa Nostra of Sicily and the Calabrian syndicate known as 'Ndrangheta.

The plot was "part 'Sopranos,' part 'An Inconvenient Truth,'" the Post noted, with the mob shaking down legitimate farmers for title to their land, and then accepting EU subsidies for windmill construction, paying off political players to ensure the subsidies came.

It's the latest chapter in an ongoing story of corruption continuously surrounding green energy. In 2009, Italy's National Association of Wind Energy boss Oreste Vigorito was busted for building wind farms on public subsidies that sopped up state cash and delivered nothing. In 2010, cops seized $2 billion in 43 solar and wind fronts from "businessman" Vito Nicastri, known as "Lord of the Winds."

Can't happen here? Along with pay-for-play subsidies that have rolled into politically tied companies like Solyndra, green Mafia scams have reached the Netherlands, Britain, Ireland and Spain. Meanwhile, in Germany, carbon trading has drawn corruption of its own.

Italian blogger Pasquale Trivisonne denounced the waste of these scams in Italy — with wasted farmland and noisy windmills, but zero jobs and no energy.

It's money in the pockets of criminals. Green millionaires such as Vigorito got their seed capital from U.S. sources, Trivisonne noted. Vigorito, for one, had ties to Bryan Caffyn, founder of the "Cape Wind Project" in Massachusetts, which has been criticized for giving taxpayers little value for their money.

Note: UPC has operated in Africa since 1998, also note the IVPC logo in link.

Note: IVPC was an issue in a certain divorce case

Note: More specifics on divorce

Note: Mr. Caffyn at Hong Kong operation

Note: Market Visual Map

More relationsip maps: herehereherehere and here

Note: Lawrence Summers involvement.


ZETA Petroleum Romania

The majority of production blocks currently under agreement in Romania are held by Romgaz, the state owned national gas company, and Petrom, the Romanian state oil company which was privatised. Petrom is now majority (51%) owned by Austrian oil company, OMV. Romania is the largest natural gas producer in Eastern Europe.

Zeehan Zinc Limited

Creat Resources Holdings Limited

Creat Resources Holdings Limited (CRHL) is a resources investment company. The Company is engaged in minerals exploration and the acquisition, exploration and operation of mineral properties in both Australia and overseas. CRHL, through its two wholly owned subsidiaries holds three exploration licenses, one retention licenses and two retention licenses applications, together they cover a mineralized area of approximately 100 square kilometers near the township of Zeeman in Western Tasmania. As of June 30, 2010, it had two projects: Galaxy Project and Zeehan Project. Its exploration licenses include EL21/2004, EL30/2002, EL20/2002 and EL18/2003. On February 1, 2010, two retention licenses, RL3/2009 and RL4/2009 were granted for an initial period of 2 years. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, CRHL acquired 19.99% interest in Galaxy Resources Limited (Galaxy). In December 2009, CRHL acquired an exploration license EL21/2004 in the Zeehan area near Mount Dundas, Western Tasmania.


Biden caught with hand in cookie jar (Must Read)

BrightSource Is “Sustained By An Impressive Array” Of Subsidies

Brightsource Is “Sustained By An Impressive Array Of Federal, State And Local Subsidies, Including A $1.6 Billion Loan Guarantee From The Department Of Energy.”“Fortunately for BrightSource, its efforts are sustained by an impressive array of federal, state and local subsidies, including a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, one of the largest solar guarantees on record. The company notes federal provisions providing solar projects with a 30% investment tax credit through 2016, as well as accelerated depreciations of capital costs for solar entities, among other goodies.” (Editorial, “Secretary Of Subsidy,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/11)


US regrets Russia scrapping 10 year old drug trafficking agreement

The United States said Wednesday that it regrets the Russian government’s decision this week to scrap a decade-old bilateral agreement under which it received financial aid from Washington to fight crime, including drug trafficking.

“We obviously regret this decision because under our agreement we’ve had very fruitful cooperation with Russia on rule of law, counter corruption efforts, preventing trafficking in persons, counternarcotics and strengthening our mutual legal assistance cooperation."

The Contras, Cocaine and Covert Operations

This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.

DHS taking on weed in Morocco

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) is embarking upon a project to offer training in the Kingdom of Morocco in advanced intelligence-analysis techniques, and intends to outsource that training to a private contractor. The aim of this DHS initiative, which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Office of International Affairs will oversee, is to reverse Morocco’s position as “the third largest producer of cannabis” and as “the major transit country for transnational criminal organizations moving South American cocaine through Northwest Africa to Europe.”

DHS did not disclose the estimated cost of the endeavor.

Iberdrola has 4 units taken over by Bolivian government 

Iberdrola was notified by Bolivia that the government has nationalized its electricity holdings in the South American country, spokesman Jose Luis Gonzalez Besada said in a telephone interview. He declined to comment further.

Spanish premier denies payoffs

The Spanish government was suddenly rocked by scandal Thursday after documents were published that allegedly showed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy getting €277,000 ($376,000) that had been hidden from tax authorities.

Rajoy denied the allegations after the Madrid newspaper El País published extracts from what it said were secret accounts for his conservative ruling People's Party, the Guardian reported. But opponents demanded his resignation, and ordinary Spaniards asked whether those now imposing draconian austerity had practiced, or tolerated, systematic tax avoidance.

Spain's ruling party denies backhanders

Spain's governing Popular Party was battling Thursday to defend its honor by denying fresh newspaper reports of regular under-the-table payments to leading members, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Leading newspaper El Pais published what it called the "secret accounts" of former party treasurer Luis Barcenas, with copies of alleged records from several years ago showing names and amounts received. The money was allegedly paid by businesses, many in the construction sector, via Barcenas.

EDF-Iberdrola lead in Greece wind sector

France’s Electricite de France SA and Iberdrola Renovables SA’s Greek unit, Rokas Renewables, are the top producers in Greece’s wind energy market, which grew 7 percent in 2012, according to the Hellenic Wind Energy Association.

Total installed capacity increased by 115.2 megawatts to 1,749.3 MW last year, compared with a 24 percent advance the year earlier, according to a statement on the Athens-based association’s website today. EDF produced 17 percent of that, or 298.8 megawatts, while Iberdrola accounted for 14 percent.

Soros Fund Management takes stake in Sanleone Energy

George Soros' hedge fund firm, Soros Fund Management, have just disclosed a 22% ownership stake in oil and gas exploration company, San Leon Energy (LON: SLE). Due to trading on January 6th, the hedge fund recently crossed the London Stock Exchange's threshold that requires them to disclose the position.

It is likely that Soros acquired shares via San Leon's £59.6m placement on December 31st, 2010. In total, the hedge fund now owns 176,928,520 voting rights. Soros has also been involved in another oil & gas play as we detailed last month as well. There seems to be a common theme here and it will be interesting to watch for potential further investments. In the past, Soros had been a large owner of Petrobras (PBR), Brazil's state-owned oil play.

Germany's unaffordable windpower

Two years ago we looked at the claim that wind generation can save money for power pool customers.  We found that the supposed savings could be realized only if the elephant in the room – the above-market feed-in tariffs – were ignored.

In other words, the total amount spent on electricity purchases from a power pool was augmented by the additional amounts consumers pay to fund the feed-in-tariff (FIT).  As long as wind generators can bid a low price but receive the higher FIT, then they have an incentive to underbid, thereby reducing pool prices, but not overall costs.

In addition, we looked at what an economically least cost system might look like in Germany over the next ten years.  We found that it features more coal and lignite, keeps most nuclear plants operating, and builds new gas-fired plants.

The annualized differential in total costs for Germany between the no-nukes, no coal and lots of wind forecast pushed by Germany’s Greens and an economically least cost expansion plan amounts to more than $120 billion over ten years and perhaps as much as $200 billion.  A lot of money, in other words.

Since these two posts were published in 2010 Master Resource contributors have made a strong case that Germany’s overinvestment in wind and solar has harmed the nation financially without any compensating improvement in electricity supply.  Compounding the overreliance on wind is the planned phase-out of the country’s nuclear power plants – baseload power that will need to be replaced with something other than wind.



Read Last Week's Green Corruption Chronicles...

Green Party Founder Says Wind Farms Are A Disaster



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West Africa: Tackling Drug Trafficking in West Africa



Trans-shipment of illicit narcotics from Latin America
through to West Africa and onwards to Europe has
increased significantly. Since 2008, the volume of cocaine transiting through West Africa has soared to around 50 tons a year - worth an estimated US$2 billion. Nearly 50 percent of all non-US bound cocaine or about 13 percent of the entire global flow is now smuggled through West Africa.


AES Selects Mitsubishi-GS Yuasa and Parker-Hannifin to Supply Battery Energy Storage System



SANTIAGO, Chile & ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AES Gener and AES Energy Storage today announced the selection of Parker-Hannifin to supply advanced battery energy storage systems for their new Cochrane power station. The battery energy storage system will be supplied by Mitsubishi Corporation with the lithium ion battery module manufactured by GS Yuasa and the lithium ion battery cells by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation and GS Yuasa. The project is the companies’ third energy storage facility in Northern Chile, integrating 20MW of advanced battery-based energy storage with a 532MW thermal power plant. The project is owned by AES Gener, the second largest power generator in the country, and Mitsubishi Corporation.

“We look forward to working with AES in scaling up new systems to serve reliability and peak power needs throughout the industry.”
“We are pleased to announce our relationship with Mitsubishi Corporation and GS Yuasa, leading suppliers of advanced batteries and to continue working with Parker, a leader in power conversion systems,” said Chris Shelton, President of AES Energy Storage. “These are strong partners among a robust global supply chain for energy storage.”

Note: Yuasa batteries are a problem for Boeing and the Xtreme batteries caused the Hawaii fire.


AES Golan Heights Wind Farm


Note: In future articles, I will be touching on the AES/Enron relationship.


Genie Energy get oil exploration rights in Golan



Genie Energy Ltd. is an energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. It is a holding company comprising IDT Energy, a retail energy provider, and Genie Oil & Gas, which controls the company's ventures in oil shale research and development in Colorado and Israel. Genie was part of IDT Corporation. IDT spun off Genie to its shareholders on October 31, 2011, at which point Class B common stock of Genie Energy Ltd. began trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "GNE". [1]
Genie's founder, chairman and controlling shareholder is Howard Jonas. Claude Pupkin is the company's CEO, and Avi Goldin is its CFO. Geoffrey Rochwarger is Genie's vice chairman.
Genie previously announced a strategic advisory board whose members provide strategic direction and council. Its members include former Vice President Dick Cheney, Michael Steinhardt, Jacob Rothschild, and Rupert Murdoch.[2]
Feb 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Damnit, I just puked my breakfast on my lap. I've had some jobs that would make some people just vomit, but that picture of Al and John was just too much. I have to clean up now thanks. Blehh.


Skin, it just keeps getting worse...

Feb 22, 2013 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Are you suggesting John, that there is a connection between the coke running and the energy companies?
Feb 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Should've read the entire article. Sorry John.
Feb 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Eastern Interconnect Planning Collaborative



The EIPC was awarded funding from The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2010 to to prepare analyses of transmission requirements under a broad range of alternative futures and develop long-term interconnection-wide transmission expansion plans in response to the alternative resource scenarios.
The DOE funding enabled EIPC to perform analysis and planning for the Eastern Interconnection in a transparent and collaborative manner, open to participation by state and federal officials, representatives from independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs), utilities, and relevant stakeholder bodies or non-government organizations (NGOs), including appropriate entities in Canada, with an approach to ensure consensus among stakeholders on key issues.

The Keystone Center is partnering with EIPC to facilitate its extensive stakeholder process within the Eastern Interconnection. The scenarios developed and technical analysis undertaken in this process will be reviewed and discussed in a forum open to all interested policy makers and stakeholders. The Keystone Center has conducted many dialogues and roundtable discussions to further the goal of more transparent and participatory government interaction, with the EIPC partnership being the latest example of Keystone’s “innovative public engagement.”
Feb 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Russia slams Trans Caspian Pipeline.



Here is First Wind CEO resume: (Note Trans Caspian Pipeline).

The First Wind Executive Team

Paul J. Gaynor

Chief Executive Officer

Executive Summary

Paul J. Gaynor is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of First Wind projects in North America.

Career Highlights

Mr. Gaynor has more than 20 years of experience in the energy field, encompassing leadership and finance roles in the energy, power, and pipeline sectors. In addition, he has been engaged in several landmark energy and power financings across the globe.

Mr. Gaynor was formerly Chief Financial Officer of Noble Power Assets, LLC, a private equity-backed power acquisition company. Prior to that, he was the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Singapore Power Group (SP) and Chief Operating Officer of SP International (SPI).

Mr. Gaynor led a comprehensive restructuring of SP and oversaw project development and asset management at SPI. He joined SP as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, where he was responsible for all financial matters, including leading the initial public offering and introducing world-class finance practices into the organization.

From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Gaynor was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PSG International, a pipeline development company owned by GE Capital and Bechtel Enterprises. PSG developed, financed, built, owned, and operated gas, oil, and water pipeline systems across the globe. Mr. Gaynor assisted in the establishment of the company and oversaw financial matters. He was also responsible for acquiring a 32.5% interest in a natural gas system in Mexico and subsequently sat on the board of directors. In addition, he led the fundraising process for the $3 billion TransCaspian Gas Pipeline project in Central Asia.

Before PSG, Mr. Gaynor was Vice President and Manager of Asia Pacific operations for GE Capital’s Structured Finance Group (SFG). He was responsible for deal analysis, execution, and internal approvals, leading a team that evaluated over 20 power projects between 1994 and 1998. Mr. Gaynor also led the Group’s $400 million investment in Paiton Energy and Quezon Power, and he received internal approval for over $1 billion of projects. He also worked at GE Capital SFG in the U.S. before moving to Asia, and he sold power plants for GE Power Systems prior to attending business school.


A bit about GE...
Feb 22, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
'Cash and Kerry' deserted the remaining POWs in Vietnam and made a mockery of the CIA-cocaine hearings, because his Skull and Bones association relies on this enterprise, and Kerry relies on them. Al 'D' Gore received a 'D' grade from his instructor for the only science class he dared take in college; Natural Science 102. Popcorn and boiling water with safety glasses on. Now that S&B piracy includes management of BP interests in the western hemisphere, and the British royals are the focus of S&B loyalties, we will be given the opportunity to see real genetic slag at work screwing up a similarly incompetent U.S. public who still worship the CFRtv like a neonate worships their mother. Street punks and New Age 'wizards' promise to take the U.S. to new lows.
Nice photo shop. The photo I saw of Hillary dressed in X-rated bondage gear at some event in the 1970s-1980s was the real thing. The Chucky Meets Talking Tina and the Village People placebo administration.
Feb 23, 2013 at 5:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
Mexican Drug Cartels Join Forces with Italian Mafia to Supply Cocaine to Europe



The Sicilian port city of Palermo has for centuries been an entry point for goods – both legal and illegal – coming into Europe. Home to the notorious Sicilian Mafia, Italian officials recently unearthed information that Palermo’s black market, along with other Italian ports, is used by Mexico’s ruthless drug cartels as a conduit to bring drugs to the European market.
A 10-year investigation by Italian authorities earlier this year revealed ties between Italian groups and Mexican drug traffickers to move shipments of cocaine across the Atlantic Ocean.
The revelations by Italian authorities is just the most recent indication of Mexican cartels expanding their reach across the Atlantic as the Colombian drug trafficking organizations have slowly been fazed out of the trade.
"Over the last 20 years the Mexicans have really taken over," said Shannon O’Neil, a Douglas Dillon Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. "Instead of working for the Colombians, the Colombians are now working for the Mexicans."
The Italian-Mexican connection was allegedly spearheaded by Elio and Bruno Gerardi, two Italian brothers based out of Monterrey who shipped hundreds of tons of cocaine on behalf of Cosa Nostra inside of industrial ovens. While the two brothers remain at large, a number of key figures linked to the Italian organized crime group are in custody.
They’re involved in drug trafficking and they’re getting it from the bad guys down south.
- Rusty Payne, DEA spokesman, on Italian organized crime involvement with Mexican cartels
"The investigation into the Gerardi operation demonstrates the degree to which Mexico has become a vital actor not merely in the U.S. cocaine supply chain, but in the global drug trade," wrote Patrick Corcoran of the Latin American security website,
Feb 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Mexico’s war on crime now ranks among Latin America’s bloodiest conflicts



The revelation that as many as 27,000 people may have gone missing in Mexico in recent years renews attention to the huge human toll left by the war on crime that former President Felipe Calderon waged during his six years in office.

Combined with the 70,000 dead acknowledged recently by the new administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who succeeded Calderon on Dec. 1, the number of the disappeared makes the Calderon tenure the bloodiest period in Mexican history since the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century.

On Thursday, human rights campaigners said the numbers place Mexico far above some of the better-known Latin American human catastrophes of decades past, including the rule of military regimes in Argentina, Chile and Brazil and civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador...

...In a detailed report released this week, Vivanco’s group said that it had investigated 249 cases of disappearances in Mexico. Of those, 149 involved people who witnesses saw being detained by military personnel or municipal, state or federal police. He said the actual number of such cases is certainly far higher, though what proportion of the total number of disappeared had government involvement is not clear.

Organized crime syndicates are thought to be responsible for the bulk of Mexico’s bloodshed, unleashing a wave of terror that included beheadings, dismemberments and public executions in a battle fueled by cash from an insatiable demand for cocaine and other drugs in the United States.
Feb 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
London ICE de-lists UN offset futures.

Feb 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia



Italian police seize alleged Calabrian mafia boss


In recent decades, the 'Ndrangheta has become the largest and most feared of Italy's four large organised crime syndicates, which include Sicily's Cosa Nostra, the Camorra in the area of Naples and the smaller Sacra Corona Unita in the southeastern region of Puglia.
The arrests in northern Italy, aimed at the 'Ndrangheta's commercial interests, "confirm that northern Italy is the true theatre of operations for the 'Ndrangheta," anti-mafia prosecutor Alberto Cisterna told AFP.
Healthcare "is the sector they prefer, since it allows them to establish contacts with politics and with public administration," Cisterna said.
The operation showed how the 'Ndrangheta is organised in a vertical structure, in some ways resembling that of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia, and not a horizontal one as earlier suspected, observers said.
"The 'Ndrangheta still has its head in the heart of Calabria," Antonio Nicaso, a 'Ndrangheta expert and professor of the history of organised crime at Middlebury College in the US state of Vermont, told AFP...

....The 'Ndrangheta is also considered to be the main broker in international cocaine traffic, with a virtual monopoly of cocaine coming from Colombia.
The syndicate reinvests and recycles money from the drug trade into legitimate investments in northern Italy and abroad, from Australia to Latin America.
Major 'Ndrangheta real estate investments have been uncovered in recent years in Germany and Belgium.
Italy's Eurispes institute estimated the 'Ndrangheta's turnover from trafficking in drugs and arms, prostitution and extortion at 44 billion euros (55 billion dollars).
In a separate operation on Monday, police seized property worth 330 millions euros belonging to businessman Gioacchino Campolo, affiliated with the 'Ndrangheta and known as the "poker king."
Feb 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Italy’s most wanted



Eurispes, a research institute, estimated the 2008 turnover of the ’Ndrangheta clans at more than €44bn, almost 3 per cent of Italy’s economy. More than 60 per cent derives from its “semi-monopoly” over the European cocaine trade, supplemented by gun-running, human trafficking and extortion rackets. A constant theme running through Blood Ties is how the ’Ndrangheta successfully launders its income through “legitimate” businesses such as bars, hotels, pizzerias and factories across Europe, often contracting out operations through alliances with foreign criminal organisations, particularly ones from China.
Feb 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Italy's Calabrian Mafia, known as the ‘Ndrangheta, is a global organisation which reportedly earned $70 billion in 2007. Francesco Fonti, an ex-boss, currently in jail in Italy, says: "Singapore was a favourite haunt – "all the trafficking in the world was there ... ships, missiles".

Feb 24, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Money Laundering and Terrorist Activity Financing Watch: January–March 2010



Italian mafia launders money through telecom companies

One of the biggest fraud cases in Italian history has recently surfaced, and allegedly involves 'Ndrangheta (the Calabrian mafia), telecom broadband operators Fastweb and Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS), as well as an Italian politician. On February 23, the release of 1,600 pages of court documents outlined the arrest warrants of 56 people in Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. These individuals were all suspected of being involved in a scheme that facilitated tax evasion and money laundering, as well as "breaking electoral laws with mafia involvement." According to court documents, Fastweb and TIS were complicit in a tax evasion scam and money laundering scheme that generated a total of €2.2 billion in profit between 2003 and 2007, and allowed the fraud participants to collect more than €300 million in Value Added Tax (VAT) credit. Prosecutors have additionally charged TIS with "administrative responsibility in relation to international criminal organization and money laundering."

The case is still under investigation and many details of the scheme remain to be explained by officials. Nonetheless, the investigation did uncover evidence that linked one of the masterminds of the telecommunications fraud, Gannaro Mokbel, with a 2008 election that was rigged by the Calabrian mafia. 'Ndrangheta, acting at the request of Mokbel, allegedly sent some of its group members to Germany to buy thousands of blank voting ballot sheets for Nicola Di Girolamo, Mokbel's friend. Di Girolamo, who was also one of the 56 arrested, was elected as a senator for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party. In return for 'Ndrangheta's help, Mokbel instructed Di Girolamo to assist the mafia in laundering its profits from Europe's cocaine trade.1
Feb 24, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Just in:

Oregon to review $30M in tax credits for wind farm



The state Department of Energysays it will review whether a major wind farm in central Oregon should receive $30 million in tax credits.

Officials decided to review their recent approval of the tax breaks for the Shepherd's Flat wind farm after The Oregonian newspaper raised questions about whether it should have qualified.

Shepherd's Flat is a collection of 338 turbines in Gilliam and Morrow counties. The Oregonian questioned whether it should have received multiple Business Energy Tax Credits under state rules governing what constitutes a "separate and distinct" renewable energy facility.

Some wind farm developers have subdivided their projects to garner multiple tax credits. The tax credits have drained state coffers of millions of dollars that might otherwise pay for schools and other public services.

The owner of Shepherd's Flat, New York-based Caithness Energy, insists the farm was developed as three separate projects each entitled to a $10 million credit.
Feb 24, 2013 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Sinopec to buy stake in Chesapeake assets for $1.02 billion


China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (600028.SS), Asia's largest oil refiner, will buy a 50 percent stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp's (CHK.N) Mississippi Lime oil and gas properties in Oklahoma and Kansas for $1.02 billion, a Sinopec source said.

Chesapeake, the second-largest gas producer in the United States, has about 2.1 million net acres of leasehold in the Mississippi Lime region.

Chesapeake could not be reached for comment.

Production from the Mississippi Lime region jumped 208 percent to an average of 32,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter, Chesapeake reported this month.

About 45 percent of the total output was oil, 46 percent was natural gas and the rest was natural gas liquids.

Chesapeake, which has been looking at divestments to cut down debt, said in December it would sell most of its natural gas processing and gathering assets for $2.16 billion to Access Midstream Partners LP (ACMP.N).
Feb 25, 2013 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Doesn't it make you wonder if Chinese people, when they order carryout, do they order General Washington's chicken. Sweet and Sour hamburger with a side of Texas Toast.
Feb 25, 2013 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Re-posting with more info... I did a few items regarding Chesapeake 3 weeks ago. I added the link at the end.


Sinopec to buy stake in Chesapeake assets for $1.02 billion


China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (600028.SS), Asia's largest oil refiner, will buy a 50 percent stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp's (CHK.N) Mississippi Lime oil and gas properties in Oklahoma and Kansas for $1.02 billion, a Sinopec source said.

Chesapeake, the second-largest gas producer in the United States, has about 2.1 million net acres of leasehold in the Mississippi Lime region.

Chesapeake could not be reached for comment.

Production from the Mississippi Lime region jumped 208 percent to an average of 32,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter, Chesapeake reported this month.

About 45 percent of the total output was oil, 46 percent was natural gas and the rest was natural gas liquids.

Chesapeake, which has been looking at divestments to cut down debt, said in December it would sell most of its natural gas processing and gathering assets for $2.16 billion to Access Midstream Partners LP (ACMP.N).


For a few more articles regarding Chesapeake, go here:

Feb 25, 2013 at 8:12 AM | Registered CommenterJohn
Climate Change is Reducing Our Ability to Get Work Done


Here's a new angle on propaganda.
Feb 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Quite frankly, I don't take too much stock in these studies anymore since the conclusions are based on who is giving the seed money for the studies. I did not much like the ice age scenario and with my house in the foothills of the piedmont plateau, I feel well positioned in future speculation for beachfront property. DB, sell your NC property now and be the first one in on a great opportunity. Buy low sell high.;)
Feb 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
I saw one on weed, DB. A joint is equal to 2 lbs of CO2.
Feb 25, 2013 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Rethinking wind power – Harvard study shows it to be overestimated



Harvard research suggests real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales has been overestimated

Cambridge, Mass. – February 25, 2013 – “People have often thought there’s no upper bound for wind power—that it’s one of the most scalable power sources,” says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don’t seem likely to “run out” on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Yet the latest research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that the generating capacity of large-scale wind farms has been overestimated.

Note: having been in the business, I know that it's over estimated because I fucking measured it.
Feb 25, 2013 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Now getting back to the meat of the matter.



As far back as 2005 the UNODC indicated that the Caribbean Basin DTOs were now moving major shipments to Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo thence to Europe. In addition South Asia produced heroin was being moved from Kenya and Ethiopia to West Africa particularly the Ivory coast. They also reported on the relationships that had developed between African drug trafficking organisations and Caribbean Basin DTOs leading to the creation of a wave of drug mules descending on Europe from Africa trafficking drugs via the body and personal effects.

The domination of the smuggling routes to the US by the Mexican cartels,the collapse of the Medellian, Cali and Norte Valle Cartels,the rise of a new breed of narco-entrprenuers in Columbia especially those linked to the Columbian paramilitary hastened the move to switch on Venezuela in the mid 90s as the new command and control centre for the export of product to Europe and Africa. One consequence of Venezuela's activation was the creation of an alternative route to the US via the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It is in this strategic context that the move to oust president Chavez in 2002 and the removal of president Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004 must be understood...

THERE WILL BE MUCH MORE TO COME... In the next edition of Corruption Chronicles.
Feb 25, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Remember Michael Mukasey, who refused to look at mortgage fraud.

Feb 25, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
How steady is the business overhaul at First Solar ?

That’s a key question investors want answered when First Solar reports fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday afternoon. Expectations have been steadily rising not just for First Solar, but for the sun power sector overall.

Since last August, First Solar shares have shot up 35%, compared with a 7% gain for the S&P 500 Index. Meanwhile, many short sellers — those betting that the stock will decline in value — have been flushed out.

Feb 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
DB, First Solar has some very interesting ties.... more on that later.

In the meantime....

‘Mafia, out of the country!’: Bulgarians protest in dozens of cities across the country (PHOTOS)



Bulgarians gathered to protest against energy monopolies and high electricity bills that exceed the citizen’s incomes, amid growing unemployment in the country. Public anger has risen since the first rally last Sunday . The resignation of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's cabinet after the previous rally failed to calm down the protesters.

Over 25, 000 Bulgarians marched in the capital city of Sofia on Sunday blocking all central roads, ITAR-TASS news agency reports. There were conflicting reports as to the number of protesters, with Reuters putting the figure at 10,000.

Thousands also took to the streets in Bulgaria's second and third largest cities Plovdiv and Varna, with the number of protesters in Varna reaching 30,000 according to ITAR-TASS. Another 40 smaller towns across the country staged rallies as well.

DB, I have been watching Bulgaria and Romania (and a couple of others) regarding the energy/telecom issues for quite awhile.
Feb 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Here are some morning energy links from: The Hill



Kerry hints at new climate, energy work with Germany

Secretary of State John Kerry said in Berlin Tuesday that the Obama administration wants to increase climate collaboration with Germany, a nation that has employed aggressive policies to expand renewable power output.

“You think of the engineering skills of Germany. It’s one of the reasons why I want to partner, and I think the president wants to partner, with respect to global climate change, because your technical engineering, innovative skills, which we see in so many different ways, can help us to design some of the alternative and renewable energy production capacity that we need in order to quickly, more rapidly transition from a fossil fuel base to a alternative energy-based world, and we all have to do this,” Kerry said at the “Youth Connect: Berlin” event.

The State Department already has a number of bilateral green energy and climate partnerships with other nations.
Feb 27, 2013 at 6:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Last post before my next article... we hit the nail on the head.



Sicily is in the spotlight right now, but renewable energy projects in other regions of Italy, like Sardinia and Apulia, are also under investigation, in addition to other countries. The Kroll consulting group, which specializes in risk mitigation worldwide, has detected a significant increase in the number of cases since 2007 involving fraud and corruption in the wind energy sector, primarily in Italy and Spain, but also in Bulgaria, Romania and other parts of central and eastern Europe, and even as far as the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa. It wouldn’t be surprising if the mob had infiltrated other “green” industries around the world. In fact, organized crime has been linked to illegal logging in the tropics.

If history is any guide to organized crime, what we see is likely just the tip of the iceberg
Feb 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
John, Then there are the Soviets who have their own set up.http://topics.bloomberg.com/alfa-group/ Here is a guy who was a window washer a few years back and now is one of the worlds richest men. Just crazy stuff.
Feb 27, 2013 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
That pic with Gore and Kerry still makes me wretch.
Feb 27, 2013 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
No cause, no answers 7 months after Kahuku wind farm fire



Since August, the 12 turbines at Kahuku are at a standstill after a fire inside the facility's battery storage system shut the wind farm down.

Turns out it was the third blaze to break-out inside the building.

"And those we did an extensive investigation and determined the cause of those that was related to the capacitors in the converters," said Wren Wescoatt of First Wind. "We took several steps to remedy that and the new investigation looked into that as one of the possibilities but hasn't yet determined what the cause of the final fire was."

Sen. Gabbard who chairs the Committee on Energy says - no cause is no good.

"I'm a little surprised they haven't found out the cause of the fire, we're still waiting to get results of the investigation, because I think that's a key part of it," said Senator Mike Gabbard (D).

The battery-storage technology was the first of its kind to regulate the flow of power when trade winds aren't blowing...

A system First Wind may decide to ditch.

Note: I warned about A-123 when the DOE wouldn't disclose the battery concern in financial trouble...I also and mentioned this battery manufacturer back then too: Xtreme Power.

Also on the board of directors is Pat Wood, of which Barbara and I have mentioned more than once here at the DB.


Here is an alliance between GE and Xtreme:

Mar 1, 2013 at 7:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
More on my last post. I have been deluged with work and research so please bear with me. This is in regard to my last (above) comment.

Xtreme Power China...


Here is another story that does not want to load from google and is referred in twitter and other stories. It is a cut and paste of the google serach result.

US energy storage firm Xtreme in standby mode in China push ...
wind.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin//profiler_kml?...File Format: KML Document - View on Google Maps
Oct 24, 2012 – US energy storage firm Xtreme in standby mode in China push South China Morning Post (HONG KONG, HONG KONG) ...
Mar 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Mar 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
While John Kerry is galavanting around the globe creating all that CO2 while promoting climate change/global warming, one thing strikes me, Hillary bought a shit load of crystal stemware about 4 years ago and now they need more?


Christ, can't they be more careful with the shit we paid for? or was that crystal 'liberated' too....

BTW DB, the next one is ready with a LOT of very good stuff to follow.
Mar 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
In the next edition, I have bolded and made clickable links in each article which should be read. While some are not bolded, those may be links referenced in the original articles. Others that were not bolded and appear at the end of the article have relevant information that should also be read. There will be much more forthcoming, but, due to the complexity of the matter at hand, information needs to be released incrementally so that the general public will be better able to understand the scope and seriousness of the matter.

Mar 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Mar 3, 2013 at 7:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
DB, I have a last minute addition (draft, queued up) that would be a nice touch to my latest. If you could add it (I didn't want to screw up your editing), I would really appreciate it.


Mar 4, 2013 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
John, an excellent post from zh. Warren seems to be wasting no time and hopefully is able to build some sort of coalition to start to hammer some of these people. Hopefully not a dog and pony show.
Mar 7, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
I think she is either naive or this is a dog and pony show.

Mar 8, 2013 at 6:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Having seen what is happening elsewhere and who benefits, I will leave this comment here as it is a very good fit with the subject matter of this article and in a sense, does relate to events back in 01.

Apr 23, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Nicely done John.
Apr 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Thanks Skin. All I ask is that you and others keep an open mind and think outside of the box a little.
Apr 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
May 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
See EPA admin. resigns (above in article). Then read this:

Chamber: Greens using ‘sue and settle’ to coerce EPA

May 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
The Global Warming Hoax Explained for Dummies

Jun 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Registered CommenterJohn

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