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« SECRET AUDIO: Bradley Manning's Statement To The Court | Main | Max Keiser With Sexy Stacy - Buy Gold »
Tuesday
Mar122013

The Mafia Is Moving Into Green Energy

Green Energy Chronicles

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

---

The Mafia Is Moving Into Renewable Energy

Traditionally the mafia controls operations in gambling, prostitution, protection, extortion, and loan-sharking, yet recent evidence shows that they might actually be adding renewable energy to that list.

Italian police have recently discovered links between the Sicilian crime families known as the Cosa Nostra, and wind and solar power companies in the area. Law enforcement officers have taken around a dozen crime bosses off to jail, along with corrupt officials and company executives; they have also seized around 30 percent of Sicily’s wind farms, and have frozen more than $2 billion worth of assets.

Back in 2010 a similar police operation saw the seizure of over 40 companies, land, buildings, factories, bank accounts, stocks, cars, and yachts from the Sicilian business man Vito Nicastri, also known as the ‘Lord of the Wind’ due to his investments in wind farms and solar panel factories.

It is likely that the Mafia has been attracted to renewable energy for several reasons; Sicily is a sunny, windy island that offers great alternative energy opportunities; much like Germany and Spain, Italy has been awarding generous subsidies to try and encourage the development of renewable energy projects; and also, the renewable energy industry offers a legitimate business which is likely to be around for many years and can provide a good front for the family.

Other renewable energy projects in Sardinia and Apulia are also being investigated for their connection to known crime families.

 

White House will NOT propose a carbon tax

Jack Lew, the White House nominee for Treasury secretary, says President Obama’s second-term vow to confront climate change will not lead to proposals to tax carbon dioxide emissions.

“The administration has not proposed a carbon tax, nor is it planning to do so,” Lew said in written responses to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which will vote on Lew’s nomination Tuesday.

Carbon taxes or fees are generating new interest among climate advocates and some liberal lawmakers, especially amid debates about how to curb the deficit and overhaul the tax code.  Lew’s answer is the latest of several Obama administration pledges not to propose a carbon tax.  “We would never propose a carbon tax, and have no intention of proposing one,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in mid-November.

 

Geopolitics In Clean Tech - Kroll Fraud Report

Meanwhile, local regulatory frameworks can also create significant risks for investors. In Italy, risk arises from lengthy and  bureaucratic regulatory and authorization procedures, as well as from divergent clean technology policies at the national, regional, and local levels. These all create delays in obtaining licenses and putting plants into operation. This has led in the south of the country, where solar and wind plants are concentrated, to the rise of intermediaries who claim to be able to obtain all the necessary authorizations for investors and to sell them what are essentially turnkey projects. Clearly, this heightens the risk to investors of becoming involved in corruption or even of infiltration by organized crime. Several factors make the renewable energy sector particularly attractive to organized crime.

 

Clean or 'dirty' energy

[Note: this is a MUST READ paper.]

In this paper we use the dataset on criminal activity constructed by Gennaioli C. and Onorato M. for their project on organized crime joint with Perotti R. and Tabellini G.  We are grateful to them for sharing the data.

 

Changes may buoy Cape Wind project

Governor Deval Patrick's administration proposed several changes to state environmental-protection laws yesterday that could help speed construction of offshore wind-power farms, including the controversy-plagued Cape Wind project that Patrick strongly backs.

The Department of Environmental Protection formally unveiled several changes to the state's Chapter 91 waterways protection laws, which could take effect as soon as April after a public comment period that ends Jan. 17. One major change would be to declare cables conveying power from offshore renewable-energy projects - including wind farms and hydroelectric generating units - to be water-dependent. That designation would get those projects speedier, more favorable consideration by department regulators, who are required by Chapter 91 to apply heavier scrutiny to nonwater-dependent projects in protected waterfront and river areas. 

"The governor has made it an environmental priority to increase renewable energy, and the most important piece of these changes would make the regulations consistent with the administration's support for renewable energy, by allowing renewable energy from offshore to connect to the grid onshore," said Ed Coletta, a department spokesman.

Besides the 130-turbine Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, other proposals the changes could help include construction mogul Jay Cashman's plan for a 120-turbine wind farm in Buzzards Bay off Dartmouth and Fairhaven, and the Hull Municipal Light Department's proposed wind farm.

The announcement was made a month after Patrick's administration supported House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi's inclusion of a measure in the House's green-energy bill. The measure exempts Cape Wind and the Cashman project from regulatory hurdles in the state's Ocean Sanctuaries Act, which limits or bans development in most coastal waters.

Though former governor Mitt Romney relentlessly opposed Cape Wind, Patrick and his energy and environmental affairs secretary, Ian A. Bowles, have called the project crucial to meeting state goals for renewable energy and helping to market Massachusetts worldwide as being friendly to renewable energy companies.

Mark Rodgers, a Cape Wind Associates spokesman, said yesterday that his company had not yet seen the proposed changes but said they sounded like "a step in the right direction from our viewpoint." The current designation of offshore wind farms as nonwater-dependent projects, Rodgers said, "doesn't make it impossible, but it adds another layer, and it never struck us as a policy that makes sense."

Rodgers said offshore wind farms are clearly water-dependent because it is their location in the open ocean - where winds are much steadier and stronger than on land - that makes them feasible for generating electricity.

Officials from the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which has been battling Cape Wind for six years, and the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental group backing Cape Wind, declined to comment.

Last month, Cape Wind angered its foes by asking the state Energy Facilities Siting Board to use its unique authority to approve the project by preempting eight different state and local permits - including the DEP waterways permit. This move came after the Cape Cod Commission voted against approving transmission lines connecting Cape Wind to the regional power grid in Yarmouth. 

More on House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi 

More on Deval Patrick winning the greenest governor award

More on Massachusetts green failures

 

First Wind SEC filing change questioned

Business experts say that energy company First Wind was within its rights to amend an SEC filing last week to declare that it did not, as the company had previously stated in an earlier filing, award Public Utilities Commission Chairman Kurt Adams an ownership interest while he was on the state payroll, a possible violation of state law.

But one expert says that the amendment, which came after the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting published details of the grant to Adams, could itself raise questions with SEC regulators.

“The SEC is fairly liberal in permitting parties to amend their disclosure document,” says securities law expert Manning G. Warren III, of the Louis S. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.  But the amended filing, says Warren, “suggests that the company is acknowledging a rather significant error in terms of granting him those restricted stocks while he was a public servant.”

First Wind is in the process of filing disclosure documents – called an “S1” — with the SEC prior to a public offering of stock to raise money for the company. 

 

Senator Angus King wind project called into question

Report Refers to project as part of a pattern of “dysfunction, negligence and mismanagement.”

Just a day after Angus King announced he was divesting his stake in his wind energy company, a Congressional Oversight Committee has called into question the basis for a $102 million loan guarantee granted to King’s Record Hill Wind project.

The U.S House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform yesterday released an extensive report on questionable funding for projects authorized through the U.S. Department of Energy. The report, titled “The Department of Energy’s Disastrous Management of Loan Guarantee Programs”, reveals that the Record Hill project received a loan guarantee based on “questionable reasoning” by King’s company.

Angus King relationship map. Note:  This does not include (strangely) his relationship with his wind efforts or Jay Cashman at Patriot Renewables. There will more on that in upcoming articles.

 

Complaint Filed With the Department Of Justice Under the Sherman Antitrust Act By Concerned Citizens From The States of New York, Vermont, Maryland, and California (filed April 25, 2007)

Nature of Complaint

This is an Antitrust Complaint alleging that an International Cartel is engaged in Market Allocation, Price Fixing and Bid Rigging in Windfarm Developments in New York and Vermont, as well as other states across the nation. This Complaint was submitted by 94concerned citizens via email to the U.S. Department of Justice, Anti-Trust Division onApril 25, 2007.

Summary of Complaint

A number of foreign companies, along with at least one domestic firm, have conspired to eliminate competition in the newly emerging domestic wind energy industry.  Through a maze of ad hoc LLC’s, partnerships, affiliations, cross-ownerships, strategic alliances,memoranda of understanding, joint ventures, and associations these entities have allocated the market geographically and effectively prohibited any manner of competition for highly profitable business ventures. The end result of this collusion is that thousands of landowners and hundreds of municipalities have been denied substantial monetary gains that would otherwise be available in a free and competitive market. Due to a plethora of subsidies, incentives, and tax breaks the wind energy developments are highly profitable and virtually all of the earnings are funneled abroad to the foreign owners and investors.

 

Michael Mukasey pushed to change bribery law

If you represent U.S. businesses and want to scale back an anti-corruption law, what do you do?  Hire the nation’s former top law enforcement official.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recruited former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to press its case for reining in an American law that bans bribery overseas — and for softening the Obama administration’s aggressive enforcement of it. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for U.S. companies to pay bribes or offer any “thing of value” to a foreign official to advance the corporation’s interest.

Many advocates for business say enforcement of that law has been too strict, injuring America’s ability to win in a global economy. They also cite lengthy investigations and hefty legal fees over transactions that wouldn’t qualify as traditional bribes, such as giving money to non-government officials, buying dinner for business contacts or even paying for their taxi rides.

Enter Mukasey, a former federal judge whom President George W. Bush brought in to clean up a scandal-tarnished Justice Department in 2007. After leaving the Justice Department, Mukasey returned to New York, joined the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton and began taking on corporate clients, including the Chamber and News Corp.

“The law itself has a couple of problems with it,” Mukasey told POLITICO. He said the business community mainly wants the wording clarified. “In some countries, enterprises are state-owned, so everybody’s a foreign official. You take somebody out to dinner that’s intended to get you a competitive benefit and, boom: You get an investigation.”

 

Xtreme restructures executive team in anticipation of growth

To handle continued growth, Kyle-based energy storage company Xtreme Power Inc. is restructuring its top leadership, with its co-founder and CEO moving to a strategic planning role.

The company — which makes energy storage and power management systems for utilities, wind farms and manufacturing companies — saw revenues double in 2011 and expects to see similar growth in the coming year, said Carlos Coe, who will step aside as CEO to become chairman of the board and oversee the company's global growth. Alan Gotcher will be promoted from chief technology officer to president and CEO.

"This allows me to take a step out of the day-to-day (operations) and focus entirely on the growth mode of the company." Much of that growth is expected overseas, particularly in China, which is installing "an amazing amount of wind power every year," and officials need assistance moving that energy onto their power grids, Coe said.

More here

 

No cause no answers 7 months after fire at wind farm

It was a first of it's kind technology - that went up in smoke. Seven months after they started spinning, the Kahuku wind mills stopped because of a fire. The fact that they're sitting idle is having an ripple effect that reaches your electric bill.

For seven months they were spinning in the wind."First seven months of operation it put about 52k megawatts of energy into the system," said Hawaiian Electric Company spokesperson Darren Pai. A productive project - capable of powering 7,800 homes. But these last seven months have been a different story.

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."

 

Carbon taxes will lead to heavy GDP losses

Warning that a carbon tax of $10 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions could cause a GDP loss of more than $600 billion, the Economic Survey says the way forward for domestic environment financing must come from a mix of market mechanisms, fiscal instruments and regulatory interventions.

Citing the results of preliminary modelling studies by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Survey argues that “relying solely on carbon taxes and subsidy may not be the most viable policy option.” It also discusses the establishment of a National Green Fund to finance environmental protection, but only mentions international sources to fill the coffers of the Fund.

The models projected four different carbon tax scenarios for a 20-year period between 2010-11 and 2030-31. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, an economy-wide tax on carbon emissions at the rate of $80 per tonne would lead to an undiscounted cumulative GDP loss of more than $4 trillion. But even a modest revenue-neutral $10 per tonne tax would lead to losses of $632 billion at 2005 prices, said the studies.

 

Bills target renewable energy standards in 3 states

For example, an ALEC task force member who chairs the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee wants “a meaningful review” of the state’s efficiency and renewable standards.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, outlined in a Feb. 1 memo a list of questions that he plans to seek answers to in a series of legislative hearings this spring.

Among them: whether to freeze the state’s efficiency standard, whether to revise the “cost cap” financial-burden threshold for exempting utilities, and whether to establish a “more accurate and transparent” way of comparing costs of electricity sources.

The legislator’s final question reveals the scope of what’s on the table in his view: what should be done about existing contracts “in the event that the current EE/RPS benchmarks are significantly altered or abolished”?

 

Carbon tax to start in 2015 (Africa)

A carbon tax will come into effect from 2015, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced on Wednesday."  Government proposes to price carbon by way of a carbon tax, at the rate of R120 per ton of CO2 equivalent, from January 1, 2015," he told MPs.

Tabling his 2013 Budget in the National Assembly, he said the impact of this would be softened by a tax-free exemption threshold of 60 percent, "with additional allowances for emissions intensive and trade-exposed industries."

According to proposals in the 2013 Budget Review, the basic tax-free threshold of 60 percent will apply during the first phase of the implementation of carbon tax - from 2015 to 2020.  The document says also under consideration is a "gradual phasing out" of the electricity levy as the carbon tax is phased in.

 

Arcelor-Mittal Africa slides after carbon tax announcement

As the continent's top greenhouse gas emitter, South Africa is looking to curb emissions, although it also plans some exemptions to protect industry, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said during his 2013 budget speech.

ArcelorMittal South Africa, a unit of the world's biggest steelmaker and one of the biggest polluters in the country, finished down 6.1 percent at 28.83 rand following the speech, becoming the biggest percentage decliner on Johannesburg's All-share index.

 

Apex buys rights to wind farm project

Property intended for a wind farm south of the Hoopeston area has again changed hands.Development of the Hoopeston Wind farm has been ongoing since 2008. The most recent coordinator, GDF SUEZ Energy North America Inc in Houston, Texas, took over in 2011 when it purchased the previous wind farm developer, International Power.

Now, a representative of Apex Wind Energy Inc. confirmed Friday afternoon that the company has taken over the project. Company Communications Manage Dahvi Wilson indicated in an e-mail that Apex acquired the Hoopeston Wind farm from GDF SUEZ in February.

Apex Wind Energy, Inc. is an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, Va.  Since its founding in 2009, Apex has completed 10 acquisitions and has project sites in 20 states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

BP owns Greenlight and Apex

Maersk Line and Apex partnership

Apex Nevada

Jim Trousdale relationship map

 

Minnesota Attorney General sues wind power developer for fraud

Marv and Marlys Jensen just wanted to supplement their income with a little energy-and-money producing wind turbine on their farm in rural Kensington, Minn.  But they ended up taking out loans to pay more than $245,000 to an Excelsior-based company called Renewable Energy SD for a 160-foot wind tower that currently produces nothing.

Their first wind turbine, delivered in August 2010, didn't work, and they were told they had to trade it in and buy a second, more expensive one, they said. That one was supposed to be delivered in January 2012.

A year later, they're still waiting.

"What I got is a $200,000 deer stand," said Marv Jensen, 72.

Swanson sued Renewable Energy SD on Friday in Hennepin County District Court, charging that it bilked 15 farm couples out of hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. The company, which was formed in 2009 by Shawn Dooling, used federal stimulus money that was supposed to help the country out of the recession to entice farmers to buy the turbines, the suit alleges.

And instead of paying back the Jensens and similarly unhappy customers, the company appears to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxury supercars, the complaint said.

Those cars include a 2009 Lamborghini worth $297,700, two 2011 Bentleys worth about $180,000 each, a 2010 Ferrari worth $219,000 and two 2011 Audis, worth $183,700 and $72,900, according to the complaint.

Dooling lives in a house in Shorewood on Lake Minnetonka with an assessed value of $1.6 million, according to Hennepin County records.

 

UPC Executive's eco-mansion

An ‘eco-industrialist’ banker shows off his Victorian house in London full of environment-friendly gadgetry

Visitors to Frederik W. Mowinckel’s Victorian house in the London neighbourhood of Chelsea are treated to an exotic winter sight: a 15ft-high banana plant flourishing on an outdoor terrace. And perhaps more exotic than the plant itself is the coating on the wall behind it: a white paint that has been created to mimic perfectly the self-cleaning surface layer of the lotus leaf, and to reflect maximum daylight. The banana plant isn’t the only beneficiary, says Mowinckel. The paint never loses shine, reflecting light back into the house and cutting down on the need for artificial lighting.

Although the building dates from 1850, Norwegian-born Mowinckel has redesigned it as a model of how to eco-proof a traditional family home in the middle of a major city. And yet inside, except for a touch-screen panel on a front wall, the building bears no obvious traces of its conversion.

“My wife Louise didn’t want something that looked like an eco-house – she wanted a beautiful house,” says Mowinckel, director of Turquoise International, a specialist merchant bank that supports clean energy companies in the early stages of their development. He ushers me into a series of elegant interiors where off-white walls provide backdrops for 19th-century Norwegian paintings and objects made by local designers on the nearby King’s Road. “Louise did the aesthetics,” he says. “I did the technical bits, behind the walls.”

More on Fredrik Mowinckl

 

Politics: The Real Manmade Climate Crisis (Secretary Kerry, take note)

In his first address as Secretary of State, John Kerry said we must safeguard “the most sacred trust” we owe to our children and grandchildren: “an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate.”

But hyperbole is getting stale even for a politician. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea level rise, storms, droughts or other weather and climate events or trends display any statistically significant difference from what Earth and mankind have experienced over the last 100-plus years. So Mr. Kerry’s dire warnings are on thin polar ice...

By far the worst climate crisis, however, is eco-imperialism perpetrated against African and other poor nations.

When their country was building a new power plant that would burn natural gas that previously was wasted through “flaring,” President Obama told Ghanaians they should use their “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels energy, instead of fossil fuels that “threaten” global warming...

Blaming carbon dioxide emissions and rising seas is always easier than manning up and shouldering the blame for Bloombergsian failures. Citing IPCC computer forecasts of nastier storms and flooded coastlines likewise gives insurers a convenient excuse for hiking insurance rates.

When the conversation next turns to climate change, discussing the real climate crisis – and the true meaning of environmental justice – could open a few eyes.

State Dept to spend $500,000,000 on climate change

 

 

Read Last Week's Green Corruption Chronicles...

John Kerry Comes Out Swinging On Climate Change

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (39)

Great article John, in all my life when there was large, easily exploitable pools of money lying around...

You would always find unscrupulous "business" men, and government.
Mar 5, 2013 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Thanks Gomp, much more to come.

I saw this on Reuters yesterday and remembered something about KKR during the Enron fiasco:

This is todays reuters story:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/04/us-gardnerdenver-kkr-idUSBRE92316F20130304

-----------

KKR renewables (italian connection)

http://www.lpacn.com/news/details.aspx?id=201169174804

[snip]

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Italian energy company Sorgenia have agreed to form a joint venture to operate wind energy projects in France, marking KKR’s first investment in European renewable energy.

The deal has an enterprise value of €236 million, according to a statement. The partnership gives KKR access to wind parks with operational capacity of 153 megawatts as well as 95 megawatts of additional capacity that will be built in the next 18 months, according to Jesús Olmos, European head of infrastructure at KKR.

Olmos said that KKR will also consider future investments in Sorgenia projects.

Olmos said that Sorgenia and KKR would be equal equity partners in the venture. He said KKR’s equity commitment would come from the firm’s Global Infrastructure Investors fund as well as from co-investors. Swiss fund manager Partners Group is expected to be one of the co-investors, Olmos said.


Other renewable ventures:

http://kkr.client.shareholder.com/common/mobile/iphone/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=740771&CompanyID=KKR&mobileid=

There is a lot more but that will be it for now.
Mar 5, 2013 at 5:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
The Washington Mafia has been in the Scam since the beginning. The Demorepublicans set the stage for the fascist's to reap the rewards and they took what was given to them. See "Windfall' a documentary on Netflix regarding the scam. The Green assholes are the reason the taxpayers have been ripoff. Stop the scam and get rid the worst or one of the worst agencies invented the Energy Department a friend of the Crony Capitalists. Now and forever amen.

Thank you Peanut Farmer "Carter."
Mar 5, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Derka
Billy,

You can't blame Jimmy Carter for this one. You will see what I mean in the next several articles. Just for for the hell of it, at the end of this article is a link to previous stories I do which appear here weekly, just look for this:

Read Last Week's Green Corruption Chronicles...

(this appears at the end of each article I have done so you can go back to everything I have written)


Check them out and stay tuned for one hell of a ride.

john
Mar 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I have this update from one of the earliest articles done here at The Daily Bail regarding MEOR.

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-deep-carbon-quest-underway-quantity.html
Mar 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Insight: Power rustlers turn the screw in Bulgaria, EU's poorest country

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-bulgaria-government-idUSBRE92508J20130306

[snip]

In a rundown area on the edge of Bulgaria's capital, where violent protests over power prices brought down the government last month, some residents are risking their lives and their neighbors' wrath to steal electricity.

Struggling to make ends meet in the European Union's poorest country, thieves bypass the meter or piggyback on someone else's supply.

"They do tricky stuff - putting toothpicks in the light switches, so that the electricity in the entrance can go on and they can hook up to it," said Lora Todorova, administrator of a communist-era apartment block in Modern Suburb, a district that belies its name.

No one seems to be doing anything about it, she says, not the police, nor the power companies, but then few things run as well as they ought.

Six years after joining the EU, governance in Bulgaria remains deeply dysfunctional and graft ridden, despite efforts in Brussels to force Sofia to clean up its act. It is the bloc's second most corrupt member, says Transparency International.

------------------------------------

Related:


Bulgaria cuts preferential prices for renewable energy

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/29/bulgaria-renewables-cuts-idUSL6E8HP05S20120629

[snip]

* Wind subsidies cut by 20 pct, solar by 50 percent

* Cuts aim to address fears of soaring electricity prices

* Investors say government "killing" the sector

* Chinese Ming Yang Wind Power Group may sue government

* Power transmission fees increased by 50 percent

By Tsvetelia Tsolova

SOFIA, June 25 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's energy regulator drastically cut guaranteed rates for electricity generated by wind and solar power parks on Friday on fears of soaring electricity prices, further unsettling renewable-energy developers in the Balkan country.

The regulator cut by more than 50 percent the preferential feed-in tariff for the obligatory purchase of solar energy and by 22 percent the energy produced by wind power. The new tariffs come into effect from July 1 for solar and wind parks that will be connected until July 2013.

Dozens of Austrian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Southern Korean and American companies rushed to take advantage of the sun and wind potential of the small country southeast European country, which also offered lucrative incentives for green energy.
Mar 6, 2013 at 6:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
It's not always great news for wind power

http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_DG_Renewables/It-s-not-always-great-news-for-wind-power-5572.html/#.UTfJSaWfYQI

[snip]

But to turn a tired expression around, every silver lining has a cloud.

Do we really have all that capacity?
Harvard applied physics professor David Keith, who has a very long list of credentials, brings one of those clouds to the discussion. While he does not say current estimates of wind capacity at large-scale installations are definitely wrong, he suggests it, as a Phys.Org article put it. It's a pretty strong suggestion.


From our reports store: "Smart Grid Business 2011 to 2016," published by Memoori, analyzes the smart grid market's size, technologies, finance and needed investments, demand forecasts and more.


The problem, according to research by Keith and co-author Amanda Adams, previously a postdoctoral fellow with Keith, is that wind turbines leave a "wind shadow" behind them – it slows down the air because of the drag created by the turbine's rotating blades. The best solution is to find the right balance between filling the farm with as many turbines as possible and installing them far enough apart that the wind shadow effect is less. But as wind farm size increases, they begin to interact and wind patterns in the area become more important.

The research says capacity of mega-scale wind farms (upwards of 100 square km) may top out at 0.5 to 1 watt per square meter. Earlier estimates of 2 to 7 watts ignored the wind shadow effect.

=========================

Note: I have personally done wind resource assessments and the wind shadow effect stated (0.5- 1 watt/ per square meter) is spot on in many cases. Wind shadow means that the wind becomes much more turbulent after it strikes the tower and rotors of the first turbine, the turbulence reduces energy (stated as turbulence intensity) SIGNIFICANTLY in the wake of the first turbines.


Here is the PHYS.ORG article..

http://phys.org/news/2013-02-real-world-capacity-farms-large-scales.html
Mar 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Here is a nice visualization of turbulence. For a wind turbine you need clean (laminar) air flow, with a TI (turbulence Intensity) of < 20%, but, due to wave action, thermal activity (rising air) and terrain features including obstructions upwind like hills; mountains; trees or more importantly, lots of turbines. The TI rises and energy losses are huge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JYi3xsCq14

The reduction in output can drop to nearly nothing. The blades (rotors) might still turn but there is no energy left to generate any appreciable power.
Mar 6, 2013 at 7:12 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Mar 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Quebec corruption inquiry could expose links between Mafia, politics and construction


http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/21/quebec-corruption-inquiry-could-expose-links-between-mafia-politics-and-construction/

[snip]

The long-awaited inquiry threatens to implicate dozens of businesses, local and provincial governments, political parties, and even explore links to organized crime.

Given the size of the companies at the heart of the inquiry, its findings could also reach well beyond Quebec’s borders.

One of the central figures in the controversies that have beset the province in recent years is Tony Accurso, whose network of construction companies have dominated the public-contract market in and around Montreal.

Accurso was arrested last month on fraud and conspiracy charges relating to an alleged kickback scheme in a Montreal suburb.

His business empire has a heavy presence in Ontario and Alberta. Louisbourg Pipelines, a division of Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc., was responsible for building a section of TransCanada’s North Central Corridor pipeline in 2008.

Related
Some federal stimulus funding ended up in hands of Quebec developers now facing collusion charges
Quebec court to RCMP: You must co-operate with corruption commission
Quebec town becomes the shamed face of corruption scandal after Mayor targeted for arrest
Construction liens taken out in Ontario indicate that another Accurso affiliate, Banister Pipeline, laid down hundreds of natural gas pipeline for Union Gas Limited in municipalities across the province.

Accurso’s companies have also been involved in a number of federal projects. A Canadian Press report revealed that they received millions from Ottawa’s economic stimulus program for water infrastructure work in Quebec.

The inquiry’s specific mandate is to examine the awarding of public contracts to the construction industry over the past 15 years.

But taken together with the media reports and criminal cases that have surfaced recently, the inquiry could paint an expansive picture of corruption.

-----------------

Italian prosecutors say Canada too lax on Mafia

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/10/03/canada-mafia-ndragheta-italy.html
Mar 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Czech Media: CEZ Bulgaria Linked to Powerful Crime Group

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=148481

[snip]


A significant stake of the Bulgarian subsidiary of the Czech-owned power distributor CEZ is owned by a company belonging to a local notorious and murky business empire known as TIM, according to Czech media.

The site E15 informs Bulgarian investigative journalists are insisting TIM is the most powerful organized crime group in the country.

The article notes that TIM controls 25% in CEZ Electro and 5% in CEZ Distribution, which is evident from the financial account of CEZ Bulgaria for the last quarter of 2012.

Last fall TIM purchased through its company Himimport and through other businesses CEZ shares on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange from the Bulgarian State. Before that the State had 33% stakes at both CEZ Electro and CEZ Distribution.

E15 cites Atanas Tchobanov, editor of the site for investigative journalism Bivol.bg, explaining TIM has been founded in the early 90s of the 20th century as a security and debt collection company by three former elite navy seals – Tihomir Mitev, Ivo Kamenov, and Marin Mitev. The name of the group is believed to have been formed by the first letters of their first names.

As early as 2005, in a secret cable leaked through Bivol and WikiLeaks, TIM was called by former US Ambassador in Sofia, James Pardew "the new leader in Bulgarian organized crime," dealing with money laundering, illegal drugs trafficking and prostitution.

"They changed in an attempt to clean their image and turned to white-collar crime," Tchobanov says, noting Bivol has obtained documents revealing TIM are using money from their retirement fund for other investments, which is illegal.
Mar 7, 2013 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I have a great deal of respect for this Lady and assure everyone here that she is the real deal. Her remarkable whistleblower story should be heeded. Gomp, back in 01-02 I served in a certain capacity and can elaborate more on her story. That is all I want to say for now.

Connecting the Dots: Afghan Heroin, NATO, Azerbaijan Hub & Cargo Business

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2013/03/07/connecting-the-dots-afghan-heroin-nato-azerbaijan-hub-cargo-business/
Mar 8, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=147930#.UT8LuPS9LTo. Windmills kill bald eagles, but fuckem, get the numbers down to an acceptable number, just don't you kill them or else go to jail.
Mar 12, 2013 at 7:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Mar 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
John

Is your next story ready. I haven't looked in days I've been so busy. If it is ready, just bring it to the top of the home page and I will do edits, etc. Thx.
Mar 13, 2013 at 7:11 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
It isn't ready yet. Have a lot of work to do on it with new developing stories.
Mar 13, 2013 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Mar 14, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Having seen China play a sudden and prominent role in the energy sector here in the US, I saw this article by Reggie Middleton which raises quite a few interesting questions.

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-03-19/what-value-gas-assets-cyprus-pledged-its-bank-depositors
Mar 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Park Ave. Ponzi pay

http://mafiatoday.com/ponzi-schemes/park-ave-ponzi-pay/

[snip]

The US Marshals Service said yesterday that its $17.75 million sale of fraudster Hassan Nemazee’s plush Park Avenue penthouse marked the biggest real-estate deal in the agency’s 224-year history.
The 14-room duplex was forfeited by the former Democratic campaign bundler as part of his guilty plea for running a $292 million Ponzi scheme on Bank of America, Citibank and HSBC.
May 10, 2013 at 6:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Mafia laundering via wind on rise

http://renews.biz/45548/mafia-laundering-via-wind-on-rise/

The mafia and other organised crime groups are increasingly targeting clean energy schemes such as wind farms as a way of laundering their dirty cash, according to a Europol report.

The EU law enforcement agency’s Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime study says the proceeds of criminal activity are increasingly being run through the legal business structures that renewables projects provide.

It also stresses that green schemes “offer attractive opportunities to benefit from generous EU grant and tax subsidies”, meaning the criminals are “effectively exploiting eco-friendly incentives for their financial gain”.

Italian police seized assets worth €1.3bn from a Sicilian renewable energy developer in April this year, in what was reported as the largest ever seizure of assets linked to organised crime.

The Europol document is available here.

Image: wind schemes offer attractive incentives as well as legal business structures (sxc.hu)
Jul 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
From this morning...


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23209170

Colombian police say they have caught the alleged boss of Italy's Calabrian mafia, who they described as Europe's most wanted drugs trafficker.

Roberto Pannunzi was detained in a shopping centre in the capital, Bogota, authorities said.

He had been on the run since 2010, when he fled from a clinic in Rome, where he was receiving treatment as a prisoner.

Italian prosecutors accuse Pannunzi of establishing the transatlantic cocaine trade between Italy and Colombia.

As alleged head of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, he is suspected of helping to import up to two tonnes of cocaine into Europe per month.

The Italian was detained on Friday with the help of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Colombian defence ministry said in a statement.

"Pannunzi, known as the Pablo Escobar of Italy, was the most wanted man in the country," the defence ministry said in a twitter post.

"When he was captured, Pannunzi identified himself with a fake Venezuelan identification card bearing the name Silvano Martino," the ministry said.

Roberto Pannunzi was first detained in Colombia in 1994 and extradited to Italy but was released when his detention order expired.

He was re-arrested in 2004 and later convicted. But he staged an dramatic escape from a private hospital in Rome in 2010, where he was being treated for heart disease.

Italian authorities have described the 'Ndrangheta as the country's most dangerous and wealthiest crime syndicate, overtaking the Sicilian Mafia and becoming one of the world's biggest criminal organisations.
Jul 6, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Bulgaria's Financial Intelligence: Mafia Funds Laundered through Renewable Energy Companies

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=151841

Renewable energy companies are a front for money laundering, according to a report of the Financial Intelligence Directorate of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security (DANS) for 2012.

The report, as cited by Sega daily, draws attention to the return of pyramid/Ponzischemes, adding that they have become more complicated and refined compared to the fraud schemes to which many Bulgarians fell victim in the 90s.

According to DANS, renewable energy plants are used in money launderingschemes for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the diversification of energy sources is a main priority in Bulgaria and the EU, which presupposes the creation of companies operating in the sphere.

The energy produced by these plants is purchased at preferential prices under preliminary contracts and this type of investment is incentivized, which paves the way for attempts to use the activity of these companies for money laundering, DANSnotes.

Secondly, the construction of hi-tech renewable energy parks involves investing large amounts of money and high cash turnovers, thereby offering an easy option for investing large sums of money of unclear origin or for attempts to commit tax crimes.

DANS informs that it has encountered cases in which the photovoltaic plants were built using loans from offshore companies, adding that this obstructs the detection of the source of the funding.

No criminal case has yet been opened in the sphere of renewable energy, according to the report.

The conclusion comes a few weeks after court authorities in Italy seized mafia-linked assets worth EUR 1.67 B in the renewable energy sector.

The main money laundering schemes uncovered in Bulgaria in 2012 are also related to offshore companies.
Aug 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Wind Energy: The Greenfella's Connection

http://www.energytribune.com/78768/wind-energy-the-greenfellas-connection#sthash.Pw59NEgG.MUGYnUkT.dpbs

[snip]

Several branches of the Mafia are believed to be heavily involved in wind and renewable projects in Europe with holdings in Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. An earlier report in 2009 connected Nicastri, Oresto Vigorito, the alleged boss of the Cosa Nostra, and the state-forfeited Italian Vento Power Corporation with two wind energy companies based in Boston in the United States.

Spelling out a key strategy for the modern Mafia, one Italian law lecturer told Al Jazeera, “It invests anywhere there is a reasonable opportunity and likelihood of fat returns.” Canadian anti-money laundering specialist Christine Duhaime points out that the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has allocated a massive €295 billion in grants for renewable energy. But she also found that while the EU requires each member state to have an audit authority to perform a regulatory function for legality and payments, in practice in most states it is paid lip-service, being “left by the wayside”. According to Duhaime’s investigations, “An estimated 50 percent of the subsidies paid by the ERDF for wind energy related infrastructure projects involved fraud and other irregularities.” Wind energy projects, in particular, she considers a “high risk” especially when it comes using renewable energy front companies to launder ill-gotten gains.
Sep 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
G20 agree to curb international corporate tax avoidance, measures to eliminate opacity of commodities derivates trading and money laundering by corrupt immigrants and support climate finance

http://www.duhaimelaw.com/2013/09/05/g20-agree-on-plan-for-international-agreement-on-curbing-international-tax-avoidance-by-companies/
Sep 10, 2013 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
3.5 mn euros seized from Mafialinked 'wingfarm king'

http://www.lagazzettadelmezzogiorno.it/english/3-5-mn-euros-seized-from-mafia-linked-wing-farm-king-no654573/

(ANSA) - Palermo, September 20 - Italian police on Friday seized 3.5 million euros in assets including bank accounts in Sicily and Lombardy belonging to a Sicilian wind-farm mogul linked to the fugitive head of Cosa Nostra. Police said the money had been laundered.
The operation followed up the biggest-ever assets seizure in the history of Italy in April, when over 1.3 billion euros belonging to wind-farm and solar-power magnate Vito Nicastri was taken. The National Anti-Mafia Directorate (DIA) has said Nicastri is directly linked to Cosa Nostra's head, Matteo Messina Denaro, who the DIA said earlier this week was the "indisputable leader" of the Sicilian Mafia. That operation involved 43 companies or stakes in companies, 98 properties, seven vehicles and 66 financial assets, including bank accounts, credit cards and life-insurance policies, belonging to Nicastri, a leading player in the clean-energy sector. "We have hit the heart of the grey area of Cosa Nostra," investigators said at the time. As well as Sicily, assets were seized in Lombardy, Lazio and Calabria. Investigators said the 57-year-old businessman from Alcamo, in western Sicily, "maintained constant relations with members of Cosa Nostra" in the provinces of Catania, Messina and Palermo, as well as having contacts with Calabrian crime syndicate 'Ndrangheta. This relationship allegedly "facilitated his transformation from an electrician into a businessman specialising in the production of electricity from renewable sources, giving him a prominent position in the south (of Italy)". In a "tumultuous business dynamic," they added, Nicastri had "relations" with companies in Luxembourg, Denmark and Spain. The businessman, who was put under "special supervision" in which he will have to regularly sign in at police stations, has been involved in previous probes which revealed Cosa Nostra's "huge" involvement in wind farms near Trapani, Messina Denaro's home turf, investigators said. The record assets seizure was the latest in the anti-Mafia prosecutors' 'scorched earth' policy aimed at draining Messina Denaro's resources and exposing him, police said. Despite his life as a fugitive, Messina Denaro is still reportedly active as Mafia chief, having taken over from boss of bosses Bernardo Provenzano, arrested in 2006 after 43 years on the run.
Sep 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Wind energy farms raided in Germany targeting illicit funds

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/world/story/german-raids-target-money-laundering-italian-mafia-20131119

[snip]

German police on Tuesday raided 20 sites nationwide in a crackdown on suspected money laundering for the Italian Ndrangheta mafia syndicate involving a major wind energy project, prosecutors said.

A northern German regional bank and a wind energy company were among the locations searched to gather evidence in the operation, which involved about 200 officers in six states, they said.

The investigation focused on suspicions of money laundering and support of a foreign criminal organisation, said prosecutors in the western city of Osnabrueck, who said searches also took place in neighbouring Austria.

"The accused are suspected of having laundered funds, through their companies in Germany, Italy, San Marino and Switzerland, of a Ndrangheta group," prosecutors said in a statement.
Nov 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Nov 20, 2013 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Shot his car with a bazooka. That's making a statement.
Nov 21, 2013 at 7:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Australia sets up specialized anti-money laundering police squad to deal with growing sophistication of gangs

http://www.antimoneylaunderinglaw.com/2013/12/australia-sets-up-specialized-anti-money-laundering-police-squad-to-deal-with-growing-sophistication-of-gangs.html




The rationale for the new squad is also in response to the closer cooperation of organized criminal gangs who are forming gang partnerships to commit larger, more lucrative and more sophisticated financial crimes. In Australia, Asian gangs have formed partnerships with Russian, Balkan and Middle East gangs.

Law enforcement organizations worldwide are responding to the realization that gangs are now operating in a more businesslike manner, taking less risks and moving into more legitimate businesses that make it more difficult to investigate and trace flows of money. The latest trend, at least in Europe, is that organized crime is infiltrating, in some cases, controlling, renewable energy infrastructure projects where huge subsidies and lack of government oversight (including vetting of investors and financiers) make it an extremely attractive investment vehicle (see here). The same is true in respect of the carbon offset markets in the EU that have been plagued with endless financial crimes.

Organized crime bosses are, unfortunately, usually clever and well-financed. As they expand their franchises globally and operate more in alignment with corporations, they are increasingly using unwitting corporate lawyers to set up complex corporate structures in jurisdictions where beneficial ownership is protected.

Australia and in Canada, British Columbia, are two jurisdictions where the combination of secret beneficial ownership of private companies, professional secrecy (also called professional privilege) rules and the exemption of lawyers from money laundering reporting requirements, make it particularly attractive for organized crime to set up companies and bank accounts to run operations and funnel dirty money. Often the heads of the organized crime business never set foot in a country of operation like Australia – instead they set up lieutenants and run the business in each country like a franchise.
Dec 2, 2013 at 5:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
UPDATE:

Cassidy hires DOD clean energy expert

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/personnel-notes/197754-cassidy-hires-dod-clean-energy-expert

Cassidy & Associates makes its first hire after its major restructuring at the beginning of the year, bringing on retired Air Force Col. Dave Belote as senior vice president.

He most recently served as the vice president for federal business at Apex Clean Energy, which contracts with the federal government to provide renewable energy services to military bases and public lands.

The Obama Administration commended Belote in November, naming him one of 12 White House Champions of Change for his work advancing “clean energy and climate security.”

“This is an exciting time to be a part of the exceptional team at Cassidy as the firm stakes out its future and recognizes this nexus of energy and national security as an area demanding Washington and Wall Street’s attention,” Belote said in a statement.

Last year, firm founder and K Street icon Gerry Cassidy announced he would step down as the chairman at the end of the year, handing the reins to Kai Anderson, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and retired Lt. Col. Barry Rhoads. Cassidy still serves as chairman emeritus of the firm.


------------------------


Here is one of the stories from above regarding this update. (For more information, please go to the following story above in the main article, there are clickable links at the end for more details).

Apex buys rights to wind farm project

Property intended for a wind farm south of the Hoopeston area has again changed hands.Development of the Hoopeston Wind farm has been ongoing since 2008. The most recent coordinator, GDF SUEZ Energy North America Inc in Houston, Texas, took over in 2011 when it purchased the previous wind farm developer, International Power.

Now, a representative of Apex Wind Energy Inc. confirmed Friday afternoon that the company has taken over the project. Company Communications Manage Dahvi Wilson indicated in an e-mail that Apex acquired the Hoopeston Wind farm from GDF SUEZ in February.

Apex Wind Energy, Inc. is an independent renewable energy company based in Charlottesville, Va. Since its founding in 2009, Apex has completed 10 acquisitions and has project sites in 20 states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.




BP owns Greenlight and Apex

Maersk Line and Apex partnership

Apex Nevada

Jim Trousdale relationship map

Feb 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
MUST READ

Syria’s Chemical Weapons Stockpiles to be Transferred to the Italian Mafia?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syrias-chemical-weapons-stockpiles-to-be-transferred-to-the-italian-mafia/5369399

Does the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons by the two selected waste disposal companies, namely Finland’s Ekokem and France’s Veolia require a contractual arrangement (or “agreement”) with Italy’s most powerful criminal syndicate on behalf of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)?

Read down. Its a long saga…

On September 12, last year, Syria’s President al-Assad committed to surrender Syria’s chemical weapons, with the caveats that the United States must stop threatening his country and supplying weapons to the terrorists. He has been as good as his word. The same cannot be said for the US and its boot licking allies.

Three days earlier US Secretary of State John Kerry – who had been killing Vietnamese in the US onslaught on Vietnam as American ‘planes rained down 388,000 tons of chemical weapons on the Vietnamese people (i) – had threatened Syria with a military strike if the weapons stocks were not surrendered within a week, stating that President Assad: “isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done.”…

All in all, why was Albania considered?

It is surely coincidence that on 3rd October last year, Tony “dodgy Iraq dossier” Blair, also an enthusiastic backer of Washington and NATO in their Balkans blitz, was appointed as advisor to the Albanian government to advise the impoverished country how to get in to the EU. Heaven forbid he might have advised that taking on lethal weapons no one else was prepared to touch, might tick quite a big approval box and made a call to someone somewhere in Washington. This is of course, entirely speculation.

However, as Pravda TV opined at the time, apart from the sorely needed financial boost: “It will increase the status and prestige of a poor country in Europe, Albania is in Europe’s backyard, in this case it will be going foreground.”(iv)

Belgium and France also Decline: “There Remain very few Candidates” for the Task; “the Hunt Continues”

Belgium and France also declined an invitation to dispose of Syria’s weapons, with Ralph Trapp, a consultant in disarming chemical weapons quoted as saying that “there remain very few candidates” for the task; “the hunt continues” commented The Telegraph (18th November 2013.)

The trail goes cold as to how many other governments may have been frantically begged to accept cargo loads of poisoned chalices as the US imposed clock ticked, but Italy caved in allowing around sixty containers to be transferred from a Danish cargo ship to a US ship in the Italian port of Giola Tauro, in Calabria, with further consignments also expected to arrive.

The permission caused widespread demonstrations in Southern Italy, the government accused of secrecy and one demonstrator summing up the prevailing mood:

“They are telling us that the material carried is not dangerous, but in fact nobody knows what is inside those containers.”

Not dangerous eh? Does any government, anywhere ever tell the truth?

Italy Says Yes. Not Dangerous. Send the WMD to Calabria. It will Help the Local Economy, But Watch Out for the Calabrese Mafia

The Giola Tauro port (right), which accounts for half the Calabria region’s economy “has been in crisis since 2011”, with four hundred workers on temporary redundancies- out of a total workforce of thirteen hundred. Not too hard to arm twist, the cynic might think.

The port also suffers from allegations of being a:

“ major hub for cocaine shipments to Europe by the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia.” However, Domenico Bagala, head of the Medcenter/Contship terminal where the operation is planned countered with: “Since Gioia Tauro handles around a third of the containers arriving in Italy, it is normal that it has more containers that are seized”, adding: “We operate in a difficult territory but we have hi-tech security measures in place.”

Calabria is, in fact, plagued by corruption and organized crime. A classified cable from J. Patrick Truhn, US Consul General in Naples (2nd February 2008) obtained by Wikileaks stated:

“If it were not part of Italy, Calabria would be a failed state. The ‘Ndrangheta organized crime syndicate controls vast portions of its territory and economy, and accounts for at least three percent of Italy’s GDP (probably much more) through drug trafficking, extortion and usury.” Further: “During a November 17-20 visit to all five provinces, virtually every interlocutor painted a picture of a region …throttled by the iron grip of Western Europe’s largest and most powerful organized crime syndicate, the ‘Ndrangheta.”(v)

Moreover:“The ‘Ndrangheta is the most powerful criminal organization in the world with a revenue that stands at around fifty three billion Euros (seventy two billion U.S. dollars – forty four billion British pounds)” records Wikipedia, noting operations in nine countries, on four continents. Arguably, a less ideal transit point than Calabria for a stockpile of chemical weapons would be hard to find.

Of special concern to Carmelo Cozza of the SUL trade union is the port’s neighbouring village of San Ferdinando which has protested the operation: “The schools are right next door!”(vi)

However, when it comes to dodgy dealings, organized crime could seemingly learn a thing or two from the EU. Large amounts of Syria’s financial assets, frozen by the European Union, have simply been spirited from accounts, in what the Syrian Foreign Ministry slams as: “a flagrant violation of law.”

Last week the EU endorsed the raiding of Syria’s financial assets frozen across Europe and the the transfer of funds to

“ … the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) … a flagrant violation of the international law and the UN Charter and understandings reached by the executive board of the OPCW”, commented a Foreign Ministry source, adding: “the European step violates the resolution of the OPCW executive board adopted on 15thNovember 2013 which acknowledged Syria’s stance which was conveyed to the Organization, officially stating the inability to shoulder the financial costs of destroying the chemical weapons.”

The theft of Syria’s moneys was condemned as a: “swindle policy practiced by some influential countries inside the EU at a time when they reject to release frozen assets to fund purchase of food and medicine which is considered the priority of the Syrian state … (meanwhile) the EU allowed its members to arm the terrorist groups which are responsible for bloodshed in Syria … ” the source added.”(vi) It is hard to disagree.

The EU/UN/OPCW has apparently learned well from the UN weapons inspectors and other UN benefits from the Iraq embargo, which bled the country dry from “frozen” assets, to which they helped themselves, as the children died at an average of six thousand a month year after year, from “embargo related causes.” As the UN spent Iraq’s moneys, Iraq’s water became a biological weapon, the lights went off and medical and educational facilities largely collapsed. Are UN embargoes the UN’s shameful new money spinner?

So, can things get worse in the black farce which is the chaotic, dangerous, disorganised disposal attempts of Syria’s chemical materials? You bet they can.

The companies selected to destroy the chemicals are Finland’s Ekokem and the US subsidiary of the French giant Veolia.
Mar 1, 2014 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Pope tells Mafia to stop evil or prepare for hell

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/pope-mafia-idINDEEA2K0FS20140321

------------

Note to Big Daddy: Barb and I have your back on this one too ;)
Mar 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I dunno John. Pretty tall order since the church has, in the past, accepted a bunch of money from these guys.
Mar 23, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterskinflint

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