A Sept. 30 Newsmax article by Martin Gould states:
GOP claims that the Obama administration’s green energy loan guarantee program is mired in cronyism grew on Friday after a company tied to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law got the lion’s share of the final government hand-outs made before Friday’s end of the fiscal year.
The decision to guarantee $737 million comes hard on the heels of the loss of more than $500 million of government money due to the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra.
The new grant went to Tonopah Solar Energy, a subsidiary of SolarReserve, which started building Crescent Dunes, a massive solar-thermal plant in the Nevada desert in early September.
One of SolarReserve’s major financial backers is the PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East), whose second-in-command is Ronald Pelosi, the brother of the House Minority leader’s husband, Paul. Another investor is Argonaut Private Equity, a company that lost heavily in the Solyndra debacle.
In fact, Ronald Pelosi has no financial connection with the solar company. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Ronald Pelosi joined Pacific Corporate Group in April, roughly three years after it had invested in SolarReserve, a company official confirmed Thursday. The official said Ronald Pelosi doesn't stand to profit or lose from the firm's stake in SolarReserve because he doesn't have an interest in the fund that made that investment.
The Pacific Corporate Group official said Thursday that no one from the firm had contacted the White House in connection with the application.
"This is an absurd suggestion," Department of Energy press secretary Damien LaVera said of any connection between Ronald Pelosi and the loan guarantee announcement. "Many months of rigorous technical, financial and legal due diligence was done by nonpolitical career employees to scrutinize every aspect of this transaction - over a period of years.
"It was approved because it meets all the requirements of the program - helping America win the clean energy race and create entire new industries for American workers."
Fortune magazine similarly reports:
Obama critics think they've found another solar scandal. They're wrong.
It is true that Ronald Pelosi is an executive at Pacific Corporate Group, one of the private equity firms that has plugged more than $100 million into SolarReserve. But it is patently false that he will benefit from the loan (as Drudge asserts, although Weekly Standard only implies).
Ronald Pelosi joined PCG this past spring, whereas the firm first invested in SolarReserve three years ago. More importantly, Ronald Pelosi does not have a financial interest in the fund that houses SolarReserve. If the fund generates big profits on its investment, Pelosi gets nothing. If the fund's investment gets wiped out, Pelosi's bank account won't take a hit.
Moreover, a PCG spokesman insists that no member of the firm had any contact with the White House about the SolarReserve loan.
Gould curiously failed to mention either the Chronicle or Fortune reports, even though both were published well before his own article was.
The next day, Gould published a follow-up article claiming that "The Obama administration is furiously trying to play down links between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a giant new $737 million loan guarantee for a green energy project in Nevada." Gould linked to the Chronicle article, but did not mention the article's explanation of why Ronald Pelosi has no financial link to the project.