All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bucyrus Deal: Obama taketh away so Barrett, Feingold can give? UPDATE

UPDATE: Act 1 of the Opera? "U.S Ex-Im Bank Reconsiders India Coal Project." See below for details.

If you haven't yet heard, Milwaukee based Bucyrus Internationl Inc., who makes mining equipment, had a $600 million dollar deal in the works with the country of India. Great!

Unfortunately, the financing through the Federally funded Export-Import Bank fell through because of Global Warming. Yes. The deal was squelched because it was deemed the carbon footprint would be too large, since the mining equipment was ordered for India to mine coal for their new coal fired electric power plants. (Isn't a Green Economy wonderful?)

From JSOnline: (My emphasis) "The fossil fuel project was the first to come before the government-run bank since it adopted a climate-change policy to settle a lawsuit and to meet Obama administration directives."

"'President Obama has made clear his administration's commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future,' Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said in a statement. 'After careful deliberation, the Export-Import Bank board voted not to proceed with this project because of the projected adverse environmental impact.'

Bucyrus is facing a 1,000 job loss in the U.S. with 300 of them vanishing from South Milwaukee. This is just awful for Milwaukee and our country and doesn't bode well for future mining equipment and power plant deals for Bucyrus and Joy Global, also in Milwaukee. At a time when good paying jobs are rare as hens-teeth, some global warming mumbo-jumbo ruins the deal?

It is even more curious because Bucyrus' chief exec. Tim Sullivan said "the power plant will meet international standards and the bank's environmental criteria".

What can be done to save these jobs? I heard India is already seeking other companies in China and Russia to build the equipment, and "there isn't an appeals process" with the Export-Import Bank.

Enter Mayor and Gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, Senator Russ Feingold, Rep. Paul Ryan, Gov. Doyle, Senator Herb Kohl and other players. With the exception of Ryan, they all seem to be posturing for the cameras positions contrary to their usual going green stance.

Also entering the limelight is President Obama, coming for a Town Hall meeting scheduled for tomorrow with Feingold and Barrett in Racine. Some speculate Obama has orchestrated this whole thing so he can make Barrett and Feingold look good in November. (Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna floated that idea this morning.)

I am not so sure. I think this is just an early glimpse into what Cap & Trade and a Green Economy under the EPA will look like: Government picking and choosing what companies can make and who they can sell to.

It could just be that this new criteria was in place, and the Export-Import Bank decided against this high carbon footprint project because of that new Green policy--without regard to the vulnerable Governor and Senate races in Bucyrus' home state, Wisconsin. They were maybe a little to enthusiastically interpreting the "administration's commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future"? Once the decision was made, Barrett and Feingold squawked and then pleaded with the President to do something?

How to gracefully get out of this? Will Obama say, I was against the coal mining equipment order before I was for it? and save the day as well as Barrett's and Feingold's bacon?

For the sake of the 1,000 jobs and well being of Bucyrus, I hope they can salvage their $600 million dollar deal. Time will tell. So get out your opera glasses and watch the show.

More Reading: JSONLINE: U.S. acency's action may kill Bucyrus deal, cost 1,000 jobs
Hot Air
: Obama's promise to bankrupt coal industry to cost 1,000 jobs in upper Midwest

*UPDATE: Wall Street Journal: U.S. Ex-Im Bank Reconsiders India Coal Project: Good news for Milwaukee and 1,000 workers; Ex-Im's board will reconsider India's Relaiance Power purchase. (My emphasis) "...the bank invited the company to reapply for the guarantees. The bank said it now would take into account Reliance's plans to build two solar-powered electricity plants in India and their potential to offset environmental damage from the coal project."

"The reversal came just in time for a visit by President Barack Obama today to Wisconsin, the home base of Bucyrus International Inc., which hopes to sell the mining equipment to Reliance with the help of loan guarantees. President Obama is due to give a speech on the economy in Racine, Wis., and then take questions from the public."

"Top Democratic politicians in the state had protested loudly to the White House and Congress over the denial of the guarantees. Ex-Im Bank officials then scrambled to find a way to rethink the decision."

*Heard about this on Vicki McKenna today. She also mentioned that she believes the Administration was caught "flat-footed" on this one.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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