Powerspan: Corporate Welfare Queen

Now! Hampshire notes a recent story in my local newspaper, Foster's Daily Democrat. It detailed the reaction of one Frank Alix, an attendee at President Obama's recent "Jobs Summit". Alix was wowed! Among his other fawning quotes:

"We all can be skeptical of government at times ... but I came away quite impressed. There seems to be really strong engagement in areas that will help our country," said Alix.
Now! Hampshire points out that Alix is hardly predisposed to be skeptical of government: he kicked in $1500 to Democrat Jeanne Shaheen's successful bid to replace John E. Sununu in the US Senate. That tidbit didn't appear in the Foster's article.

But Foster's—good for them—did go out of their way to make a related point: Alix's company, Powerspan, makes "carbon capture and sequestration" technology for coal plants. And:

Alix said his own comments during the green jobs session focused on urging support for a comprehensive climate bill.

Its passage could mean the start of more projects by utility companies that will need Powerspan technology installed in coal-fired power plants.

Ah, bingo. Why bother yourself making products that customers might voluntarily want to purchase with their own money? Politicians are cheap to buy, and they are only too happy to return the favor by passing legislation that will compel customers to buy your product.

(Note that this is not a partisan issue: here's a post from a few months back discussing the corporate welfare recently dispensed to a local GOP stalwart.)

Last Modified 2014-12-01 1:53 PM EST

URLs du Jour


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  • At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux has some fun responding to this quote from a New York Times article:
    The low sign-up rate [for 'green energy' programs] raises a question: If large majorities of Americans favor increased government support for clean energy, as polls suggest, why are so many people reluctant to back such programs when it comes to paying extra themselves?
    Here is a list of people who find the answer to that question blindingly obvious:

    1. Don Boudreaux;
    2. Me;
    3. Almost certainly, you.

    But if you're (instead) a New York Times reporter, or someone with comparable economic illiteracy, click on over for the answer.

    (Actually, click on over anyway: Professor Boudreaux is eloquent and always worth reading.)

  • Are you—like me—a Hannaford customer who had their credit card replaced last year because of the security breach on their store systems? Wired has been following the case closely. Their latest article reveals recent news on the prosecution of Albert Gonzalez, one of the principals of the cyberthief ring.

    Hannaford was only one of the businesses affected; all told, about 130 million card accounts were compromised. The article also contains links to Wired's previous articles on the story.

    Ironically, some of the reported details were extracted from a sentencing memo where sensitive information was incompletely redacted. Nothing like using a security breach to report on another security breach.

  • Sales-boosting tip for authors: somehow arrange things so your book is photographed in the background of a tawdry scandal gripping the attention of the world.

  • For Star Wars geeks only: It's a frap!

    (Note: If you say "I don't get it", then you're not a big enough Star Wars geek, which you may view as either good or bad news.)

Last Modified 2012-10-05 8:38 AM EST