Monday, August 24, 2009

Boston Power Article in Boston Globe: No DOE Funds

Erin Ailworth has written a noteworthy article tracking how Boston Power was unable to obtain their sought after $100Mil in DOE stimulus funds. It's a great piece of journalism, allowing us to peer into this unprecedented release of USA public funds...a process we are learning isn't so transparent.

However, the article could have been a blockbuster if Ailworth had followed through on a couple things. First, she should have utilized http://OpenSecrets.org to provide a comparison of lobbying/campaign donations among applications for the DOE battery funds. If she had done that for Boston Power, she would have noted how PAULTRY a sum they invested ($50K) compared to the grand winners A123 Systems (close to $1Mil. )

Secondly, I think it is remarkable that US Rep James McGovern said there was a "buzz that the [Boston Power] application was very, very strong. People within the industry and at the DOE intimated that this was a really good company with good technology." What amazes me is that anyone at DOE would speak to McGovern after the applications were submitted because I knew of several attempts by others to simply learn WHO THE APPLICANTS WERE...a request that was denied by DOE. So, if Ailworth had stirred the pot a little on the selection process, the story may have been even more interesting.

My working theory is one I don't enjoy holding and I really hope that I am wrong. The theory is that if you didn't rack up enough points (lobbying/campaign donations), you didn't get any DOE funds. So there you go, Erin, you're next article idea. Happy hunting!




1 comment:

Philippe said...

The game is rigged. That's why we SHOULD ALL become libertarians and get the size of the gvt as tiny as possible. (I was a democrat before and now a libertarian)