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February 26, 2006

Dubya's Sales Pitch Politics

Why is Dubya suddenly banging the drum for alternative energy? Here's a clue. Reuters (via sustainablog):

The Carlyle Group is set to boost its investment in the renewable energy sector as demand from U.S. state entities is rising, the firm's founder and managing director, David Rubenstein, said on Wednesday.

"We intend to be much more active in the wind, power, solar energy, biomass and geothermal areas," Rubenstein said.

"We think it's an extremely attractive area in which to invest, particularly because many states in the U.S. now require that utilities buy a certain percentage of their energy from solar, biomass, geothermal or wind power sources," he told Reuters at a private equity conference in Frankfurt where he also predicted that some buyout firms would go public within the next several years.

To meet the energy demand, Carlyle, one of the world's largest private equity firms, is raising a fund that will invest in renewable energy infrastructure, sources familiar with the matter said.

Carlyle declined to comment on the fund. Rubenstein did, however, say the firm was set to launch a hedge fund within the next several weeks after announcing the move last year. [...]

U.S. President George Bush in his State of the Union address outlined details of a federal initiative to provide a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research.

Viewers of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and readers of Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud will recognize the Carlyle Group as the private equity fund that has lined the pockets of the Bush family, among others. According to Wikipedia:

George W. Bush was appointed in 1990 to the Board of Directors of one of Carlyle's first acquisitions, an airline food business called Caterair, which Carlyle eventually sold at a loss. Bush left the board in 1992 to later become Governor of Texas, where he was responsible for appointing several members of the board which controlled the investment of Texas teachers' pension funds. A few years later, the board decided to invest $100m of public money in the Carlyle Group.

Must to be nice to have the President of the United States pumping your investments.

Posted by Jonathan at February 26, 2006 02:21 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


Bush Sr. and the bin Laden family were founding investors of Carlyle, which now features many former Reagan, Bush and Clinton officials--James Baker, Frank Carlucci, Arthur Levitt, as well as cronies from around the world, including former British PM John Major and numerous Saudis, Koreans and others. Carlyle is also linked to the ports deal (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/23/14935/2494).

Posted by: Bob at February 26, 2006 04:45 PM