You know, skunks get a bad rap! I admit they do get a little funky at times, but mostly when you mess with them or, worse, run over them with your car. But that smell is nothing compared to what’s coming out of the Edison Mission Energy (EME) bankruptcy proceedings.
Seems the US Bankruptcy Court of Chicago saw fit to grant Edison Mission permission to stiff some 300 current and 160 future retirees out of the large sum of money due to them.
According to Industries News Press, Edison Mission originally wanted to cut these folk’s health and retirement benefits more severely, but the impacted employees decided to fight back in an attempt to get the $70,000,000 owed to them.
The Court decided that, instead of paying the full $70 million due, Edison Mission could get away with only paying some $23 million. According to the article, “the settlement says nonunion retirees’ benefits will remain in effect for a short while longer, while union retirees’ benefits will be paid through March 31, 2015.” By my estimate, that’s a $46 million shortfall or, retirees got a third of what was due to them. Keep that number in mind – $46 million.
Maybe, in this time of financial pain, getting a third of what is due to you is considered a victory for the little guy. On the other hand, my cynical nature leads me to suspect the Lawyers representing both sides of the argument are likely pretty happy with their piece of the pie. (And, he says naively … I hope none of the lawyer fees came out of the pensioner’s $23 million.)
You might wonder why I care, since I’m not a past or current employee of Edison Mission. These things happen all the time! Edison Mission is bankrupt so these people are lucky they got anything … stop whining! Besides, the court agrees with the settlement! Time to move on!
Well, here’s what rubs me the wrong way. I live under the Pinnacle wind plant in Keyser, WV. Edison Mission – Pinnacle’s owner of record in August of 2012 received over $44,000,000 (that’s $44 million) from the United States Treasury Taxpayers as a grant simply for building the 23 turbine wind plant on the Allegheny Front.
In December of 2012, just four damned months after receiving the $44 million Taxpayer subsidy for simply building Pinnacle, the company declared themselves bankrupt. Does anyone acutally believe EME and it’s corporate mother Edison International (EI) were not already working on the bankruptcy at the same time they were running to the Bank to cash the $44 million Taxpayer handout! A bankruptcy of this magnitude isn’t decided over lunch, folks.
Want to know what else smells? The US
Treasury Taxpayers handing over $44 million to a for-profit company which, in a mere four months, declares bankruptcy and, now, thanks to a court ruling, the bankrupt company, or one of the other corporate players in this saga, not only gets to keep the $44 million corporate welfare check, the court allows EME to rip off its past and current employees for nearly the same amount – $46 million.
I know nearly every lawyer will claim that it’s apples and oranges and the the Court must rule according to the law and blah and blah and blah – it’s the law, its the law! Well, that might be technically correct … but it’s just not right! The US Bankruptcy Court should be savvy enough to smoke this little cash deal out, and, if current law doesn’t protect employees from this financial slight of hand, the Court should demand Congress give them the tools to act fairly.
Adding salt to the Taxpayer and retirees wounds … EME accused it’s corporate mother, EI, of “plundering Edison Mission of hundreds of millions of dollars before the bankruptcy filing.” I can only assume the $44 million and the $46 million were part of the alleged pirate raid.
But, not to worry, these bickering corporations had a “Kumbayah” moment and “reached a settlement that dropped the threat of litigation and set out a plan to share more than a $1 billion in tax benefits.”
And what of the remaining players – Edison International and NRG Energy?
Edison International Stock was selling for around $45/share in December 2012. Today it is $56. EME’s Momma came out OK, I’d say.
NRG Energy, a huge energy producer, concluded a purchase of Edison Mission Energy in April of this year. If you watch the market reports lately, this newly minted second largest US power company seems to be doing great. The stock seems to be in a steady climb.
Maybe one of these two corporate giants will kick in a little to the pension fund. I’m sure they feel bad about the employees getting stiffed of the $46 million they planned to live on and now have little working life left to recover. Maybe if NRG Energy or Edison International happen to stumble across the $44 million the US
Treasury Taxpayers so generously handed the bankrupt for-profit Edison Mission for just one of their projects, they’ll kick in a little to the retirees.
But frankly, I doubt if any of the gang of three will do what’s right. EME practically said they would have taken even more from the pensioners if they could. I hope I’m wrong, but EI and NRG Energy will likely claim a comfortable distance from the bankruptcy ruling which effectively subsidized their profits on the backs of the pensioners and Taxpayers.
Nah … apples and oranges, remember!
And anyway, the $44 million Taxpayer dollars which subsidized a third of the cost of construction at the Pinnacle wind plant in West Virginia is likely lost in the shuffle of billions floating from ledger to ledger. Gone from the US Taxpayer’s pockets and into the pockets of one of the three for-profit corporations.
It’s not surprising that $44 or $46 million gets lost in the shuffle I suppose. When you consider that more than $20,000,000,000.00 ($20 billion) Taxpayer dollars has been handed out to for-profit corporations just from the 1603 Grant program for renewable energy alone and billions and billions of Taxpayer money is forked over to for-profit companies in the form of Production Tax Credits and other tax incentives. It’s either hard to keep track of these paltry millions or …
It’s my opinion that the US
Government Taxpayer should not be subsidizing any for-profit company for anything … anything … anything!
Secondly, we need a level of intelligence and fair play much higher than displayed in this bankruptcy action. Any legal process which allows the taking of committed employee benefits due to corporate’s unintended or intentional mismanagement of finances, while walking away with profits, must be changed.
As the dust settles, the Bankruptcy Judge heads home, the attorneys meet at the country club to discuss tactics for the next case and the retirees and lowly Taxpayers scramble to piece together what’s left of their money in order to pay the monthly bills.
Oh, a question for the officials charged with protecting the Taxpayers of tiny Mineral County, WV – has assurance been given that all agreements, including the poorly constructed decommission agreement, are safe from the same peril experienced by the pensioners?
And while you’re at it, with which corporate entity will the County leaders revisit the Decommission Agreement in just a few years? Just kidding … I realize that’s an unfair question. With the way these wind LLC’s change names and ownership passed around like hot potatoes, who knows who will own Pinnacle in 2 – 3 years?
But, look at the bright side … maybe when Pinnacle’s massive Japanese made turbines mounted on the huge Mexican made towers come tumbling down, someone might find the $44 million in subsidies the US Treasury Taxpayers handed to the for-profit Edison Mission Energy four months before it declared bankruptcy tucked away inside. Wouldn’t that be a hoot!
In fairness, there’s no doubt I’m missing something. One of these kindly corporations will let me know I’m wrong and that they are, in fact, looking out for the little guy. I’ll probably get comments from NRG Energy, EI or even EME explaining how they made the retirees whole and how the Taxpayers should be proud of their investment in the now bankrupt EME. Heck, I’ll probably feel so bad that I ranted on about this topic that I’ll immediately begin working on my apology. I’m ready to eat crow!
And, who knows … I might finally hear back from the elected officials I penned the open letter to way back in August of 2011.
But, until all that happens, I hope you don’t mind if I hang out with the skunk!
As the number one Business movers, Dallas businesses rely on AM Moving Company. From packing to moving, AM Moving does it all.
AM Moving company is one of the best moving companies Dallas TX has to offer. With professional, reliable and highly trained experts in commercial relocations, these are the movers companies count on.
When searching for Frisco apartment movers , make AM Moving Company the first call. AM Moving helps to come up with a moving solution tailor-made to fit each client’s needs.
Looking for apartment movers? Allen TX movers at AM Moving Company are the most experienced and trustworthy moving experts in all of Texas!
When struggling to find long distance moving companies, Dallas movers from AM Moving Company can help with the long haul!
Plano office movers are the most affordable movers around. At AM Moving Company, all employees are also screened and trained to ensure a safe moving experience.
Looking for apartment movers? Mckinney residents count on AM Moving Company for all of their moving needs. From packing services to furniture wrapping, their movers can help every step of the way.
Looking for the most reliable apartment movers? Fort Worth company AM Moving offers a wide range of moving services from top notch, professional movers.
Screened and trained to ensure the best possible moving experience, movers in Irving TX area from AM Moving Company are the professionals residents are looking for. Moving has never been made so easy!
Southlake movers from AM Moving Company offer everything from free moving estimates, to packing services. Their trained professionals will also arrive with proper tools to disconnect or reconnect your washer/dryer, or other appliances.
Finding movers Dallas to Austin is never a problem when calling on AM Moving Company. Whether moving across the city or across the state, AM Moving professional movers are ready and willing to help you for the long (or short) haul!
Never fear if you are looking for the right movers from Houston to Dallas. AM Moving Company has yet to be confronted with a moving job they can’t handle!
Are you looking for a reliable, comprehensive, secure phone system for your business operations? Press8 Telecom offers affordable VoIP phone systems Houston companies trust to cut down on costs while providing all the latest features and tools.
Tired of paying for a traditional phone system for your office? Looking for an Austin VoIP provider that can save you money? The cloud-based, digital phone systems and accessories offered at Press8 Telecom will bring you into the modern age with significant savings.
Do you need a reliable, secure cloud-based phone system that offers flexibility for mobile and remote applications? Press8 Telecom is a highly respected Dallas VoIP provider using existing internet broadband to connect your employees and clients.
Stop spending money on a costly traditional phone system for your business. Internet-based phone systems offer more features at more affordable rates. The commercial phone specialists at Press8 Telecom can install a PBX system for small business that will save your business money.
Shadow theaters are orchestrated by the Dalang, or puppet master and accompanied by the unique sounds of the Javanese gamelan orchestra. With Indonesian shadow puppets that are handcrafted, one of these shows is a performance that will not be easily forgotten
Hand-carved out of soft Albesia wood, a handmade wooden jewelry box from Dewi Artisans are truly unique. Whether used to hold jewelry or simply for display, they make for a beautiful display in any living space.
Indonesian wooden masks are made of hand-carved wood and intricately hand dye-painted Batik motfi. In many cases, the Batik process creates a soft velvety like texture to the mask. These wooden masks are elegantly presented as well decor, in any room.
When looking for quality, authentic Indonesian decor, Dewi Artisans have the perfect piece for that room needing some truly unique style. At Dewi Artisans International, find hand-made goods from throughout Asia, and from the Archipelago of Indonesia, in Southeast Asia.
Do you owe the IRS back taxes? An experienced tax attorney Atlanta trusts at GetATaxLawyer can help get the government off your back. Put an immediate stop to wage garnishments, bank levies, property liens. Get your life back and properly plan for the future.
Stressed out about a tax audit? Do not go it alone. Let a qualified tax attorney Austin relies on from GetATaxLawyer help get added penalties and interest removed, and set up a workable repayment plan to settle your account with the IRS and move on with your life.
Mile high tax problems in the Mile High City? If you owe the IRS back taxes or have been subjected to a tax audit, a tax attorney Denver can help reduce your fees and settle your account with the government. Get started at GetATaxLawyer today.
If you are dealing with tax problems, the tax specialists at GetATaxLawyer can help get you enrolled in an IRS fresh start initiative designed to help you pay back taxes. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you, so get started today.
Stressing out about back taxes you owe the IRS? GetATaxLawyer is here to help. Our team of experienced tax attorneys can help negotiate a reasonable tax settlement that will help you pay back what you owe and settle your account with the government.
Are you saddled with IRS audit penalties that are weighing you down? The tax professionals at GetATaxLawyer can help remove fees and interest that has significantly increased your tax debt. Get started today towards settling your account with the government.
Looking for a tax attorney Los Angeles trusts to clear your account with the IRS? GetATaxLawyer has years of experience helping taxpayers pay back owed taxes and get on with their lives. We can help remove garnishments and liens to help you get your life back.
Big tax problems in the Big Apple? A tax attorney New York trusts at GetATaxLawyer can help stop garnishments and bank liens, and help settle your account with the IRS. Get started today to have your tax problems resolved so you can move on with your life and business.
Are your wages being garnished by the IRS to pay back taxes? A tax attorney San Diego trusts at GetATaxLawyer can get garnishments stopped so you can set up a settlement plan to repay what you owe. Contact GetATaxLawyer and get your garnishment stopped tomorrow.
Tax problems getting down in the City by the Bay? Get started with getting the IRS off your back and settling your account with the government with the help of an experienced GetATaxLawyer tax attorney San Francisco taxpayers trust to resolve individual or business tax issues.
Dr. Burman is an expert in Robotic Surgery in Central Texas. He specializes in Hernia Repair with the fastest recovery in Austin TX. His patients recover in record time thanks to state of the art robotic surgery. Learn why Robotic Surgery allows patients to go home sooner and recover faster than ever before.
Dr. Burman of ATX Robotic Surgery specializes in Gallbladder Removal with the fastest recovery in Austin TX. Dr. Burman is a trained expert on the Davinci Robotic surgery platform by Intuitive surgical. Special instruments are then placed through the trocars and the surgeon controls the Robotic assisted instruments from a separate console. The surgeon is doing all the work in controlling the Robot arms.
Robotic Surgery is a minimally invasive approach to surgical procedures perfected by the surgeons at ATX Robotic Surgery. Dr. Burman places “trocars” or small ports into the abdominal cavity. The Davinci robot is then docked to the trocars, the Davinci Robotic surgery platform is the best way to perform Appendectomy with the fastest recovery in Austin TX.