Home

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.

Something smells!

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.”

Something smells!.

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 …

Something smells!

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.

Something smells!

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!

Advertiser Content

If you’re looking to improve your driving record and improve your driving habits, then there is no better site to go to then the one with the Shortest Defensive Driving Course Texas loves. Premier Defensive Driving specializes in a comprehensive, simple, and easy to follow course to get you on the road again.

Do you get a traffic ticket? Premier Defensive Driving offers defensive driving classes in El Paso TX to help clear the ticket from your permanent driving record. Call today for complete information about our affordable online defensive driving course.

Stressing out over a costly and damaging traffic ticket? Premier Defensive Driving takes the stress out of handling traffic violations with a comprehensive course on defensive driving Tyler Texas drivers use to clear the infraction from their driving record.

Traffic tickets negatively impact your driving record. Premier Defensive Driving can help. We offer a Lubbock defensive driving online course designed to teach safe driving practices and a process to clear the ticket from your record. Call for complete information today.

Traffic tickets left unhandled will result in more costs and a permanent mark on your driving record. Premier Defensive Driving offers effective defensive driving classes in Arlington TX that work to clear your record and teach safe driving practices.

Don’t let a single traffic ticket affect your permanent driving record. Call Premier Defensive Driving today to get help through an online course for defensive driving Austin drivers can use to learn about how to easily have the ticket removed from your driving record.

Traffic ticket getting you down and affecting your driving record? Take the online course for defensive driving Plano Texas drivers have used for years to learn safe driving habits and get tickets cleared from driving records. Call Premier Defensive Driving today.

Do you need an affordable way to remove your Texas traffic ticket from permanent record? Premier Defensive Driving offers a court-approved online course for defensive driving Waco trust to get violations cleared quickly and easily.

Do you have a pesky traffic ticket that is marring your otherwise perfect driving record? Take the online defensive driving course in Beaumont Texas offered from Premier Defensive Driving to get your ticket cleared and retain the status of your record.

Premier Defensive Driving has an online course on defensive driving Garland drivers can use to help remove a parking ticket from permanent driving records. Call today to find out just how effective and affordable our program works.

Traffic tickets can be costly nuisances that leave a permanent mark on your driving record. Premier Defensive Driving offers an online course for defensive driving Missouri City Texas drivers use every day to clear traffic tickets. Call today for complete information.

Do you have an unpaid traffic ticket on your record? Let Premier Defensive Driving help. Call today for information about our online defensive driving course Temple TX drivers use to help get traffic tickets removed from their permanent driving record.

Premier Defensive Driving offers an affordable way to clear traffic tickets from your permanent driving record. Call now for complete information about our online class for defensive driving College Station drivers trust to easily and legally remove tickets.

Looking for an easy, affordable way to get your Texas traffic removed from your permanent driving record? Take the defensive driving course Grand Prairie TX drivers use to get traffic tickets completely cleared.  Call today for details.

Do you have an unpaid traffic ticket weighing on your mind? Premiere Defensive Driving offers the shortest defensive driving course Texas has to offer. Call today to start the process of getting your traffic tickets removed from your driving record.

Some people simply feel lost when trying to find the best Orlando Birthday Party Venues for their big party coming up. But look no further than Mia’s Italian Kitchen. This excellent restaurant has authentic Italian cuisine. Their event coordinators will help you arrange your seating, menus, and entire occasion as you feast on delicious, gourmet food.

When on the hunt for quality Italian Food Orlando only Mia’ Italian Kitchen will suffice. It has the best range of options in an authentic and beautiful settings. You and your guests will be sure to enjoy every part of the evening. So be sure to book your table today before they’re all gone.

When it’s time for Happy Hour on International Drive Orlando FL is home to the best spot around: Mia’s Italian Kitchen. The great ambiance will have you feeling like you are in Italy for the first time. The pizzas, pastas, and fresh soups are something everyone should try at least once.

For Sunday Brunch Orlando hosts the region’s best cuisine at Mia’s Italian Kitchen. That is where you should head with friends and family. Enjoy drinks and more while you sit in a beautiful environment away from all the stresses of daily life. It will be more than worth it.

Mia’s Italian Kitchen prepares Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner in Orlando. Sometimes you don’t have the ability to go home for Thanksgiving. But when you come here, it will be like you are family again. It will remind you of Holidays past. And that’s something that everyone could use every now and then.

For the tastiest Italian Catering Orlando FL has to offer, hire Mia’s Italian Kitchen. You won’t believe how good it is once you try it out. You’ll want to have them cater every event you have from weddings all the way to birthday. Why go through the trouble when you can have great catering?

Hiring Orlando Wedding Caterers can be a hassle. But not with Mia’s Italian Kitchen. They will be at your service to help your event. No matter what you need you can rest assured that they will have it handled for you. It’s just a matter of time before you start wondering why you did anything else.

You don’t need to look for ages when narrowing down Restaurants near Orlando Convention Center to dine at. If you go to Mia’s Italian Kitchen, you’ll have everything you need. However, make sure to get one of the desserts. They are out of this world and better than anything you will find.

You can rest assured that Mia’s Italian Kitchen will make an excellent Orlando Birthday Party Venue. No matter what age your birthday guest is, they can make it worth their while. Just be sure to inquire about the different desserts too. They are some of the best in the entire country.

One of the best Austin Family Photographers is Claire with Rising Oak Images. She specializes in capturing the authentic connections between people. Her style is more candid and documentary like. She can work from the start of your family at its Engagement and on to Maternity and Family pictures.

Do you need an Austin Baby Photographer than can deliver, then reach out to Rising Oak Images. They understand what it takes to capture some of lives best moments.

Are you looking for an Austin Maternity Photographer? Well you’re in luck because Claire with Rising Oak Images has delivered a multitude of excellent moments for her clients. Reach out to her today for a free consultation.

If you’re looking for the best Austin Children’s Photography, then reach out to Claire with Rising Oak Images. She’s been capturing magical moments through her camera lens for years. Get the best and reach out to her today.

Northlake Dentistry is a private practice owned and operated by Dr. Kevin Nguyen. You may know Dr. Nguyen and his great team from Justin Family Dentistry in Justin, TX. With all the positive feedback that Justin Family Dentistry has received, Dr. Nguyen was invited to open another practice in Northlake, TX in order to better serve the community.

Kratom Powder for Sale Online! High-Quality Premium Micro Powders at a Cheap & Low-Cost Price. Buy from Moon Kratom a Reputable Vendor known for High-Grade Kratom.

10X Kratom Extract for Sale Online! High Quality Premium Micro Powders at a Cheap & Low-Cost Price.

Maeng Da Kratom for Sale Online! High Quality Premium Micro Powders at a Cheap & Low-Cost Price. Buy from Moon Kratom a Reputable Vendor known for High Grade Kratom.