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Goldman Sachs, Barack Obama and the DOE loan program

By Laurie Bennett

November 16, 2011 at 7:22am

Goldman Sachs Group, which has two Obama campaign bundlers in its ranks, also has at least two direct routes to the Department of Energy loan program.

Cogentrix Energy, a subsidiary of Goldman, received a $90.6 million loan guarantee in September for the Alamosa solar project in Colorado.

Goldman is also an investor in U.S. Geothermal, which received a $97 million loan guarantee in February for a geothermal project in Oregon. In its 2011 proxy statement, publicly traded U.S. Geothermal reported Goldman owned almost 6 percent of its stock.

Another Goldman subsidiary, Raft River I Holdings, is participating in a joint venture with U.S. Geothermal to finance the Raft River geothermal project in southern Idaho.

Two execs at Goldman - Todd Williams and Bruce Heyman - raised money for Obama’s 2008 campaign. Williams retired from the company in 2009.

Heyman and his wife Vicki have re-upped as bundlers for Obama’s re-election bid. Goldman VP Michelle Carr is also raising money for Obama in 2012.

The DOE loan program has come under scrutiny for ill-advised investments and possible conflicts of interest. One loan recipient, Solyndra, has declared bankruptcy and fired its employees.

Newly released e-mails show that the Obama administration asked the company to delay announcing layoffs until after the 2010 midterm elections.

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