Monday, January 26, 2009

Will CBC Promote Black-Owned Energy Company Stimulus?

Blacks do not own energy companies because they have been locked out of this capital intensive area. There are some exceptions but, for the most part, African Americans do not own the oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, pipelines, railroads, trucking, electricity lines or even the wind and solar companies in America. Regardless of the past circumstances, the Congressional Black Caucus should request that part of the $820 billion American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan should be used to create African American ownership of energy companies, supporting infrastructure and transport vehicles. Some will hate the idea of such a race-based proposal, but race is the reason that blacks own virtually no component of energy infrastructure in America today.

If $840 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) can be used to bailout Wall Street companies based on their market failure, surely some of the second draw of that money, combined with some of the newly proposed $820 billion can be used to expand energy company ownership opportunities. In fact, minority contracting can be waived under the TARP. Our recommendation is to start with partnerships to construct the 3,000 miles in new electricity power lines being recommended by the president. Natural gas and other pipelines could also include partnerships to achieve the goals of our recommendation. Incentives should be given to encourage mentor/protege energy business development agreements. In addition to the rapid push for green jobs, we should also subsidize the formation of green business ownership.

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