Joule Unlimited, is a secretive green energy company, and one that has Russian backing, was apparently betting big on Hillary Clinton winning the Presidential election is now doomed since Trump won the election.
According to The Daily Caller, the company was hoping to hire John Podesta who was a former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, but that plan fell through after the election.
“We had a lot of prospects last year,” former Joule CEO Brian Baynes told BioFuels Digest in a rare interview in July. “But those new investor prospects walked away, particularly post-election.”
“Dmitry Akhanov, the president and CEO of Rusnano USA Inc., a Kremlin-owned venture capital firm nicknamed ‘Putin’s child,’ oversaw the Russian government’s investment in Joule and sat on its board along with two other Russians with ties to the Kremlin. Akhavov agreed that Clinton’s loss doomed the company,” reports the Daily Caller.
Akhanov told the DC that after the election, investors that were lined up for the company did not want to buy bonds for the company any longer, since it was unclear if Trump’s administration would be supporting biofuels so investors didn’t see much of a future in the company.
Akhanov also confirmed that the company invested and lost 1 billion rubles, which is worth $35 million when Joule closed down.
Two other board members in Joule that have extremely close ties to Russia were Ruben Vardanyan, who Putin appointed a Russian economic modernization council, and Anatoly Chubais, who is a close and personal friend of former President Bill Clinton and Chubais is also an advisor to former Russian President Boris Yelstin.
The FBI has been concerned about Russian government investments in American high-technology firms, as they should be. A special agent in charge at the FBI’s Boston field, Lucia Ziobro, even issued an “extraordinary warning” in 2014 about Russian investors to startups like Joule.
“’The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive and emerging technology from the companies,’ she wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed.”
Since Hillary lost, which also means Podesta would not serve in the White House, and there for lost a position to advance the company’s prospects. Russian investors would then have no interest in backing the biofuel company if there isn’t any chance of getting insider information from the White House.
While Obama was in office, he was supporting renewable energy technology companies every chance he got, and if Hillary was allowed in office she would likely continue that trend.
“So the market would have been even more tilted in favor of so-called ‘green energy companies. And President Trump has basically changed the direction,” Marlo Lewis Jr. said, a senior fellow at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Just one example of Trump reversing Obama’s energy initiatives is that Trump signed an executive order in late March at the Environmental Protection Agency that rescinded six of Obama’s climate change executive orders.
John Podesta has been everywhere in the White House trying to impose his influence. He served as Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff, he served as “counselor” to President Obama, and then helped run Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as its national chairman.
It is clear that Podesta has some very clear and close connections to the people who hold the most power in Washington, so having Podesta on the board for Joule seemed like an excellent move for the CEO’s.
“We look forward to leveraging his insights as we progress toward international deployment,” Bill Sims, one of Joule’s CEOs, claimed from the beginning of the process to acquire Podesta.
Even when Podesta was actively working in the White House, he was offering advice to Joule.
“’As promised, I am providing to you a corporate slide presentation, a short summary of the company and videos of the Hobbs plant. Please let me know if I should change any of it, or feel free to edit as you see fit. I look forward to learning about next steps and to your guidance for the company about how best to forge partnerships globally,’ Noubar Afeyan, the founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, the main venture capital firm that underwrote Joule Unlimited, told Podesta in an Aug. 31, 2015, email.”
Even if there isn’t any tangible proof that Podesta was actively giving Russian diplomats information from the White House, the secrecy of the company and its ultimate demise is something to be questioned as well.
Jim Lane, a reporter for Biofuels Daily noted that Joule had a penchant for secrecy including when it closed its doors.
“The news from Joule closes out an extraordinary period of silence for a company that we once described as The Sultans of Stealth for their secretive approach to development,” he wrote.
And if all of this secrecy and back channel connections weren’t enough, Joule raised 1 billion Rubles or $35 million from Rusano, the Kremlin-owned nanotechnology company that set up a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t only Podesta with ties to the Kremlin who sat on Joule’s board, but two others as well.
It seems as though Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is looking at the wrong trail when it comes to Russian ties to the White House.