And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. ~Mark 3:24

Why would Bob Worsley spend close to $1 million to stay in the Arizona Senate?

Posted: 2014-08-24


Posted on August 21, 2014 by mesasmiles

Back on August 3 I wrote a post commenting on a mailer I received that quoted Senator Jeff Flake: “Bob Worsley doesn’t need this job, but Arizona needs Bob Worsley to have this job.” You see, I have learned over the years that when I see declarative statements from politicians I have learned not to trust, to check to see if just the opposite is true. I did a little research and found he was involved in green energy projects. That, of course, made me very suspicious that there was crony capitalism going on. So I titled my post, “Bob Worsley doesn’t need this job? Really, Senator Flake?” And now, today, I received an e-mail from Kris Heap asking me to post his research on Bob Worsley’s business history. It confirms those suspicions. Here’s what he said about this:

“The first part talks about SkyMall and how much money it was losing. I’m not interested in hitting that because lots of us have had businesses that have struggled at some point.

“The rest of it outlines how Bob Worlsey used his political influence to make a lot of money for his Green energy company and then blocked legisltaion that would add transparency to the process.”

Kris sent me two versions of the research. The first was lengthy and fully footnoted. The second was condensed and much easier to read. I am posting here the condensed version. If you’d like to see a pdf of the full version, click here for the Full Worsley Timeline.

And here is what he sent me:

The Worsley Timeline

Question: Why would Bob Worsley spend close to $1 million to stay in the AZ senate?

Worsley at Skymall (1996-2001) Income/Loss: 1996 Income of $2.5M
1997 Income of $2.9M
1998 Income of $3.6M
1999 Loss of $25M
2000 Loss of $16M
2001 (1st quarter prior to sale) Loss of $2.5M

Early 2005 – Worsley starts Renegy Holdings, Inc. which includes Snowflake White Mountain Power, LLC, whose intention was to build a wood-burning biomass plant which would use waste-wood from the Rodeo-Chedeski fire and waste paper from the Snowflake paper mill. Worsley immediately began searching for government funding.

2005 – Worsley receives a guaranteed $16 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build the biomass electrical generating plant.

2006 – The Arizona Corporation Commission adopts final rules that SRP and APS will be required to “obtain as much as 30% of their electricity from renewable sources within the next 10 years.” Basically, they will be forced to pay a higher price to get the same energy from renewable energy plants like Renegy.

2007 – Worsley receives “$40 million in tax free industrial development bonds” from the Industrial Development Authority of the City of Show Low.
Worsley also takes advantage of federal stimulus moneys and government contracts, such as one where the USDA provided government contracts to pay for forest clearing to provide fuel for the Renegy Biomass plant.
Worsley also takes advantage of numerous Arizona Economic Development tax credits and State funding for renewable Energy Sources.
In spite of this, the biomass plant began losing money immediately.

December, 2007 – The Annual Report for Renegy Holdings, Inc. with Bob Worsley as the president, CEO, and Chairman of the Board states that the biomass plant has lost significant amounts of money (over $15 million) in its first year of operation and that there is almost no scenario which will save “our stockholders losing their entire investment.” Who were the biggest investors? The taxpayers, because of the government loans and the $40 million in bonds.

2010 – Worsley drives Snowflake White Mountain Power, LLC, into bankruptcy. By that time the company’s losses had more than doubled. “In documents filed with the US Bankruptcy Court, Snowflake White Mountain Power claims it’s roughly $50-$100 million in debt.” The company’s assets were eventually forced into receivership by their lender and remained there for 22 months. (Don’t worry, Worsley will make out really well from this.)

2012 – Bob Worsley forms a new LLC, Novo Power LLC, and purchased the 50-70 million dollar plant out of the receivership, debt free, for $12 million!
Net loss to the taxpayer: At least $55 million in loans, subsidies, and bonds as well as all additional funds received in undisclosed government grants, tax credits, and government backed loans.

2012 – Worsley negotiates contracts to sell energy to SRP and APS. Unfortunately, the energy produced by biomass plants is far more expensive than the same energy produced by a traditional power plant.
Biomass plants always require taxpayer subsidies to remain in operation. These subsidies most commonly come in the form of Government contracts through the forest service to provide fuel, tax credits and incentives and economic development credits. When the Snowflake Paper mill closed, Novo Power had to rely on logging crews, paid for by…you guessed it, the taxpayer! Congratulations, you are paying for his employees!

July, 2012 – SRP’s Board of directors approve a 3.9% rate hike in order to cover the cost of buying renewable energy. That means every customer is paying an extra $6.17 a month to pay for Worsley’s overpriced energy. Congratulations, you are paying Bob Worsley’s salary!

November, 2012 – Bob Worsley elected to the Arizona State Senate.

2013 – Worsley gets himself on the Senate Commerce, Energy, and Military Committee. He is now perfectly positioned to help control the flow of public money to private companies.

2013 – Worsley spearheads legislation to give money to companies with the express purpose—as stated in the bill—of “reducing their carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy.” (Like Novo Power LLC!) Records from the Arizona Commerce Authority show that funding for this will come from income tax withholdings (in other words, YOU!). This means Worsley is introducing legislation that will directly, and lucratively affect his business.

2013 – The Goldwater Institute uncovers a tax-free $2 million dollar loan of taxpayer money to keep open the Apache railway line. The entire line (which was set to be scrapped) has only two customers: 1) A hog farm, and 2) Bob Worsley’s Novo Power. Coincidence?

February 17th, 2014 – Bob Worsley introduces and sponsors bill SB 1484, which establishes corporate income tax credits for investments of at least $300 million in renewable energy facilities. There are only 2 companies that would benefit from this bill and one of them is, you guessed it, Novo Power. It basically means huge tax breaks to people who give him money to build more of his biomass plants.

February 2014 – In response to outrage over wasteful government spending, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club introduces HB 2586. This legislation will require increased transparency so we, the taxpayers, can see exactly who our tax money is given to and who is receiving tax breaks. This bill could be disastrous for Worsley and Novo Power LLC.

March 6th, 2014 – HB 2586 passes the State House with an amazing 57-0 vote! It looks like we will have transparency in politics!

March 12th, 2014 – HB 2586 is assigned to the Senate Commerce, Energy, and Military Committee (led by Bob Worsley). The bill that was unanimously accepted by almost every state representative in the House is defeated in Worsley’s committee. The deciding vote? You guessed it, Bob Worsley. He voted against transparency on the very tax credits he had voted to give himself!
That is crony capitalism in a nutshell: support special tax breaks for your friends and oppose efforts to see where the money is really going.

Bob Worsley often claims he is “part of the solution to ensuring a future of sustainable energy for generations to come,” In reality his ventures into “Green Energy” have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and will continue the cost them tens of millions of dollars each year in government loans and subsidies and increase utility bills.

As a State Senator he has actively worked to increase the flow of public moneys to private businesses(often to his own benefit) and to kill transparency so that the taxpayer of Arizona will never know where their tax dollars are going.

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Previous Comments

From: Posted on: 2014-11-26

What are the "false and incorrect statements" of which you speak?

From: Posted on: 2014-11-26

Worsley is a RINO who voted for Medicaid Expansion.  However this article contains multiple false and incorrect statements and has been retracted by the author.  You should take probably it down.


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