22 Apr 2013 Honeywell Corporate Leaders to Face Criticism for National Debt Hypocrisy
Free-Market Shareholder to Ask What Happened to Millions in Green Energy Stimulus Dollars that Failed to Create Promised Job Growth
Morris Township, NJ / Washington, D.C. – At today’s annual meeting of Honeywell shareholders in Morris Township, New Jersey, a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research plans to ask Honeywell CEO David Cote what his company did with millions of taxpayer-funded stimulus dollars that have not produced the green jobs or economic growth that company executives promised.
In 2010, Honeywell UOP took a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill. As part of the Obama Administration’s larger green-energy agenda, the $25 million taxpayer gift was specifically allocated for a biofuels demonstration plant to be built in Oahu, Hawaii. The DOE and Honeywell claimed that the project would create 85 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs per year; however, an April 2012 report by the Honolulu Civil Beat found that only about 10 permanent jobs were created.
“Honeywell took $25 million from hard-working Americans and created 10 jobs – a cost of $2.5 million per job. This type of corporate cronyism needs to stop,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “If the Obama Administration will not hold companies accountable once they dole out our money, it is up to citizens and shareholders to put a cost of doing business onto companies that squander these massive taxpayer gifts. Maybe next time Honeywell executives will think twice before they rob the public blind.”
“President Obama’s stimulus bill was a boondoggle of epic proportions. Built on empty promises of job growth and economic vitality, the only thing it increased was the national debt. We can now add Honeywell to the long list of Obama Administration green energy failures such as Solyndra, Fisker and A123 Systems. Honeywell owes an explanation to the American taxpayers for their contribution to the nation’s debt woes,” added Danhof.
Honeywell’s CEO David Cote, who served on the Simpson-Bowles Debt Commission, has claimed to be deeply concerned with America’s debt crisis. In a moment of stunning hypocrisy, Cote appeared on a November 2012 CBS Evening News broadcast and complained about the national debt calling it “ridiculous” and bemoaning that current outlays and entitlements will “crush the system.”
“This is the classic ‘do as I say not as I do’ approach that pervades liberal corporate culture,” explained Danhof. “What Cote really meant to say was, ‘it is fine if his company wastes millions of federal dollars and contributes to the debt, just not other companies or federal programs.’ The national debt is a serious issue and it will take serious leaders in Washington, D.C. to tackle the problem. What won’t fix the system are unaccountable corporations who make empty promises and waste finite taxpayer resources.”
A copy of Danhof’s question at the shareholder meeting, as prepared for delivery, can be found here.
National Center executive director David Almasi is a Honeywell shareholder. Danhof is attending today’s meeting as his proxy.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than 4 percent from foundations, and less than 2 percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.
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