The Spanish company Iberdrola and its subsidiaries are the single largest recipient of government sponsored credits and grants in the United States.8 As Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a member of its board of directors, Katie McGinty did her part to make this “accomplishment” possible.
In 2004, Katie McGinty convinced an Iberdrola subsidiary called Gamesa to locate its U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia in 2004.9 At its request,10 McGinty led the fight to pass legislation benefiting wind energy companies like Gamesa, requiring 18 percent of energy sold in Pennsylvania to come from renewable sources.11 If that was not enough, Gamesa received around $20 million in taxpayer-backed subsidies, loans, grants and credits in 200512 and 2007.13
In 2009, Katie McGinty was rewarded with a seat on Iberdrola’s paid14 board of directors.15 Less than a year later, Gamesa received a $7.8 million stimulus grant16 and Iberdrola received a $10 million federal stimulus grant from the PA DEP. 17
Even with lavish government support, many of Katie McGinty’s pet projects have proven to be unsustainable. In 2014, Gamesa shuttered its Cambria County manufacturing plant that received $9.3 million in state support while Katie McGinty was Secretary of the DEP in 2005.18 The plant had once employed 200.19
This energy company paid McGinty over $1 million while facing multiple pollution-based lawsuits.
Immediately following her stint as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Katie McGinty accepted a cushy spot on the Board of Directors of NRG Energy in 2008 that paid her more than $1 million.20,21,22,23,24,25
NRG Energy is the type of company that benefits greatly from the “expertise” of former government officials like McGinty: it is the third largest recipient of government sponsored grants and tax credits in the United States.26 According to the New York Times, “NRG, along with partners, ultimately secured $5.2 billion in federal loan guarantees plus hundreds of millions in other subsidies for four large solar projects.”27
While Katie McGinty was employed by NRG, they also faced multiple lawsuits for skirting federal laws and releasing toxins into the environment. In January 2013, NRG agreed to pay $2.2 million in penalties for the improper disposal of toxins that threatened to contaminate groundwater and streams in Maryland.28 In May 2013, NRG settled a lawsuit with New Jersey and Connecticut concerning a violation of the Clean Air Act.29 In June 2013, Maryland sued a subsidiary of NRG over the release of wastewater into the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers.30
This consulting firm received $8 million in state contracts during McGinty’s tenure in Harrisburg and after they began employing her in 2009. They additionally received over $860 million in federal contracts after the federal Department of Energy, who McGinty was also advising at the time, gave them the prerequisite approval.
Right after she resigned from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2009, Katie McGinty joined the board of directors at the environmental consulting company Weston Solutions, and subsequently accepted a paid position as managing director.31 It should come as no surprise that Weston Solutions received a $3 million contract from the DEP in April 201032 and close to $2 million in contracts from another Pennsylvania agency.33 After McGinty was named Governor Tom Wolf’s chief of staff in 2015, Weston Solutions was awarded another $3 million contract from the PA DEP for “general technical assistance.”34
In November 2010, McGinty was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee while maintaining her position on the board at Weston Solutions.35 Three months later, McGinty announced that the Department of Energy designated Weston as a “qualified Energy Service Company,” a sweet gig that made Weston eligible for federal contracts on the taxpayer dime.36 Since that time, they have been awarded a whopping $896.8 million in federal contracts!37