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EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Perlmutter part owns ‘green’ bank he helped
Question of the Day
“In my case, I provided effort [on green and sustainability principles],” she wrote in an e-mail.
Mr. Perlmutter’s 2008 financial disclosure form lists Ms. Perlmutter as having received an unspecified salary from New Resource. She said she was compensated for being a founder and for finding investors.
The lawmakers father confirmed that he is an investor but said he has not had any conversations with his son about the GREEN Act.
In addition to having family ties with New Resource, the congressman has received more than $6,000 in political contributions throughout the 2006 and 2008 election cycles from Daniel Yohannes, a seed investor and former board chairman, records show.
Repeated efforts to reach Mr. Yohannes were unsuccessful.
Peter Liu, founder of New Resource and vice chairman of its board, declined to disclose information about the size of the investments, citing “privacy and regulatory issues.”
“However, Leonard, Deana and Daniel are not significant shareholders warranting regulatory disclosure,” he said, adding that the bank “has not had any conversation with the congressman or his staff about the green banking center proposals.”
New Resource - which had $166 million in assets as of March - was the recent target of disciplinary action by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which issued a cease-and-desist order in May instructing the bank to bolster its lending standards and reduce its bad debt. Mr. Liu credited the action to a slew of poorly performing construction loans.
“Back at the end of last year when the regulators were having their examination, in California the real estate market was definitely having a lot of problems,” he said, noting that the bank nevertheless has “a very solid capital base.”
The language Mr. Perlmutter inserted into the House bill instructs the secretary of Housing and Urban Development to “develop and implement a pilot program … to facilitate the financing of cost-effective capital improvements for covered assisted housing projects to improve the energy efficiency and conservation of such projects” through a “privately financed loan.”
Elsewhere, the bill says banking regulators “shall prescribe guidelines encouraging the establishment and maintenance of ‘green banking’ centers by insured depository institutions” and those centers will provide consumers with information on obtaining a home energy rating or getting financing for energy-saving improvements.
Another section seeks to minimize the upfront costs of renewable energy systems for homeowners by insuring loans for energy-efficient home improvements from green banks.
The Senate is not expected to take up energy and climate change legislation until this fall.
About the Author
Kara Rowland, White House reporter for The Washington Times, is a D.C.-area native. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied American government and spent nearly all her waking hours working as managing editor of the Cavalier Daily, UVa.’s student newspaper.
Her interest in political reporting was piqued by an internship at Roll Call the summer before her ...
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