So Ross Beaty, CEO of Magma Energy, which is hoping to acquire a ruling share in HS Orka and exclusive rights to the Reykjanes geothermal fields for the next 130 years, was on current affairs programme Kastljós this evening [right after Lýður Guðmundsson].
Friends: never in my life have I seen a halo shine as brightly above anybody’s head. Seriously, you would be forgiven for thinking that Ross Beaty was the second coming of Christ. Oh, he understands the concerns, he is not here to fight anybody, he is here to create wealth for all, opportunity for all, to work WITH the people. His track record is impeccable, he is so PROUD of his track record: just google it! He fell in love with Iceland the first time he set foot here and has the utmost regard for the Icelandic people and Iceland’s nature and is deeply, deeply committed to sustainability because he is an environmentalist. In short: armed with that uniquely Canadian charm and slightly-naive affability he smooth-talked his way through the interview, finishing off at the very end with an orchestrated smile designed to put the finishing touch on an utterly believable performance.
G’head. Call me a cynic.
On that note, I’d like to call attention to a comment that Erin Harris left below this post – in fact I hope Erin doesn’t mind if I publish it here, because I really think it is vital for this information to be on prominent display:
If you haven’t already seen it, Magma’s investment pitch at http://www.magmaenergycorp.com/s/Presentations.asp is a must-read. This is quite a new operation, little more than a year old, led by a guy who’s formed and sold assorted metal mining ventures. Clearly it’s designed to be a fast money machine for the financial community, rather than a utility company serving customers.
Same is true of one of its major backers, the AltaGas Income Trust (which you can read about at http://www.kciinvesting.com/articles/8544/1/High-Yield-Of-The-Month-AltaGas-Income-Trust/Page1.html). For them, any involvement in natural gas is strictly a means to a much larger end.
Among other major backers are the Saudis.
Right now Magma has a wad of IPO cash for an hurried acquisition spree. Investment is mainly institutional; it’s a place for that sort of huge money to balloon, while there isn’t much else to do with it profitably — and the firm will probably be sold in a few years to a giant capable of harvesting your power and selling it anywhere in the world.
Some of the honchos have high-level ties to US government; one ran the US Navy Geothermal Program for 20 years and another ran the US National Geothermal Program of the Department of Interior. Others have ties to the oil industry.
Alda, this whole thing reeks to heaven. If you guys get into it, Niceland is gonna be SO screwed. The IMF/World Bank wrecking crew always usher in predators like this to grab public utilities and it’s never a pretty piccy. As you know, I strongly suspect that your country was brought down specifically for the purpose of seizing your geothermal energy.
Indeed. According to a RÚV report this evening, our Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon [who opposes the deal] said that he has been made privy to plans that were underway to secure complete control of Iceland’s resources [presumably said geothermal fields] as soon as Magma had signed the deal to purchase the ruling share in HS Orka. RÚV speculates that this refers to an alleged merger plan between Magma and Geysir Green Energy, the other [private] shareholder in the company. I think when our own Finance Minister speaks this plainly – and believe me, Steingrímur is no fool and chooses his words carefully – there is something pretty serious afoot.
Apparently, the Ministry of Finance is working overtime to try to find ways to ensure that this valuable resource remains under Icelandic control, but – as everyone knows, particularly the predators – this is no easy task. Iceland right now is in one of the most vulnerable phases in its history. So if you’re religious, please pray; if you’re an atheist, please send us good vibes; if you’re a positive thinker, please say some affirmations for us. We need all the help we can get.
THE RAIN HAS EASED SOMEWHAT
But we’ve still had showers on and off all day. A mild, drizzly kind of rain, mostly. It’s supposed to clear tomorrow and grow cooler, with winds from the north. Hopefully it won’t get too cold – still haven’t been able to get out for any berry picking this season. I’d say this weekend is probably the last opportunity. Right now it is 10°C [50F]. Sunrise 5.51, sunset 9.06.