Obama energy official has ties to firms that stand to benefit

Steven Thomma
Miami Herald
4/26/2010

WASHINGTON — One of the Obama administration’s top officials leading a campaign for energy conservation has a major financial interest in two companies poised to benefit from the government’s spending.

Cathy Zoi, the assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, owns between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in Landis Gyr, a Swiss-based manufacturer of special electric meters used in creating an efficient “smart” grid of electricity use.

Her husband, Robin Roy, owns options on at least 120,000 shares of Serious Materials, a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient windows that has been singled out for praise by both President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. As an officer of the company, Roy receives options on another 2,500 shares every month and will continue to do so until October 2012.

Energy Department aides said that Zoi, once a close ally of former Vice President Al Gore, doesn’t participate in decisions that would drive government money to either company…

…Conservative organizations and Web sites such as pajamasmedia.com, which first reported on Zoi’s holdings, questioned whether she was completely out of the decision making process. If so, they asked, what did that leave her do?

“If she doesn’t participate in decisions that could have a ‘direct and predictable effect’ on her Landis Gyr holdings and she doesn’t participate in decisions that could have a ‘direct and predictable effect’ on her holdings in Serious Materials, it seems worth asking in which decisions she can participate,” pajamasmedia.com asked…

Read the complete article at the Miami Herald.

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