The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 7, 2013
Bloom Energy paid workers in pesos, SJ Merc says

An old friend Bloom Energy is making news, and not in a good way.

The San Jose Mercury News reported today that Bloom Energy, a political heavyweight, paid workers brought in from Mexico in pesos:

"Authorities said Bloom Energy paid the Mexican workers in pesos by wiring funds back to bank accounts in Chihuahua. Bloom also paid for the men to stay in a Sunnyvale motel and provided each with a meal stipend of $50 a day."

If true, that's stunning for a company with a board of directors that includes former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr.

We have written about Bloom before, detailing how it gobbled up more than $200 million in subsidies in 2010, thanks to the California Public Utilities Commission.

And after receiving California gold, Bloom expanded operations in Delaware. It also makes its Bloom Boxes in Mexico, the Merc notes.

Bloom, meanwhile, maintains an active Sacramento lobby operation and in Washington.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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