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January 26, 2015

The Associated Press commends to your attention a package sent Monday for use after 3 a.m. EST Tuesday that examines a $217 million project the U.S. government supported to produce environmentally friendly energy in one of Africa’s poorest countries.

The AP’s investigation of the federal Overseas Private Investment Corporation found that the failed project was marred by insider connections, a pervasive lack of scrutiny and questionable planning. Liberia was left with fields of depleted rubber farms, and the project was trailed by allegations of sexual abuse and workplace hazards.


BUCHANAN, Liberia — A failed U.S. government-backed plan to produce environmentally friendly energy in one of Africa’s poorest countries was marred by insider connections and questionable planning, an Associated Press investigation found. The federal agency at the center of the deal is one of the government’s biggest secrets and routinely escapes public scrutiny. By Ronnie Greene and Jonathan Paye-Layleh. SENT: 830 words, photo. A 3,000-word version also is available.

—DARK DEALS-EXPLAINER — The pitch about how the biomass-to-electricity project was supposed to work. SENT: 290 words.

—DARK DEALS-GLANCE — Key facts about the $217 million in U.S.-approved loans. SENT: 220 words.

A second AP package, examining problems with a different OPIC-funded project in Central America, will be sent later this week for use after 3 a.m. EST Friday.

The AP

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