AND LEAVE TAXPAYERS EMPTY-HANDED?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 14, 2011) — A solar panel manufacturer based in California was awarded a loan through the U.S. Department of Energy exceeding $500,000,000 in 2009 and has now declared bankruptcy. A government official has described the outcome as “very unfortunate.”
Obama has claimed that “renewable energy” endeavors are a “model for the future.” The loan made to Solyndra LLC was reportedly rushed to completion so that Joe Biden could “announce the deal” at a press conference in September 2009. There apparently wasn’t “time to negotiate.”
A press release from Solyndra dated August 31, 2011 states that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it could not overcome a “global oversupply of solar panels” in combination with a “decline in credit markets that finance solar systems.” The press release mentions European investors but nothing about the half-billion-dollar loan from the U.S. Treasury footed by U.S. taxpayers.
With the Solyndra loan, American taxpayer money “took a back seat” to that of private investors.
The Fremont, CA Solyndra facility was built just last year, with Obama paying a visit during its construction. He gave a speech while there, stating that Solyndra was “a testament to American ingenuity.” Obama also lauded Solyndra’s employees and predicted that more people would become employed through its technology. He had called Solyndra “a model of success.”
The FBI conducted a raid on the company’s headquarters on September 8, and the loan is now the subject of a criminal investigation. The office of the Energy Department Inspector General has cited Solyndra’s lack of “transparency and accountability.”
Obama has promised “transparency and open government” on the White House website but is reportedly using a stolen social security number and a forged birth certificate. It is unknown as to whether or not the FBI is investigating where the national media will not.
Solyndra was the first to receive money from the Stimulus Bill passed by the Obama regime in 2009 and is under investigation by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. During hearings held on September 14, 2011, a regime official told a member of the committee, “We work to the fullest of our capabilities.”
George Kaiser, a fundraiser for Obama and “frequent White House visitor,” reportedly was invested in Solyndra but has claimed that “he did not use political influence to win approval of the loan.” However, Kaiser gave $53,500 to Obama’s campaign in 2008. Other Solyndra executives reportedly donated “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to the man who calls himself president even though he is not eligible according to Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts loaned money to Evergreen Solar, which declared bankruptcy and relocated to China. It laid off its 800 employees, citing “the much higher government support” in the communist country. Another company, 1366 Technologies, received a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy on the same day that the collapse of Solyndra was announced. A professor at MIT reportedly developed both Evergreen Solar’s technology and that of 1366 Technologies.
Can “green energy” initiatives be self-sustaining, or will they always require government subsidies? Do such further subsidies make sense in light of the bankruptcy of the U.S. Treasury? Could private enterprise do a better job?
The Energy Department has been described as having a “portfolio of investments.” But is it the role of government or its agencies to have a “portfolio?” Is the job of government not to “provide for the common defense” rather than the advancement of political cronies?
“Crony capitalism” is defined as:
a capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.
Obama reportedly promised to install solar panels on the roof of the White House but went back on his pledge, and former staffers and supporters are now upset. Are they not pleased with the “hope and change?“
The regime tells the American people to conserve energy while it continues to spend billions.
The Department of Energy has loaned money to “green energy” initiatives totaling more than $1 billion. The DOE states:
To date, the Department has issued loans, loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $40 billion to support more than 40 clean energy projects across the United States, including several of the world’s largest solar generation facilities, three geothermal projects, the world’s largest wind farm, and the nation’s first new nuclear power plant in three decades.
But who is footing the bill?
Update, September 23, 2011: Guy Benson has reported that “Obama Energy Department representatives sat in on numerous Solyndra board meetings in the months leading up to the company’s failure. They knew it was coming.”