Obama sold the San Francisco solar company, Solyndra as the future of Green technology, “leading the way”, “a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism”. In late 2009, Solyndra received a loan guarantee of $535 million via the Department of Energy’s “Section 1705 program” created by the 2009 stimulus.
Turns out it was money down the toilet.
President Obama faces political catastrophe in the form of Solyndra — a San Francisco Bay area solar company that he touted as a gleaming example of green technology. It has announced it will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More than 1,100 people will lose their jobs.
During a visit to the Fremont facility in spring of 2010, the President said the factory “is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. ”
It’s not his statements the administration will regret; it’s the loan guarantees. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup. The administration didn’t do its due diligence, says the Government Accountability Office. “There’s a consequence if you don’t follow a rigorous process that’s transparent,” Franklin Rusco of GAO told the website iWatch News.
Solyndra has been the focus of a House Oversight Committee investigation because the shady connections to the Stimulus loan:
In addition to Solyndra’s financial troubles, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee was piqued by the possibility that the solar company’s loan guarantee had been influenced by politics. As has been reportedby ABC News and iWatch News, Solyndra’s primary financial backer was a “bundler” (i.e., big-time fundraiser) for then-Senator Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign.Also suspicious is the timing of Solyndra’s loan guarantee. It was closed 10 months before the next such loan guarantee; in the ten months thereafter, 10 loan guarantee were closed. It certainly seems as if the Solyndra loan guarantee was rushed out the door. The Subcommittee would like to know why.In January, the Subcommittee opened its investigation. On March 14, it requested documentation on the loan guarantee from the Office of Management and Budget, which has an oversight role with regard to the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, but OMB has refused to produce the documents. The subcommittee convened a hearing June 24 to hear directly from OMB Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients, but he refused to show up to testify.
Question for Issa: What’s the use of having subpoena power if no one honors your requests?
- Last year, Seattle was awarded $20 million in stimulus funds to weatherize buildings. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn promised that the money would improve energy efficiency in 200 buildings (in practice, this means calking and insulating), thereby creating 2,000 “green jobs.” This proved to be a gross overestimate. Two weeks ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the program a “bust.” The newspaper reported that a scant 14 jobs have been created, most of which were administration.
- According to a recent New York Times article on the failure of President Barack Obama’s green jobs agenda, California has spent half of $186 million in stimulus money it received for weatherization programs. The money created a paltry 538 full time jobs, at a cost of almost $173,000 per job. What a crummy deal!
- Then there’s Evergreen Solar, a solar-power components manufacturer. In April 2009, the White House issued a press-release stating that stimulus money* resulted in Evergreen Solar seeking to fill 90-100 jobs at a plant in Devens, Massachusetts. A year later, Evergreen Solar packed up its bags and moved operations to China. This month, it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The American Thinker: Obama blows $535 million dollars on a crony capitalist scheme declaring bankruptcy today