For Obama, Green Is Good.
Especially when it’s our money paying off his bundler pals to achieve what is quite possibly the greatest boondoggle in U.S. History. Solyndra is of course the name everyone knows at the moment, but there is a growing list of Solyndra-like companies cashing in on loan checks that Obama seemingly is handing out like candy. Stephen Hayward of The Weekly Standard has an excellent timeline piece on Solyndra. One of its opening paragraphs hits the reader like a two-by-four between the eyes:
“The sudden bankruptcy of the Fremont, California, manufacturer of solar panels after it was feted as a model creator of “green jobs” by President Obama and Vice President Biden has already featured FBI raids, contentious congressional hearings, and demands for a special prosecutor to investigate. The plot thickened further last week when Solyndra’s two top executives, who made 20 trips to the White House while their loan application was under consideration, invoked the Fifth Amendment rather than answer questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.”
It’s a crazy and complicated story, but I’ve tried to assemble some highlights of the problems with Solyndra. From start to finish, it would appear Solyndra was doomed to fail and everybody involved knew it. Despite the warnings given, the Obama administration continued to back the loan. The White House spun it as if Solyndra was in great shape, when in truth they were worried about the impact that the knowledge of the ailing company would have on the 2012 Campaign. Meanwhile, since Solyndra had taken the loan, a spending spree had begun:
“After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right,” said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. “Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”
It gets better. It was uncovered recently that Obama restructured the loan to pay out private investors ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default. Argonaut Ventures and Madrone Partners were to be paid before the government if Solyndra was liquidated. Take note that Argonaut is tied to George Kaiser, who owns close to 36% of Solyndra and was a bundler for Obama, raising between $50,000-$100,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign. Video of Kaiser has surfaced of Kaiser speaking at the Rotary Club of Tulsa, where he talks about the loan being given to Solyndra and that “It’s time to cash in on the mother of all government handouts.”
As one might imagine, Solyndra has lawyered up. Their lawyers are, of course, major Democratic donors. Gotta keep it all in the family, you know. They’re blaming the DOE for their downfall and subsequent bankruptcy, if you can believe it — they didn’t loan Solyndra enough money and that’s why they failed. Seriously? I’d be surprised if a Special Prosecutor is not assigned in the not too distant future, especially with Solyndra execs taking the 5th in front of a Congressional Hearing.
It started with Solyndra and the hits keep coming. This is the list of ‘Green- Grabbers‘ I’ve compiled to date from what I’ve been able to find and read thus far:
BrightSource – $1.37 Billion federal loan guarantee.
Nextra Energy – $1.5 Billion federal loan guarantee.
Mojave Solar – $1.2 Billion federal loan guarantee.
Prologis – $1.4 Billion federal loan guarantee.
SunCorp – $1.2 Billion federal loan guarantee.
Tonophah – $737 Million federal loan guarantee.
AC Solar Ranch – $646 Million federal loan guarantee.
Exelon Corp. – $646 Million federal loan guarantee.
Solyndra – $535 Million federal loan guarantee.
Abound Solar – $400 Million federal loan guarantee.
Abengoa Solar – $132 Million federal loan guarantee.
Beacon Power – $43 Million federal loan guarantee.
Nordic Power – $16 Million federal loan guarantee.
Both sides of the aisle are in varying degrees of outrage, but that pales in comparison to the public outrage — at least for those of us following the story since only a few of the major networks are barely even reporting it as of the posting of this article. The Capitol is not silent, however, the House Budget Committee has issued a report (PDF HERE) that I have excerpted below. Emphasis is mine:
“The president’s stimulus law alone included tens of billions in new government subsidies for politically favored renewable-energy interests: $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy investments; $17 billion for the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; $2 billion for energy-efficient battery manufacturing; and billions more on other ‘clean-energy’ programs for a total of $80 billion. Two years later, the president’s promise of millions of jobs stands in stark contrast with reality.”
“Subsidies for renewable energy production have surged since the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress dramatically increased taxpayer support for these sources of energy with the stimulus law and other appropriations. In 2010, $11.9 billion was recorded in total federal subsidies for electricity production, according to a report from the EIA. Of this nearly $12 billion in subsidies, renewable-energy sources received $6.6 billion, or 55.3%, even though they accounted for just 10.3% of the electricity generation. Wind plants alone accounted for 42% of total electricity-related subsidies. Total subsidies for renewable energy, including biofuels, rose from $5.1 billion in 2007 to $14.7 billion in 2010. Much of that increase was due to stimulus spending, the report noted, a 188% increase.”
188% increase… from $5.1 to $14.7 Billion! And he’s not done yet. I feel like I’m watching a horror film, and I’m yelling for the dumb blonde to run because instead of doing the smart thing, she’s descending the staircase into the creepy basement. In the case of these green loans, I’m afraid to watch but I’m even more afraid to cover my eyes.