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Sep 01 2011

Green Energy Boondoggle Solyndra Sinks

It is time to stick a fork in disgustingly corrupt “green energy” boondoggles while it is still conceivable that we might pull back from the edge of national bankruptcy — as proven by the sordid story of Solyndra:

Major donors to President Obama have received favorable treatment throughout his administration. [Wednesday]‘s news that solar company Solyndra is going bankrupt demonstrates the consequences of that apparent cronyism. The company’s demise is likely to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Solyndra suspended operations Wednesday and will soon file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and lay off its 1,100 employees. The company cited “regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months” as the cause of its financial hardships, which have “created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion,” according to the company’s CEO. Solyndra is the third solar company to file for bankruptcy this month.

Those “regulatory and policy uncertainties” are inflicted by the same authoritarian behemoth that handed Solyndra over half a $billion of our money as a reward for the company’s coziness with Obama — a staggering fortune that now will apparently go swirling down the drain.

The Energy Department bypassed its normal vetting procedures in awarding Solyndra a $535 million loan guarantee in early 2009, the Center for Public Integrity reported in May. Now, the company’s bankruptcy may stick taxpayers with the bill for that loan.

Solyndra was allowed to skip the usual financial assessment before receiving the massive public handout, not only because inefficient solar panels are politically correct, but because…

George Kaiser, one of Solyndra’s top investors, raised about $50,000 for Obama’s presidential campaign.

The loan guarantee was part of the Export-Import Bank’s “Renewable Express” program, which was created to encourage exports in the renewable energy industry. The Export-Import Bank’s president and chairman, Fred Hochberg, was also a major Obama donor, bundling an estimated $100,000 for his campaign.

Even the Government Accountability Office can’t help but smell a rat, having

found in its audit of the loan program that the government had “treated applicants inconsistently, favoring some and disadvantaging others.” Solyndra was among the favored companies; Wednesday’s events confirm that it was not the company’s financial viability that earned it the federal loan.

The crony capitalist Obamunists at Solyndra are not alone.

Though the Energy Department and Solyndra deny that political considerations influenced the company’s favorable treatment, the company is just one among many firms owned, operated, or financed by a major Obama donor that have enjoyed such treatment. In fact, “nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events,” Politico noted in March

Another one of those donors owns a venture capital firm with four renewable energy companies in its portfolio that have also received more than $500 million in loans, grants, or stimulus funds. One hopes they fare better than Solyndra.

Don’t count on it. If green energy made any sort of economic sense, subsidies would not be necessary. The purpose is not to keep the lights on, but to transfer our money to the pockets of political donors. Green energy is grand larceny wrapped in fraud.

Not even exporting jobs to China to escape red tape could save a Solyndra:

When government loan guarantees of more than half a billion dollars were secured, Solyndra bragged that its new plant expansion would create 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent manufacturing positions. On a plant-site visit, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. enthused, “These are jobs that won’t be exported.” Not so, Joe. … Solyndra sent half its manufacturing to China.

Solyndra is the perfect corporate embodiment of Obamunism. Its corpse needs to be hung around President Downgrade’s neck.

On tips from The MaryHunter, J, SR, G. Fox, Sean, Shawn, and Byron.

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  • A_Nonny_Mouse

    I was wondering… how much do you suppose the executives of this company paid themselves in salary and bonuses? That should all come out in the bankruptcy filing, right?

    (That’s one of the reasons I’ve developed a jaundiced view of non-profits as well; the salaries some of these guys draw would just take your breath away…!)

  • The MaryHunter

    I feel rotten for these green-jobs employees who were suckered into a looser industry and then canned… but I feel double rotten for the 2.2 regular-sector employees who lost a job for every one of those doomed green jobs. Net jobs loss: triple.

    Can’t wait to hear Chairman Zero’s jobs speech so he can pick some more industry winners.

  • Sinister66

    A_Nonny_Mouse

    “(That’s one of the reasons I’ve developed a jaundiced view of non-profits as well; the salaries some of these guys draw would just take your breath away…!)”

    You can say that again. I own 3 non proffits and between the combined state and federal income taxes on the salaries I draw from each I pay almost 7 figures.

  • KHarn

    Me too, THE MARY HUNTER; it sometimes HURTS to say “we told you so”. It would have been great if they had been able to make a success of this, but any time a company goes begging the government for a handout it should throw up a big warning sign.

    Whatever happened to businesses doing a “cost/benefit analisis” before spending a gob of money? Do any of the regressives who prowl this site know what that is?

  • Grunt

    “nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events,”

    What do you know. Funny thing is, when it was heard that Mr. Cheney had stock in Halliburton, all we heard was “Cronyism!” from the left. (Never mind that Mike Moore ALSO had stock in Halliburton and several of the other companies he condemned as Capitalist Swine…I guess he wanted to keep the stocks low so he could buy more….)

    Either way…the sad fact is, they hold us to rules they themselves aren’t bound by, and for them, that’s just fine.

    Much like any of the little asses who troll here…it’s bad all around….until they themselves are guilty of the exact same thing.

  • wingmann

    Green we much.

  • Spurwing Plover

    Looks like the so called GREEN MOVMENT is running out of steam oviously not as popular as the leftists news media claimed

  • AC

    I was wondering… how much do you suppose the executives of this company paid themselves in salary and bonuses? That should all come out in the bankruptcy filing, right?

    For many of these startups, that’s the entire point.

    There is a certain breed of startup which exists primarily to provide jobs to the corporate pitchmen securing the funding, even more so when they’re juiced in with government or unaccountable pension funds.

    It doesn’t matter whether they’re making solar panels or dog bicycles. They’ll fund the venture, collect the perks, then keep the debt and equity sales rolling as long as they can.

    If the company succeeds they’ll exercise a ton of stock options. If the company fails, they’ll come up with a new idea and get new funding from new suckers.

    In South Florida I got approached by a ton of private investment opportunities in what appeared to be jobs boondoggles for the idea men. The key warning sign is how much of a financial commitment the idea men have put into the venture. If their investment is limited to having the lawyers draw up the articles of incorporation, NDAs, and share purchase agreements, then chances are its a jobs program for somebody.

    Real entrepreneurs have real skin in the game. I don’t know how much the Solyndra execs stood to lose, but I would guess it wouldn’t be much, because they had access to government funding instead. No need to fully commit when you have a politician in your pocket.

  • EnergyEngineer

    I’m an engineer who works in the energy industry including a brief stint at a solar company.

    Not only is solar completely unviable and Solyndra received a crazy amount of government loans they didn’t deserve but the solar industry also benefits from a 30% tax credit (no limit) for any purchase a person or corporation makes in Solar. Additionally, the solar investment can be fully depreciated in the first year. These are just the federal subsidies.

    In my state North Carolina, solar investments receive an additional 35% tax credit (no limit) so an individual only needs to pay 35% of the actual cost of there solar farm not counting the depreciation benefits. Then in North Carolina utility companies are required to produce a certain percentage of there electricity from renewable sources by 2020 I believe. A certain fraction of that renewable energy must come from solar. This requirement forces the utility companies to pay a premium for solar electricity. Progress energy is willing to pay 18 cents a kwh for solar electricity. With all of this corporate welfare a solar farm still needs favorable land and weather conditions to be viable.

    While I was working at the solar company I watched the owner “lobby” (AKA beg for more welfare), the state government for more solar incentives so that solar “can succeed.” Needless to say I had to listen to moonbats talk about how great solar and obama are.

    Fortunately the tax cuts are set to expire in a few years and the whole solar “industry” will collapse.

  • Narrator 1

    Just a few measly hundred million? What a total con job. Obama bought and paid for these perennial losers on the cheap.

  • Falconsword

    This is crossing the line to Atlas Shrugged in so many ways. You know, I’m not the kind of person who started screaming “Impeach Obama” five minutes after he was elected.Well, it’s over two years, now THIS is a blatant example. HOW IS THIS NOT ILLEGAL?!

    With examples like this, the race is the Republicans to loose.

  • Beef

    Some percentage of the billions Obama has dispersed to his supporters is going to come flowing back for his reelection campaign. He could be the two billion dollar man this time.

  • ED357

    Business Plans during the 0BAMA reign…..

    TAKE as much government money as you can……as fast as you can……

    SPEND said government money as fast as you can…..

    FILE for bankruptcy as fast as you can……

    LAUGH all the way to the exits.

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