Heralded as the darling of the green jobs push by the Obama Whitehouse last year, Solyndra has become an extremely well known disaster. Before we dismiss this as just another example of government waste, let’s consider why the Solyndra story is important to you. Here are 7 things you should know in the wake of the Solyndra failure.
1. Solyndra is proof positive that the Obama administrations promise of “the future is now for Green Jobs,” is a pipe dream.
Solyndra is only the tip of the iceberg of green job failures, but may be the only one we hear much about only because of the Congressional hearings. Sadder still, the loss of $535 million may turn out to be only a drop in the bucket of the total cost of this fictitious green jobs market.
2. This Administrations complete disregard for the working people of this country.
During the Solyndra visit in May as Obama was saying “The promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith,” and, “It’s not just some abstract possibility for science fiction movies or a distant future or 10 years down the road or 20 years, it’s happening right now. The future is here.” All of the construction workers at Solyndra were sent home without pay.
The Obama staff considered having construction workers on site during the presidential visit, a security risk so they were forced to take the day off without pay. Union workers, I might add.
The exact number of workers is not known, one source indicates 3,000, but I find that an exaggeration, so for arguments sake I’ll say 1100 (which is around the number of employees that were at Solyndra at the time).
Assuming each worker made $20.00 per hour (an extremely low estimate for wages in California and it’s probably twice that amount) X an 8 hour day X 1100 employee’s = $176,000. That’s what Obama’s photo op cost the employees, their families, and the community.
The employees lost a days pay for a speech that was a lie. While Obama often speaks of support for the middle class, he sent 1100 middle class workers home for the day without pay for a photo op.
3. How did one company get a loan this large?
While the loss of $535 million of taxpayer funds is no small matter, how they got the funds and who authorized the loan is what is important. Were they vetted and approved by anyone other than the Obama administration or one of his appointee’s?
No. The loans were approved by the DOE not Congress. The 2 top executives of the DOE are both Obama appointees. Having the ability to make $500 million loans without Congressional vetting or oversight is extremely poor management of our tax money and lends itself to the kind of crony capitalism this administration loves, but this country does not need.
Even though you hear little about this agency here are a couple of quick facts;
The DOE (Department of Energy) was founded in 1977 and currently has a $24 billion annual budget. The DOE directly employs over 16,000 people and indirectly employs 95,000 people.
That’s a huge organization to be under the direction of 2 executives, both of which are presidential appointees. Loan approvals with little or no checks and balances in place outside of the DOE, sounds just like the self-insured mortgage-backed securities that brought down the housing market in 2008.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently testified before the committee investigating the Solyndra debacle, and from that testimony, one fact because very clear: Just because you are a world class Physicist, doesn’t qualify you to make business decisions involving $500 million loan guarantees with taxpayer funds.
4. Crony capitalism at it’s worse.
The largest private investor in Solyndra is George Kaiser, an Obama supporter and fundraiser, who is currently under investigation by the state of Oklahoma involving $30 million in tax credits awarded to one of his companies by that state. And one can bet that George Soros is also tied into this little venture as well.
And let’s not forget Steve Spinner; Spinner was a former top Obama administration Energy Department official whose job included overseeing the loan guarantee program.
In 2008 Spinner was an Obama fund raiser, raising between $250 to $500,000 that year. And now that he is no longer overseeing loans for the DOE, he’s back to fund-raising for Obama.
Spinner goes from fundraiser to DOE loan administrator then back to fundraiser conveniently before Solyndra tanked.
5. The taxpayer looses 3 times.
Private Investors in Solyndra will be able to take a tax write off for their loss.
The taxpayer will not have that luxury, meaning we lose.
We lost our initial investment. The $535 million is gone with no chance of recovery. That’s loss number one.
Number 2 is the loss of tax revenue private investors will be able to save by writing off their loss.
Loss number 3; the $535 million is not the total cost of this mess. $14 million of taxpayer funds will be spent (or thrown out the window) as grants for retraining the 1100 workers of Solyndra who are now out of work at a cost of $13,000 per person.
They qualified for this benefit under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. What a joke. Not counting the cost investigating and holding hearings into this disaster.
6. Obama’s public image at all cost.
Obama knew Solyndra was failing long before we did, and he kept the lie alive. Records are surfacing indicating that the administration knew not only was Solyndra a bad risk, but that they were failing even when Obama made his speech in May of 2010.
It seems the DOE knew there were problems in Feb 2011 when Solyndra ran out of cash and they were negotiating a $75 million influx of cash from a private investors firm in exchange the DOE among other things would restructure Solyndra’s debt.
Since the Solyndra bankruptcy President Obama has gone to great lengths to distance himself from the whole affair.
This administration will do anything and everything to complete their green jobs agenda no matter who it has to pay for it, or how big a failure it really is.
7. Skirting the law once again.
While there are hearings under way regarding this sordid affair, I have little faith that anything will come of them other than a lot of talk. Since the Attorney General’s competence speaks for itself, no one will be prosecuted. Everyone just walks away scott-free. The CEO and CFO of Solyndra have pleaded the 5th before the Congressional investigative board so it looks like they walk away.
The CEO and CFO walk away. The former DOE loan administrator Steve Spinner has gone back to fundraising so he’s out of the picture. No one has any plans to go after Steven Chu for any wrong doing. The White house will not be pressured for anything from the Attorney General.
The hearings will end with the usual ya-ya about poor decisions and lessons learned blah, blah, blah, with no one actually being held accountable.
Solyndra still has a website (a sad commentary in itself).
Solyndra’s website gives the impression of a thriving business with a bright future, and yet……
This article listed under Latest News
Solyndra Suspends Operations to Evaluate Reorganization Options
There is no company, no thriving business, and no future; it’s just a pretty website that is a facade, without substance; much like the Obama promise of Hope and Change.