Obama touts $400M loan to solar company run by corrupt congressman’s nephew

posted at 7:45 pm on July 10, 2010 by John McCormack

As Ed pointed out last week, President Obama announced in his July 3 weekly address that the federal government will back nearly $2 billion in loans to two solar power companies as part of its “green jobs” and stimulus programs. The $2 billion is supposed to produce 5,100 jobs–but most of them are only temporary construction jobs. A company called Abound Solar claims its $400 million loan will produce 1,500 permanent jobs in Colorado and Indiana, and–this is a fact Obama conveniently left out of his remarks–the $1.45 billion loan to the Spanish company Abengoa Solar will only produce 85 permanent jobs. That’s right: 85. I’m not cutting off any zeros.

As crazy as it may be to invest millions of dollars per job, this story actually gets much worse. As Andrew B. Wilson writes in the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, there’s a culture of corruption angle:

Russell Kanjorski, the vice president for marketing at Abound Solar, was one of the principals in another energy company in northeast Pennsylvania, called Cornerstone Technologies LLC, which attracted $9 million in federal grants before it halted operations in 2003 and later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As reported by the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, “Cornerstone reported $14,100 in assets compared with $1.34 million in debt” in its bankruptcy filing. The $9 million in federal grants to Cornerstone were earmarked by Kanjorski’s uncle, Representative Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises.

Russell Kanjorski’s old coal technology company already fleeced the government of $9 million in earmarks, and the government has decided to reward his new solar power company with another $400 million in loans. Brilliant. If Kanjorski’s company or the Spanish company default on their loans, taxpayers will be on the hook for paying back 80% of them, according to the Department of Energy.

To get an idea of how much of a scam the Kanjorskis’ Cornerstone Technologies was, watch this Fox News exposé on Rep. Kanjorski’s corrupt earmarks (the whole segment is worth watching but the part on the Cornerstone scandal begins at the 6:30 mark):

“It was clear that these guys are clueless,” Harold Schobert, a Penn State professor of fuel science, told Fox. “It was sort of like trying to collaborate with the cast of Looney Tunes.” Schobert says he knew something was up when Cornerstone officials didn’t even know how to order chemicals and wouldn’t let him on the company’s premises.

So why did the government decide to bet hundreds of millions of dollars on another Kanjorski company? We don’t know. The Department of Energy and Abound Solar declined to release their loan application, citing proprietary reasons. And a White House official did not respond to messages from The Weekly Standard requesting an interview.

(You can read the whole story by Andrew Wilson at weeklystandard.com.)


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Speechless, I am.

Electrongod on July 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Randy “Duke” Cunningham should have switched parties…

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

dear leader helping out his cronies, part 324…

cmsinaz on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

The ultra-modern solar farm near Chicago covers 40 acres and produces a whopping 10 MW.

Contrast with the ultra-modern coal plant in WI which coves less acres and produces 1200 MW — rain or shine.

Friendly21 on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

The Chicago corruption is in the headlines.
This sleazy abengo has already done the ethanol handouts for tens of millions.
Abengo is into gubment handouts and welfare,.
They are a very poorly run company.

seven on July 10, 2010 at 7:51 PM

These rent-seeking wealth destroyers need to be stopped. It is criminal.

Inanemergencydial on July 10, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Speechless, I am.

Electrongod on July 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Me too, but only because I have run out of adjectives and superlatives to describe this bunch of criminals. They make Nixon look like St. Peter.

thomasaur on July 10, 2010 at 7:52 PM

The ultra-modern solar farm near Chicago covers 40 acres and produces a whopping 10 MW.

Contrast with the ultra-modern coal plant in WI which coves less acres and produces 1200 MW — rain or shine.

Friendly21 on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Indeed. Once the environmental shifts back to habitat loss as the primary enemy, instead of CO2, a lot of these “green” solutions will suddenly become environmentally horrifying.

David Shane on July 10, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Completely unexpected No one, NO ONE could have seen this coming.

Skandia Recluse on July 10, 2010 at 7:56 PM

• Abengoa Bioenergy, of Chesterfield, Mo., $76 million for a Kansas plant consuming corn stover, wheat straw, milo stubble and switch grass.

Abengoa said this week it has shut down ethanol production at its largest Spanish plant because ethanol is currently unprofitable due to high feedstock prices and the current outlook for ethanol in Spain. The plant was idled for the same reason earlier this year.

Abengoa has two other Spanish plants which remain in production; recently the company put a 27 Mgy US plant in Mexico up for sale and announced it would be concentrating on larger ethanol plants as well as cellulosic ethanol research.

Rip off the gubments and run with the money. Obama doesn’t know Abengoa.

seven on July 10, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Is this a joke?

visions on July 10, 2010 at 8:07 PM

There’s one born every minute.

OldEnglish on July 10, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I’ve developed a new “Green” power source that is gonna revolutionize the world. It just sucks electricity right out of the air and produces no waste products at all. It’s gonna be so great and I’m gonna give electricity away free to poor people and only the rich will have to pay…and those tea baggers of course. Rush Limbaugh will have to pay double too. Now I’ve already got this new tech all developed but I need a small amount of stimulus to work out some minor bugs. I’ll need 2 or 3 billion to start and maybe 20 years and then I’ll be able to start building a pilot plant if I can get funding. It’s gonna be great I tell you, where can I get my stimulus?

Oldnuke on July 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM

The people may not be happy with Godfather Obama, but the capos are very happy.

semloh on July 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Speechless, I am.

Electrongod on July 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Me too, but only because I have run out of adjectives and superlatives to describe this bunch of criminals. They make Nixon look like St. Peter.

thomasaur on July 10, 2010 at 7:52 PM

How far have we fallen that crimes are committed at high noon, in public, and nothing happens? How lethargic, unconcerned, lazy and slovenly are the responsible public “officials” to not notice this or worse, to look the other way muttering “business as usual”? Why isn’t this “Congressman” Kanjorski hanging by his thumbs on the Washington Mall? With bleeding lashes striping his naked back?

Where is the honest OUTRAGE and public DISGUST? What have we become? Where do we go from here?

Who is John Galt on July 10, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Speechless, I am.

Electrongod on July 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Cheer up. Soon speechless and penniless, you will be.

Luka on July 10, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Whats the problem here ?
Its not like Obama gave his devotee a billion dollars. He didn’t even give him half a billion. Whats a few hundred million dollars between a God and his worshippers ? Take a chill pill folks ……….

macncheez on July 10, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Where do we go from here?

Who is John Galt on July 10, 2010 at 8:15 PM

To Hell in a hand basket.

Luka on July 10, 2010 at 8:19 PM

So why did the government decide to bet hundreds of millions of dollars on another Kanjorski company? We don’t know.

Uh, yeah we do. We know exactly why. Because Russel Kanjorski has the right connections. The fact that a congressman’s nephew is being rewarded here is the most non-shocking thing in the story.

This is the problem with a lot of these “green energy” startups. They are set up almost for the express purpose of obtaining government dough. Not innovating energy production, not providing cost-effective alternative energy, but simply to line up at the government trough.
This is the problem when an entire industry is almost wholly dependent on government subsidies.

JohnInCA on July 10, 2010 at 8:20 PM

That would be Uh-Oh-bama.

Cultured in corruption.

profitsbeard on July 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM

The Department of Energy and Abound Solar declined to release their loan application, citing proprietary reasons.

That is a LOAD OF CRAP. Loan applications for taxpayer funds should be available for viewing by anyone.

GarandFan on July 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Randy “Duke” Cunningham should have switched parties…Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

At least Duke had done something FOR this country…an Ace in VN. Not to excuse his illegal conduct.

Dingbat63 on July 10, 2010 at 8:35 PM

So why did the government decide to bet hundreds of millions of dollars on another Kanjorski company? We don’t know.

Yes we do.

Midas on July 10, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Don’t eat the green pork.

petefrt on July 10, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Hey, at least Cunningham’s pork created REAL jobs.

CPT. Charles on July 10, 2010 at 8:41 PM

No wonder they hate Fox. They run news on crooks.
We need an financial statement from the Department of Energy. If they are lending and guaranteeing loans banks can’t touch, we need to know.
More Madoff operators out there.

seven on July 10, 2010 at 8:42 PM

One would think that with so much of this graft going on…

… that an army of “Madame Defarge”s would be knitting the names of the corrupt and lawless that govern us into a list for prosecution once “We The People” take power again.

Seven Percent Solution on July 10, 2010 at 8:50 PM

Dam you Pelosi,if only you would of gotten off your
porked fat *ss,and cleaned your house,as promised,of
this culture of corruption!!

Pick up the dam broom,Nancy(sarc).

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Pick up the dam broom,Nancy(sarc).

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 8:52 PM

She flies on an Air Force plane these days.

thomasaur on July 10, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Hope/Change/Clueless

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Lou Barletta (R) is running against Rep. Kanjorski.

Check out Lou Barletta’s campaign website at:
http://loubarletta.com/

If you live in Pennsylvania, please let us know what is being done to make sure Rep. Kanjorski is VOTED OUT OF OFFICE in November!

wren on July 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM

So can someone explain to me how the Department of Energy can guarantee $2 billion in loans, backed by the full faith of the US? Are they a bank? Where are their deposits? Does Congress have any say so in this matter? What is the collateral?

This shit is really pissing me off. Banana republic, indeed.

GnuBreed on July 10, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Pick up the dam broom,Nancy(sarc).

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 8:52 PM
===================================
She flies on an Air Force plane these days.

thomasaur on July 10, 2010 at 8:58 PM

thomasaur:Yup,and it gets worst!!:)
========================================================

Pelosi’s Children and Grandchildren Used Military Jets As Cross-Country Shuttle Service So They Could Avoid Dealing With the Rabble
——————

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/01/pelosi-children-and-grandchildren-get.html

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 9:07 PM

So…umm…exactly what laws are for the Left,
and which ones can be used for prosection,and
when in prosecution mode,are there any laws,
once in court mode,cannot be dropped!!

canopfor on July 10, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Congress has scheduled its Summer District Work Period for August 9 – September 12.

If you live in PA-11, start calling Rep. Kanjorski’s office to find out when he will be holding Town Hall meetings during this period.

We will all look forward to seeing your videos of his Town Hall meetings!

wren on July 10, 2010 at 9:10 PM

FOIA request for the Department of Energy – this is a new low for this administration. Keep eyes open as the Dems begin to spend maniacally before they lose the House AND the Senate in 2010.

bbh on July 10, 2010 at 9:18 PM

This is breathtaking. So sleazy and it infuriates me.

I am an officer in a little public company and we just got the deal of the century signed in the clean green area of the green industry. We are scrambling to find about $5 million in private funding to go with our deal and will pay dearly for securing funding out of the proceeds. This $5 million will parlay into a lot of jobs and some amazing things for both crop yields and reducing pollution in the watersheds.

Meanwhile, the politically connected dirtballs are getting breathtaking sums of tax dollars for what? No one needs to build a new factory when probably every state has 20% vacancies!!! We were able to move our HQ into about 3000 sq feet with no down payment and didn’t have to sign a multi year lease. There are deals abound in getting office or factory space.

This corruption has to stop. Projects need to stand on their own merits, or they just need to die on the vine.

Fortunately, we can prove our numbers and technology and we will get our funding, be we are working hard to get some without getting fleeced in the process.

karenhasfreedom on July 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM

If they default? Areyoukiddin’me! That’s the plan all along. Take the money and run and the taxpayers get it in the shorts again. Hey, dem voters, you’re getting screwed by the crooks right along with the rest of us.

Kissmygrits on July 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Is this teh same cousin who is married to an Obama Administration ‘green jobs’ czarina? Or is this some other theiving marxicrat bastard?

rayra on July 10, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Would that be the Department of Energy that is run by Nobel-Prize winner Stephen Chu?…..

TeresainFortWorth on July 10, 2010 at 10:10 PM

That was another solar-fraud company, Solyndra Inc. The owner is married to an Obama staffer.

rayra on July 10, 2010 at 10:11 PM

…. and ta-da, that Solyndra co is tied to Goldman Sachs.

Crime Inc, ladies and gentlemen, STEALING OUR TAX DOLLARS just as fast as they can arrange the shell companies.

rayra on July 10, 2010 at 10:14 PM

They are blatantly stealing money directly from our paychecks.

And they will continue to increase taxes so that they have even more money to stuff in their pockets.

Scum.

When are people going to get outraged at this stuff???

justltl on July 10, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Any of them not voted out should be lined up against the wall.

Fair warning.

EZnSF on July 10, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Worth checking on where Abound Solar and Solyndra, Inc. end up before the 2012 elections. Almost a billion dollars in DOE loan guarantees offered by the Obama administration for both companies. Solyndra is already suffering financial problems. A May 2010 visit by Obama himself was used to juice up the PR following a Price Waterhouse auditor’s warning. Abound’s problems will more likely be due to their cadmium telluride thin-film process. Tellurium is an extremely rare element, although cheap. But most of the future Tellurium mining will be in China, which is already a world leader in solar panel manufacturing, a strategic consumer of tellurium, and in a great position to directly or indirectly squeeze out Abound. 5 gets you 10 that both companies go belly up — and $1G of taxpayer money goes down the green toilet.

16MPG on July 10, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Is anyone keeping tabs on how much taxpayer money has been flushed down the toilet on green jobs and clean energy?

This whole thing is a criminal enterprise.

Inanemergencydial on July 10, 2010 at 10:33 PM

I told you that this buck teeth Representative should be in jail. He’s a imbecile and a moron. Only CNBC and the ignorant voters of PA would think this man has any smarts.

Hummer53 on July 10, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Wow, it’s like the toadies that write PantLoad’s speeches got into the ‘It’s Boooosh’s Falult’ pile by mistake or something.

BigWyo on July 10, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Lou Barletta (R) is running against Rep. Kanjorski.

Check out Lou Barletta’s campaign website at:
http://loubarletta.com/

If you live in Pennsylvania, please let us know what is being done to make sure Rep. Kanjorski is VOTED OUT OF OFFICE in November!

wren on July 10, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Lou Barletta is a fine, fine candidate who should send Kanjorski fleeing from his political soft seat…if there were any justice and honesty in the system.

As mayor (of Wilkes Barre ??), Barletta pushed for strong legal measures against businesses and those who rented to illegals because crime and drains on the school system were crippling his city. The ACLU stepped in to challenge Barletta’s council with the crookedest tactics possible. The legal costs to fight this travesty were appalling.

I heard Barletta speak to our county Republican party several years ago, and I found him to be a genuinely great candidate. He would fight against corruption.

onlineanalyst on July 11, 2010 at 12:12 AM

One of the reasons they push global warming and green jobs is that they know the scientifically uneducated will buy it because they have no idea what energy is, much less producing, harnessing and conversion.

It is a scam that is ripe for the pickings.

TheSitRep on July 11, 2010 at 12:29 AM

The Feds never bother to research what’s actually going on–or do they and it’s deliberate.

jeanie on July 11, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Oh, and lest we forget –that’s our hard earned money they are doling out. They just don’t seem to recall that little fact! Be more productive if they left it with us.

jeanie on July 11, 2010 at 12:54 AM

The worst part of all of this is that the GOVERNMENT should NOT be picking the winners and losers in the marketplace. That causes horrible inefficiencies in capital in an economy.

At this point we have to believe Obama is deliberately wrecking this country. There is no other explanation. He is diabolical.

karenhasfreedom on July 11, 2010 at 1:08 AM

This is what politicians do. That’s one big reason I hate politicians.

Sarah Palin, Liz Cheney, etc., they are not politicians.

Sarah Palin is excellent at politics, but that doesn’t make her a politician. A politician’s only purpose in life is to get elected and stay in office, any which way he/she can. These kinds of people have no other purpose, no other talent, so all they can do to accomplish their goals is lie, cheat, steal, and pay off friends and cronies.

Daggett on July 11, 2010 at 1:28 AM

Green Piracy – Getting Leftists into power so as to take taxpayer funds through front organizations with pleasing sounding ideas that don’t work.

They have ripped off Spain and Greece, are fleeing the lack of easy funds in Germany and coming to the US.

Soon, very soon, we will have rusty wind farms, dust coated solar power plants, and shuttered ethanol facilities as the subsidies go away here, too. Then we will be without new oil production, new refineries, and the ‘Green’ opposition to clean nuclear power will put us squarely behind the 8 Ball of Economics.

Thank you, Luddite Left.

Thanks… for nothing.

ajacksonian on July 11, 2010 at 6:31 AM

C’mon Kanjorskis are good peps. It’s not like they are minorities or defectives. /s

Caper29 on July 11, 2010 at 7:29 AM

Why is anyone surprised at Democrat corruption? Look at the Chicago corruption that put Obama into office. But it’s OK. In November, Dems go home. In 2012, Obama goes home, perhaps to Kenya, his real home.

afotia on July 11, 2010 at 7:47 AM

The Govt the Tea Party elects
better have some teeth and
a taste for blood!

Then throw these thieving
bastages in the clink!

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on July 11, 2010 at 8:25 AM

We have little time left to deal with these scum at the ballot box. The fear of a lame-duck Congress running roughshod over the Constitution is nothing compared to a corrupt Congress reelected and given the green light to do the same for another two years. If we don’t have the will now, we won’t have it in 2012.

Extrafishy on July 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Why? Easy buying votes on Obama’s progressive social engineering bills!

xler8bmw on July 11, 2010 at 9:05 AM

HOW’S YA 13 DOLLAR STIMULUS CHECK WORK N OUT 4 YA

rOfLmMfAoTiMgD

donabernathy on July 11, 2010 at 9:21 AM

We need a financial statement from to close the Department of Energy.

seven on July 10, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Vashta.Nerada on July 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I wonder why they use solar cells on space craft and not cheaper means of generating electricity.

I predict there will be no one who is a live today, will be alive when solar power becomes common place replacement for coal

BTW, did you know you can make liquid transport fuel from coal at under $30 a barrel oil equivalent? Yep UT proved it out, China is building refineries now. We are jousting with windmills, bird Cuisinarts, and unicorn manufacturing technology. And you think we are so smart …

tarpon on July 11, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Anyone have knowledge if any of these companies have a connection with Hoku Solar that has run a similar type of scam in Hawaii?

MSGTAS on July 11, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Don’t y’all get it? By giving his nephew this money he ensures that no minorities or defectives get it! It all goes to good, average American people who’s uncles are Democrap congressmen!

Use your brains!

Akzed on July 11, 2010 at 2:18 PM