Inquiring minds want to know: Why did green-jobs bust Solyndra get a gigantic federal loan?

posted at 3:27 pm on September 2, 2011 by Allahpundit

Rich Lowry calls it “Obama’s Enron.” Over to you, House Republicans:

House investigators said they have uncovered evidence that White House officials became personally involved in an Energy Department review of a hot-button $535 million loan guarantee to the now-failed California solar company Solyndra…

“We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra’s application and communicated with [Department of Energy] and Office of Management and Budget officials during the course of their review,” the letter says…

“Here’s the bottom line,” [solar industry analyst Peter] Lynch said. “It costs them $6 to make a unit. They’re selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan.”

Other flags have been raised about how the Energy Department pushed the deal forward. The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News and ABC disclosed that Energy Department officials announced the support for Solyndra even before final marketing and legal reviews were in. To government auditors, that move raised questions about just how fully the department vetted the deal — and assessed its risk to taxpayers — before signing off.

The White House insists it didn’t intervene with DOE on Solyndra’s behalf, but — go figure — the company’s key investor was a foundation headed by George Kaiser, a billionaire known for raising boatloads of money for Barack Obama. The Kaiser Foundation insists that it’s going to take a loss from Solyndra’s failure just like all the other investors, which doesn’t quite explain why Solyndra got a half-billion-dollar loan to keep on chugging towards unprofitability in the first place. And this may be just the beginning:

Solyndra’s closing has raised concerns about other renewable energy investments by the Obama administration.

Frank Rusco, a Government Accountability Office director who helped lead a review of the Solyndra loan and the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, said the GAO remains “greatly concerned” by its 2010 finding that the agency agreed to back five companies with loans without properly assessing their failure risk. The companies were not identified in the report, but the GAO has since acknowledged that Solyndra was among them. Three of the companies were working together on one massive nuclear project, and the Energy Department said Thursday those funds are not at risk because the money has not yet been released to the companies.

The DOE thinks/hopes that other loans to clean-energy companies will offset the losses from Solyndra, but Rusco says he’s not sure about that for the simple reason that those firms haven’t produced much yet. My own suspicion is that the Solyndra loan is probably more a case of classic Hopenchange incompetence than corruption. Obama’s spent tons of political capital promoting his “green jobs” pipe dream, with Republicans challenging him on it at every turn. The very last thing he needs under those circumstances is to blow $500 million on a money pit funded by one of his big donors. It’s such a huge loss and looks so shady that the GOP will make hay of it for months; his whole “green jobs” plan will be hugely damaged by it. (It doesn’t help either that he’s now happily admitting that environmental regulations are a drag on the economy to be discarded when needed in the interests of growth.) What likely happened here is that the White House and DOE, in their excitement to kickstart the age of clean energy, skipped some of the due diligence on Solyndra on the assumption that the Kaiser Foundation and other investors surely wouldn’t toss their own money into a sinkhole. Oops. Exit quotation from Lowry: “Inevitably, the U.S. solar industry will seek to score the trifecta of government support already achieved by the boondoggle fuel ethanol — subsidizing its production, mandating its use, and barring its foreign competitors.”

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Big Oil
Big Green

ted c on September 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM

It costs them $6 to make a unit. They’re selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2.

Who do they think they are, Woolworths?

lorien1973 on September 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

whatever, its all one grift with our money.

rob verdi on September 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Solyndra Green is Taxpayer money

William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

“Here’s the bottom line,” [solar industry analyst Peter] Lynch said. “It costs them $6 to make a unit. They’re selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan.”

“We lose money on every one we sell, but we make it up in volume.”

Ward Cleaver on September 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I heard that this company is in Nancy Pelosi district ?

William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

They got the loan at 1.7% as well, compared to similar loans getting between 3 and 4%.

The phrase you are looking for is “taxpayer subsidization of democrat campaigns”, because this is simply a money laundering scheme to push taxpayer dollars through a corporate shell to OFA.

Vashta.Nerada on September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I’d like to see THIS brought up in the debate but Brian Williams and Politico? Nah. The candidates would be cutt off if they mentioned it.

Here’s hoping the Reagan Library Audience gives the 2 liberal moderators hell.

Marcus on September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Makes you wonder if this is more palatable to the enviro-nazi Left than the Walkergate scandal.

Perhaps they can console themselves that instead of President Downgrade being impeached over trying to subvert the Constitution, he was just doing all he could for Gaia or something.

Chip on September 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM

“We lose money on every one we sell, but we make it up in volume.”

Ward Cleaver on September 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM

And I didn’t figure shipping, handling, insurance, mailing…..

Lucy: “Oh, if you’e going to figure all that! Pfft!”

Marcus on September 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM

So when a “green jobs” company applies for Federal funds, we should say they’re “Van Jonesing for a fix”.

Nethicus on September 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM

They promised the most unicorns….oh, and raise a lot of campaign money.

bloghooligan on September 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Because the owner was a huge fund raiser for Obama in 2008.

albill on September 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

The phrase you are looking for is “taxpayer subsidization of democrat campaigns”, because this is simply a money laundering scheme to push taxpayer dollars through a corporate shell to OFA.

Vashta.Nerada on September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Obama
F_cks
America

Ward Cleaver on September 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Why the heck is the federal government in the venture capital business?

If the feds want to promote a certain industry\type of invention, grant a longer period of patent protection.

WashJeff on September 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

My own suspicion is that the Solyndra loan is probably more a case of classic Hopenchange incompetence than corruption.

I think that you are being extraordinarily generous to say that. If it were an isolated case I would give him the benefit of the doubt. As it is, I can’t escape the conclusion that it is crony capitalism.

MJBrutus on September 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

I saw an idiotic commercial the other day, that was pimping solar energy. Wish I could remember whose name was on it.

Ward Cleaver on September 2, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Well now I’m waiting for my free Volt, and some free solar panels. Obama OWES us!!!!

Whooo! Sorry about that. I channeled Peggy there for a moment.

capejasmine on September 2, 2011 at 3:41 PM

I don’t know if this was corruption at its core and even if it was, nothing’s gonna happen to Obama over it(unless there’s a smoking gun that’s uncovered). However this damn well better put an end to this green jobs scam. You know damn well Obama will make reference to investments in green energy at least once next Thursday night, so the GOP better throw this in his face every chance they get.

Doughboy on September 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

But we should worry about those evil gop candidates religious views and those corrupting koch brothers

Someone needs to get impeached

cmsinaz on September 2, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Perhaps Obummer was banking they would dissolve until after the election.

The Ugly American on September 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Solyndra Green is peeeopllllle!

FlatFoot on September 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

He’ll continue to promote green jobs in his outline on Thursday

cmsinaz on September 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Solyndra Green is peeeopllllle!

FlatFoot on September 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Tee hee!

MJBrutus on September 2, 2011 at 3:50 PM

My own suspicion is that the Solyndra loan is probably more a case of classic Hopenchange incompetence than corruption.

How did they get these extremely low rates?

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/320882.php

ninjapirate on September 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

My own suspicion is that the Solyndra loan is probably more a case of classic Hopenchange incompetence than corruption.

Come on, Pollyanna. This crowd is more than capable of corruption, they have shown that time and time again. Corruption is reasonable as the default assumption.

iurockhead on September 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

More bad luck, bumps in the road, head-winds…….!

gullxn on September 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

…………You know damn well Obama will make reference to investments in green energy at least once next Thursday night, so the GOP better throw this in his face every chance they get.

Doughboy on September 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Whatever. Nobody will be watching on Thursday anyway.

Footbaaaaaaaaaall!!!!!!!1!

iurockhead on September 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Most corrupt administration ever.

JammieWearingFool on September 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The White House didn’t skip their due diligence . They have a belief, they believe in ‘green energy’ and facts (costs) don’t matter. They wave away costs with ‘economy of scale’.

Skandia Recluse on September 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Let’s see. Just very lately we find out he didn’t know the Republicans were debating that night, he didn’t know his uncle had been arrested, he didn’t know anything about Fast and Furious. I’m sure he doesn’t know anything about this either. He just showed up there to give a speech.

That’s all very understandable and believable, isn’t it?

Drained Brain on September 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/solyndra-closure-affects-foundation-linked-to-obama-donor/2011/09/02/gIQAkjF4wJ_story.html?wprss=rss_politics

The Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation said in a statement that it is among many investors in Solyndra, the California-based company that received a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Energy Department. The independent foundation said that its lead funder, billionaire oilman George B. Kaiser, a prominent Obama campaign bundler, was not personally invested in the company or involved in its loan application.

William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Nice picture…The King of I Am is preparing to belt out his favorite rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ on the xylophone.

Count it!!!

BigWyo on September 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM

What does this mean? We can’t run the last super power’s economy on rainbows, and unicorn farts?

Dr Evil on September 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM

How did they get these extremely low rates?

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/320882.php

ninjapirate on September 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

FOIA’s need to be filed on that right away.

Jason Coleman on September 2, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Solyndra Green
William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Nice.

Youngs98 on September 2, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Solyndra Green is Taxpayer money

William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

The horror!

Kini on September 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Most corrupt administration ever.

JammieWearingFool on September 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Wait, wasn’t there an article recently about how this admin has been remarkably untouched by scandal?

Youngs98 on September 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Huckabee (on FOX right now):

“My wife going out shopping today did more to create jobs than 0bama.”

Slightly paraphrased.

Yeah, I’m no big fan of Huck either, but you gotta admit that was a good line.

UltimateBob on September 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Big Oil
Big Green

ted c on September 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Exactly. And if corruption in solar looks bad, wait ’til it’s revealed what’s going on with Big Wind.

petefrt on September 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Wait, wasn’t there an article recently about how this admin has been remarkably untouched by scandal?

Youngs98 on September 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Something is not a scandal until the MSM says it is.

So we won’t be hearing about any scandals from this uber-corrupt administration.

AZCoyote on September 2, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Obama sure is good at “investing”. Let’s give him loads more power and money to finish fixing this economic emergency he’s been fixing for almost 3 years now.

He is going to demand more money and power in his big bloviation next week, right?

forest on September 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Gee! What was the first ‘warning flag’. A company with such GREAT prospects, couldn’t even float an IPO on Wall St. Wonder why? Maybe because the numbers sucked?

GarandFan on September 2, 2011 at 4:17 PM

which doesn’t quite explain why Solyndra got a half-billion-dollar loan to keep on chugging towards unprofitability in the first place. And this may be just the beginning:

Energy Department officials announced the support for Solyndra even before final marketing and legal reviews were in.

but — go figure — the company’s key investor was a foundation headed by George Kaiser, a billionaire known for raising boatloads of money for Barack Obama.

This has kickback written all over it; it just went on a roundabout route, it seems.

How much did The Kaiser Foundation and their cronies donate to the Ojesus cause?

Well, I’m pretty damn sure it ain’t chump change.

Grifting and graft; it’s become an art form with these crooks.

hillbillyjim on September 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Where did the $535 million go?

Kickbacks to Obama? Unions?

faraway on September 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

The very last thing he needs under those circumstances is to blow $500 million on a money pit funded by one of his big donors.

He didn’t care. He knew the media would cover for him, and he thought that Democrats would never lose the House, thus, no investigation.

mwdiver on September 2, 2011 at 4:37 PM

If the thread picture doesn’t warrant a caption contest, nothing does.

“President Obama inspects his jobs plan as it rolls past on a conveyor.”

Christien on September 2, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Whatever the reasons they got half a billion dollars we will never know. The MSM will take a glancing look and move on–protecting both themselves and Obama.

patrick neid on September 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I distinctly recall seeing several months ago a recounting byBeck on his TV show of the circumstances behind one of these major disbursements of OUR tax dollars. The issue was ethics, as in some minor White House Administration staffer on – ta da – energy policy – was in fact married to one of the solar company executives whose firm then got a multi-million cash injection and a souvenier visit by the Boy-King.
But I cannot remember the woman’s name nor which of the several green-sham startup companies were involved.

And that’s another thing – none of these were long-standing firms, they were all startups, crony piracy of the worst sort. They all scratched each others backs, made their minor inputs to create the false-flag operations, but the huge pile of OUR gold poured on their heads and all took their cut and split.

rayra on September 2, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Inquiring minds Buncha’ dang racists want to know: Why did green-jobs bust Solyndra get a gigantic federal loan?

 
Fixed.

rogerb on September 2, 2011 at 4:49 PM

To government auditors, that move raised questions about just how fully the department vetted the deal — and assessed its risk to taxpayers — before signing off.

Obama administration:vetting::oil:water. Did I get the analogy right.

chemman on September 2, 2011 at 4:57 PM

I can’t wait to see all the excuses they create or save.

Jim Treacher on September 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I can’t wait to see all the excuses they create or save.

Jim Treacher on September 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM

They’re gonna need ‘em, for this and for so much more.

hillbillyjim on September 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

“Here’s the bottom line,” [solar industry analyst Peter] Lynch said. “It costs them $6 to make a unit. They’re selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2.

What, that means they just need a bigger plant…

right2bright on September 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

This speech better be historic and detailed. After all Husein Obama started a war in Libya without consulting congress and is wasting billions every day without Congressional approval. This speech must be a doozy to be more important than a war! I can’t wait to see how he will solve all of America’s problems in another lying campaign speech with doting Communist Democrats applauding and embarrassed Republicans sitting as stooges humiliated as hell wanting to get to the game.

Marco on September 2, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Start the countdown to the (yawn) big news that Solyndra’s backers are financially connected to Van Jones and Obama … now.

Jaibones on September 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

“…the GAO remains “greatly concerned” by its 2010 finding that the agency agreed to back five companies with loans without properly assessing their failure risk.”

In other words, the same type of loan mismanagement that Obama’s DOJ is now suing big banks over.

And how does one company blow through $535 million dollars in one year on such a start up??

I. WANT. A. REFUND.

locomotivebreath1901 on September 2, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Is this Obama’s Carter-rabbit moment?

Dhuka on September 2, 2011 at 5:36 PM

George Soros funds Cwnter for American Progress Podesta
Podesta funds ACORN and Joe Romm at Climate progress
Joe Romm said for 2 years now the Gubment should start a bank for green lending that didn’t look at risk. Like a soup kitchen. Every one qualifies.

seven on September 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Where did the $535 million go?

Kickbacks to Obama? Unions?

faraway on September 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

To remodel a shuttered automotive plant. NUMMI

You can build a lot of a factory from a green field for 535 million. Remodel a plant floor? 40 million tops.

seven on September 2, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Non disclosure. This country is loaded with green elephants. The alGore stunt to build high end fiskar electric cars is another 500 million green fiasco.
Biden spoke the curse on that deal.

There is a battery factory in Michigan. Another soon to be green elephant. Volts are not selling.

seven on September 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Democrats, hear me.

The sun does not love you, cockroaches that you are.

RushBaby on September 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Its obvious that Solyndra spend all that money on research for alternatives to making more efficient solar panels, like increasing the output of the sun.

AverageJoe on September 2, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Better off just giving $1 million dollars each to 535 taxpayers. Probably at least half of them would start their own companies and the rest would invest in ones that actually make money.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Start the countdown to the (yawn) big news that Solyndra’s backers are financially connected to Van Jones and Obama … now.

Jaibones on September 2, 2011 at 5:20 PM

AlGore. On a bad karma streak.

seven on September 2, 2011 at 6:15 PM

So when a “green jobs” company applies for Federal funds, we should say they’re “Van Jonesing for a fix”.

Nethicus

THREAD WINNER ! ! !

honsy on September 2, 2011 at 6:28 PM

It will come out that some hefty fees were paid and there was never an intent to make money.

pat on September 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM

See, this is what Dear Leader thought ‘publicly financed campaigns’ meant.

Knott Buyinit on September 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/solyndra-investigation-probe-white-house-role-massive-energy/story?id=14434588

When even ABC starts reporting the truth about this story, you know hell is freezing over…

Keemo on September 2, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Dear liberals,

You are addicted to wasteful spending and will never be able to kick the habit. I want a divorce.

Sincerely,

Conservative Americans.

Over50 on September 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Where’s Issa?

jbh45 on September 2, 2011 at 7:41 PM

The Goracle to the white courtesy phone please…

Freelancer on September 2, 2011 at 8:44 PM

The green elephant graveyard. There will be many doo gooder greenie companies that were highly subsidized and failed.

Van Jones is the jockey on the green elephant.

seven on September 2, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Dear liberals,

You are addicted to wasteful spending and will never be able to kick the habit. I want a divorce.

Sincerely,

Conservative Americans.

Over50 on September 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Hmmm….not just the Liberals.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Electric cars have as much chance of survival as Solyndra. But have no fear, one of these Ivy League geniuses will come up with a mechanical car that runs on a giant coil and a wind-up key.

MaiDee on September 2, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I heard that this company is in Nancy Pelosi district ?

William Amos on September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Nope. Rep. Nancy Pelosi represents about 3/4ths of the city of San Francisco (the most liberal portion of that very liberal city!).

Solyndra is located in Fremont, California. So it looks like Solyndra is in 80 year old Democrat Rep. Pete Stark’s congressional district.

http://www.stark.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=613&Itemid=1

Rep. Pete Stark should be asked lots of questions about Solyndra at his next Town Hall Meeting.

wren on September 2, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Yeah, Pete Stark is a Kucinich-class leftist crackpot though, unlike Dennis the Menace, Stark seems to come by his old-hippie mindset naturally.

His district meanders down the east shore of the bay from west Oakland through the heavily Hispanic older suburbs down into Fremont.

JEM on September 3, 2011 at 10:28 AM