Revealed: Department of Energy officials sat in on Solyndra meetings

posted at 5:25 pm on September 9, 2011 by Allahpundit

It’s only fair. After all those visits Solyndra execs made to the White House, the least they could do was return the hospitality.

Remember that political scientist who’s predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1984 and who thinks Obama’s a lock this time? One of the “keys” in his “key system” is the lack of any major scandal during the incumbent’s term. Between this and Fast & Furious, I wonder how soon it’ll be before that key starts to turn in the lock.

Officials from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as “observers” at Solyndra, getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money.

Word of the Energy Department’s unusual arrangement came as federal agents on Thursday converged on the California headquarters of the failed solar company, focusing fresh attention on the first corporate beneficiary of President Obama’s stimulus program to create new clean energy jobs…

Questions about the loan have been simmering for months. In 2009, the Energy Department put Solyndra’s application on a fast-track for approval, and announced the award with great fanfare. The generous terms of the government loan included the lowest interest of all the green projects benefitting from Energy Department help, iWatch News and ABC News found.

And as part of the deal, the Energy Department agreed that if the company went bust, private investors could recoup their losses before the government.

Remember, it was an open secret inside the industry that Solyndra was likely doomed because of its cost structure. As more Chinese solar plants came online, competitive pressure drove the average retail price per unit down to $1.50 or $2; according to one solar industry expert, it cost Solyndra $6 just to produce a unit. Another analyst told Cnet earlier this week, “In this case, questions have to be asked. The consensus view inside the solar industry is that Solyndra was not going to make it.” In fact, to make it even more interesting, here’s what an employee told the Mercury News. Disgruntled worker or after-the-fact whistleblower?

One former employee, Mohammed Walahi, who began working as a process technician for Solyndra in 2005, showed up at the company Thursday morning to file a workers’ compensation claim for a repetitive stress injury and was surprised to see FBI agents instead of security guards. Solyndra’s employees were laid off with no severance pay and an immediate end to health benefits, and Walahi, 41, has a wife and two young children to support.

He lashed out at his former employer, saying Solyndra manufactured solar panels that often contained imperfections that had to be thrown away.

“At least $100,000 a day was thrown away,” Walahi said. “If they are wasting $100,000 a day, how much is that a month or a year? Of course that’s going to lead to bankruptcy.”

And yet, and yet, not only did the White House have access to industry reports, they actually had a seat in Solyndra’s board room while the meltdown was in progress. Question one: How is it that, with the buzzards circling, Solyndra was still allowed to refinance its federal loan earlier this year to extend the term of repayment? And question two: If the White House knew firsthand that the company was in trouble, why’d they let the CEO waltz into Congress two months ago and reassure House members that everything was A-OK with the business?

Note well: It’s not just Republicans now who want answers.

“Less than two months ago, Mr. Harrison met with us and other Committee members to assure us that Solyndra was in a strong financial position and in no danger of failing,” Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) wrote to Republicans leading the investigation. “These assurances appear to contrast starkly with his company’s decision to file for bankruptcy last week.”

Those questions reveal a significant turn, as DeGette and Waxman were among members to vote against subpoenaing the White House budget office for records on the loan. Now, they are among those pressing questions – as the House has called Harrison to testify next week.

The FBI visited Harrison, the CEO, at his home yesterday while other agents were busy raiding the plant. They still haven’t said what they’re looking for or what the prospective charges might be but deliberately misleading Congress or the Energy Department about the financial health of the company have now moved to the top of the list of possibilities. Can’t wait for next week’s hearing. Stay tuned.

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Crony corruptionalism.

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Burn SCOAMF, burn!

Flyboy on September 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM

It appears that obama may have sat in some of those meetings himself. I think this will be even worse that F&F scandal

ConservativePartyNow on September 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Can you have a scandal if the MSM do not think it’s a scandal?

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I found some interesting tidpits in the WAPO story

WAPO

Ultimately, the choice was between imminent liquidation or giving the company and its workers a fighting chance to succeed,” Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said in a statement Thursday. “This restructuring gave Solyndra and its workers the best possible chance to succeed in a very competitive marketplace and put the company in a better position to repay the loan.”

In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said publicly that there was little chance Solyndra would default on the loan.

“We are confident they can repay the loan,” Chu told a trade publication, noting that the company’s sales had been going up and that it had obtained an additional $75 million line of credit.

This week, in bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware, Solyndra’s chief financial officer, W.B. “Bill” Stover Jr., explained how Solyndra worked furiously to raise cash in its final months — through a series of unusual business transactions.

A group of investors led by Argonaut Ventures, which is linked to Kaiser, agreed to buy up to $75 million worth of discounted solar panels and “existing and future accounts receivables” from Solyndra.

Last month, Solyndra investors and Energy Department officials discussed another possible financial restructuring to keep the company running. That plan fell through, leaving Solyndra “unable to continue operations,” Stover wrote

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I’m sure Obama knew nothing about this. Obama never knows noting about nothing. /s

AverageJoe on September 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

It goes without saying that if even a tiny fraction of the cronyism and corruption that we see here, or even accusations thereof, were leveled against a Republican, this mess would be the ran 24/7 in every type of media there is. The only thing that would come close to beating it out of the news cycle would be F&F, but only if it were a different administration.

preallocated on September 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

This better get some air time on the evening news…

cripe, the corruption within this administration and the howls that would come if this was a GOP prez….

just saw on drudge saying obama attended as well…

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:32 PM

AP, why you so racist?

carbon_footprint on September 9, 2011 at 5:32 PM

The FBI only went in to gather evidence against Obama so they could destroy everything before the real investigation starts. That way the “special investigators” appointed by the Obama administration can honestly say, the found nothing incriminating against the president or anyone in his administration.

Nothing to see here. Moveon.org

milwife88 on September 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

the howls that came from the lsm/dems re: cheney and his energy meetings…remember?

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Meanwhile more crony corruption

SEIU Local 1000 to consider six-figure salaries for officers

The plan calls for members serving in Local 1000′s top job to earn a total compensation package of $150,000 per year. In Walker’s case, the union would tack on $103,000 to the $47,000 gross pay she receives as a legal secretary with the Department of Justice.

Because Walker is on full-time union paid leave, SEIU already reimburses the state for her salary plus 35 percent to cover her benefits. So in reality, the entire $150,000 would come from union resources.

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Drain the swamp!

Oops….

golfmann on September 9, 2011 at 5:33 PM

S P E C I A L
P R O S E C U T O R

NOW!!!

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Cheney Energy Task Force = Bad.

O’bama Secret Energy Meetings = No Problem.

Remember this Leftist nonsense?

Did Cheney’s Secret Energy Meeting Set Stage for Iraq Attack? – Judicial Watch – Summary: Here is the smoking gun pointing directly to Vice President Richard Cheney’s secret energy company meetings held at the White House in early 2001. Some of the documents of the meetings reveal charts of “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts” and a “map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals” … Congress and the press should immediately and thoroughly investigate the any linkage between the secret White House deals, the fake California energy crisis, the Enron collapse, and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The question to ask is: Did the White House sell US foreign policy to the highest energy company bidder? …

Hilarious that the Left, which gave Bill Clinton’s Felony Perjury a pass, later turned to quoting one of Clinton’s biggest enemies when it suited their political agenda.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Nothing to see here. Move along people. All involved are democrats. Think for a minute, if this was the Bush Administration, so many people would be going to jail, they would have to put in an emergency order to China for orange jump suits.

Alabama Infidel on September 9, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Can you have a scandal if the MSM do not think it’s a scandal?

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

+1

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:35 PM

The FBI visited Harrison, the CEO, at his home yesterday while other agents were busy raiding the plant. They still haven’t said what they’re looking for or what the prospective charges might be but deliberately misleading Congress or the Energy Department about the financial health of the company have now moved to the top of the list of possibilities.

Big Obama donor becomes intimately acquainted with bus undercarriage.

peski on September 9, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Meanwhile this is happening

Regulators are close to an agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to settle a case over disclosing their exposure to risky subprime loans, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

Neither a monetary penalty nor an admission fraud would be included in the settlement under the proposed agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Times reported, citing several people briefed on the case.

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2011 at 5:34 PM

thanks DD…we are on the same wavelength

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

WTF?

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Tony Rezco call your office; you may not be the only one with dirty secrets on the President…

RedSoxNation on September 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Crony corruptionalism.

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

aka fascism.

rbj on September 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

This and F&F are merely the tip, of the tip, of the iceberg.

There is so much more with this group that is downright dirty.

Please let the country catch a break. Let these issues see the sunlight.

carbon_footprint on September 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

One of the “keys” in his “key system” is the lack of any major scandal during the incumbent’s term. Between this and Fast & Furious, I wonder how soon it’ll be before that key starts to turn in the lock.

Let’s hope Issa gets to the records before Holder does.

Btw, the company which will take over this mess will take all jobs outside of the U.S.

Taxpayers’ money down the tube, what Obama is best at…except that he made lots of money from this too.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM

“…getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money.”

Obowma’s Marxist/Socialist ideology at work…

“See, I told you Capitalism doesn’t work!”

Seven Percent Solution on September 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Tony Rezco call your office; you may not be the only one with dirty secrets on the President…

RedSoxNation on September 9, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I think Evan Bayh or Gore need to call their offices because I think the dem party is calling

ConservativePartyNow on September 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Neither a monetary penalty nor an admission fraud would be included in the settlement under the proposed agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Times reported, citing several people briefed on the case.

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Gotta get that double-jeopardy nailed down before the next administration.

pedestrian on September 9, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Another reason the GOP did not feel the need to respond to Obama’s Porkulus II. There is enough evidence that stimuli do not work and there is enough momentum towards failure of the Obama Administration that there is now reason to get caught up in it.

WashJeff on September 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM

$500 million.

Think about that.

It’s a small figure relative to the national debt, etc., but for corporate money, that is a huge pile of cash.

WTF did they do with it?

Purple Fury on September 9, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Cult of Crony corruptionalism.

Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

It’s so blatant.

the_nile on September 9, 2011 at 5:48 PM

It goes without saying that if even a tiny fraction of the cronyism and corruption that we see here, or even accusations thereof, were leveled against a Republican, this mess would be the ran 24/7 in every type of media there is.

preallocated on September 9, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Absolutely! Remember how the left gleefully reported DAILY on the Rupert Murdoch / News of the World phone tapping scandal? They were positively wetting themselves with excitement and mentioning FOX news in every report.

Meanwhile, FOX was also reporting the scandal, and mentioning that Murdoch owned FOX. You will never, ever, get that level of honesty and openness from the alphabet media.

Say what you will about FOX, but they handled that matter with professionalism and class and I respect them for that.

UltimateBob on September 9, 2011 at 5:51 PM

In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said publicly that there was little chance Solyndra would default on the loan.

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Always trust Nobel prize laureates.

the_nile on September 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Another reason the GOP did not feel the need to respond to Obama’s Porkulus II. There is enough evidence that stimuli do not work and there is enough momentum towards failure of the Obama Administration that there is now reason to get caught up in it.

WashJeff on September 9, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Yep. When your enemy is committing suicide, the best thing to do is to step aside and get out of their way.

UltimateBob on September 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

On the subject of WH scandals:

Congress expands Fast and Furious probe to White House

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-white-house-atf-20110909,0,3079149.story

Chip on September 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

In any scandal-follow the money. By the way, there were 20 White House visits by Solyndra prior to the $535 million. Is anyone still surprised?

rjoco1 on September 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

This and F&F are merely the tip, of the tip, of the iceberg.

There is so much more with this group that is downright dirty.

Please let the country catch a break. Let these issues see the sunlight.

carbon_footprint on September 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM

With a Democrat Media firmly in O’bama’s posterior, don’t count on it.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Special Report will be reporting on this tonight

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Chip on September 9, 2011 at 5:54 PM

good

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Tony Rezko could blow a hole in little Bammie’s administration the size of South Chicago, but he won’t because Patrick Fitzgerald is working hard to keep that particular scandal capped at him and Blago.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Was Barack in the room/100 mile radius? Then it never happened! Ask Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Hoffa, etc.

SouthernGent on September 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Oh, and expect Barack and Co. to say these scandals are a Tea Party “distraction” from jobs. Bank it.

SouthernGent on September 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

It doesn’t matter. Nothing Barack Hussein Obama ever does that fails, which means pretty much everything he touches, matters. Because, you see, it is never ever his fault. It is always someone elses fault. Always. Be it the Tea Party, George W. Bush, the forces of nature, or GOP politicians. Anyone who disagrees is simply a racist who abhors Barack Hussein Obama for his skin color.

All that does matter is that he is Teh Won.

Barack Hussein Obama and his entire administration will get a free pass on this… with the possible exception of a nobody or two that he will throw under the bus and call it a day.

FlatFoot on September 9, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Oh c’mon. It’s all Bush’s fault. It’s just a matter of time before they foist that one out there, again.

Think Uncle Omar’s release was so quiet? If so, why is it all over the news? It’s meant to be a distraction. Just like the unconfirmed terrorist threat. The timing is just a little to coincidental. Just my opinion, but all these other things, are meant to distract from this, the speech, and F&F.

capejasmine on September 9, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Those questions reveal a significant turn, as DeGette and Waxman were among members to vote against subpoenaing the White House budget office for records on the loan. Now, they are among those pressing questions

Yeah, it’s called COVER YOUR ASS!

Those same two liberal quacks didn’t bother to actually dig into the financials of the company. The “Green CEO” said things were fine, so obviously, things were fine.

Just like Maxine Waters said of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

GarandFan on September 9, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Did Brian Williams mention this case in the latest GOP debate..?

d1carter on September 9, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Let’s hope Issa gets to the records before Holder does.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Too late. Holder sent the FBI in to “raid” the place solely to get control of the evidence.

Del Dolemonte on September 9, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Obama finance is the merger of federal favor and corporate campaign donations. The Obama Regime lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes it’s actions felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, union and educational control, and all the political, economic, and MSM forces willingly under it’s command. People are tired of liberty. They have had a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer a chaste and austere virgin. Today’s youth are moved by other slogans … Hope, Change, Audacity, Free Stuff. (Barackito Obamalini)

Lon Chaney on September 9, 2011 at 6:30 PM

It’s beginning to look like Solyndra was a borderline shell company with no real plan on how to make money from manufacturing. But plenty of energy spent on formulating plans to continually funnel funds into the corporation, which I’m sure paid the upper management a tidy sum.

ButterflyDragon on September 9, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Wishful thinking. If you can’t make Iran-Contra stick to Reagan, or BlowjobGate stick to Clinton, what are the chances?

Constantine on September 9, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Where’s my money BEEAUTCH!

shov74 on September 9, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Crony corruptionalism.
Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:27 PM

You coined it!

Can you have a scandal if the MSM do not think it’s a scandal?
Dhuka on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

What goes to the Tea Party, stays in the Tea Party. God Save the Tea Party

Question one: How is it that, with the buzzards circling, Solyndra was still allowed to refinance its federal loan earlier this year to extend the term of repayment?

They submitted the request via Fannie Mae and got a Help for Homeowners loan

And as part of the deal, the Energy Department agreed that if the company went bust, private investors could recoup their losses before the government

.

Hey Chrysler investors. How’s that bond folio doin?

Solyndra’s mistake was going solar. They should have gone with non incandescent lightbulbs. Oops. That market is owned by GE in China

Had they invested in something being shoved down the throats of the public by law, they would have aced. That is why the head of GE and not Solyndra sat in the Seat of Honor at the dog and pony speech of yesterday’s joint session of Congress

The FBI visited Harrison, the CEO, at his home yesterday while other agents were busy raiding the plant. They still haven’t said what they’re looking for or what the prospective charges might be…

Maybe Obama’s dog and pony are missing

entagor on September 9, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Time for a fast-track approval of Obama “key system meltdown” update.

try again later on September 9, 2011 at 7:04 PM

good intentions seem to have awful results.

rob verdi on September 9, 2011 at 7:11 PM

“Officials from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as “observers” at Solyndra”

Tracy Cobbs emails:

Once again, real life mirrors Atlas Shrugged. Here’s a paragraph from Part 2, Chapter V, “Account Overdrawn”, describing a meeting of the Taggart Transcontinental Board of Directors:

“A man from Washington sat at the table among them. Nobody knew his exact job or title, but it was not necessary: they knew that he was the man from Washington. His name was Mr. Weatherby, he had graying temples, a long, narrow face and a mouth that looked as if he had to stretch his facial muscles in order to keep it closed; this gave a suggestion of primness to a face that displayed nothing else. The Directors did not know whether he was present as the guest, the adviser or the ruler of the Board; they preferred not to find out.” H/T Instapundit

RADIOONE on September 9, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I smell smoke.

ted c on September 9, 2011 at 7:56 PM

The MSM will be reporting this is 5..4..3..2..

ramrants on September 9, 2011 at 7:58 PM

This is just another example of the massive corruption inherent in the Obama administration.

The Solyndra theft of taxpayer funds with the aid of this administration is by no means unique. GM was stolen from its stockholders and bondholders, affecting millions of retirement accounts of ordinary citizens, and illegally given to the same union bosses who were responsible for its financial troubles in the first place.

landlines on September 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I wonder how soon it’ll be before that key starts to turn in the lock.

Try the twelfth of never.

Knott Buyinit on September 9, 2011 at 9:22 PM

The MSM will be reporting this is 5..4..3..2..

ramrants on September 9, 2011 at 7:58 PM

If I were to hold my breath waiting on the MSM for the report I suspect I would be a long time dead!

Vntnrse on September 9, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Solyndra green is PEOPLE! Aaaaaaaiiiiiiieeeeeee!!!

Obama’s critics have always charged he never even ran a lemonade stand. Well, now he has run a solar company and an international arms dealing racket! Hah! Take that, wing nut rethuglicans!

bitsy on September 10, 2011 at 10:02 AM

In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said publicly that there was little chance Solyndra would default on the loan.

William Amos on September 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM

# years ago he also said BP would save the planet.

He is in intellectual elite like alGore. He has a no bull piece prize.

seven on September 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM