Video: Why is Solyndra destroying millions of dollars in parts?

posted at 12:45 pm on January 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Well, why not just toss out millions in assets? Isn’t that what the Obama administration did in subsidizing Solyndra in the first place? The CBS affiliate in San Francisco catches Solyndra in the act of destroying millions of dollars in glass tubes after a court ruled that the company was spending more than they were worth on storage, another theme with a familiar ring in this ongoing tale of crony capitalism and the Obama administration (via William Amos):

After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.

At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters. …

Solyndra paid at least $2 million for the specialized glass. A CBS 5 crew found one piece lying in the parking lot. Solyndra still owes the German company that made the tubes close to another $8 million.

Solyndra’s liquidators claim that the glass tubes can’t attract a market for discounted sale. It didn’t take KCBS long to find a buyer, though, who is hardly unknown to the liquidators. David Lucky bought some of the completed solar panels in an earlier auction and is now reselling them from his base in Las Vegas. Lucky also tells CBS that the glass tubes didn’t get sold because the liquidator didn’t bother to list them in the auction.

KCBS then contacted the manufacturer of the glass tubes, still owed millions from Solyndra. No one ever told them that the liquidators intended to destroy the merchandise. They could have tried to negotiate a return of the product to reduce the debt load on taxpayers in the collapse. Instead, they’re busy tossing these glass tubes into steel dumpsters in the parking lot — and trying to keep the media from pointing it out.

And that sounds exactly like the Obama administration’s approach to Solyndra, doesn’t it?


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Probably to hide the fact that these parts were poorly constructed and wouldn’t have worked anyway.

I don’t think Solyndra was ever any sort of legit operation.

wildcat72 on January 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Your tax dollars at work.

Mord on January 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Green power!

lorien1973 on January 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

This is so disgusting. This brings back memories of the whole Cash for Clunkers fiasco and seeing video’s of perfectly good cars (and the motors) getting trashed.

Conservalicious on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Tossing out glass solar tubes, older model cars that still run fine…what’s the diff? Destroying stuff is fun!

DrW on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

This just makes me sick! Use taxpayers money given to foto’s by bho and flush it down the drain!
L

letget on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

These people are appalling.

disa on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

How many scandals does this make for our ‘scandal-free’ president? I lost count.

joekenha on January 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The caption should read: “What a government run corporation looks like.”

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

If only we could dispose of the Obama “administration” so easily . . .

NoDonkey on January 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

How many scandals does this make for our ‘scandal-free’ president? I lost count.

joekenha on January 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

You mean “fake” scandals (according to crr6) right?

CycloneCDB on January 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The caption should read: “What a government run corporation looks like.”

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Just think of the 3 trash collector jobs created!
/

VegasRick on January 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

This is how you destroy evidence, that is what they are doing.

Half a billion effin dollars pissed away just so President Coolblackguy could have a photo-op for yet another of his stupid, failed, hare-brained, dumbasss schemes.

Bishop on January 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

A metaphor for the Obama administration…broken promises, and thrown into the dumpster…of no value to anyone.

right2bright on January 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

They can’t exercise judgement; lefties need a regulation – they need someone (else) to tell them what to do.

And now we’ve got an AG intending to plead the Fifth on his Congressional Fast & Furious testimony.

Honestly, this Administration just goes from strength to strength, doesn’t it?

ss396 on January 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Before it went bankrupt how much money did it donate to the Democrats and Obama???

albill on January 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

And surely they are paying excessive rates for the union dumpsters to throw away those millions, for certain.

Somebody big needs to fry for this, soon. We can’t wait until November.

HopeHeFails on January 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

The 0bama campaign should be billed for the entire cost of this boondoggle.

Rebar on January 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Standard for Dems to destroy anything of value. All that stuff was paid for with our tax money – so who really cares, right?

dentarthurdent on January 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

But Mittens taxes and Newt’s marital issues from a decade ago are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT STORIES to be covered by the media.

JustTruth101 on January 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Why does this once again really piss me off?

My god…sell the damn things. What a debacle. A friggin’ mess from start to finish.

Scoreboard44 on January 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

LMAO –

THIS – is exactly what happens EVERY-FRIGGIN’-TIME the Government gets involved in something that’s none of their damned business.

Markets get distorted and waste and fraud prevail.

Every damn time it’s the same…and the lib-tards just never learn.

Tim_CA on January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

You’ll never see this on ABC they are worried about Newt’
s s e x life. Obuma what a joke.

Pomai on January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

This should be pretty easy to get to the bottom of. Copies of the auction brochure and auction inventory, showing what was and was not offered in the auction, should be on file with the court. Either the glass tubes were included or they weren’t.

Outlander on January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Solyndra, giving a whole new meaning to creative destruction.™

TXUS on January 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

hide the decline

faraway on January 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I thought the feds had taken control of everything. Could this be that feds want them to hide the evidence?

ConservativePartyNow on January 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Well, you’ve gotta admit that breaking all of that glass was probably fun.

LoganSix on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

President Charlie Foxtrot is such an inspiration to me to work hard today so I can pay my taxes in two months so that money can be thrown away.

kurtzz3 on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I am reminded of a recent story about a store that destroyed thousands of dollars worth of brand new, designer wedding dresses. The store had gone bankrupt I believe. Instead of donating the dresses or trying to mark them down or what-have-you, they destroyed them.

I worked for a bathroom remodling place once where on ocassion we’d throw away useable products. They were slightly damaged in some way, so we couldn’t sell/use them with our customers. The reason given was proprietary rights. Our products had a patent(s) on them. So, in theory I wasn’t even supposed to tell how we made or installed our product, even though the salesman could talk about it and the customer could watch every step of the process. We weren’t to give away any product unless it was part of a sales deal, and that included donations of any proprietary product. I think it was also a write-off.

As with the dresses, a write-off, and maybe they didn’t want the dresses to be given away or sold for cheap only to be resold for higher value.

So, with Solyndra, perhaps proprietary rights and write-offs. Never mind that it looks absurd to do it. It is, but patents and accounting often change business equations about what we think should be common sense approaches to excess material.

Logus on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Well, you’ve gotta admit that breaking all of that glass was probably fun.

LoganSix on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Can’t argue with that!

Tim_CA on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

But they had the best of intentions. I mean it all depends on your frame of mind right?

LeftCoastRight on January 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.

…because of the same mentality that brought ” Cash for clunkers ” nonsense. Instead of re-selling perfectly viable, useful products, they are destroying it to promote a product or service that nobody actually WANTS, and can AFFORD. It’s government intrusion in the private sector, once again. It should all be cut, stopped, and made legislatively impossible for the Federal government or state government to interfere with or influence private sector business that is not regulated by criminal statutes.

TX-96 on January 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Wait a minute…a media outlet in San Francisco reported on this? Did hell freeze over? (looks out window). Yeah, possibly.

the wolf on January 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

This should be pretty easy to get to the bottom of. Copies of the auction brochure and auction inventory, showing what was and was not offered in the auction, should be on file with the court. Either the glass tubes were included or they weren’t.

Outlander on January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

For what purpose? Nobody is going to do anything about this. It’s business as usual. Things that would land us taxpaying rubes in jail once again will get swept under the rug

Ditkaca on January 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I don’t know what the hub bub is all about here. Those guys in white suits apparently have jobs.

“I get paid minimum wage to destroy millions of dollars of stuff the Obama administration wanted, but nobody else.”

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Well, you’ve gotta admit that breaking all of that glass was probably fun.

LoganSix on January 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Yeah, it can be. I used to work at a retail glass company and about once a month or so we’d destroy tempered glass in our parking lot. It was a gravel parking lot with lots of potholes. We’d use the glass to fill in the holes.

We’d order glass to be tempered and on ocassion the size would be incorrect or the customer would back out of the order, leaving us to eat the costs. We’d keep the glass on hand and had a sheet with all the dimensions to see if we could use it/sell it elsewhere and sometimes we did, but more often than not, it just sat, taking up space.

So, it would get destroyed. One quick, sharp rap with a pair of pliers or a hammer to a corner.

As an aside, tempered glass can be very forgiving. Many a time I would put a sheet of 1/8 inch tempered glass over a large pothole and intentionally drive over it with a forklift. The glass, 5-6 feet long would bend at least 4-5 inches but not break. But, rap it with the hammer in a corner with only a little smack, and it would break.

Solyndra as with the glass company I used to work with is probably not doing anything underhanded, but just S.O.P. It just happens that Solyndra got absurd amounts of our tax money and still went belly up, so seeing such destruction of useable materials seems wasteful, angering and suspicious.

Logus on January 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

And that sounds exactly like the Obama administration’s approach to Solyndra, doesn’t it?

Yes indeedy

cmsinaz on January 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

This just makes me sick! Use taxpayers money given to foto’s by bho and flush it down the drain!
L

letget on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

You’ve never worked in government, have you.

Its just tax money, its not real money!

CrazyGene on January 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

I am sure that to the inexperienced eye, it looks like they are destroying perfectly good glass tubes but nothing could be further from the truth. What they are actually doing is creating a market for more goods. The fact that these particular tubes existed was impeding the manufacturing of more tubes. Now that these tubes no longer exist, more tubes must be created to take their place. Voila! Manufacturing jobs!

The fact that these tubes are here, unused, because the factory went broke due to lack of sales is a completely different issue, I assure you, comrades. One that will be addressed in the next 5 Year Plan.

Lily on January 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

You’ve got to be kidding me???? So, huge sums of money go down the drain on a craptastic endeavor to buy all kinds of “green” products and, once the proverbial shee-it hits the reality fan, the “workers” destroy all of the assets?? WTFO. You think you could sell that stuff.

**triple dog facepalm***

ted c on January 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

You’ve never worked in government, have you.

Its just tax money, its not real money!

CrazyGene on January 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

This.

Tim_CA on January 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Old and busted: Broken window theory of economics

New Hotness: Broken Glasstube theory of economics.

Youngs98 on January 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

As Obama said during his photo-op, this is the technology of the future!

Steve Z on January 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Should’ve re-purposed them as building materials for Barry’s glass house presidential library.

Can I get an “Amen?”

Christien on January 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Wait till a report comes out about what was inside those tubes

1. Mercury
2. CO2
3. Radium

etc…..

BobMbx on January 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Solyndra: giving a whole new meaning to creative destruction.™

TXUS on January 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

+1

kunegetikos on January 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

So, what landfill will this GREEN product go to?

Hazardous waste, no?

askwhatif on January 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Isn’t destruction of Goverment property a crime ? Oh –well it could be considered recycling

wheels on January 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I worked at a company that went into bankruptcy and I stayed around until the end. There is an enormous amount of waste in selling off the assets and some of the consultants that were brought in by the court made as much as $500 per hour. It was sickening. We through away dumpster after dumpster of things that had value.

roux on January 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Cloward/Piven.

shick on January 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Can I get an “Amen?”

Christien on January 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Amen.

I know who I’d like to smash & throw in a dumpster.

D-fusit on January 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Someone could have bought them and have them screenprinted with their 2012 campaign slogan, and given them away at the convention.

slickwillie2001 on January 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Anybody but Obama….PLEASE

GeorgieGirl9 on January 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Tim_CA on January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Liberals are incapable of considering logical outcomes because logic has nothing to do with their worldview. Their worldview is centered around the concept of action. Do something, no mater how destructive the ultimate outcome.

“At least we are doing something to save the planet. What are you racist Rethuglicans doing??”

See? Once you understand that you understand the thinking processes of a liberal. Does not matter if their actions only make something worse because just having the action is the entire point.

NotCoach on January 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Destroying millions in real assets as investment, and promoting tourism by shutting down tourist attractions.

What’s next, promoting energy independence by investing in another country’s energy sector? Oh wait- president Sandtraps McSissypants already did that in Brazil.

THIS is winning the future, soetero style!

GrassMudHorsey on January 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Ch. 9

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Obooba’s new campaign ad:

Barack Obama for America: “President Obama has taken steps to make us energy independent and create an economy that’s built to last. He’s been a strong supporter of domestic energy production, has made historic investments in clean energy technology, and has nearly doubled fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Because of the progress we’ve made, our dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. Yet, conservative groups funded by big oil are spending millions trying to distort the President’s record.”

Akzed on January 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

As I understand it, most of their expenditures was in the office setup category and they actually produced very little while they were still capable of production. If you had an opportunity to look at their on-line auction, it was mostly office equipment, avionics and big screen tvs.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Can’t wait to read the papers and listen to the newscasts!
Time for another family vacation? No..no…Disney was a promotion!
(Slip in a round of golf? They would know now, not to report that!)

KOOLAID2 on January 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Tossing out glass solar tubes, older model cars that still run fine…what’s the diff? Destroying stuff our country is fun!

DrW on January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Fixed

iurockhead on January 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

FREE FREE FREE!

KOOLAID2 on January 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Obama is a dirty businessman. He needs to release this information to the public to show how he made a fortune and threw away money while the little guy suffered.

Oh wait…I meant Romney.

Idiot4Life

HumpBot Salvation on January 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

This YOUR money!

Opposite Day on January 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Sounds like either stupidity or destroying the evidence!

stukinIL4now on January 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

…patents and accounting often change business equations about what we think should be common sense approaches to excess material.

Logus on January 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

And I’ll bet if you checked into why it was some government regulation causing them to do it. Businesses don’t do such stupid things unless they are forced to by the government.
There is a good case to be made that those parts are government property, since we seem to be the ones holding the debt.

We NEED a “Special Prosecutor” to look into this entire loan to green companies fiasco.

cigarcamel on January 20, 2012 at 2:25 PM

*Everything* this administration touches turns instantly to crap.

crosspatch on January 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Not giving some of the tubes to the college was a strange decision.
Now the students will lack an example of what NOT to do and will have to get a grant to figure out what won’t work.

Jabberwock on January 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Green Smart power!

lorien1973 on January 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

roy_batty on January 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

*Everything* this administration touches turns instantly to crap.

crosspatch on January 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

King Crapas?

roy_batty on January 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Can this kind of glass be melted and reshaped into something else , like we can do with metals ?

burrata on January 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Not their money

One of my biggest problems with government funding is the disregard for the efforts of hardworking Americans

It is a poisoness attitude

Sonosam on January 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

What they are actually doing is creating a market for more goods. The fact that these particular tubes existed was impeding the manufacturing of more tubes. Now that these tubes no longer exist, more tubes must be created to take their place. Voila! Manufacturing jobs!

Lily on January 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

You’re right. When hurricane Wilma rolled through Homestead Florida 5 years ago, huge orchard growers that had acres of greenhouses damaged were eligible for FEMA money depending on their damages. They dumped hundreds of thousands of perfectly good orchids in dumpsters and piles behind locked gates. Over a 6 week period, many people went over or around the fence after hours and picked through the piles for what was salvageable. The growers were getting paid for what they claimed was destroyed, but they didn’t want the public to know they were doing the destruction and didn’t want to depress the market price by allowing their orchids to be dumped into even the local market.

Same with Solyndra, if their materials and panels flood the market, other manufacturers will suffer and perhaps collapse.

elfman on January 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

*Everything* this administration touches turns instantly to crap.

crosspatch on January 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Oh yeah? Well if you think it’s so easy to be President, lets see YOU crap glass tubes.

Yeah that’s what I thought.

Obama is awesome.

Lily on January 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

*Everything* this administration touches turns instantly to crap.

crosspatch on January 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You’re off a little. Obama’s and Soros’s bottom lines are actually looking pretty good.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Not their money

One of my biggest problems with government funding is the disregard for the efforts of hardworking Americans

It is a poisoness attitude

Sonosam on January 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

People I work with in the military needed to be reminded that from time to time. I don’t think we were the worst offenders, but I recall times. A conversation that actually occurred in very similar content more than once.

An IT Specialist comes in my office and asks, “What day do you want me to have your computer data migrated to the new one.”

“What new one?”

“The staff are all getting new computers Chief.”

“Mines fine, give it to a lieutenant.”

“Chief, you’re going to get me in trouble.”

And I’d have to go talk to the S6 (Commo Officer) and relate to them why I thought it was a waste to give me a new computer every year or so.

If it’s not your money, I think it’s human nature to be less careful with it.

hawkdriver on January 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Looks like a metaphor for what SOPA/PIPA would have done to the Internet if it had passed. After all, the internet, it’s a series of tubes.

Cicero418 on January 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM

This is perfectly in keeping with this administrations “rob Peter to pay off Paul at the expense of Taxpayer Joe” policy. What’s the big deal? This is just one instance; there’s a whole economy to bring down. You know, spread the wealth around!

ghostwalker1 on January 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Since I actually am in the business of buying/selling assets of closed manufacturing operations let me allow you folks in on some secrets….

Without the original physical documentation/certification on each and every tube, they are absolutely worthless. No one can use them without tremendous legal liability.

When Rick Perry talked about regulations while FairTaxers want to blame everything on tax structure for killing the economy. Rick Perry WON that argument HANDS DOWN.

Getting 1/3 of new value is a heck of a deal for the Bankruptcy Court. That is FAR above the norm.

You want to know the reason that manufacturing has left the U.S.? 100% because of regulations/tort law. Taxation and unions are way back just above the rest of the reasons.

I’m all for non-union labor, but that cost is a drop in the bucket compared to legal/bureaucracy costs. Keep on listening to ignorant pundits rather than manufacturing owners and this country will fall off the face of the earth.

Kermit on January 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM

this is how you raise the ire of enviromaniacs

John Kettlewell on January 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Obooba’s new campaign ad:

Barack Obama for America: “President Obama has taken steps to make us energy independent and create an economy that’s built to last. He’s been a strong supporter of domestic energy production, has made historic investments in clean energy technology, and has nearly doubled fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Because of the progress we’ve made, our dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. Yet, conservative groups funded by big oil are spending millions trying to distort the President’s record.”

Akzed on January 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Thanks for that Akzed. LOVE THAT SPIN! BTW, the number of trucks and trains I see moving goods to market is the lowest it’s been in 16 years, due the our economy being in the toilet. Hey… do you think that has any effect on oil demand? LIGHT BULB…

Marcola on January 20, 2012 at 4:08 PM

How very “GREEN” of them.

Jason Coleman on January 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

The company says that the glass might be recycled, but they are not sure about that. But, of course, the value of the glass is in the manufactured product. It is probably worth less than a penny on the dollar as a recycled material.

And, of course, they may or may not get around to recycling, but if you or I toss a glass bottle into the regular trash, we’re subject to fines.

Nice.

Haiku Guy on January 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

21st century broken window parable on display?

Jason Coleman on January 20, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Haiku Guy on January 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Freight costs trump many potential recycling efforts. Where is the nearest place that remelts glass to the plant? What is the chemical composition and is it compatible with that plant’s output?

Kermit on January 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Where are the greenies, surely this is bad for the environment!

ajbell on January 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Nice to see faraway and Jason Coleman here, again.

Christien on January 20, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Well, the 8 million in tubes would have made a difference to the company that sold them since they are not 100′s of millions billions in debt. But this admin seems to have a track record of screwing the creditors and debt holders.

rgranger on January 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

But I should’ve known better.

Yakko77 on January 20, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Standard for Dems to destroy anything of value. All that stuff was paid for with our tax money – so who really cares, right?

dentarthurdent on January 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

If only it was paid for with our tax money, it would be evil enough. We don’t have any money. Said moneys were borrowed from abroad, increasing the National Debt, so are Double Down Evil.

Who is John Galt on January 20, 2012 at 7:43 PM