Another Obama green-subsidy recipient under criminal investigation

posted at 12:41 pm on October 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Will Abound Solar be the next Solyndra?  The Obama administration gave the Colorado solar panel manufacturer $68 million in subsidies — a down payment on almost $370 million approved by the Department of Energy – before the company suddenly closed its doors and went bankrupt.  The district attorney in Weld County has now opened a criminal investigation into Abound, as its business practices and its products look more and more suspicious:

A bankrupt Longmont-based company that received $68 million in stimulus money is under investigation by the Weld County district attorney’s office. …

7NEWS obtained internal documents from 2012 that show orders for tens of thousands of replacement solar panels. The orders cite different reasons for the replacements including, “low performance,” “under performance” and “catastrophic failures.”

The orders are for replacements requested after the Department of Energy stopped stimulus money payments to Abound.

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. “Now the question is did the (Department of Energy) — did they know something that the rest of should have known? Did Abound not tell the DOE something? These are questions that need to be answered.”

Gardner, one of the Tea Party freshmen in Congress, told the news station he wants a Congressional investigation into how Abound ended up with $68 million of taxpayer funds with their track record of failure:

Gardner represents northern Colorado in Congress. He confirmed with 7NEWS that he will be sending a letter to the Department of Energy seeking records and information about what it knew while providing money to Abound. Gardner sits on the Energy and Commerce committee which oversees the Department of Energy loan program that provided money to Abound.

“We need to know, did the Department of Energy — did they close on the loan when they knew there were technical problems with the product?” said Gardner. “The fact that we have taxpayers on the hook for $70 million means that we, in Congress, have a responsibility to make sure nothing was done improperly.”

That’s not the only investigation for the defunct solar maker.  Apparently, even after getting $68 million from the Obama administration for its poor-quality solar panels, they couldn’t pay their local property tax bill, either.  That may or may not be part of the Weld County probe at the moment, but if it’s not, there will probably be another one to find the missing tax payments.

In other words, Abound was pretty good about taking tax dollars, but lousy at paying the taxes it owed.

This probe will definitely raise more questions about the vetting done at DoE, who were entrusted to invest their funds carefully.  As events at Solyndra proved, those concerns got subordinated — along with taxpayer dollars — to politics.


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“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun…”

Sounds like a shady operation to me.

Drained Brain on October 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM

In other words, Abound was pretty good about taking tax dollars, but lousy at paying the taxes it owed.

Somebody had to pick that nose loser.

ted c on October 8, 2012 at 12:44 PM

How many times does Icarus have to fly close to the sun a solar panel before his wings melt?

ted c on October 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun”

Kinda sums up the entire Obama experience…

joejm65 on October 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Quick ! Somebody get Frank Nitti Eric Holder to derail the investigation!

viking01 on October 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun…

Really? I was thinking of something to say, but that’s all I’ve got. REALLY?!?!?!

MobileVideoEngineer on October 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Gardner, one of the Tea Party freshmen in Congress, told the news station he wants a Congressional investigation into how Abound ended up with $68 million of taxpayer funds with their track record of failure:

you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you just pick the losers….RT @Romney

ted c on October 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde:

“To lose one solar power company is a tragedy, but to lose another is more like – - carelessness.”

DarthBrooks on October 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun”

LOL, wut?

reminds me of a waterproof watch I bought cheap once that did great as long as it didn’t get wet.

ted c on October 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

It’s probably a safe bet that the Owners of Abound had more experience in making donations to Obama than making solar panels.

Curtiss on October 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

the LSM will be right on this………..

Dr. Demento on October 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Somebody must have fed this president after midnight and then gotten him wet.

trigon on October 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Your all missing the point. A solar panel that works without the sun? Unlimited power available :D

Bobber1 on October 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I want to start a solar panel company…just one, just give me the 50 million, it’s a bargain…and I promise I won’t produce anything, pay taxes, and kick back 10 mil to your campaign…

right2bright on October 8, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Romney needs to highlight this company in the next debate–and emphasize that it’s a Colorado company. Ask Colorado residents whether the federal government should be subsidizing a lousy, tax-cheating company.

BuckeyeSam on October 8, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Will Abound Solar be the next Solyndra? The Obama administration gave the Colorado solar panel manufacturer $68 million in subsidies — a down payment on almost $370 million approved by the Department of Energy – before the company suddenly closed its doors and went bankrupt.

…JugEars raised $187 Million in September…you think that stuff grows on trees?…the MSM doesn’t see a pattern in these energy loans…it’s the evil oil companies being the squirrel.

KOOLAID2 on October 8, 2012 at 12:55 PM

After this Administration is gone, I would be willing to bet the
Historians will view this Administration as the Most Corrupt
to ever grace DC…..

ToddPA on October 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Your all missing the point. A solar panel that works without the sun? Unlimited power available :D

Bobber1 on October 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

.
But – but- that’s what we been looking for. How can they not make a bundle with this new technology?

News2Use on October 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Let me get this straight,

The Obama Administration wants to raise taxes on small businesses, while giving tax payers money to a failed green energy company that wasn’t paying its current taxes.

Obama Approach: Raise taxes so that every one pays their fair share and it will get the economy rolling.

Romney approach: Reduce tax rates which actually will improve the economy, simplify the code, and, hey, let’s collect what is actually owed.

parke on October 8, 2012 at 1:00 PM

another example of the anti-Midas effect. Everything Dear Liar touches turns out badly.

rbj on October 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Kermit the Frog has a legitimate “Green Job”. The others are quite questionable!

K Michael ODonovan on October 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM

While O fiddles around, or actually spends a fortune in an insane effort to greenify our energy system, like in Europe, our grid is undermined, especially with coal plants shutting down. As in England, where the telegraph did a piece warning of the serious dangers of frequent blackouts in the UK by 2015, caused by the greenification of their grid. A great comment from WrinklyOldGit at the linked article:

I have been posting comments about the lack of initiative in ordering new base load generation stations for many years, the eco fascists and tree hugging loonies said I was in denial of green house global warming – well you simpletons, the boot is on the other foot now – you can see just how true my statements about forthcoming power cuts and brown-outs were, based on 30 years working in power systems generation projects.
Building gas turbine plants is fine if you have reliable gas supplies – but our North Sea gas fields are rapidly depleting, and gas supplies
from Russia, the Middle East and North Africa are at the mercy of others, and will become ever more expensive.
It has been known in the industry for more than a decade that closing coal fired power stations and running down our nuclear plants as they reached the end of the design lives with out building new plants was stupid beyond belief. It takes 5 years from scratch to build a gas turbine plant, 10 years to build a new coal fired plant, 15 years to build a nuclear plant – assuming the eco fascists don’t stop them with violent protests.
Anyone who thinks we can use wind turbines for base load generation is seriously deluded,. The biggest wind turbine (still only in the design stage) will only produce 10 MW, and on average only produces that power one day in three, and then only if the wind is not too strong or too weak. The UK base load electrical power requirement today is around 90 GW – by 2020 it could be as high as 105-110 GW – you do the maths to see that wind farms are only equivalent to a drop in Pacific Ocean.
I said years ago that blackouts and brownouts could come by 2020, the latest thinking in the industry is that they will be here by 2015 – welcome back to the Three Day Week, mass layoffs and closing factories being relocated overseas.

anotherJoe on October 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun.”

Pretty good metaphor for the 0bama administration’s “mushroom house” governing philosophy: keep the American people in the dark and feed them lots of sh1t.

UltimateBob on October 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Poor Obama. He’ll have to invoke executive privilege again. It sure would be easier to be a leader in China.

Deano1952 on October 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM

What’s the big deal? These are just Obamaphones for the big guys.

Dusty on October 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM

And CNN has Van Jones (former Green Jobs Czar) working for them as a legitimate journalist.

faraway on October 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

There has to be more than a few people in this administation hoping he loses so they can get out of Dodge fast.

docflash on October 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Companies have to report who works for and runs their companies….. It is all public record. The Green Scheme Taxpayer raiding marauders need to be corralled and cut off permanently. Obama bundlers and Political PAY-GO revolving door to his WAR CHEST against America.

Here is where we are in America… no checks and no balances, NO BUDGETS, NO ACCOUNTABILITY…. DEBT incredible ever increasing massive debt with virtually ZERO over site. You can screech all you want and THEY do not hear you, they do not care… they are so intrenched in corruption and collusion it is sickening.

Does anyone have any idea who the GREEN CZAR is? The Energy Department has RATS… enormous RATS….. Solar power panels is only one tiny fraction of the GREEN Industry scams and phoney tax payer funded R & D shams going on.

ETHICS….. Our elected powers have NO ETHICS. Albatross Green Energy… meet America’s taxpayers neck!

ActinUpinTexas on October 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Your all missing the point. A solar panel that works without the sun? Unlimited power available :D

Bobber1 on October 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Finally, perpetual motion…

chewydog on October 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

After this Administration is gone, I would be willing to bet the
Historians will view this Administration as the Most Corrupt
to ever grace DC…..

ToddPA on October 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

It really doesn’t take an historian – or waiting for the crooks to vacate DC – for a lot of us to reach that conclusion.

UltimateBob on October 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Reminds me of that old joke about the stealth plane, the plane builder couldn’t get it done so he just opened an empty hanger and said “There it is”, and the buyers were impressed…

a hundred years ago, traveling salesmen sold elixir to fix all kinds of problems…we have these guys now selling solar elixir to solve our energy problems.

Nothing changes…

right2bright on October 8, 2012 at 1:14 PM

If Bush were President, imagine how the MSM would be screaming for an investigation and accusing him of paying off his rich donors.

“This story just won’t go away!”

perroviejo on October 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM

So.. let me get this straight… a con-man gave money to other con-men?

faraway on October 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM

“Because Bush started the Green energy loan program, any and all corrupt, ill-advised, nonsensical, illogical, and idiotic loans made by Obama are Bush’s fault!” -my Lefty friends when they “debate”

visions on October 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,”

This is consistent with reports which said Obama worked as long as you didn’t put him in office.

landlines on October 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Does this mean they won’t get the balance of the $370 million?

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Some may recall the famous can’t lose Band-Aids disclaimer:

“Sterility guaranteed unless opened.”

Your product wasn’t sterile!
Well, did you open the package?
Yes.
Exactly.

viking01 on October 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Come on guys, it’s not Abounds fault – they got confused by the Colorado altitude.

NapaConservative on October 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Does this mean they won’t get the balance of the $370 million?

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Whatever would make you think that? Just because they are failing and under investigation doesn’t necessarily make them ineligible for further DOE Green Energy loans. Not while there are elections to be won and campaign donations to be received.

AZfederalist on October 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The good news is with a Republican Senate and House they can keep busy ’til 2030 investigating all of the improprieties of this administration. Which means less time for them to create new legislation.

antipc on October 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

“These are not the solar panels you’re looking for.”

Tsar of Earth on October 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Jeez. And here I’ve been for the past twenty years humping to make a product that works !
Shouldof gotten an MBA and done it right.

Jabberwock on October 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Another loser investment? Imagine that……
The government should pull back the curtains on all theses thieves, and let the sun shine in on their shady operations ………..;)

angrymike on October 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun…”

Sounds like a shady operation to me.

Drained Brain on October 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I see what you did there…

right of the dial on October 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun.”

Sounds like O; as soon as you shine the light of active debate on him he stops working completely…

Pest on October 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I guess they treat performance specifications like little Bammie does his campaign promises. Appropriate.

slickwillie2001 on October 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Your all missing the point. A solar panel that works without the sun? Unlimited power available :D

Bobber1 on October 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

So it’s not really a solar panel then is it? We paid for freakin’ solar panels and they made the complete opposite! I’m going to invent a lunar panel that I promise you will work at night…just gimme $68 million.

Trafalgar on October 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

It’s about time someone started building moon panels…”Save the Sun”…

right2bright on October 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Time to finally put some people in prison for stealing our tax money.

Amazingoly on October 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Where’s the campaign donor connection. There’s probably a donor connection in there somewhere.

petefrt on October 8, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Well this is certainly surprising.

/

Tim_CA on October 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I remember when the media ran with the ENRON-was-just-a-bad-bet angle.

Christien on October 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I’m going to invent a lunar panel that I promise you will work at night…just gimme $68 million.

Trafalgar on October 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Invent a BS panel. Electricity generated from BS would give us overnight energy independence. Put ‘em on the WH lawn and in the Federal Triangle. It would take only a few panels to supply everyone east of the Rockies.

petefrt on October 8, 2012 at 2:05 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,”

Figures. Obama’s a sooper-genius as long as you don’t ask him to think, make decisions, debate, etc, etc.

Marxism is for dummies on October 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM

right2bright on October 8, 2012 at 1:14 PM

LOL .. Oh, yes !
MIL STILL thinks my hubby LIED when he told her he saw one fly overhead, years ago.
‘you can’t SEE those, son !!’
I kid you not.

pambi on October 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Solar panels that work at night? Genius!

/

Ward Cleaver on October 8, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Does this mean they won’t get the balance of the $370 million?

Cindy Munford on October 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Not necessarily.

The first $67million was on the first batch of non-functional solar panels.
The balance will be to finance phase two of the non-functional panels.

With enough (taxpayer-supplied) money, Abound Solar can soon be as non-functional as the d’ohbama administration.

Just think: absolute entropy will have been attained! Yowsuh!!

Solaratov on October 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Quick ! Somebody get Frank Nitti Eric Holder to derail the investigation!

viking01 on October 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Uh, may not be as easy as Holder thinks if he tries that. The Weld County DA is Ken Buck. Ken Buck is hard-core TEA Party, sufficiently so that when he won the nomination, the Institutional Republicans here backed the Democrat when he ran for the US Senate in 2010. He will not back down. Our DA’s have a great deal of independence, and our Democrat Governor has no power over him.

I’m on the other side of the state, but I am buying popcorn so I can sit here and watch.

Subotai Bahadur on October 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM

“These are not the solar panels you’re looking for.”

Tsar of Earth on October 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

That’s for damned sure!

Solaratov on October 8, 2012 at 2:34 PM

“These are solar panels we are now seeing reports that said they worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,”

Hmmm…….just like the Obama Administration. Isn’t working, if you care to take the time to look, rather than just buy their advertising.

GarandFan on October 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

How long will it be before someone asks whether all of these companies were merely money-laundering schemes for the Obama Administration?

The consistent failures, almost 100%, look more like the way the drug cartels and the Chicago Mobs ran things, with shell/fake companies up front to funnel the money too.

The more I read of these “Green Energy” bankruptcies that got tax payer money then declared bankruptcy, the more I am convinced it’s part of a huge crime by this president and his cronies to steal 100′s of millions of dollars for their own nest eggs.

TKindred on October 8, 2012 at 2:42 PM

What was it – 58% of people have never even heard of Solyndra? Best bet is to highlight this in Colorado where it might get some traction. Nationally, Obama is not paying the political price that he should be paying for this willful and deliberate misuse (to say the least) of taxpayer (and Chinese) money and this latest debacle won’t make a dent as long as the media continues to cover his ass.

natasha333 on October 8, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I reflect on a comment I made on an earlier HA topic that it will take Romney/Ryan administration two years (minimum) to fix the catastrophe left by King Putt, Valery Jarett and cretins of her ilk. This is assuming the LSM will assist in these corrective measures. (Fat chance, but I pose the cooperation nonetheless.)
And this Green Energy thing will be just one of the Hydra’s that must be slain.
I hope Mitt has many friends with high-power CPA talents who will work on Washington’s problems. I propose we release all the low level DEA convicts from the FCI’s to make room for the convictions that a good bookkeeping investigation will generate after Obamugabe and his collaborators are driven from the Beltway. This Administration will make Enron look like a nickel poker game. Then again it might take the skills of a Pied Piper to drive the DhimmiRats away from the trough.

Missilengr on October 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I got fifty says this is an Obama donor/budler.

AUINSC on October 8, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Hmmm. Solar panels, otherwise known as sun-powered
panels
, are unable to withstand exposure to the sun?

That’s a hell of a trick.

Gotta love the irony and hate the waste.

I’m waiting with bated breath to hear the smartest man in the universe explain this one away.

hillbillyjim on October 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM

“make room for the convictions .. “
Missilengr on October 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Aren’t we again negotiating on that spiffy empty lockup space right outside Chicago?
/.

CaveatEmpty on October 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

To understand this you have to use eco-liberal logic:

1. Solar power is morally and ethically awesome. Oil, coal, and nuclear are greedy and evil.

2. Solar power is so morally and ethically awesome that any criminal activity conducted by solar power companies is cancelled out by their moral and ethical awesomeness.

3. Therefore solar power companies can be excused any illegal behavior.

4. Solar companies are so good we don’t even need to investigate to make sure their products work! In fact, we should send more tax money to solar power companies no matter what!

ZenDraken on October 9, 2012 at 1:51 AM

This probe will definitely raise more questions about the vetting done at DoE, who were entrusted to invest their funds carefully.

There’s a much more important point, Ed: the government shouldn’t be “investing” in anything! Oh, and it isn’t “their funds”, it’s our funds. If we can fix those two misunderstandings, we can get this country back on its feet and on the right track in no time!

GWB on October 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

I can provide the following conclusions without leaving the comfort of my computer chair:

1. The owner/operator/management of Abound is/are Obama campaign bundlers.

2. Part of the $68 million that went to Abound, did not actually end up going to solar panel operations, but Obama fundraising operations.

3. This constitutes a political payback and a campaign money laundering scheme.

4. If Romney wins and were a vindictive person, he could uncover a whole lotta bad in Obama’s green energy program…But Mitt will be too busy focusing on jobs and will take the high road of “Let’s look to the future and get Americans back to work” approach and not waste time and money trying to make Obama look bad.

conservative4freedom on October 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM