Obama admin’s green-energy “investments”: Saving the environment, one abandoned toxic sludge heap at a time

posted at 4:41 pm on October 31, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

You may recall the exceptionally unsuccessful saga of Abound Solar, one of the Obama administration’s pet “green”-energy stimulus projects second in infamy only to fellow failed solar-panel maker Solyndra, and the millions of dollars for which taxpayers were left on the hook when the once “promising” company went belly-up last year — but that isn’t quite the end of the Abound Solar story. Behold: This is what the end result of a $400 million exercise in venture socialism looks like. Via Fox News:

Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water. The Northern Colorado Business Report estimates it will cost up to $3.7 million to clean and repair the building so it can again be leased.

“As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease,” the report stated. …

The owner of the property tried to force a bankruptcy trustee to clean the facility, but the report said it would “place humans at imminent and significant health risk.” One of the hazards is the presence of cadmium, a cancer-causing agent that is used to produce the film on the solar panels, the report said.

While the loan guarantees exposed taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars, the federal government lost a total of $70 million backing the failed company. Unsold inventory which should have been used to offset those losses, including 2,000 solar panels, mysteriously disappeared, according to the National Legal and Policy Center.

“If a coal, oil or gas company pulled something like that the EPA would send out SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals to track down the offenders, bankrupt or not,” the center said in a report of its own.

In a nutshell, a taxpayer-funded toxic waste dump with nobody around to pick it up. Perfect.

The Obama administration has a history of selectively enforcing environmental regulations when it comes to their politically preferred and personally supported pet projects, and seem all too willing to gloss over the fact that wind and solar energy have their own associated tradeoffs and risks just like every other energy source. Exit question: “What’s there to be defensive about?


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They built that.

hillsoftx on October 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Incredible that the Leftists among us are 100% OK with this. Beyond pathetic. Hope & Change.

visions on October 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM

“If you like the toxic dump I created, you can keep it”.

VorDaj on October 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM

President Toxic Dump.

VorDaj on October 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Unsold inventory which should have been used to offset those losses, including 2,000 solar panels, mysteriously disappeared, according to the National Legal and Policy Center.


You know what inquiring minds might want to look into?

There is actually video of Solyndra workers destroying all the solar panels they had right after it filed for bankruptcy.

Inquiring minds might get suspicious about whether these TAX FUNDED solar panels were ever capable of generating ANY electricity.

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

In a nutshell, a taxpayer-funded toxic waste dump with nobody around to pick it up. Perfect.

Why do progressives hate the environment?

rbj on October 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I was wondering if HA would get around to posting this story.

Creating EPA superfund sites is apparently a constitutional mandate according to democrats.

Murphy9 on October 31, 2013 at 4:58 PM

hey, hold on Erika. Obama just found out about it reading hot gas 5 minutes ago! how can you fault HIM? and wait til jay carney hears about this. by then, Obama had warned about this kind of thing and has been trying to stop this!

t8stlikchkn on October 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Inquiring minds might get suspicious about whether these TAX FUNDED solar panels were ever capable of generating ANY electricity.

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Actually, the design that Solyndra came up with was a really good one. You can find analyses of their product on the intertubes, mostly in the financial papers. Which is important to note, btw.

It wasn’t a bad design. It was a bad market for solar. Their cost per kwh was much higher than anyone else. Thats why they couldn’t get commercial or private financing. The investors liked the product, but knew they could never sell it.

From an engineering perspective, their design was brilliant. Just too expensive to manufacture.

Then along comes the dumbest investors in the world….the US Government. Now you know the rest of the story.

BobMbx on October 31, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Which Obama contributor got Energy Department money for this project?

stefano1 on October 31, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Why do progressives hate the environment?

rbj on October 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

You guys…..c’mon.

This is good pollution. Get over it.

BobMbx on October 31, 2013 at 5:06 PM

The Solyndra YouTube of destroying millions in parts:
Solyndra Destroying Parts

nextgen_repub on October 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Colorado-based Abound Solar has been ordered to remove and bury in cement thousands of leftover solar panels “deemed unsellable” by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The company must also clean up other hazardous waste at a number of facilities statewide, according to the Northern Colorado Business Report (NCBR).

tommer74 on October 31, 2013 at 5:14 PM

The Solyndra YouTube of destroying millions in parts:
Solyndra Destroying Parts

nextgen_repub on October 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Half of this administration should have been removed from office, and the president impeached over this outright theft of taxpayer money.

It is so infuriating.

Murphy9 on October 31, 2013 at 5:16 PM

From an engineering perspective, their design was brilliant. Just too expensive to manufacture.

Then along comes the dumbest investors in the world….the US Government. Now you know the rest of the story.

BobMbx on October 31, 2013 at 5:05 PM

.
Let me make my point more DIRECTLY:

Destroying the manufactured panels AFTER the company has declared bankruptcy is a CRIMINAL act.

I’ll add another point I have made previously on here:

The Solyndra Manufacturing plant cost a ridiculous amount of money for a facility of that type even on the ridiculously short period of time in which it was built. The UNION construction workers were paid for more overtime than could possibly by applied in a constuctive manner.

I used to work for a leading firm in the clean facility industry. The Solyndra facility with much less clean areas and much lower standards cost MORE per square foot than a world class pharmaceutical facility with much higher standards and clean areas.

Oh, and the UNIONS the construction workers were members of … has organized crime ties … not counting the Obama campaign contributor who was behind the whole endeavor.

One other take away, certain unsavory members of society have made a LOT of money through various schemes that ended up leaving toxic waste behind they NEVER had to clean up.

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

You’re preaching to the choir here.

BobMbx on October 31, 2013 at 5:38 PM

This crap is all to predictable. Everything this diaper load touches turns to crap. Who are those 42%. Geeessh, what does it take to understand this fool is an incompetent, lazy, failure. His whole Pres’y is a fraud!

rjoco1 on October 31, 2013 at 5:39 PM

And there is a ballot initiative in CO to ban fracking for five years in Broomfield and Ft. Collins. Must not be a favored green energy source. My once beautiful state has been infested by Californicators.

lfwest on October 31, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Slightly OT – Surprise – progressive indoctrination found in new ‘Common Core’ education lessons…this time for 3rd Graders.

Use the link to see the real page of a Common Core lesson for third graders…

So third graders are learning:
-it is the President’s job to make everything fair
-the people must obey the commands of government officials
-the individual’s wants are less important than the nation’s well-being.

Change you can believe in!

Athos on October 31, 2013 at 5:46 PM

What are they doing using Cadmium anyway, it’s been outlawed for years? There used to be cadmium plated steel fittings that were sold to the marine industry for their ability to resist rust in harsh environments, like salt air. It was a more reasonable alternative to stainless steel, but it was outlawed. I haven’t seen new cadmium plated fittings in over 20 years. Did they get special dispensation from the EPA to use it? There’s a lot more to this story than just the toxic clean-up, I’d love to know how this happened.

bflat879 on October 31, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Half of this administration should have been removed from office

the other half should have been sent to the CO SuperMax, and not as visitors.

Another Drew on October 31, 2013 at 5:54 PM

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 5:26 PM

There are no limits to the graft available in a Chicago administration.

Another Drew on October 31, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Where is Erin Brockovich when we need her?

Steve Z on October 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

In a nutshell, a taxpayer-funded toxic waste dump with nobody around to pick it up. Perfect

I dunno. I kinda liked the Smithsonian.

WryTrvllr on October 31, 2013 at 6:38 PM

yeah but its green toxic waste!1!11!!!

NY Conservative on October 31, 2013 at 6:40 PM

…lining the pockets!

KOOLAID2 on October 31, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Toxic and hazardous are two completely different classifications. Spilled oil is not even considered hazardous waste, but a lower classification, special waste. But hey Hollyweird gets everything screwed up.

If something can be re-used it is not waste.

nextgen_repub on October 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Having dismantled and liquidated a number of privately owned manufacturing facilities, from 1 (yes private industry has built new game changing processes which work great in the lab and great in small scale actual facilities but not at all when upscaled to commercial size) to 100 years old, in my life, that is pretty normal. Somethings are so specific that they have no commercial value, and transportation costs to a glass recycling plant just may be more expensive than the costs to dispose of them.

Kermit on November 1, 2013 at 7:51 AM

bflat879 on October 31, 2013 at 5:46 PM

It’s used in chemical formulations for pigments and plastics among other things.

Kermit on November 1, 2013 at 8:26 AM