Yet another DOE-backed solar panel company bites the dust

Good grief. I feel like these ailing Department of Energy-backed loan guarantees are so laughably many that they’re barely even worth noting anymore, but you’re darn tootin’ I’ll continue to do so as long as President Obama keeps acting like it’s the federal government’s divine right to pick and choose winners in the energy market on the taxpayers’ dime.

Abound Solar, a company that President Obama has specifically touted by-name as a poster child of the glorious green future, was supposed to “creat[e] more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” …Not quite. The company has been on the rocks for months, and now they’re officially bankrupt:

Abound Solar Inc., a U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, will close its doors and file for bankruptcy because its panels were too expensive to compete with Chinese products, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Abound, based in Loveland, Colorado, borrowed about $70 million against the guarantee, the Energy Department said today in a statement. Calls to Abound executives weren’t returned today. …

U.S. taxpayers may lose as much as $30 million on the loan after Abound’s assets are sold and the bankruptcy proceeding closes, he estimated.

This article tries to spin the situation to suggest that the company’s failure is the result of too much unfair competition and global oversupply, and we should therefore direct our ire at China. No — just no. This is the fault of the Obama administration. Maybe if we had just left the decision to develop solar (or not!) up to the private sector, we would’ve quickly figured out that investing in solar energy was a bad idea. People are much more judicious when they’re making bets with their own money, since they personally have to feel the loss, than the federal government is in floating free taxpayer cash to their politically-profitable pet projects.

Speaking in Iowa yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden criticized Mitt Romney for having the audacity to oppose sending more taxpayer money down the tubes with subsidies for green energy:

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday lashed out at Mitt Romney in Iowa for the second straight day, this time taking issue with the Republican’s reluctance to embrace tax credits for wind and solar energy. …

“We are importing less oil than [at] any time in the last 16 years,” Biden said. “But we think you got to bet on it all … You had our good friend Mitt Romney saying he dismissed wind and solar by saying they’re ‘two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative energy.’ Tell that to the 7,000 workers manufacturing wind power here in Iowa.”

Get this through your heads, big-government environmentalists: If it’s a good idea, the free market will take care of it, and take care of it to the degree that there’s a demand for it. If the private sector declines to get too involved in it, that should probably tell you something pretty significant.