Posts Tagged ‘Solyndra’

16
Nov

Solyndra: It Just Keeps Getting Worse

   Posted by: Pat    in Budget/Economy   Print Print

If these reports keep coming out, the thesaurus will have to add Solyndra to there synonyms for ‘debacle’, ‘embarrassment’, and ‘crony’. The Washington Post reports on the latest outrage; How the Obama administration told Solyndra executives to delay announcing their layoffs and bankruptcy until after the 2010 midterm elections:

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

Solyndra’s chief executive warned the Energy Department on Oct. 25, 2010, that he intended to announce worker layoffs Oct. 28. He said he was spurred by numerous calls from reporters and potential investors about rumors the firm was in financial trouble and was planning to lay off workers and close one of its two plants.

But in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”

Good, transparent governance this is not.

The WaPo article finishes by detailing yet again how the American tax payer was taken for a ride by the Obama administration’s Department of Energy and Solyndra investors:

On Nov. 3, 2010, Solyndra announced it would lay off 40 workers and 150 contractors and shut down its Fab 1 factory. The department agreed to continue giving Solyndra installments of its federal loan despite the company’s failure to meet key terms of the loan, and in February restructured its loan to give investors a chance to recover $75 million in new money they put into the company before taxpayers would be repaid.

Lame.

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15
Oct

Solyndra: The Corruption Continues

   Posted by: Pat    in Budget/Economy   Print Print

Politico reports on the connection between Solyndra and recent Obama fundraising:

Two Obama fundraisers involved in the controversy surrounding embattled energy company Solyndra ramped up their efforts on behalf of the president’s campaign in late summer, according to the campaign’s voluntary disclosure of its bundler list, released late Friday…

Steve Spinner, a longtime Obama fundraiser of Menlo Park, Calif., raised $500,000 or more during the third quarter, up from $200,000 to $500,000 during the second quarter.

Spinner got a spot in the administration to help monitor the clean energy program that eventually gave $535 million in loan guarantees to faltering Solyndra, which was once touted as a model for business-government partnerships by the Obama White House.

Spinner repeatedly pushed the Energy Department and the White House to commit to a loan before Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to the company’s headquarters in September 2009, according to emails released by the administration last week.

And for those who argue that the Solyndra debacle was just another case of the government making a poor investment…

Two senior Treasury officials said Friday that they had never seen a loan restructuring similar to an Energy Department loan to a failed solar panel maker.

The half-billion dollar loan to Solyndra Inc. was restructured earlier this year so that private investors moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment on part of the loan in case of a default.

Treasury officials Gary Grippo and Gary Burner told a House committee they had never seen that occur in a federal loan. Grippo is a deputy assistant treasury secretary and Burner is chief financial officer at the Federal Financing Bank, which made a $528 million loan to Solyndra in 2009.

The two Treasury officials stopped short of declaring the loan restructuring illegal, as some Republicans allege.

The Solyndra beat goes on…

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The more you read about the Solyndra bankruptcy the worse it gets. Our federal government appears to have just thrown money to favored friends in support of the idea of green energy. Let’s here what some of the Solyndra’s employees, sorry, former employees, had to say about the company and what they did with the infusion of tax payer cash:

Former employees of Solyndra, the shuttered solar company that exhausted half a billion dollars of taxpayer money, said they saw questionable spending by management almost as soon as a federal agency approved a $535 million government-backed loan for the start-up.

A new factory built with public money boasted a gleaming conference room with glass walls that, with the flip of a switch, turned a smoky gray to conceal the room’s occupants. Hastily purchased state-of-the-art equipment ended up being sold for pennies on the dollar, still in its plastic wrap, employees said.

As the $344 million factory went up just down the road from the company’s leased plant in Fremont, Calif., workers watched as pallets of unsold solar panels stacked up in storage. Many wondered: Was the factory needed?

“After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right,” said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. “Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.”

Angry is definitely a natural notion for a taxpayer to feel in reading about this debacle, but as I pointed out earlier, this situation is so ridiculous, one also has to laugh. For instance, this same Washington Post article reports that within a week of receiving their 500+ million dollar loan from the Obama administration, Solyndra executives asked for $400 more. Well, why not!

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Just was reading this Washington Post story on the Solyndra debacle and found this gold in the beginning of the piece:

Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees.

Sooooo the US government had to hurry up and give money to a failing business. Sounds like good public policy to me! Here’s my guess of one of the possible internal Department of Energy discussions about whether the government should lend Solyndra millions of dollars:

Obama official #1: ‘We have to get this 500+ million dollar loan to Solyndra ASAP!’

Obama official #2: ‘Why?’

Obama official #1: ‘Because if we don’t it will go out of business very, very soon.’

Obama official #2: ‘If that is true than maybe we should take even more time to investigate the company. This might be a bad investment.’

Obama official #1: ‘Shut up! Loan approved.’

Ridiculous, I know, but probably not far from the truth. Maybe I’m also being too harsh calling these fake DOE characters ‘Obama officials’, after all it’s not like the President himself was an integral part in pushing and promoting this colossal boondoggle of tax payer dollars. Oh wait, he was:

President Obama visiting the Solyndra solar plant. The worker smiling beside him no longer has a job.

I’ll have more on this gross waste of American tax dollars soon.

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