PoliticsThe Solyndra Scandal

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To: Wayners who wrote (370)2/10/2012 8:31:35 PM
From: Hope Praytochange
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Report: Non-Solyndra energy loans could cost $3B

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February 10, 2012 — WASHINGTON (AP) — The government could lose nearly $3 billion on Energy Department loans for green energy programs — far less than the $10 billion Congress set aside for the high-risk program, according to an independent review.

The White House ordered the review after criticism of a $528 million loan to Solyndra Inc., a California solar company that went bankrupt. The review, led by former Treasury Department official Herb Allison, looked at 30 loans or loan guarantees totaling $23.8 billion that were offered to green energy companies and auto makers such as Ford and Nissan.

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To: joseffy who wrote (368)2/10/2012 8:33:20 PM
From: Hope Praytochange
1 Recommendation   of 1400
The review did not involve Solyndra or Beacon Power Corp., a Massachusetts energy storage company that also went bankrupt after receiving a federal loan. The government has lost $567 million from those two loans so far, although officials said this week they could recover as much as $28 million from the sale of Beacon to a private equity firm.

The 75-page report, released Friday, says that about one-third of the money allocated — $8.3 billion — had been spent as of Nov. 28. The White House ordered the review in October as congressional Republicans investigated the Solyndra bankruptcy amid embarrassing revelations that federal officials were warned the company had problems but nonetheless continued to support it. Energy Secretary Steven Chu attended a 2009 groundbreaking at the company's Fremont, Calif., headquarters, and President Barack Obama visited the company in 2010.

Counting loans and guarantees to U.S. car makers and the nuclear industry, the loan program is supporting as many as 60,000 jobs and generating up to $40 billion in private investment, Chu said. GOP critics of the loan program were not impressed.

"This is less a report than an umbrella to deflect the criticism that's pouring down on the administration," said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., adding that he was disappointed the report did not evaluate the Solyndra or Beacon loans.

"A study that excludes inconvenient evidence isn't independent," Sensenbrenner said. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., said taxpayers "should not have been placed in the position to lose one dollar, let alone billions" because companies with shaky finances received loans without collateral.

"It would be a stunning case of bureaucratic disregard to declare victory because the government is expecting to lose 'just' $3 billion," they said. Upton and Stearns are top leaders of the House energy panel and are heading an investigation into the Solyndra loan.

While the report generally backs department estimates of potential losses from the loan program, it says the loan values are far below what the companies would have to pay a private bank, without a government guarantee. Under a so-called fair-market value, the loans have been discounted by anywhere from $5 billion to $6.8 billion, the report says.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the purpose of the program was to spark investment in alternative and renewable energy programs that otherwise would not qualify for a private loan. The finding about subsidies "simply means that a private bank wouldn't be willing to buy the (Energy) Department's loans at face value unless they could charge a higher interest rate," Schultz said. He called that unsurprising, "since the entire point of the program ... was to make loans available for emerging clean energy companies so they have the best chance of succeeding in early stages, when innovative technologies traditionally have a difficult time accessing private capital."

Solyndra was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under a stimulus-law program to encourage green energy and was frequently touted by the Obama administration as a model. The company filed for bankruptcy last year and laid off its 1,100 workers. Solyndra's implosion and revelations that the administration hurried to finish its review of the loan in time for a September 2009 groundbreaking has become an embarrassment for Obama and a rallying cry for GOP critics of his clean-energy program.

Follow Matthew Daly's energy coverage at

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To: Hope Praytochange who wrote (371)2/10/2012 8:34:33 PM
From: Wayners
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Show me the law or legislative history proving the claimed $10B set aside was A-Okay with Congress and Odumbozo the Joker.

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To: joseffy who wrote (353)2/10/2012 8:37:04 PM
From: Wayners
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Odumbo has already made it clear that the pipeline is unsafe...BUT Warren Buffet's railroad he owns is perfectly safe. Any third grader can tell you that pipelines with containment are safer than rairoads subject to derailments and collisions. The oil will be transported by rail and truck instead!!! How safe is that for the about the emissions from trucks and rail Odumbo?

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To: Wayners who wrote (374)2/15/2012 10:40:28 AM
From: joseffy
1 Recommendation   of 1400

Larry Summers warned the administration against federal loan guarantees to Solyndra, writing in a 2009 email that 'the government is a crappy venture capitalist.'

Washington's Knack for Picking Losers


Like the mythical monster Hydra—who grew two heads every time Hercules cut one off—President Obama, in both his State of the Union address and his new budget, has defiantly doubled down on his brand of industrial policy, the usually ill-advised attempt by governments to promote particular industries, companies and technologies at the expense of broad, evenhanded competition.

Despite his record of picking losers—witness the failed "clean energy" projects Solyndra, Ener1 and Beacon Power—Mr. Obama appears determined to continue pushing his brew of federal spending, regulations, mandates, special waivers, loan guarantees, subsidies and tax breaks for companies he deems worthy.

Favoring key constituencies with taxpayer money appeals to politicians, who can claim to be helping the overall economy, but it usually does far more harm than good. It crowds out valuable competing investment efforts financed by private investors, and it warps decisions by bureaucratic diktats susceptible to political cronyism. Former Obama adviser Larry Summers echoed most economists' view when he warned the administration against federal loan guarantees to Solyndra, writing in a 2009 email that "the government is a crappy venture capitalist."

Markets function well when the returns are received and the risks borne by private owners. There are, of course, exceptions: Governments have a responsibility to fund defense R&D and other forms of pre-competitive, generic R&D—e.g., basic science and technology from nanoscience to batteries—but only when they pass rigorous cost-benefit tests and maintain a level playing field among alternative commercial applications.

For example, the computer-linking technology that created the Internet was funded by the Defense Department for defense purposes. But, like numerous defense technologies, it wound up with commercially valuable civilian applications. Yet it would be foolish for the government to subsidize a particular search engine or social-networking platform.

The previous peak for U.S. industrial policy was in the 1970s and 1980s, when many Democrats wanted to emulate the then-growing Japanese economy by managing trade and directing specific technology and investment outcomes. Japanese subsidies mostly went to old industries like agriculture, mining and heavy manufacturing. We now know that this misallocation of capital was one of the main reasons for Japan's stagnation over the past two decades.

Industrial-policy fever waned after the 1980s but never died. President George W. Bush expanded ethanol mandates and pushed hydrogen cars. Hydrogen's use for transportation must still overcome combustibility concerns, or we'll be driving mini-Hindenburgs. The Bush and Obama administrations bet big on ethanol and other biofuels, providing subsidies that distorted the global market for corn. The federal government was forced to drop its cellulosic ethanol quota by 97% last year because of a lack of viable biorefineries—and the quota still wasn't met.

Even under optimistic projections, heavily subsidized wind and solar would each amount to a tiny fraction of global energy by 2030 and thus cannot be the main answer to energy-security or environmental problems. The short-run focus of most Department of Energy funding misses the main strategic imperative: We need alternatives that can scale to significance long-term without subsidies, and we need a lot more North American oil and gas in the meantime.

Mr. Obama is spending immense sums for subsidies to particular industries and technologies, almost $40 billion for clean-energy programs alone (some, appropriately, for pre-competitive generic technology.) Yet a large number of prominent venture-capital funds are devoted to alternative-energy providers. They should be competing with each other and with the technologies they seek to replace—not for government handouts.

Meanwhile, the administration blocks shovel-ready private investment such as the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, which would create thousands of American jobs, increase energy security, and even improve the environment. The alternative is shipping the Canadian oil to China; we can refine it more cleanly than the Chinese, and pipelines are safer than shipping.

America certainly has energy-security and possible environmental concerns that merit diversifying energy sources. More domestic oil and natural gas production will clearly play a large role. The shale gas hydraulic fracturing revolution—credit due to Halliburton and Mitchell Energy; the government's role was minor—is rapidly providing a piece of the intermediate-term solution.

The arguments to promote industrial policy—incubating industries, benefits of clustering and learning, more jobs, etc.—don't stand up to scrutiny. Echoing 1980s Japan-fear and envy, some claim we must enact industrial policies because China does. We should remember that Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon wanted the U.S. to build a supersonic transport (SST) plane because the British and French were doing so. The troubled Concorde was famously shut down after a quarter-century of subsidized travel for wealthy tourists and Wall Street types.

Instead of an industrial policy that fails miserably to pick winners, a better response to foreign competition should be:

• Remove our own major competitive obstacles. We can do this with more competitive corporate tax rates, more sensible regulation, improved K-12 education, and better job training for skills that the market demands such as the computer literacy necessary even to operate today's machinery. (Mr. Obama's green jobs training program spent hundreds of millions but only 3% of enrollees had the targeted jobs six months later.)

• Base trade and industrial policies on sound economics, not 'in-sourcing' protectionism. If another country has a comparative cost advantage, we gain from exchanging such products for those we produce relatively more efficiently. If we tried to produce everything in America, our standard of living would plummet.

• Pursue rapid redress for illegal subsidization and protectionism by our competitors. The appropriate venue for trade complaints is the World Trade Organization, not the campaign trail. We need to strengthen the WTO, not threaten its legitimacy with protectionist rhetoric that could spark a trade war.

Industrial policy failed in the 1970s and 1980s. Letting governments, rather than marketplace competition, pick winners and losers is just as bad an idea today. Still, the Obama administration is responsible for the biggest outbreak of American industrial policy since President Jimmy Carter's proposed $88 billion ($240 billion in 2012 dollars) synthetic-fuels program.

Mr. Carter was trounced in his 1980 re-election bid by free-marketer Ronald Reagan, who slashed marginal income-tax rates and regulations and lowered trade barriers. The result? The end of the "stagflation" of the Carter years and a return to strong economic growth.

Mr. Boskin is a professor of economics at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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To: Wayners who wrote (374)2/16/2012 11:59:07 AM
From: joseffy
2 Recommendations   of 1400
Now we hear the White House is looking to bump the bribe to purchase a Volt to $10,000 from $7,500. It's really amazing. Once again the free market plays no role, and then the emperor sees wonder and beauty and we're all supposed to fall in line. Not so ironically this is a bribe that lines the pockets of rich liberals, the key demographic buying Volts. Those so-called Middle Class taxpayers the president is always talking about protecting are footing the bill so the elite can meet at the Vineyard and toast to their commitment to saving the planet. Soon they may be able to fuel up their private jets with a friendly fossil-based gas.

If 10,000 Volts are sold this year it would cost taxpayers $100.0 million. If President Obama's goal of 1,000,000 Volts is reached by 2015, folks driving Ford F-150's will fork over $10.0 billion.

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To: Wayners who wrote (374)2/21/2012 2:37:10 PM
From: joseffy
1 Recommendation   of 1400
Administration’s Green Fiascos Pile Up

by Rich Trzupek Feb 1st, 2012

The Obama administration has spent three years and billions of tax dollars in efforts to jump start a “green energy” industry in the United States. The president says that “sustainable,” clean energy sources are the wave of the future, vital to America’s future security and the well-being of the entire planet. And yet, after all this time and all that money, all the administration has to show for those efforts are a series of spectacular failures that would make a less arrogant leader blush.

The Solyndra fiasco is the highest-profile of the president’s many green failures, but it’s hardly the only one. Barely a week goes by but that we learn of yet another government-funded “clean energy” boondoggle. Let’s consider a few examples.

Late last year, Beacon Power Company filed for bankruptcy protection. Beacon had previously received a $39 million government-guaranteed loan in order to fund research aimed at producing energy storage devices on an industrial scale. These kinds of “super batteries” are necessary solely to cover for the deficiencies and unreliability of solar and wind power.

Last Thursday, Ener1 Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection. Ener1 develops lithium storage batteries for electric cars manufactured by a company called Think Holdings, AS, which in turn has a manufacturing company located in Elkhart, Indiana. Ener1 received over $130 million in stimulus funds, and a $480 million loan from the Energy Department, promising to deliver 1,400 jobs to Indiana, while Think Holdings would generate a further 415 jobs. To date, Enre1 has created 275 jobs, while Think Holdings is down to 2 people who guard a plant at which about 100 electric vehicles – most of them unfinished – sit idly in storage.

A year ago, Vice President Joe Biden hailed Ener1 as one of “100 Recovery Act projects changing America.” “A year and a half ago, this administration made a judgment,” he said at the time. “We decided it’s not sufficient to create new jobs—we have to create whole new industries.” Unfortunately for Ener1, the free market did not share the Vice President’s enthusiasm. Demand for expensive, short ranged, small electric cars has not materialized, and thus Ener1 has no market for its product.

Even the much-ballyhooed Chevy Volt has turned into a disaster. Fire hazards aside, there is simply no demand for the vehicle beyond some arms of government, a few corporations with cash to waste and rich, tree-hugging celebrities who can afford the luxury of pretentiousness. Chevrolet hoped to sell 10,000 Volts in 2011. Actual sales amounted to 7,671 units. GM has temporarily laid off 1,200 workers on the Volt production line and is considering slowing down production. A recent study concluded that real cost of Volt – when you consider all of the government subsidies involved in developing and building the car – is about $250,000 per unit. To borrow one of the environmental movement’s favorite terms, it’s hard to see how production of the Volt could ever be sustainable in the free market.

Ironically, these green disasters are being revealed at a time when more scientific data and opinions are turning against the global warming alarmism that has driven the administration to make foolish green investments. Last Friday, in an Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal, sixteen prominent scientists took a strong stand against the alarmists. The signatories included luminaries like Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; and Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator. Among other things, the scientists said:

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 “Climategate” email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

On Sunday, a story in the Daily Mail pointed out the equally inconvenient fact that data published by the infamous Climate Unit at the University of East Anglia confirms that there has been no significant warming since 1997. The models that the IPCC rely upon predicted that average global temperatures should have climbed steadily over the last decade and a half. Why haven’t the predictions matched reality? Like many scientists, Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, believes that alarmists put too much emphasis on the role of greenhouse gases in the climate and not enough on solar activity. “If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,” he said.

Yet, in spite of the ever-increasing body of evidence that “climate change” is a figment of a computer’s imagination, the Obama administration continues to pour money into companies whose sole reason for existence is to battle the non-existent problem. Imagine where we would be today if the president hadn’t wasted that money and had instead stayed out of the way of development of cheap reliable sources of domestic energy. We would be so much farther along the way to energy independence if we were tapping our vast reserves of coal and oil and bringing more energy down across the border from our friends in Canada. Sadly, the net effect of Obama’s energy policies has been to increase our dependence of foreign oil while doing nothing to secure our economic future.

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To: joseffy who wrote (377)2/21/2012 6:20:56 PM
From: Wayners
4 Recommendations   of 1400
“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Let me get this straight. It is a travesty if there is NOT global warming? I thought Global Warming was supossed to be some kind of global disaster and our existence depends on stopping it, but right here finding out there isn't any global warming, this guy should be ecstatic about the finding!!! Obviously the agenda is nefarious and had nothing to do with the health of the planet.

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To: Wayners who wrote (378)2/22/2012 5:41:04 PM
From: joseffy
1 Recommendation   of 1400
White House ignores House subpoena for Solyndra documents

by Joel Gehrke 2/21/2012

President Obama and his West Wing aides ignored a subpoena of documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee even after congressional investigators met with White House officials to negotiate the scope of the subpoena, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"The White House's failure to comply with today's document deadline is a sad milestone on the path chosen by this administration to obstruct and delay our investigation rather than cooperate and help deliver answers for taxpayers," committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns R-Fla., said in a statement this evening.

House investigators requested 12 categories of documents designed to explore a range of issues, such as Obama donor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser's role in the solar company receiving a loan gaurantee.

White House counsel disputed the initial subpoena in November, calling it "a significant intrusion on Executive branch interests." Committee officials met with Obama's attorneys to negotiate the subpoena, but the White House failed to produce the documents by the February 21 deadline.

"Despite an all star cast of presidential aides that have their fingerprints on Solyndra," Upton and Stearns observed, "Larry Summers, Carol Browner, Ron Klein, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Jim Messina, Dan Pfeiffer, Jay Carney, Cecilia Munoz, -- the White House is having great difficult turning over relevant internal documents."

The investigators said that Obama's aides have not answered questions about the White House role in restructuring the Solyndra loan, who told Solyndra officials to delay announcing layoffs until after the 2010 midterms, and why the company received so much attention from senior advisers to the president.

"How much longer does the White House believe the truth needs to wait?" Upton and Stearns wrote. "The deadline has come, and we will do what is necessary to answer the many outstanding questions surrounding Solyndra."

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To: joseffy who wrote (379)2/23/2012 10:38:53 PM
From: Hope Praytochange
2 Recommendations   of 1400
Growing Solyndra Green Scandal Is Just One of Many

Corruption: Outrageous bonuses and White House stonewalling guarantee that the Solyndra scandal, in which betting on green lost taxpayers $535 million, won't go away. But Solyndra is no isolated failure.

With 24 million Americans either without any job or underemployed, and 7 million claiming jobless benefits, the latest Solyndra news of wasted stimulus funds and noncooperation with Congress is sure to make taxpayers' blood boil.

Nearly two dozen employees of the solar panel maker that got a $535 million federal loan guarantee shortly before bankruptcy got $368,500 in bonuses Wednesday from a federal bankruptcy judge — in spite of the company failing to disclose it gave several of the raises of as much as 70% months earlier, after it went bankrupt.

The Washington Times noted a lawyer representing fired Solyndra workers has argued the company's liquidation benefits few beyond Argonaut Ventures, part of a foundation run by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser.

Considering that suspicious connection, no wonder the White House defied the Feb. 21 deadline to provide 12 categories of Solyndra documents to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

But President Obama's counsel has complained that the committee's request for documents was "an unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties."

What a betrayal of Obama's elaborate promise upon taking office to "work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" because "Transparency promotes accountability" and "Information maintained by the federal government is a national asset."

Other Solyndras are coming to light, the latest being Sapphire Energy. Its pond-scum-based biofuel still costs over $26 a gallon, but that doesn't matter when your executives give almost solely to Democrats.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that after $104.5 million in stimulus and other Energy and Agriculture Department funds for a New Mexico facility, it can boast just 36 new jobs. UC Berkeley's Energy Biosciences Institute says it'll take a decade before we know if algae-based fuel can compete with gas.

The Washington Post recently found "$3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers."

Revelations of Obama's green waste and corruption may have only just begun

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