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  • Morning Bell: The Solyndra Legacies

    The Obama Administration has been knee-deep in scandal after green energy “model” Solyndra went bankrupt less than two years after receiving a $500 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Now, they are up against another controversy.

    Days before a recent deadline, the Department of Energy brazenly approved two additional loans for more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in the Obama Administration’s green jobs program. The latest ill-fated ventures include a $737 million loan guarantee to Solar Reserve for a 110-megawatt solar tower on federal land in Nevada and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150-megawatt solar plant in Arizona.

    Loan guarantees like these are destined to fail, because they are either granted to companies that could not remain viable without them or because the loan was supported by political connections; or both. This round of loans includes the latter—just as it appears Solyndra was aided.

    For example, Solar Reserve lists PCG Clean Energy and Technology Fund (East) LLC as an investment partner. Ronald Pelosi, brother-in-law of the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is an executive with PCG. Another investment partner: Argonaut Private Equity, the employer of Steve Mitchell, who served on the Solyndra LLC Board of Directors.

    As for Solyndra, the story continues to unravel as the political connections and foolish moves come to light. As reported in The Washington Post:

    The Energy Department pushed for the restructuring despite preliminary warnings from OMB [Office of Mangement and Budget] staff members that restructuring Solyndra could cost taxpayers $168 million more than liquidation.

    What’s more, after the loan was out the door, Solyndra reportedly violated the terms of its loan agreement, according to The Wall Street Journal. Layered within all of this are big-time Obama donors like George Kaiser, a Solyndra investor, who visited the White House several times in the days leading up to the loan approval. There’s no good explanation for this mess, and taxpayers are taking the fall for it.

    For a variety of reasons, the Department of Energy should have considered sitting these two latest loan guarantees out. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is on the hot seat now, as much responsibility for overseeing the program overall falls on him. But Obama bears the ultimate responsibility.

    President Obama was reportedly advised by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and then-economic advisor Larry Summers that the loan guarantees were being hastily approved and were too risky. But Obama pressed forward on the countering advice of Chu, then-energy advisor Carol Browner and Ron Klain, then chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.

    Weeks later, President Obama and Vice President Biden were enthusiastically promoting Solyndra. Solyndra was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee covered by the 2009 stimulus package. Obama stood behind the loan last year, saying Solyndra was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”

    There’s an important lesson behind Solyndra’s failure, demonstrating that the government can’t simply create demand. There is a proven way to tell if new technologies will work: You let the chips falls to the market. A good idea will grow its own legs and take off. A bad one is destined to die no matter how much someone else wants it to succeed. As Heritage’s David Kreutzer testified:

    When the savings of new, more energy-efficient technologies exceed the costs of adopting those technologies, markets have the incentive to adopt them. But it is the voluntary participants in these market transactions that best know the full spectrum of the costs and benefits that matter most to them.

    The government often backs questionable ventures, but throwing taxpayer dollars at risky projects without regard for proven market truth is counterproductive. The new loans are the latest offense for the Department of Energy and the Obama Administration—and they are heading straight for another deep failure that promises another expensive lesson for taxpayers.

    As a country deep in debt, America does not need to waste money on President Obama’s political favors and errant energy subsidies.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    68 Responses to Morning Bell: The Solyndra Legacies

    1. Frank says:

      We need to end corrupt "crony capitalism" by BOTH Democrats & Republicans. It (along with the Federal Reserve) is bankrupting the nation.

      • OhioHistorian says:

        I guess you think you're a MODERATE because you say BOTH? What COURAGE! The difference is that Republicans run their crony capitalists out of office. Democrats keep them there to keep all of the Democrat perverts and thieves company. All you prove to me is that you don't pay attention to elections, just to the latest media line.

    2. cathy says:

      so why are we not hearing this on the nation news, someone should demand this be brought up

      • Drifter says:

        The media and the Justice Department, instead of investigating this, are covering it up. Big surprise!

        • deedee says:

          The main stream Media would rather feed us crap than the TRUTH. They cannot even color coat anymore of the doings of the ADMIN. This morning Today Show both seasoned hosts are off covering trials while the house burns.

      • a true American says:

        we're not hearing about it from the nation news is because the news media is JUST AS CORRUPT as the politicians. If the media did it's job obama never would have been elected. How many allegations must there be before "news people" do their job ? Where are the decent people in the media ?

      • Bob says:

        I thought maybe I had missed the news the day this was reported, but no, because it wasn't on the national news! Come on Herttage, use whatever clout you have and get this in front of the media.

      • dexter60 says:

        Goood question Cathy — has any of the national media trumpes heard from you?

    3. Yeeeech says:

      Advising Chu was a man named Jonathan Silver, a Wall Street IPO hot shot and huge Obama supporter. No one has looked in to Silver and his links to Wall Street and Obama and these "deals". Goldman Sachs was the "financial advisor" to Solyndra.

      We need to push for a special prosecutor to look into this mess at the Department of Energy and "Fast and Furious" at the Department of Justice.

    4. Billie Boy says:

      So what? Nothin you can do about it!

    5. Mark says:

      This is just another money laundering scheme for the democrats. They are using our money to destroy us from within.

    6. Robert A Hirschmann says:

      OK. Our spender-in-chief is finally unmasked as totally dishonest. Now do we have enough evidence to impeach him???

    7. Carol M Kite says:

      I hate, have always hated & will always hate the practice of granting special privilages to favorites, whether they are relatives of government office-holders or those who donated big money that equates so often to the president becoming the puppet, a willing partner in lobbyism, a disgusting practice that should be deemed illegal. Then we have a president, so arrogant, he flies in the face of advice from many sources to throw more good money, billions, after bad in his constant fiascos. Is he stupid or just couldn't care less how many trillions in debt he is personally responsible for?! I suspect the latter as he's dedicated to breaking the spirits of the taxpayer, overwhelming us with regulations, higher prices while taking away our freedoms, all the while millions have no income to cope. Enough already, do your proper job & for a change, lead this country back to productivity!!!

      • Gdrn says:

        Obama isn't stupid, he listens to his handlers who tell him every move that he is to make in order to overthrow this nation. He follows orders willingly because he believes in the communist/socialist agenda of governance. Don't be suprised when the Democrats create a crisis so that Obama can declare marshal law and suspend the next election cycle.

    8. robbie says:

      Does the word "Impeachment" have a nice ring to it?

    9. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It's all about power and control. How can anyone doubt what Obama intends for this nation. Almost every day some new revelation appears about how Obama is avoiding or completely disregarding the laws that governs this nation. Don't believe the lies and distortions in the media that, regardless of the facts, still portray Obama as "naive" or "inexperienced". Obama is deliberate and devious. The mask is now completely off, and we must realize the end results of Obama's plans to collapse this nation into socialism.

      • Robert A Hirschmann says:

        I agree with you. It seems that all along Obama Ben Ladens goal was to destroy America. So far he’s done a great job of it. When he accomplishes his task he will declare himself the first dictator of the United States. This will be another Muslim nation with him as our new Mohammed. Won’t that be great?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#

    10. Brenda Choate says:

      How is it that obama and his cronies always get a pass? Now we hear that other solar energy companies are receiving loan guarentees with Pelosi's and Obama's names linked to one of them. From reports, this money was part of the stimulus package and had to be used prior to the deadline. Do we need an independant prosecutor-yes if one can be found that will stand up to the current corruption in Washington.

    11. Dedicated to TRUTH says:

      As long as our "elected" representatives allow these "bastard bandits" do what they please, we have no one to blame except ourselves for permitting the whole-"sale" of the USA go out the door. The leadership of our nation are a bunch of lazy hounds lying ( I mean LYING) around, getting fat & becoming lazy good for nothings, producing very little & I can assure you, they will suffer just like the rest of us!! Guaranteed!
      I would deny & not acknowledge any of my relatives, if they were in politics; from city level to Federal level.
      Their level of integrity & reputation is reflected by the words that come out of both sides of their mouths. I'm Done. They can all kiss my hound!

    12. Steve Cafaro says:

      The Democrats and Republicans keep trying to re-invent the jobs wheel. Why not simply repatriate the tens of millions of jobs that have been outsourced to foreign countries? We have become reliant on foreigners for a vast array of products that Americans consume every day, and as a result we no longer have a sufficient number of living wage jobs to support our people and our economy. Americans must produce for their own needs if we are to survive as a free, sovereign and self-sufficient Nation!

    13. Rod Roy says:

      Congressman Issa nd Senator Grassley, this is your domain and Americans need you to step-up!

    14. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      There is an interconnected web of incestuous relations promoted by lifer Republicans and Democrats to solidify their political position and ongoing feeding from taxpayers. There are no local, state or federal politicians who leave office poorer than when elected.

      One of the few organizations that even brings out political lifer greed, misappropriation, fraud, etc. is Heritage. The more rocks you overturn, the more you will find politicians working to maintain their job.

    15. Chuck Yahn says:

      What can the average American do about this pack of crooks? It appears to be such a hopeless situation.This administration controls the Justice dept. media etc., and seems to be determined to destroy the country.

    16. Bob Pohl says:

      With regard to the Gov'ts involvement in new technology, be it so-called Green or something else. It seems to me that helping the private sector with basic research would be a good thing. Bringing developments to market would be left to the Private Sector. If the Government provides funds to asist an R&D effort it should also be compensated if the R & D produces a marketable product.
      It would be up to the Private Sector to take or not to take Gov't funds for specific R&D efforts. I don't know how you would handle the Property Rights regarding any Patents resulting from R&D the included Gov''t funds.

    17. Don Ruane says:

      I think we should declare open season on the Main Stream Media.
      Nothing to hurt then, but maybe not watching ABC, CBS or the likes of MSNBC.until the November 2012 election. They do not tell us the truth so any thing you will hear or see will not help you to make a good decision on who to vote for or against.
      There are places you will find the truth, but you must seek them out.
      Billie Boy is right, there is nothing you can do about this corruption.
      The entire Administration and the entire Congress must be replaced.
      So fire all of them and get a new President and Congressional Term Limits instantly.
      I is really up to us, so if we vote for the same people we will get the same insanity.

    18. Dennis Freeman says:

      I can't stand what this administration has been doing to the hard working American population. It seems like they can't get it through their thick heads in Washington that you can't through money at anything in the private sector and expect it to flourish. Anyone that has had a business knows that the only way for it to grow is to build demand. It cannot be created no matter how much money is thrown at it. To quote Forrest Gump,"Stupid is what stupid does." End of story. If this administration with its Nancy Pelosi's comment about the Health care bill, "We have to pass it to find out what's in it" dose'n't gety everyone so upset thatthey go to the polls in 2012 and vote these stupid people out then I guess we get what we ask for, The only problem is I haven't asked for any of this and I have gotten it shoved down my throat, or shoved somewhere. Dennis

    19. Steve H says:

      While it's terrible to see that OMB likley was pressured to appriove a loan that if it had more time, may not have approved – you do realize that this is 'venture' capitalism. That's what makes this all 'venture' – because it's not a sure thing. Ask any venture capitalist what their success rates are and you'll see it's not 100%.

      • Tim Reynolds says:

        venture capitalists risk their own money, not everyone else's!
        DUH

      • Steve S. says:

        If it was A loan, you might be right. It is many, well exceeding another Billion dollars that we don't have. There is a distinct difference between venture capitalism, which belongs in the private sector, and criminal activity involving OUR money which is becoming the norm.

    20. toledofan says:

      It looks to me like, in comparison to Watergate, this is by far a really big corruption problem for Obama and his Administration. The money laundering and deal making is astounding. It's amazing that during the Watergate era I can't remember a day that didn't go by without reading or hearing on the news about the break in, who knew what and when. This story breaks and unti a day or two ago the mainstream media has been awol. Keep up the good work HF, keep slinging the truth.

    21. Clearhead says:

      "…………………and they are heading straight for another deep failure that promises another expensive lesson for taxpayers…………" If it please the court, we taxpayers have had so many 'expensive lessonst' that we know the script by heart. We are mostly all graduates of the 'gummint' school of expensive lessons. In fact 95% of us have graduated with PHd's (preposterous, heinous and damnable). Perhaps WE can give the 'GUMMINT' some training now. Let's fire the useless 95% of them and counsel them on how to hope for a change.

      • a true American says:

        I am starting a new initiative. It's called Get Rid of Them All. Vote EVERY current politician out of office. That my friends is called term limits.

    22. Fergi says:

      Too much beating around the bush, why not cut to the chase and demand charges be brought against those responsible for these wrong doings, after all, the Constitution and the Law is on our side.

    23. Paul says:

      This is nothing new. Our government is the worst enemy of the tax payer. Everyone is taking a fee ride on our tax dollars. That is why we must have term limits and throw the congressional members out every couple of years. Otherwise, we get the same old waste of tax payer dollars. Paul M. Yandura

    24. BobNY says:

      This wasn't at all about helping or promoting a renewable energy source, this was strictly about payback. They donated, Obama paid them back, same thing with the everything else he does. That's why the recovery summer failed to appear, he knew it wouldn't, but the unions and the democratic backers got their cut, so it's working for him

    25. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "As a country deep in debt, America does not need to waste money on President Obama’s political favors and errant energy subsidies."
      Solyndra's "gift" from the administration's leader is but a small part of the plan to bankrupt the nation before government nationalizes all factors of production and wealth in order to create the "Utopia" we know as Socialism.

    26. Whicket Williams says:

      Become an Activist Vote ALL incumbents OUT. Get The MONEY out of Politics the only way you will ever get anything done is to get the CROOKS called politicians OUT of office.

    27. Jack D Bear says:

      Last time I checked, neither POTUS or any govt official has immunity from prosecution on corruption charges (Chuckie Rangel may be an exception). Stop sweeping these crookled deals under the rug – ferrett them out and clean up our government latrine.

    28. Ron W. Smith says:

      Without getting into the "political favors" matter in the case of Solyndra, what with political favors the name of the game in D.C., let me say that China, among many other countries, is showing us how investment in technologies and infrastructure is a something government should do–especially in untried, untested areas for development. For-profit start-ups seldom come up with the wherewithal to carry out plans as fully as necessary when risky NEW technology is involved. Check out the long list of ideas that failed to culminate in marketable products just during the past 10 years. A good starting point is new pharmaceutical products on the market versus those that failed–and in an industry which largely underwrites its own R&D, the cost of which shows up revealingly in our prescription drugs prices. We pay, whether in those prices or in taxes. We pay.
      And back to Solyndra: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Solyndra failed, but not all such ventures will. The government should stay in business as venture capitalists and keep us in step with other governments –like China's.

    29. kaydell bowles says:

      Both politcal parties are corrupt; stealing money from the taxpayers and giving it to those to keep their power by campaign funds/ I beg all American who want to take back their country not to vote for any incumbent that has served more than one term. They are the problem as this is the result of their policies and they can not be the solution.

    30. Wayne Grievo says:

      It would be worth the one and one half billion just catch Obama and his minions red handed with their hands in the till. Not just the worst president, also the worst provaricator in the land. He has to go, along with any other criminals in either party. They have stolen so much and lied so ofthen that they think what they do is "normal".

    31. Dick Flasck says:

      Most solar cells are based on the material silicon. Solyndra, however, uses a special material mixture called CIGS having a composition of:

      25% Copper
      18% Indium
      7% Gallium
      50% Selenium

      The abundance (by weight) of elements in the Earth's crust is:
      Silicon: 270,000,000 ppb (parts per billion)
      Selenium: 50 ppb
      Indium: 160 ppb

      For comparison: silver is 80 ppb

      Most of the material in Solyndra solar cells is exceedingly rare, and fully half rarer than silver. Further, selenium is 5 million times rarer than silicon, the material used by most Solyndra competitors. The Solyndra business was doomed by material costs from the start. Is it plausible that all the government vetting experts and all the Solyndra insiders were oblivious to this obviously fatal flaw? I think not.

    32. Norwood Mcdaniel says:

      Stop the fraud and corruption at once! What can you do to correct this mess?

    33. Thomas Nienburg Sr. says:

      Will the Republicans have the courage to pursue this to it's conclusion or will they be confounded by the administration & the democrats and let it drop. There's so much to hold the administration accountable for
      but there doesn't appear to be any fire in the Republican belly or perhaps I don't have an accurate understanding as to what it takes to hold the administration responsible for violating the constitution.

    34. Jeanne Stotler says:

      There is something that can be done, it does mean a special prosecutor and the FBI getting to the bottom of all the coruption associated with Pelosi, Reid and Obama, including all his mobster csars. A full disclosure will turn this country on it's heels and maybe then people will realize that they were sold plastic when they thought they were buying Leather.

    35. JohnL2 says:

      This situation and the "fast and furious" debacle MUST be investigated to the fullest extent and ALL those connected charged, tried, and prosecuted to the FULL extent of the law! This goes to the very top in the Attorney Generals office AND the White House…..neither which is above the law!!!

    36. Bob says:

      Wouldn't it make sense for the government agency that approved the loan to have to make good on it? That would mean that the Department of Energy must forfeit it's budget until the loan is paid off. If that puts the Department of Energy out of business for a year or ten so much the better.

    37. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Solyndra was a scandal waiting to happen.

    38. Barb says:

      I would hope that there are legal ramifications for those who signed off on and/or participated in any or all fraudulent use of taxpayer money. Even the president should not be above being held to legal requirements and held accountable, punishable by criminal charges as any other individual would be. Acting outside of the best interests of the taxpayer by promoting a personal agenda should require increased scrutiny and not less.

    39. Boice McCain says:

      When something is touted as "the greatest thing since canned beer," that's the time to put your wallet back in your pocket and wait to see some successes.

    40. 2Dokie says:

      Most politicians, including the GOP presidential candidates seem publicly, at least, iincapable of recognizing the criminality of this administration and its' obvious ideological agenda…which almost makes them complicite. I hope that's not the case. The U.S. is a nobler experiment than that

    41. Terry Wolfe says:

      The Pot has been to sweet for SOOO long that both sides of the aisle has had so many snacky good earmarks for so many moons that todays "Congress" is pay-to-play and pay -to-go. I know that mother Russia had gulligags and Levfortvo sp. prison, perhaps were behind the times. We are probably not looking at our problems properly. The current warmy smarmy progressiveism and jingoism floating around in the current revised spunnout press and communications media today would melt Joseph Gerobels heart with jealouscy! I hope we do not become a stallinist society but I have a deep feeling tht enough secrets have been co-opted that short of "MAD" there may be no winners. Whatsoever!

    42. Nick says:

      Speicifically, once Solyndra went down in such as suspicious and untimely way, not only the Energy Department, but the Administration AND Congress (House) should have sought legal and emergency ways to curtail ANY further guarantees of this type no matter their disposition. This is (in my view) a very simple 'payoff' to friends of the Administration. I dare say, with the approval and release ot the two most recent guarantees, almost criminal. This goes directly to those who are involved directly and indirectly as beneficiaries of those guarantees.

      It is arrogantly criminal at how this Administration frivolously throws taxpayer money at 'windmills'. Our Don Quixote President is an abject failure, and should be held accountable not only at the polls, but in the courts.

    43. Craig Casey says:

      There you have it:

      President Obama was reportedly advised by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and then-economic advisor Larry Summers that the loan guarantees were being hastily approved and were too risky. But Obama pressed forward

      Government loans = government control and influence. This has nothing to do with "jobs" or being "green" Unless the green is taxpayer $s!

    44. John McCoy says:

      As a Christian, I believe there is no leader placed in a position of authority without the blessing of God. God did us all a favor in Obama's case to wake us all up!!! If McCain has won, we would be continuing our slow downhill trek and wake up eventually in Europe's shoes. We are at war and Obama is certainly pointing this out to us. Take heed! We can turn this thing around.

    45. Cecilia Ruhnke says:

      Cecilia Ruhnke Good ideas grow in the free market. Hopefully, President Obama has learned that he can't rush idea application with tax payers money.

    46. billy barney says:

      Congress needs to order up a Forensic Accountancy of Solyndra and a "Trace of Proceeds" for every check the roaches wrote. It might be said the first name and off-shore bank account to be discovered will be Rahm Emanuels', the second, the Reid & Pelosi cabal. Clearly, Rahm Boy is the only member of the this administration smart enough to put such a deal together. Investment Banking experience plus duel Israeli citizenship – "Perfect Financial Storm"
      It can be done and quickly thru the Federal Reserve computers.
      SO WHAT ARE THEY (CONGRESS) WAITING FOR…

    47. Jean says:

      Agree!! What can we do NOW? Waiting for election is too long. Is it true that Obama has appointed two Muslims to top positions on the National Home Security Dept? To help helpless Sec Nepolitano? Doesn't seem there is any offense in the opposition.

    48. Yuan Yi Peng (???) says:

      [ SOS ] Complaint with IBM China CSR on Centennial

      [ Review ] How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media http://wp.me/p1hDC3-aL

      IBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China http://wp.me/p1hDC3-aW

      Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China http://wp.me/p1hDC3-92

      Scandal stricken IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial http://wp.me/p1hDC3-8I

    49. Pat O'Lone says:

      I don't know why any one should be suprised by what is taking place. This is a prime example of Chicago stlye politics. I'm sure a LEGITIMATE investigation would reveal Solyndra is just the tip of the iceberg.
      There are four types of people who will vote for Obama, 1. Those who are sharing in his crooked politics,
      2. freeloaders 3. MASOCHISTS 4. Yellow dog Democrats ! Not an ounce of honor in the bunch!

      If every patriotic clear thinking person doesn't show up at the polls on election day to overcome the votes that will be cast because of corrupt politics on the part of the Democrats this country as we know it will be a distant memory!

    50. Lloyd Kimball says:

      The government should support basic research only (like fusion). Picking an industry is a no-no. I love the story of Wright brothers versus Langley on the development of a powered aircraft.

    51. C. Bruce Miller says:

      IS THERE NOT A WAY THAT OUR ELECTED CONGRESSMEN AND INTELLIGENT SENATORS CAN BLOCK SUCH CORRUPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I If i were knowledgeable about the internet I would relay your reports to my Senators and Congressmen from Utah and demand that they take action and report back.!!!! I am an 80 yr old and would need to understand how to relay these reports. I will contact Utah's congressmen and Senators and demand responce!!!!!. One of the worst Presidents in history and a thoroughly corrupted in congress.
      C. Bruce Miller

    52. robert bayer says:

      take the god-damned money out of the congressional retirement/benefit programs to pay for these guarantees.
      Retire these crooked bastards with less money than they came to Washington with.

    53. TonyM says:

      The US Government is acting as a venture capitalist, a discipline for which it is completely unqualifed. One would expect that if the Administration cared about the citizenry and their money, then it would hire REAL venture capitalists to vet the projects. The current philosphy is to throw enough stuff at the wall and hope something sticks. "Green" is turning to "RED", very deep "RED". The buffoons promoting thi stuff must go.

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