Today it is 2011 and the company is set to file for bankruptcy. More than $500 million taxpayer dollars down the drain. Enter some oversight, thanks to the House Commerce Committee and the House Energy Committee. These investigations into the loss of taxpayer money have met resistance in the White House. Rep Fred Upton (R-MI) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) are leading the investigations in the House of Representatives.
“It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment,” Representatives Fred Upton of Michigan and Cliff Stearns, of Florida, said in a joint statement yesterday. The company “is just the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus.”
Turns out some large campaign money bundlers for Barack Obama are investors in the company. Investigations into the process of the stimulus money distribution for Solyndra show several people within the administration raised red flags on the viability of the company, even with the cash infusion of the stimulus money.
Here's a list of some lobbyists in the mix. Lots of revolving door profiles there.
The House Commerce Committee is continuing on with its investigation into the stimulus funding for Solyndra, a green energy company specializing in solar panel technology. Friday a letter was sent from the committee to counsel to the President.
The full text of the letter from the committee can be read HERE :
From the press release, a bit of background:
Commencing in February 2011, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating the Department of Energy’s $535 million loan guarantee that was awarded to Solyndra in the spring of 2009. Committee Democrats have continually refused to cooperate, instead protesting investigative efforts at every opportunity. The Committee was forced to issue a subpoena to the Obama OMB on July 14, 2011, for documents related to approving the Credit Subsidy Costs of all DOE loan guarantees. Every Democrat on the Oversight Subcommittee opposed issuing the subpoena.
Despite missing the subpoena’s July 22, 2011, deadline, OMB has since produced, and continues to produce, hundreds of pages of documents relating to the Solyndra loan guarantee and the restructuring of that agreement just this year. The Committee expects OMB’s continued and timely compliance with this subpoena.
The President stands by his cheerleading for the company:
“While we are disappointed by this particular outcome, we continue to believe the clean-energy jobs race is one that America can, must and will win,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said today in an e-mailed statement. Obama visited the Fremont, California-based company in May 2010, and said the U.S. was in competition with China and Germany for supremacy in renewable energy.
The Energy Department’s portfolio of dozens of other government-backed investments “continues to perform well and is on pace to create thousands of jobs.”
Solyndra is likely to file for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Sept. 7, as it evaluates options including selling itself or licensing its technology, David Miller, a spokesman for the Fremont, California-based company, said in an e-mail. About 1,100 full-time and temporary employees have been dismissed. The company didn’t say how much it owes creditors.
The GAO states that something similar can happen with other green job initiatives, too. Proper vetting has been missing in the process, thus poor results.
The solar panel industry seems to be having a run of bankruptcies on your dime:
SpectraWatt Inc., a solar company backed by units of Intel Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 19, and Evergreen Solar Inc. did so Aug. 15.
SpectraWatt of Hopewell Junction, New York, received a $150,000 grant in June 2010 from the National Science Foundation, and a grant of $500,000 in June 2009 from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.