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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk rocknblues81's Avatar
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    Default Solar Energy Company Touted By Obama Goes Bankrupt

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...goes-bankrupt/

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...,5045155.story

    In 2009, the Obama administration fast-tracked Solyndra’s loan application, later awarding it $535 million in guarantees from the stimulus funds.

  2. #2
    Top Of The World mcstravi's Avatar
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    I worked with these guys...so too bad
    Amazing product, facility and amazingly smart people..and they were super busy...but unfortunately China can produce this stuff and sell it below the cost of manufacturing in the US.
    People will say this is a failure of Obama's green energy program...and it is but the truth hurts....Congress is in the pocket of Big Oil...so "green" technology that tries to take away from their profits will be snuffed out.
    All told, the oil and gas industry gave members of Congress more than $55 million in campaign contributions from 2001 through October 31, 2005 (Center for Responsive Politics). Not surprisingly, the energy bill passed by Congress in 2005 did virtually nothing to address the fundamental problems plaguing America’s energy policies. Hugely profitable multi-national oil and gas companies are set to enjoy $53 billion in royalty-free drilling over the next 25 years and $36.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies over the next decade.

    It also doesn't hurt that labor costs in California are crazy. Do Engineering stuff in California, but build factories in another states with high skill but lower cost labor.
    I think one of the problems with this kind of "new" industry is people go for the best stuff...top of the line everything. Sure it works the best, gets the best quality etc...but look into older factories and they are making due with equipment 10-20 yrs old. More maintenance, more quality issues but in the end still cheaper.
    Go into a Chinese factory..it has No Central Air Conditioning, no backup power, old equipment, no fancy lobbies..labor costs 1/10th the US yes..but they usually several people doing what 1 does in the US.
    Finally trying to pick up guitar after too many years.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    House Republicans are eager to find out at a congressional hearing Wednesday why President Obama and his administration continued to promote and refinance $528 million in stimulus loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra even after warning signs emerged.

    “Many of us think he was trying to get the money out the door perhaps for political reasons, and in the end taxpayers lost over half a billion dollars,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, whose hearing is part of a seven-month investigation.

    Asked if someone should be fired over this, Stearns told Fox News, "I do."

    But the White House has defended the federal loan.

    "This loan guarantee was pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "The Department of Energy's overall portfolio of investments -- which includes dozens of other companies, continues to perform well and is on pace to create thousands of jobs."

    In an SEC filing in March 2010, a year after the California-based Solyndra got the loan guarantees but before the refinancing, independent auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers said several negative financial factors “raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

    Still, two months later, Obama went to Solyndra’s solar panel plant and touted green energy and the stimulus.

    “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra,” Obama said at the time.

    But this summer, after CEO Brian Harrison told members of Congress that “Solyndra’s financial condition was improving," Energy Department officials let lawmakers know that the company was facing “decreased revenues.”

    “Obviously there was duplicity here because (the Energy Department) was on the board of Solyndra monitoring what happens, and eventually they were concerned enough that they sent in their own inspector team and the FBI a couple of days ago because they suspect criminality,” Stearns said.

    In addition to raiding the company's headquarters, the FBI also interviewed Solyndra executives at their home following the company's bankruptcy announcement. The FBI has not said what the investigation is focused on but it is widely believed to be linked to the bankruptcy.

    "While we are disappointed by this particular outcome, we continue to believe the clean energy jobs race is one that American can, must and will win," White House spokesman Schultz said. "The question we, as a country, have to ask ourselves is: are the jobs of the future going to created here in the United States or elsewhere?"

    Solyndra, whose technology relied on a tube that could soak up sunlight from many different angles, producing energy more efficiently and using less space, became the first company to get a loan guarantee through Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus program. The government later restructured the terms of the loan.

    When the Energy Department rejected Solyndra’s request for a second refinancing to get additional financing from private investors, the company filed for bankruptcy.

    Congressional investigators have issued subpoenas for documents from the White House Office of Management and Budget concerning Solyndra. In particular, they’re seeking communications between the White House and Solyndra and its investors to determine whether politics played a role in the approval of the loan.

    ABC News reported Tuesday that newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the deliberations over the federal loan to Solyndra.

    Harrison, the Solyndra CEO, and another company executive were supposed to testify Wednesday at the hearing, but Stearns says they’ve asked for another week to prepare. Still, lawmakers will hear from Obama administration officials, including Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the White House budget office, and Jonathan Silver, executive director for the Energy Department’s loans program.

    “We had a sense Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and its failure raises significant red flags for the entire loan guarantee program,” Stearns and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement. “It is not the role of government to pick winners and losers in the market.”

    “With taxpayers potentially on the hook for this half-billion dollar bust, it’s time to sound the alarm about the remaining $10 billion in loan guarantees set to expire Sept. 30,” they said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcstravi View Post
    I worked with these guys...so too bad
    Amazing product, facility and amazingly smart people..and they were super busy...but unfortunately China can produce this stuff and sell it below the cost of manufacturing in the US.
    People will say this is a failure of Obama's green energy program...and it is but the truth hurts....Congress is in the pocket of Big Oil...so "green" technology that tries to take away from their profits will be snuffed out.
    All told, the oil and gas industry gave members of Congress more than $55 million in campaign contributions from 2001 through October 31, 2005 (Center for Responsive Politics). Not surprisingly, the energy bill passed by Congress in 2005 did virtually nothing to address the fundamental problems plaguing America’s energy policies. Hugely profitable multi-national oil and gas companies are set to enjoy $53 billion in royalty-free drilling over the next 25 years and $36.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies over the next decade.

    It also doesn't hurt that labor costs in California are crazy. Do Engineering stuff in California, but build factories in another states with high skill but lower cost labor.
    I think one of the problems with this kind of "new" industry is people go for the best stuff...top of the line everything. Sure it works the best, gets the best quality etc...but look into older factories and they are making due with equipment 10-20 yrs old. More maintenance, more quality issues but in the end still cheaper.
    Go into a Chinese factory..it has No Central Air Conditioning, no backup power, old equipment, no fancy lobbies..labor costs 1/10th the US yes..but they usually several people doing what 1 does in the US.
    This company getting half a billion in loans is nothing to sneeze at, though.

    Really, above and beyond all else, this just shows what everyone should realize by now--the government shouldn't be picking winners and losers.

    Kerosene and petroleum products replaced whale oil because they were cheaper and more plentiful as whaling was become more and more expensive.

    The whales starting running out, they started becoming harder to get, and new products that were innovated outside of government intervention--mainly distilling kerosene from coal and petroleum.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    The Treasury Department has launched an investigation into a now-defunct solar panel company's $528 million stimulus loan, focusing specifically on the federal bank that processed it.

    The loan to Solyndra has set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with a Republican-led House committee releasing emails suggesting the White House had pressured budget officials into expediting their fiscal review of the loan ahead of a plant groundbreaking. The company was touted prominently by the Obama administration for its work growing so-called green jobs.

    But the company went bankrupt this month and is now the target of investigations by the FBI and the Energy Department, as well the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    The Treasury Inspector General's Office said Wednesday night that it too, is investigating the loan, because it was processed by Federal Financing Bank, a government lending institution that falls under Treasury's control. The Treasury's investigation was first reported by ABC News, which quoted a spokesman as saying investigators would "look at everything the FFB had to do with its role in this thing."

    Obama administration officials on Wednesday defended their support for the loan, claiming the firm fell victim to global economic trends but that federal investment in alternative energy must continue.

    The testimony came as Republican and Democratic lawmakers raised sharp questions about the decision that ultimately left taxpayers on the hook for millions, and as the newly released emails show administration officials were raising doubts about the loan proposal to Solyndra months before it was finalized.

    Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said the program was "shrouded in secrecy and uncertainty," questioning whether the loan represented "one bad bet" or the "tip of the iceberg."

    Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the White House budget office, acknowledged that Solyndra's bankruptcy will "limit the government's recovery of funds." He called the outcome "very unfortunate."

    But at the hearing Wednesday, he said administration officials provided a "thorough examination and analysis" of the loan proposal and said a "challenging global solar market" has made business harder for companies like Solyndra.

    Jonathan Silver, director of the Energy Department's energy loan office, also said a combination of factors -- namely China flooding the marketplace with cheap solar panels and the European buying market tightening as a result of their economic troubles -- has caused solar-cell prices to plummet.

    "These changes were particularly damaging to Solyndra," he said.

    Silver said Solyndra's projects were considered "advanced" dating back to 2008. "In 2009, Solyndra appeared to be well-positioned to compete and succeed in the global marketplace," Silver said.

    But emails released by the House committee show that the relevant credit committee decided "not to engage in further discussions with Solyndra" in the final days of the Bush administration. After the change in administration, officials restarted the loan review process for Solyndra.

    "A half a billion dollars that was not supported in January under the Bush administration was ... conditionally recommended in March," Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, pointed out.

    Asked whether political influence played a role in the loan being approved, Silver said, "I don't believe so."

    The emails at least show budget analysts felt rushed by the White House to review the loan guarantee in time for an announcement by Vice President Biden in September 2009.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    They should also investigate the other things in that 2010 stimulus plan like,650 million for digital TV coupons,727 million for after school snack programs, and 1 billion for climate satellite and habitat restoration programs,160 million for PAID volunteers at the corporation for national and community service, 1.2 billion for youth activities and theres more just Google 2010 stimulus pork and now he wants to do it again!
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    They should also investigate the other things in that 2010 stimulus plan like,650 million for digital TV coupons,727 million for after school snack programs, and 1 billion for climate satellite and habitat restoration programs,160 million for PAID volunteers at the corporation for national and community service, 1.2 billion for youth activities and theres more just Google 2010 stimulus pork and now he wants to do it again!
    just another way to buy election votes...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  8. #8
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    They couldn't forsee that China would undercut em" and sell it cheaper!! It's fucking China for God's sake! This guy in the White House is way stupider that I ever thought.

    And now you got Jews voting for Catholic Republicans in New York?? How r they spinning that one?

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    The U.S Department of Energy wasn't the only government agency to invest heavily in Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

    Last November, an obscure state board agreed to give the Fremont-based company a $34.5 million tax break, the largest one handed out under an alternative-energy subsidy law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Schwarzenegger attended Solyndra's groundbreaking in September 2009 and declared it a cause for "great celebration."

    Schwarzenegger used the event to push for the tax breaks to help clean technology companies buy equipment for "design, manufacture, production, or assembly" operations in California. He said the subsidies would create new jobs for laid-off auto workers at the shuttered NUMMI plant a few miles away.

    "This is why we give these tax incentives," Schwarzenegger said, because "Solyndra will be eligible for these tax incentives for this facility right here."

    The Legislature approved the tax breaks five months later, in March 2010. Documents provided by the office of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer show Solyndra was the first company to receive a subsidy under the program.

    Lockyer chairs the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Funding Authority, which gave Solyndra its $34.5 million tax break. To date, the board has doled out approximately $100 million, with one-third of the tax breaks going to Solyndra.

    In Solyndra's application for the subsidy, its executive vice president, Benjamin Bierman, argued that an exemption from the state sales tax would "create a significant cost-savings that will improve Solyndra's ability to complete with heavily subsidized Chinese manufacturers."

    Solyndra shut its doors last month, despite receiving $527 million in federal loan guarantees. When the company declared bankruptcy on Sept. 6, Solyndra again cited Chinese government subsidies, saying it simply could not withstand competition from China.

    But the company's financial health was not a concern for state officials, said Lockyer's spokesman, Joe DeAnda. In an interview, DeAnda said the legislation signed by Schwarzenegger doesn't require that state treasurer look into whether a particular company is going to be viable before the state grants a tax break.

    "We don’t perform any assessment of the financial viability of a company," DeAnda said. "The program is to encourage this type of technology in California."

    "Every company has the potential to fail, especially in these emerging technologies. It's an inherent risk that comes with the territory," DeAnda said.

    Spokespeople for the former governor said Schwarzenegger still believes granting tax breaks to solar companies is a good idea.

    "For every Solyndra, there are dozens and dozens of other companies that Schwarzenegger toured that are still profitable," said Adam Mendelson, an advisor to the former governor.

    But at least one lawmaker is raising questions about Solyndra's tax breaks. State Sen. Alex Padilla, who wrote the law creating the tax breaks, said he plans to hold hearings into the program's implementation "in the next week or two."

    But Padilla, who chairs the state Senate's Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, said he remains committed to the subsidy program.

    "Does it raise questions? Absolutely, but it does not lessen my commitment to move in a direction of clean technology and the environmental and energy goals of the legislation," he said.

    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Solyndra executives won't testify before Congress

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Top Solyndra executives are not going to testify before Congress about the federal government's backing of the failed solar power company.

    Solyndra Chief Executive Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover will exercise their Fifth Amendment rights at an upcoming hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

    The company cited the ongoing Department of Justice investigation and the advice of its counsel, saying the executives will be "unable to provide substantive answers" to lawmakers' questions at Friday's hearing. However, Solyndra said it followed the rules of the application process and that Department of Energy conducted extensive due diligence on the firm.

    Lawmakers are using the company's failure as a case study highlighting the danger of government funding for private firms. Solyndra was one of 18 companies that received more than $10 billion in backing from the Energy Department as part of President Obama's 2009 stimulus program to support renewable and clean energy technology.

    The department if facing a Sept. 30 deadline to give 14 companies final approval for loan guarantees totaling more than $9 billion. House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders Tuesday wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu to voice concerns about rushing the approval process just to meet that deadline.

    Solyndra said its bankruptcy was largely caused by the falling price of traditional solar panels. That plunge in turn made Solyndra's more advanced design less competitive.

    Energy Department officials say that government backing for cutting-edge energy technologies like the type Solyndra was working on is essential if the U.S. is going to compete with countries like China and Germany, which lavish vast amounts of money on their own renewable energy companies.

    During testimony last week, Jonathan Silver, the Energy Department official in charge of the loan program, said the agency is not trying to pick winners or losers in private sector, but merely trying to assist companies that have already received substantial support from venture capitalists.

    But the Energy Department also has questions about Solyndra. Two weeks ago, agents from its inspector general's office, along with the FBI, raided the company's California headquarters. Neither agency would comment on the nature of the raid, but the DOE inspector general typically investigates allegations of fraud or wrongdoing at the agency and within entities the agency does business with.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  11. #11
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    A new era of hope n change. Yeah! Sept nobody has any change left now.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Solyndra Execs Plead Fifth at Congressional Hearing More Than a Dozen Times



    Top executives from a bankrupt California solar energy company pleaded the Fifth Amendment more than a dozen times Friday in a congressional hearing that went nowhere but gave members the opportunity to pose dozens of questions about the loss of a half billion dollars in government loans.

    Solyndra Inc. CEO Brian Harrison and the company's chief financial officer, Bill Stover, had notified the House Energy and Commerce Committee they were going to invoke their Fifth Amendment right to decline to testify to avoid self-incrimination.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...338/-1/SITEMAP

    OK, so Solyndra goes bust after getting 1/2 billion in taxpayer money. And now this Chinese firm is buying a former IBM fab facility in NY to make solar panels.

    So, how can't an American firm like Solyndra compete with China along with the help of over 500 million in taxpayer dollars, and yet this Chinese firm can waltz in and buy a IBM facility in the US (in NY of all places) and expect to make profits making solar panels?

    Good job, Obama. Good fucking job.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    wow - what a fucking joke...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk rocknblues81's Avatar
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    Default Solyndra Went on a Spending Spree After Getting Loan

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articl...oan.aspx#page1

    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.”



    On Friday, company executives are scheduled to appear before a House committee investigating how Solyndra obtained its loan and whether the Obama White House rushed its approval for political reasons. Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover were supposed to face a grilling about the company’s spending and collapse, but they announced Tuesday that they would assert their Fifth Amendment rights because of a criminal probe of the company by the Justice Department.

 

 

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