We know the Obama administration can't get enough of renewable energy. We know it can't get enough of "shovel-ready" projects for soaking up its taxpayer-funded economic stimulus handouts. Now a colossal green stimulus failure has put Democrats on the defensive and raised the prospect of an ugly scandal.
Solyndra Inc. was a California-based maker of advanced solar panels. Its
executives talked a good game, and the company attracted substantial
private investment. It also caught the fancy of the Obama administration
just as a pile of money came available from the $787 billion stimulus
legislation of 2009.
Before you can say, "Let the sun shine in," Solyndra was basking in the
limelight. The federal government backed loans of more than $500 million
to the company. President Barack Obama
toured its manufacturing plant. He touted its plans to hire 1,000 new
workers and embraced its fuzzy math about producing enough solar panels
in its expanded facility to replace the power from eight coal-fueled
electricity plants. "It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading
the way to a bright and prosperous future," the president declared at
Fast forward to the not-so-bright and prosperous present: Solyndra is
bankrupt, its factory shut down and its workforce on the street. The FBI
raided its headquarters earlier this month, presumably suspecting
fraud. Its top executives failed to appear Wednesday at a hearing on
Capitol Hill where Republicans were itching to grill them.
A series of emails between White House
officials and Office of Management and Budget watchdogs suggests that
Solyndra got its federal guarantees prematurely, under pressure from the
Obama administration, which wanted to stage an event featuring Vice
President Joe Biden announcing the guarantees at a ground-breaking ceremony. A perfect example of shovel-ready stimulus! (Continues here)