Pronk Pops Show 46, September 21, 2011: Segment 0: Obama’s Solargate: Solyndra Stimulus Spending Cost Taxpayers An Estimated $535 Million–Crony Capitalism Campaign Contribution Corruption–Videos

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Segment 0: Obama’s Solargate: Solyndra Stimulus Spending Cost Taxpayers An Estimated $535 Million–Crony Capitalism Campaign Contribution Corruption–Videos

UPDATED

Dr  Burgess on Fox Business News  Solyndra   YouTube

Why is SOLYNDRA Escaping Media Scrutiny – Fox News, Henican, Asman

    Solyndra asks to auction off factory

Bachmann on Solyndra & son of stimulus

Stearns Comments on Solyndra Execs Taking the Fifth

Barton on Cavuto: Taxpayers deserve answers about how their money was spent

On Fox, Ryan And Cain Bash Solyndra ‘Crony Capitalism’

Rep. Stearns on the Expanding Probe Into Solyndra [FOX 9-15-2011]

Stearns Confirms DOE Projected Solyndra Insolvency in 2009

Solyndra – Where’s the Money [NBC 9-14-2011]

Fox Business: Rep. Barton questions $500 million government investment in failing solar company

NBC Covers Growing Obama Solyndra Scandal

ABC News: Failed Obama Energy Loan a Half Billion Dollar Hit to Taxpayers?

Sean Hannity And Michelle Malkin Talk About All The Crony Capitaliam In The Solyndra Deal

Mark Levin Talks About The Titanic Of Crony Capitalist Obama Hitting The Green Jobs Iceberg Solyndra

Burns Doesn’t See Solyndra Ending Up as Criminal Case

PJTV: Obama’s Pet Solar Energy Company Going Bankrupt

Stearns Joins FOX News on Solyndra

Solyndra bankruptcy..

Obama Energy Official Can’t Say Who Is In Charge Of Giving $535 Million To Bankrupt Solyndra

Solyndra and The DOE Loan Guarantee Program

Pr. Obama at Solyndra (1) California Solar Plant

Pr. Obama at Solyndra (2) California Solar Plant

DOE Gives Out First Loan Guarantee

Solyndra Loan Guarantee Announcement

Solyndra: thin film solar from all angles

Solyndra Fab 2

President Barack Obama’s national industrial policy of betting the American people’s tax dollars on risky investments such as green energy solar panels was hit with a huge financial loss with the bankruptcy of Solyndra Inc. The story is quickly turning into a political scandal involving campaign contributions for an expedited approval of a loan guarantee and delaying the disclosure of Solyndra’s failure to Congress—Obama’s Solargate.

In March 2009, Solyndra became the green energy poster child of successful stimulus spending, securing the first Department of Energy $535 million loan guarantee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the groundbreaking for the construction of the plant via satellite and said, “This announcement today is part of the unprecedented investment this administration is making in renewable energy and exactly what the Recovery Act is all about.”

Obama made a visit to Solyndra in May 2010 and declared “the engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

Solyndra started manufacturing cylindrical panels of thin-film solar cells in Fremont, Calif. in 2007. Solyndra originally applied for the loan guarantee under the Bush Administration in 2006. The loan guarantee application was unanimously turned down on Jan. 12, 2009, by the Department of Energy’s credit committee. The application was sent back for additional information and analysis.

The $535 million loan guarantee was in support of a loan for the construction of a commercial-scale manufacturing plant, called Fab2, for Solyndra’s proprietary solar photovoltaic panels. Solyndra estimated in March 2009 the plant construction would employ about 3,000 employees and plant operation would employ about 1,000 in the U.S.

The U.S. solar panel industry faces stiff competition from imports from Chinese companies that are heavily subsidized by state-owned banks that provide financing with very low interest loans. The price of Solyndra’s solar panels could not compete with the much cheaper Chinese imports.

Last month, 30 months after being approved for the loan guarantee Solyndra laid-off nearly all of its 1,100 employees offering no severance package and ceasing all operations.

On Sept. 6, Solyndra filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is seeking a buyer for the company. The company owes a total of $783.8 million of which $527.8 million is owed to the federal government, according to documents filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. If the company cannot find a buyer, the assets will be sold off to pay its creditors.

The Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General is investigating Solyndra.On Sept. 8, DOE had the Federal Bureau of Investigation execute multiple search warrants and raid Solyndra’s headquarters in Fremont.

Since February, the Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating the Solyndra $535 loan guarantee. On Sept. 14, the committee held hearings on Solyndra and the role of the Obama administration in expediting the approval of the loan-guarantee. Apparently, the DOE also knew in July 2011 that Solyndra could not continue to operate, but it did not inform Congress, which was seeking documents and information on Solyndra.

Solyndra’s chief executive officer Brian Harrison and chief financial officer W.G. Stover were scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. However, they sent letters to the committee that they would not be testify because of the ongoing FBI criminal investigation. Looks like the executives will be pleading their Fifth Amendment rights by refusing to testify under oath to the congressional committee on the grounds that their testimony could be used as evidence to convict them of a criminal offense.

The Obama Administration picked green energy investments as a “winner” industry and technology. Obama staffers said investments in green energy projects would promote energy independence, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs.

A major investor in Solyndra was the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Billionaire investor George B. Kaiser is the 89th richest person on the planet, with a net worth of $9.8 billion in 2011, according to Forbes magazine. Kaiser also just happens to have been a top bundler of campaign contributions to the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign. A bundler collects contributions of many small contributors and bundles them before sending them to candidate’s campaign. Kaiser, himself, backed Obama by contributing $53,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Obama for America.

Kaiser and Solyndra executives made many visits to the White House during the stimulus loan guarantee approval process. The White House monitored and indicated its interest in Solyndra, prior to the Office of Management and Budget review and Department of Energy’s approval of the $535 million loan guarantee.

Simply, it is not the role of the federal government to determine which companies, industries and technologies should be subsidized or given loan guarantees paid for with taxes from Americans.

A national industrial policy that picks winners and losers by subsidizing certain companies, industries and technologies attracts a multitude of economic rent seekers. These rent seekers want a subsidy or loan guarantee for their company or industry. If the politician will give them this subsidy or loan guarantee, the rent seeker will provide the candidate with campaign contributions so that they can be elected or re-elected to public office.

While some businessmen, economists and politicians may label this a stimulus package, others call it bribery or theft by government. It is really nothing more than crony capitalism that corrupts both the political process and the markets.

Under crony capitalism, success in business is determined by how close or well-connected business owners are to public officials. Crony capitalism is usually found where there is rampant government interventionism into the economy in the form of regulations and taxes.

Under free market capitalism, success in business is determined largely by the price and quality of the goods and services a business sells in the market place. Free market capitalism is found where there is little government intervention into the economy, regulations are few and taxes are low. Today crony capitalism is spreading like a cancer around the world, while free market capitalism is a rarity.

Bundlers of campaign contributions are bribing politicians. Bundlers fully expect access and a political payoff once the politician they supported is elected to public office. Obama made sure that his bundlers were generously paid.

Political payoffs can take many forms. In the case of Kaiser, a top bundler of campaign contributions to Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign and whose foundation was a major Solyndra investor, it was a $535 million loan guarantee.

The American people want the loan guarantees, loans, subsidies and bailouts to businesses and unions stopped. They want the massive stimulus spending and deficits that fail to create jobs stopped as well as the corruption of crony capitalism stopped.

Ronald Reagan in his inaugural address Jan. 20, 1981, said it best,: “In the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Background Articles and Videos

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(4 of 14) MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY DEBATE: PETER

UPDATED

Solyndra Said to Have Violated Terms of Its U.S. Loan

By DEBORAH SOLOMON

“…Solyndra LLC had such steep financial problems in late 2010 that the company violated terms of its loan-guarantee agreement with the Department of Energy and technically defaulted on its $535 million loan, according to people familiar with the matter.

The failed solar-panel maker, which is under numerous criminal and congressional investigations, ran so short of cash in December 2010 that it was unable to  satisfy certain terms of its U.S. loan agreement, these people said. The agreement required Solyndra to provide $5 million in equity to a subsidiary building its factory but cash-flow problems prevented those payments.

The Energy Department ultimately restructured the loan agreement to help keep the company afloat and Solyndra continued to draw money from its loan.

Solyndra’s cash-flow problems in late 2010 had previously come to light but it was not known that the company technically defaulted on its loan and violated its agreement with the U.S. government.

The company’s financial problems prompted the Energy Department early this year to allow it to reshuffle its debt. Under the arrangement, private investors agreed to provide a new $75 million loan and won the right to be paid ahead of the government if the company was liquidated. …”

“…Solyndra’s problems came to a head in November 2010 when it told the Energy Department it needed $150 million to make it through early 2012, at which time it believed its cash flow would improve. On Dec. 1, 2010, it was unable to make a $5 million payment to its subsidiary and technically defaulted on its loan.

The loan was officially restructured in February 2011, giving the company enough money to carry it through August. The company, which had drawn down $475 million of the U.S. loan as of Dec. 31, 2010, ended up borrowing $527 million before its bankruptcy. …”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576596601891250510.html

Documents show Solyndra sought second government loan guarantee for $469 million

“…Failed solar panel maker Solyndra’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that seven months after the Obama administration’s Department of Energy approved a $535 million federal loan guarantee, Solyndra applied for a second one valued at $469 million.

“On September 11, 2009, we applied for a second loan guarantee from the DOE, in the amount of approximately $469 million, to partially fund Phase II,” Solyndra wrote in a report it filed with the SEC on December 18, 2009. “If we are unable to obtain the DOE guaranteed loan in whole or in part, we intend to fund any financing shortfall with some combination of the proceeds of this offering, cash flows from operations, debt financing and additional equity financing.”

“…“Although the DOE determined on November 4, 2009, that our initial application was complete, and we submitted the second part of the application on November 17, 2009, there is no guarantee that the DOE will approve our application in the full amount requested or at all,” the company wrote in its December 18, 2009 SEC filing.

Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research told TheDC that Solyndra’s failure looks even worse in light of its aim for even more taxpayer money in 2009.

“Solyndra saw the American taxpayer as their personal piggy-bank, so it’s no surprise that they wanted another half billion dollar loan from the taxpayer,” Simmons said in an email. “The only surprise is that the Obama administration rejected the second loan. After all, both private and Department of Energy financial analysts were not excited by Solyndra’s prospects before the first loan.” …”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/16/documents-show-solyndra-sought-second-government-loan-guarantee-for-469-million/#ixzz1Yc8684d1

Solyndra

“…Solyndra was a manufacturer of cylindrical panels of CIGS thin-film solar cells based in Fremont, California. The company suspended all of its operations as of August 2011 leaving behind the United States government as its largest creditor.[1]

In May 2010, the company was personally promoted by President Obama in his visit as a model for government investment in green technology,[2] and was also visited by former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.[3] A $535 million loan guarantee was applied for under the Bush administration but the loan was denied.[4] The $535 million loan guarantee was later granted by the Obama administration. Private investors also invested more than $1 billion into the company.[2]

Due to overseas price pressure coming from China in the period of constructing the new plant, the Fab 2, the company had shut-down its original plant, Fab 1, and simultaneously reduced its staff to approximately 1,100 employees.[5] In early September 2011, the company ceased all business activity, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and laid-off all employees.[3] The company is also being sued by employees who were abruptly laid-off.[2]

On September 8th, 2011, Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents executed multiple search warrants at the company’s headquarters in Fremont as part of an investigation by the Department of Energy’s Office of the Inspector General.[2]

Technology

Solyndra designed, manufactured and sold solar photovoltaic (PV) systems composed of panels and mounting hardware for large, low-slope commercial rooftops. The panels perform optimally when mounted horizontally and packed closely together, thereby, the company claimed, covering significantly more of the typically available roof area and producing more electricity per rooftop on an annual basis than a conventional panel installation.[6]

The solar panels developed by the company were claimed to be unlike any other product ever tried in the industry. The panels were made of racks of cylindrical tubes (also called tubular solar panels), as opposed to traditional flat panels. Solyndra rolled its copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin films into a cylindrical shape and places 40 of them in each 1-meter-by-2-meter panel. The cylindrical solar panels (think of fluorescent tube lights—except in reverse) can absorb energy from every direction (direct, indirect and reflected light).[citation needed]

Each Solyndra cylinder, one inch in diameter, is made up of two tubes. The company used equipment it had developed to deposit CIGS on the outside of the inner tube, which includes up to 200 CIGS cells. On top of the CIGS material, it adds an “optical coupling agent”, which concentrates the sunlight that shines through the outer tube. After inserting the inner tube into the outer tube, each cylinder is sealed with glass and metal to keep out moisture, which erodes CIGS’s performance. The hermetic sealing technology is commonly used in fluorescent bulbs.[7]

When combined with a white roof (the fastest growing segment of the commercial roof industry with over 1 billion square feet installed in 2008 and required for any new commercial construction in California), the company claimed that systems that employ the panels on a given rooftop could produce significantly more electricity in a given year. With a white roof, the panels can capture up to 20% more light than with a black roof.[citation needed]

The other advantage claimed by the company was that the panels did not have to move to track the Sun. The panels are always presenting some of their face directly perpendicular to the Sun.[8] The daily production of flat solar panels has an output curve that has a clear peak while Solyndra claimed their system produced more power throughout the day.

The Solyndra panels allow wind to blow through them. According to the company, these factors enable the installation of PV on a broader range of rooftops without anchoring or ballast, which are inherently problematic.[6] Solyndra claimed that wind and snow loads are negligible and that its panels are lighter in weight per area.[citation needed]

The company claimed the cells themselves convert 12 to 14 percent of sunlight into electricity, an efficiency better than competing CIGS thin-film technologies.[7] However, these efficiencies are for the cells laid flat.[9] The company did not post any numbers when the cells are rolled up. The Solyndra 100/200 spec sheet doesn’t mention the cells nor the panel efficiencies directly. However, calculating from the data provided shows the high-end 210 panel has a field efficiency of about 8.5%.[10]

In 2006, Solyndra began deploying demonstration systems around the world. The company stated the total count was 14 systems and that these systems were each instrumented with highly sensitive radiation, wind speed, temperate and humidity measurement devices to aid in the development of energy yield forecasting software tools, claiming there were more than 1000 Solyndra systems installed around the world and that they shipped its 100th megawatt of panels in March 2011.[citation needed]

Management

Solyndra was led by Brian Harrison, a veteran of Intel Corporation, from July 27, 2010, when Solyndra announced that Brian Harrison had replaced founder Chris Gronet as CEO of the company.

Major investors included George Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Virgin Green Fund, Madrone Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Argonaut Private Equity, Masdar and Artis Capital Management.

In 2009, the company posted $100 million dollars in revenue. It was estimated that its production and sales growth could lead to a market cap between $1.76 – 2 billion dollars.[11] 2010 revenues were approximately $140 million.

Other executives include Bill Stover, CFO, Karen Alter, SVP of Marketing, Corby Whitaker, VP, Sales United States, John Gaffney, Corporate Counsel and Ben Bierman, EVP Operations and Engineering.[citation needed]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra

Sondra faces House subcommittee hearings

Executives of the bankrupt solar energy equipment maker are likely to field questions about whether its $535-million stimulus loan was granted because of Solyndra’s financial ties to a major Democratic fundraiser.

“… Solar energy equipment maker Solyndra Inc., reeling from a recent bankruptcy filing and FBI raids last week on its Bay Area office and executives’ homes, faces a public and probably embarrassing reckoning before a House subcommittee.

The hearings Wednesday are the latest step by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its oversight arm to push an investigation it launched in February into the Energy Department’s decision to give Solyndra a $535-million loan guarantee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. …”

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/13/business/la-fi-solyndra-hearing-20110913

Big Name Investors Behind Obama’s Failed Green Tech Bet First in Line to Recoup Losses

By Michael Grunwald | September 3, 2011

“…Republicans are already dancing on the grave of Solyndra,
the solar panel manufacturer that received a $535 million federal loan
in 2009 and collapsed on Wednesday. Here’s more music they can dance to:
Sources tell me the Obama administration restructured the loan this
winter, so taxpayers probably won’t even be the first creditors to get
paid after Solyndra files for bankruptcy next week. The first $75
million will go to two Solyndra investors who poured in extra cash when
the company nearly went bust in January. And one of them is a venture
associated with the billionaire George Kaiser, an Obama campaign
bundler.

The other investor is a partnership associated with the Walton
family, which tends to lean Republican. And public filings suggest that
Kaiser-linked funds had sunk at least $320 million into Solyndra before
adding the secured financing; they’re taking a bath along with the rest
of us. “If this was a sweetheart deal, it was the worst sweetheart deal
ever,” one official quipped.

So why did the administration agree to the restructuring? The short
answer, in poker terms, is that it felt pot-committed. It had already
made a big bet; it didn’t want to fold if there was still a chance of
winning. The slightly longer answer is that administration officials
thought (as I did) that Solyndra was back on track, and that giving the
company a new lease on life would benefit taxpayers even if it
ultimately failed. A fuller explanation culled from government documents
follows. …”

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011/09/03/big-name-investors-to-recoup-losses-before-taxpayers-in-obamas-failed-green-tech-bet/#ixzz1YVTDrn42

Obama’s Pet Billionaire at Solyndra May Take White House Down

“…Solyndra LLC’s workers making solar-power panels in a California factory
subsidized by U.S. taxpayers showed “the promise of clean energy isn’t
just an article of faith,” President Barack Obama said on a visit to the
company in May 2010.

Two months before Obama’s visit, accounting
firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP warned that Solyndra, the recipient of
$535 million in federal loan guarantees, had financial troubles deep
enough to “raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a
going concern.”

The Obama administration stood by Solyndra
through the auditor’s warning, the abandonment of a planned initial
public offering and a last-ditch refinancing where taxpayers took a back
seat to new investors. That unwavering commitment has come under
increasing scrutiny since the company’s travails culminated in its
filing for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 6 and a raid on its
headquarters by the Federal Bureau of Investigation two days later. …”

http://nation.foxnews.com/solyndra/2011/09/12/obamas-pet-billionaire-solyndra-may-take-white-house-down

The Phony Solyndra Solar Scandal

by davejFollow

“…The economy tanked and cut demand, and at the same time Solyndra
could not compete with subsidized companies located in China as they
rapidly scaled up. So Solyndra ran out of money. Conservatives and oil
interests are using the bankruptcy as a platform to attack green energy
and the idea of green jobs in general, solar power in particular,
President Obama as always, stimulus funding and the idea of developing a
national strategic industrial policy to push back on China and others
who have their own national policies to win this key industry of the
future.

Conservative Attacks

Conservative are accusing the Obama administration of corruption in
choosing Solyndra to receive a government loan guarantee. The typical
conservative-outlet story follows a template of Glenn-Beckian
accusations that someone “connected to” Obama has “ties” to something.
When you hear the phrasing “has ties to” you should understand this as
code-speak for “has nothing to do with but can be made to appear to have
some sinister involvement if you twist the wording a certain way.” …”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/14/1016840/-The-Phony-Solyndra-Solar-Scandal

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2 Responses to “Pronk Pops Show 46, September 21, 2011: Segment 0: Obama’s Solargate: Solyndra Stimulus Spending Cost Taxpayers An Estimated $535 Million–Crony Capitalism Campaign Contribution Corruption–Videos”

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It seems strange that there’s so much focus on Solyndra and the politics involved, rather than a forward look at where the next problems for the DoE program might lie.

Eight to ten federal departments need to be closed permanently.

This includes the Department of Energy.

No department, no more Solyndras.


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