Categorized | Senate News Briefing

More WH Emails Reveal Solyndra Warning Signs Ignored; McConnell: “And They Want Another Stimulus?”

Even more troubling revelations about the Obama administration’s loan of $535 million in stimulus money to bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra are being reported today.

 

The Washington Post reports, “A White House official fretted privately that the Obama administration could suffer serious political damage if it gave additional taxpayer support to the beleaguered solar-panel company Solyndra, according to newly released e-mails. The firm had burned through millions of dollars and in January still tottered near collapse. The official wanted the government’s top budget official to warn Obama’s energy secretary about the risk, according to the e-mails. At the time, the Energy Department was trying to pump taxpayer money into the California company to save it from imminent failure. The firm had received a $535 million federal loan from the agency in 2009, but early this year confided to the Obama administration that without a rapid infusion of cash it was in danger of defaulting.”

 

The Post notes, “OMB staff members had warned that the Energy Department’s restructuring of Solyndra’s loan might be throwing good money after bad, other e-mails show, and could cost taxpayers $168 million more than if Solyndra had liquidated in January. . . . Internal administration e-mail traffic from 2009, released this week, showed that White House officials pushed for a quick decision on a loan guarantee for Solyndra. They hoped the timing would allow Vice President Biden to announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s new factory in Fremont, Calif.”

 

The AP reports, “At least three reports by federal watchdogs over the past two years warned that the Energy Department had not fully developed the controls needed to manage the multibillion-dollar loan program that provided more the loan to Solyndra Inc., a now-bankrupt solar panel manufacturer. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that a White House official dismissed reports about Solyndra’s gloomy future. An email from Greg Nelson, a White House official who had been involved in the planning of Obama’s May 2010 trip to Solyndra’s headquarters, to a Solyndra executive downplayed a July 2010 news story in a trade publication that criticized the company’s financial health.”

 

Also, according to the AP, “A 2009 report by the Energy Department’s inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks. In July 2010, the Government Accountability Office said the Energy Department had bypassed required steps for funding awards to five of 10 applicants that received conditional loan guarantees. The report did not publicly identify the companies that were not properly vetted, but congressional investigators say one of them was Solyndra. The company was the first to receive a loan guarantee after the program was expanded under the 2009 stimulus law.”

 

And The Wall Street Journal writes, “[T]he $535 million government loan guarantee so prized by the solar-panel maker may have ultimately contributed to the company’s undoing, say investors with knowledge of the company’s operations. The new factory built with Department of Energy funds foisted fixed costs on a company already struggling through an industry shake-out, they say. What’s more, the debt paradoxically made raising more money difficult. Once the government demanded priority in the event of failure, private investors were less likely to prop up the company. One Solyndra investor said that, in retrospect, ‘the worst thing that happened to Solyndra was the loan.’”

 

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “[W]e’re hearing reports that the White House fast-tracked a half billion dollar loan to a politically-connected energy firm that their own analysts said wasn’t ready for primetime. This place was supposed to be the poster child of how the original stimulus would create jobs. Now it’s bankrupt and most of its 1,100 employees are out of work. And they want another stimulus?”

Senate News Briefing 9.16.11

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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