Obama’s ‘Green’ Energy Failures

By ASHE SCHOW | THE FOUNDRY | OCTOBER 19, 2012

It is no secret that President Obama’s and green-energy supporters’ (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.

The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.

So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

  • Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
  • SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  • Solyndra ($535 million)*
  • Beacon Power ($69 million)*
  • AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
  • Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  • SunPower ($1.5 billion)
  • First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  • Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  • EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  • Amonix ($5.9 million)
  • National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
  • Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
  • Abound Solar ($374 million)*
  • A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  • Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
  • Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  • Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  • Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  • ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  • Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  • Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  • Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  • Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  • Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  • Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
  • Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  • LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
  • UniSolar ($100 million)*
  • Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
  • GreenVolts ($500,000)
  • Vestas ($50 million)
  • LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
  • Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  • Navistar ($10 million)
  • Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.

The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.

UPDATE: Some of the companies on this list received money from government agencies other than or in addition to the Department of Energy. We are updating the numbers to reflect the most accurate figures available.

Democrites: The Socialist, Death-pushing Party

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 5, 2012

If Barack Obama was slick enough to confuse anyone about what the Democratic Party stands for, the party itself has made it very clear now. The Democratic Party, and more specifically, the Democratic Party platform for 2012 is the most Socialist, Godless, Death-pushing group in the history of the United States.

One thing is to believe that help should be given to anyone in dire need, or that God is an un-tangible abstract ideal that a part of society prays to. Another very different stance is to impose legislation on hundreds of millions of people because a man or his handlers want to install a de facto socialist system, remove God from the platform to attract non-believers and explicitly use people’s money to fund abortions through government and government affiliated organizations.

The Democrite Party is Nemesis, the pale horse that we’ve all read or been told about since we were born. But worse than the party platform, is that such platform has found a strong acceptance among millions of Americans, who as pointed out on Monday, are people who live inside an illusion bubble that has turned them into the most deceived population in the history.

“Government is the only thing we all belong to”, says an ad supported by the Democratic National Committee. That is the very definition that a collectivist organization would want people to believe, instead of “you can forge your own destiny”. If government was the solution to the numerous problems that it itself has created, we would not need elections, and that is what Democrites believe and want. Of course, we all know it is not so. Government, as it stands today, is the problem, not the solution.

Natural Law or common law is the most successful guide to getting as far as we had, until government appeared. The set of moral and legal standards which aren’t written anywhere, but that everyone knows very well is what has worked throughout history, and that is precisely what both the Democrat and Republican platforms lack: morality. That is why Natural Law worked and government did not.

The standards in Natural Law are part of humanity, of being human, and therefore derive from human nature and the world we all live in. Government on the other hand, is a creation of a group of egotistical, selfish demagogues who believe they know better how to run our lives. Both presidential candidates in 2012 favor collectivism, big government and government mandated everything for everyone. Government is an entity that, despite having been created by humans and being composed by humans, has turned into a creature that violently enforces its own rules in detriment of its creators, as supposed to obeying the natural, common laws.

The Democratic Party, more than the Republican, is the party of Death; not because they do not believe in God or because it is excluded from its platform, but because they officially pronounce themselves in favor of abortion, a practice that has killed at least 50 million people in the US. Many of these abortions have counted with the financial support and funding from government. Has it happened under both parties? Sure. But the Democratic Party has been the one that has more strongly reaffirmed they compromise with government funded abortions.

Please do not let yourself be fooled by either Republicans or Democrites, as they will do whatever it takes to keep you tied up and dependent. As explained by Dr. Russell Blaylock, government is great at masking its true intentions, and it has done so throughout the last 200 years. “In the 1800s they did not shy away from the term socialism, but as people began to understand that socialism was a form of social control and engineering, they dropped the term for more acceptable terms such as liberalism, progressivism and collectivism.” Do any of these sound familiar?

Both parties have had their shots at destroying the United States for the past century and in the process keeping people sound asleep, but now that their attempts to keep people from waking up have failed, they ask for more time while reinforcing how trustworthy they are. Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are now trying to buy more time before they fully accomplish their dream. What is their dream? Let’s have author Eric Voeglin explain it to us. In his book, “From Enlightenment to Revolution“, he states:

“In its outline we see the idea of mankind dominated by a chosen people who embodies the progressive essence of humanity. In historical actuality that would mean a totalitarian organization of mankind in which the dominating power would beat down in the name of mankind and freedom everybody who does not conform to the standards.”

Again I ask, does it sound familiar?

By the way, if you think socialized medicine is the cure for all social ills, please be sure to read about the origins of such an aberration (see paragraph 11).

While the United States drowns in debt — $16 trillion and well on its way to $20 trillion — the gullible people are told that the answer to the debt is getting into more debt. While people go hungry around the country, the socialists say that the answer is more food stamps — 46.7 million in total. While the nation starves for innovation and employment, Obama funds his buddies at Solyndra.

The message of “we are the party of diversity, of new ideas, or progress, hope and change” is just a socialist set of smoke mirrors. Under the diversity umbrella, the Democrites seek to buy off minorities and the most needy, bribing them with free stuff so they remain passive and condemned to the misery they’ve always lived in. The highly unsophisticated population of illegals — generally poorly educated in their home countries — who invade the US from all directions, and who only want a handout to step forward towards the illusive American Dream will appreciate the fast-track towards citizenship so they can vote for the pirates that let them onto the sinking ship.

With the ship they shall all sink while the captains are long gone.

White House Fast and Furiously gave $500 million to Company under Investigation

Washington Post
September 14, 2011

EXCLUSIVE | The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.

Barack Obama visited Solyndra on May 26, 2010. Solyndra representatives visited the White House in multiple occasions.

The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget.

The August 2009 e-mails, released exclusively to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by Republican congressional investigators.

Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.

One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

“We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),” one official wrote. That Aug. 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”

White House officials said Tuesday that no one in the administration tried to influence the OMB decision on the loan. They stressed that the e-mails show only that the administration had a “quite active interest” in the timing of OMB’s decision.

“There was interest in when a decision would be made because of its impact on whether an event involving the vice president could be scheduled for a particular date or not, but the loan guarantee decision was merit-based and made by career staffers at DOE,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Solyndra spokesman David Miller said he was unaware of any direct involvement of the White House in securing or accelerating the loan.

The e-mail exchanges could intensify questions about whether the administration was playing favorites and made costly errors while choosing the first recipient of a loan guarantee under its stimulus program. Solyndra’s biggest investors were funds operated on behalf of the family foundation of Tulsa billionaire and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser. Although he has been a frequent White House visitor, Kaiser has said he did not use political influence to win approval of the loan.

The White House has previously said that it had no involvement in the Solyndra loan application and that all decisions were made by career officials based on the merits of the company.

It is not clear from the e-mails whether the White House influenced a final decision to approve the loan guarantee.

The Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking event went ahead as scheduled, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu in attendance and Biden speaking to the gathering by satellite feed.

Republican investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is holding a hearing about Solyndra on Wednesday, concluded that the White House set a closing date for the OMB approval even before the OMB review had begun.

The White House pressure may have had a “tangible impact” on the OMB’s risk assessment of the loan, the congressional investigators concluded.

In one e-mail, an OMB staff member questioned whether the review team was using the best model for determining the financial risk to taxpayers in evaluating the Solyndra deal.

“Given the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra, we don’t have time to change the model,” the staffer wrote.

Solyndra was a favorite of the administration until two weeks ago, when the company abruptly shuttered its factory and filed for bankruptcy court protection, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the loans. Last week, FBI agents searched the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters in a raid that Miller said appeared linked to the loan guarantee.

In one e-mail, an assistant to Rahm Emanuel, then White House chief of staff, wrote on Aug. 31, 2009, to OMB about the upcoming Biden announcement on Solyndra and asked whether “there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.”

An OMB staff member responded: “I would prefer that this announcement be postponed. . . . This is the first loan guarantee and we should have full review with all hands on deck to make sure we get it right.”

In another message, a White House staff member wrote that officials were “walking a fine line with Solyndra needing to begin notifying investors to fly in” for the groundbreaking. It stressed that “this OMB piece” of the review was not final and pointed out that if word of the groundbreaking leaked to the public prematurely, that would “leave us in an awkward place.”

The e-mails also raise questions about whether the administration should have foreseen financial trouble. In August 2009, e-mail exchanges between Energy Department staff members pointed out that a credit-rating agency predicted that the project would run out of cash in September 2011. Solyndra shut its doors on the final day of August.

The House committee has been investigating Solyndra’s dealings with the Energy Department for six months. In July , subcommittee members subpoenaed White House documents related to the guarantee.

Questions about the selection process were first raised in a July 2010 audit by the Government Accountability Office. It concluded that the Energy Department “lacked appropriate tools for assessing the progress” of the loan program and that the department treated applicants inconsistently, “favoring some applicants and disadvantaging others.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of that panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, said last week that the FBI raid confirmed their belief that the “darling” of Obama’s green-jobs program was a “bad bet” from the beginning.

“Solyndra was the hallmark of the President’s green jobs program and widely promoted by the administration as a stimulus success story, right up until its bankruptcy and FBI raid,” Upton and Stearns said in a statement on Tuesday. “Let’s learn the lessons of Solyndra before another dollar goes out the door.”

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) — Democrats on the committee who had once defended the choice of Solyndra — last week also questioned whether they had been misled. In a letter, they wrote that Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison “did not convey to us the perilous condition of the company, and the Committee should know why. ”

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