Sunday, September 18, 2011

'Can You Imagine the Congress Voting on Anything Generous for the Solar Industry Right Now? I Don’t Think So'

With the Solyndra scandal threatening to consume an already teetering Obama administration, amazingly enough they're prepared to double and triple down on reckless stupidity by throwing even more billions at dubious solar projects. This has to stop and it needs to stop now.
Political fury over a failed $535 million loan guarantee to an Obama administration-backed solar company is threatening to poison the well for future green investments.

The Obama administration is doubling down on its support for renewable energy, stressing that it will move forward on more loans like the one to Solyndra, the California-based company that announced its bankruptcy late last month. In fact, as many as 14 new loan guarantees from the Energy Department — nine of which are for solar projects — could be finalized by the end of the month.

But congressional Republicans have signaled they’re prepared to start a huge political fight with the White House over the investments. The fight could be a major campaign theme next year, particularly since the loans are tied to the 2009 economic stimulus package the GOP already believes is a political liability for President Obama.

This fight, experts said, is likely to compound an already dismal outlook for federal investments in solar and wind power, despite arguments that the U.S. needs to act quickly to compete with China and other countries developing similar technologies.

“Can you imagine the Congress voting on anything generous for the solar industry right now? I don’t think so,” said Paula Mints, a solar industry analyst at Navigant Consulting.

Republicans ratcheted up their criticism of the administration over Solyndra this week, releasing a series of emails they say show that the White House tried to rush a final decision on the company’s financing so that Vice President Biden could announce approval of the loan guarantee at the September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s new factory.

The White House has dismissed the allegations, arguing that the emails were a “scheduling matter” and had no impact on the decision to finalize the loan guarantee.

Still, Republicans have continued to pummel the administration on the Solyndra bankruptcy; Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations subscommittee, said Friday that Jonathan Silver, executive director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, should be fired.

“We’re not done with this issue yet and we’re going to see where this takes us,” full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told The Hill Thursday.

The solar industry is worried the fight will debilitate government support for a nascent industry.
Well that's just a pity now, isn't it? If your industry cannot survive without dependence on the government then you need to find another line of work. It'll be curious to see how much money these thieves donate to Obama's re-election.

Meanwhile, Obama's former chief of staff played Sergeant Schultz when asked about Solyndra.

I know nuthink!


fiatlux said...

There is a big problem for solar. It is totally reliant on government and rate payer subsidies.

If the loans are not made, there is no PLan B and dozens of zombies waiting for a taxpayer transfusion go toes up. No sane investor or person with a fiduciary duty would give any of these ticks a dime. Thosands of unemployed and local suppliers finding they are in line for several years to get paid.

Similar problem in EV world - Look at public docs for Tesla - They have burnt through $400m+ and have no viable product - vague hopes and glossy, sexy ads. They depend on tapping more and more governemnt money to see if they can actually mass produce an EV at some price that somebody other than a target of the Buffett Tax" can afford. If a bunch of rich guys' hobby goes bad, the taxpayer waves so long to another $500,000,000.r

Richard Butler said...

"The solar industry is worried the fight will debilitate government support for a nascent industry."

If the solar industry is so innovative and valuable let them stand on their own. This is NOT the job of government. We've already wasted enough on green jobs.