Yet another major solar energy manufacturer has gone bust. US taxpayers, including Finger Lakes residents, were forced to "invest" half a billion dollars in this turkey.
Solyndra, a renewable energy firm that became the darling of the Obama Administration, shut the doors to its California headquarters today, raising fresh questions from the administration's critics about political favoritism in the federal loan program.
The manufacturer of rooftop solar panels opened in 2005 and in 2009 became the Obama administration's first recipient of an energy loan guarantee -- a $535 million federal commitment that helped minimize the risk to venture capital firms that were backing the solar start-up. Obama made a personal visit to the factory last year to herald its bright future.
Despite questionable finances, the Obama administration decided to back the risky scheme. Why would all those Ivy League smarties waste your money like that?
ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News first reported on questions about the choice of Solyndra for the loan in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure its loan package for the company, which was showing early signs of financial distress. One of Solyndra's major investors was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election.
"I think what happens is they give some of this money out to people who are either contributors or strong supporters," Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who chairs a House Energy subcommittee that has led a probe into the Solyndra deal, had said before Solynda's closing.Bold added to highlight corruption.
Don't forget that this inefficient technology is also heavily subsidized on the consumer side. If solar electricity made economic sense, we'd all be buying it with our own money.