From the Washington Post – e-mails reveal that the Obama administration was planning to approve a second green jobs loan for Solyndra, just as they were going bankrupt.
Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration’s Energy Department was poised to give Solyndra a second taxpayer loan of $469 million last year, even as the company’s financial situation grew increasingly dire.
The department was still considering providing the second loan guarantee to the solar-panel manufacturer in April and May 2010, at a time when Solyndra’s auditors were already warning that the company was in danger of collapsing.
Details of the plan are revealed in e-mails released this week by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the original loan. On Wednesday, the probe intensified as committee Republicans requested that the White House provide all documents, dating back to President Obama’s inauguration, that would show communications between staff members and other officials regarding Solyndra’s original $535 million federal loan guarantee.
Republican leaders said that documents obtained in recent weeks show that Obama’s “closest confidantes” monitored the loan, and that his campaign donors offered advice on the company.
“Documents reveal a startlingly cozy relationship between wealthy donors and the president’s confidantes, especially in matters related to Solyndra,” Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the committee’s investigations panel, said in a statement.
E-mails already made public in the eight-month investigation have kept the White House and the Energy Department on the defensive for weeks, showing in part that Valerie Jarrett and Lawrence H. Summers, top Obama advisers at the time, took part in discussions about Solyndra.
The Energy Department provided Solyndra with its first taxpayer-backed loan guarantee in September 2009. Documents released this week show that White House career staffers, who first questioned the loan that fall, by April 2010 were using gallows humor to describe the prospect of giving Solyndra a second round of help. That spring, industry analysts were publicly questioning how the Silicon Valley start-up could be spending cash so quickly from the federal loan and $933 million in private capital.
I got the above story from Powerline blog, and they noted something else interesting.
In related news, the Inspector General of the Department of Labor released a report on the $500 million green jobs training program that was part of the original “stimulus” act. The IG’s findings are not pretty:
ETA and grantees have reported achieving limited performance targets for serving and placing workers. Grantees have reported serving 52,762 (42 percent) of the targeted 124,893 participants with 61 percent of training grant periods having elapsed, and have reported placing 8,035 participants (10 percent) into employment out of the target of 79,854 participants 17 months after the grants were awarded. Of the 52,762 participants served, grantees reported that 20,818 (39 percent) were individuals who already have jobs and enrolled in training in order to retain their jobs, obtain new work, or otherwise upgrade their skills. In addition, according to interviews conducted early in 2011 with regional officials, grantees have expressed concerns that jobs have not materialized and that job placements have been fewer than expected for this point in the grant program.
“Jobs have not materialized”? Really? This is no surprise to anyone who understands what a boondoggle the whole “green jobs” initiative is. The report’s grimmest finding relates to job retention: the forecast for the training program was that 69,717 trainees would find jobs lasting for at least six months. So far, the actual number is 1,336. Sure, as time goes by some additional trainees may hit the six-month mark, but as of the time period covered in the report, only 6,662 had found jobs at all. With over 60% of the grant period gone by, only one-third of the amount allocated has been spent by the grantees.
Is this what Obama means by “economic stimulus”? I think that “stimulus” might be the word that Democrats use to mean “paying off the people who get you elected with taxpayer money”.
- Report finds Labor Department’s green jobs program failing
- $737 million green jobs loan given to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law
- This one graph should end the debate on wind and solar energy
- Obama to conduct campaign fundraiser with wind power stimulus recipient
- How well did Obama’s green jobs spending work out for taxpayers?
- Obama administration knew $535 million Solyndra loan was too risky
- Obama administration reworked Solyndra loan to favor private donors
- Solyndra CEO and CFO will refuse to answer questions in Congressional hearing