Obama to hand out millions of taxpayer dollars in green energy firm bailouts

From The Hill.


The Energy Department said Thursday it expects to begin tentatively approving new taxpayer-backed loans for renewable energy projects in the coming months.

The announcement comes about seven months after Solyndra, the California solar firm that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the administration in 2009, went bankrupt, setting off a firestorm in Washington.

[…][Frantz] defended the loan program from GOP critics, who have alleged that the administration is wasting taxpayer money by supporting risky renewable energy projects.

“By any measure, the Energy Department’s loan programs have helped the United States keep pace in the fierce global race for clean energy technologies,” Frantz wrote.

This direction is consistent with Obama’s own words:

Despite some green energy failures, such as the bankrupt Solyndra solar panel company and weak-selling Chevy Volt, President Barack Obama said that he wanted to “double down” on green energy spending, and would do what he could even without Congress to subsidize these companies.

Obama’s assertions, at the University of Miami on Thursday, come after numerous reports of green energy firms that received large sums of federal loans and grants but which have either declared bankruptcy or hit financial problems. In his remarks, Obama sought to draw a contrast between subsidies to green energy firms and $4 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

“A century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough,” Obama said. “It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”

He wants to “double down” on handing out subsidies and bailouts to certain companies. What is the goal of this government spending? Is it a good deal for taxpayers? Who benefits?

What does giving money to green energy firms really accomplish?

Let’s see an example. BrightSource, a company owned by the Kennedys, got 1.4 billion of taxpayer dollars:

President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, Robert Kennedy, Jr., netted a $1.4 billion bailout for his company, BrightSource, through a loan guarantee issued by a former employee-turned Department of Energy official.

[…]The details of how BrightSource managed to land its ten-figure taxpayer bailout have yet to emerge fully. However, one clue might be found in the person of Sanjay Wagle.

Wagle was one of the principals in Kennedy’s firm who raised money for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. When Obama won the White House, Wagle was installed at the Department of Energy (DOE), advising on energy grants.

From an objective vantage point, investing taxpayer monies in BrightSource was a risky proposition at the time. In 2010, BrightSource, whose largest shareholder is Kennedy’s VantagePoint Partners, was up to its eyes in $1.8 billion of debt obligations and had lost $71.6 million on its paltry $13.5 million of revenue.

[…]BrightSource touted the Ivanpah project as a green jobs creator. Yet as its own website reveals, the thermal solar plant will only create 1,400 jobs at its peak construction and 650 jobs annually thereafter. Even using the peak estimate of 1,400 jobs, that works out to a cost to taxpayers of $1 million per job created.

Here’s another example of giving money to green energy firms: Solyndra, which got $535 million taxpayer dollars.


George Kaiser, the billionaire investor and fundraiser for President Barack Obama, discussed Solyndra LLC with administration officials, renewing debate about political influence in U.S. support for the company.

A March 5, 2010, communication from Kaiser to representatives of his family foundation, the biggest private investor in Solyndra, and its venture-capital arm said the solar-panel maker came up in a meeting with “administration folks” a few weeks earlier.

“Every one of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children,” Kaiser, whose family foundation invested in Solyndra, wrote in the e-mail released today by Republican lawmakers.

Kaiser’s role has been among the subjects of a congressional inquiry into Solyndra since theCalifornia company that received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee filed for bankruptcy in September.

The e-mail and others released today contradict White House statements that “no political influence was brought to bear” and Kaiser “never discussed Solyndra during any of his 17 visits to the White House,” Representatives Fred Upton of Michigan and Cliff Stearns of Florida, who are leading a House Energy and Commerce Committee probe, said in a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.

This is an election year, and Obama’s fundraisers would need to be paid off with taxpayer money first, if they are going to be able to turn around and donate some of it back to his election campaign.

To me, Obama’s only plan for a recovery is to keep spending and spending and spending. And what is he spending? He is spending away the future  prosperity of the next generation of Americans in order to buy votes from the current generation of Americans. What other President would be so incompetent as to blow through trillions and trillions of dollars in “stimulus” spending and get a lower number of working Americans on the other side? We elected a wastrel and he is doing what wastrels do – wasting money. It’s not even his own money – it’s your children’s money. And the worse part is that he gets annoyed when people don’t worship him for his failure – as if we should praise his high-minded rhetoric even when he fails to produce results.

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