Tag Archives: Beacon Power

Solar energy firm leaves behind toxic mess after wasting millions in stimulus funding

Dad sent me this article about the Democrat energy policy from Fox News.

Excerpt:

A Colorado-based solar company that got hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loan guarantees before going belly-up didn’t just empty taxpayers’ wallets – it left behind a toxic mess of carcinogens, broken glass and contaminated water, according to a new report.

The Abound Solar plant, which got $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. Now its Longmont, Colo., facility sits unoccupied, its 37,000 square feet littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water. The Northern Colorado Business Report estimates it will cost up to $3.7 million to clean and repair the building so it can again be leased.

“As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case, the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease,” the report stated.

[…]One of the hazards is the presence of cadmium, a cancer-causing agent that is used to produce the film on the solar panels, the report said.

[…]”If a coal, oil or gas company pulled something like that the EPA would send out SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals to track down the offenders, bankrupt or not,” the center said in a report of its own.

President Obama touted Abound in a July 3, 2010 announcement of a $2 billion “investment” in green energy projects.

Here’s another trustworthy promise from Dear Leader:

“The second company is Abound Solar Manufacturing, which will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs,” Obama said. “A Colorado plant is already underway, and an Indiana plant will be built in what’s now an empty Chrysler factory. When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year.”

But less than two years later, the company laid off half of its 400 workers, and then, in the summer of 2012, filed for bankruptcy. It became the third clean-energy company to seek bankruptcy protection after receiving a loan from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law. California solar panel maker Solyndra and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, also declared bankruptcy. Solyndra received a $528 million federal loan, while Beacon Power got a $43 million loan guarantee.

Why did Abound Solar get these loans? Because they had connections in the Democrat Party – that’s why.

Excerpt:

Abound Solar further claims $260 million in private investments, part of which came from billionaire medical heiress Pat Stryker’s Bohemian Companies.  This is where the story gets interesting.

Thanks to Independence Institute investigative reporter Todd Shepherd, we still have access to the Web page that lists Bohemian as an investor even though it does not appear on the company’s current Web site. The exact amount that Stryker has given is not public at this time.

[…]Forbes lists medical heiress and founder of Bohemian Companies/Foundation Pat Stryker as number 331 of its top “400 Richest People in America.” Worth $1.3 billion, the Fort Collins resident could single-handedly fund Abound Solar and still be well above the poverty line.

While some of her fortune has gone to Abound Solar, she also has chosen to donate more than $2.2 million (probably a low figure) to Democrats and their causes over the last several election cycles. Beneficiaries include Barack Obama, one-term Congresswoman and Fort Collins resident Betsy Markey, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar when he successfully ran for U.S. Senate in Colorado.

The Washington Examiner published e-mails showing that the White House was directly involved in granting loans.

Excerpt:

Previously undisclosed emails made public today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee describe multiple instances of White House pressure on career Department of Energy officials to speed up approval of government loans to clean energy firms like Solyndra and Abound Solar.

President Obama is described in one of the emails as having personally approved “moving it ahead,” thus reversing a prior decision by DOE career officials not to extend $2 billion in tax-funded help to AREVA, a French nuclear power company, on an Idaho project.

[…]In another email made public today by the House panel, Silver instructed McCrea to tell a Treasury Department official of White House support for DOE help to Abound Solar.

“You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound,” Silver said in the June 25, 2010, email.

Abound Solar is a Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer that had used $68 million of a $400 million DOE loan guarantee before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Obama had to pay back his friends who got him elected. He used YOUR MONEY and YOUR CHILDREN’S MONEY to do it. Doesn’t that cause you any alarm? And this was done under the rubric of “stimulating” the economy.

You can see a list of other Obama administration green energy failures here.

New e-mails reveal that White House pressured Department of Energy to make loans

From the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

Previously undisclosed emails made public today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee describe multiple instances of White House pressure on career Department of Energy officials to speed up approval of government loans to clean energy firms like Solyndra and Abound Solar.

President Obama is described in one of the emails as having personally approved “moving it ahead,” thus reversing a prior decision by DOE career officials not to extend $2 billion in tax-funded help to AREVA, a French nuclear power company, on an Idaho project.

Vice-President Joe Biden is described in other emails as exerting heavy pressure to gain approval of a $1.3 billion wind farm project at Shepherd’s Flat, Oregon.

The new emails contradict claims by Obama and others in his administration that all decisions on the $20 billion DOE clean energy loans were made by career executives in the department.

[…][A]n Oct. 30, 2010, email from Jim McCrea, a credit advisor to the energy loan program, to Jonathan Silver, the program’s executive director, described his worries about pressure from the White House to use a “fast-track process” to approve loans.

“I am growing increasingly worried about a fast track process imposed on us at the POTUS [President of the United States] level based on this chaotic process that we are undergoing … by designing the fast track process and having it approved at the POTUS level (which is an absolute waste of his time!) it legitimizes every element and it becomes embedded like the 55% recovery rate which also was imposed by POTUS,” McCrea said.

In another email made public today by the House panel, Silver instructed McCrea to tell a Treasury Department official of White House support for DOE help to Abound Solar.

“You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound,” Silver said in the June 25, 2010, email.

Abound Solar is a Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer that had used $68 million of a $400 million DOE loan guarantee before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

You can a list of most of the green energy failures and the details of their Department of Energy loans here from Heritage Action.

Here’s a snip:

Thanks to analysts at The Heritage Foundation, a list has been compiled of 12 “green” energy companies which received Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees but are now bankrupt:

  1. “Abound Solar (Loveland, Colorado), manufacturer of thin film photovoltaic modules.
  2. Beacon Power (Tyngsborough, Massachusetts), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.
  3. Ener1 (Indianapolis, Indiana), built compact lithium-ion-powered battery solutions for hybrid and electric cars.
  4. Energy Conversion Devices (Rochester Hills, Michigan/Auburn Hills, Michigan), manufacturer of flexible thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology and a producer of batteries and other renewable energy-related products.
  5. Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Marlborough, Massachusetts), manufactured and installed solar panels.
  6. Mountain Plaza, Inc. (Dandridge, Tennessee), designed and implemented “truck-stop electrification” technology.
  7. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Co. (Berlin, Wisconsin), a private company producing ethanol.
  8. Range Fuels (Soperton, Georgia), tried to develop a technology that converted biomass into ethanol without the use of enzymes.
  9. Raser Technologies (Provo, Utah), geothermal power plants and technology licensing.
  10. Solyndra (Fremont, California), manufacturer of cylindrical panels of thin-film solar cells.
  11. Spectrawatt (Hopewell, New York), solar cell manufacturer.
  12. Thompson River Power LLC (Wayzata, Minnesota), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.”

This is what the Obama adminstration means by “stimulus” and “shovel-ready” projects. This was their strategy to create jobs by spending taxpayer money and borrowing money from your children.

Electric car company that got $500 million in stimulus announces layoffs

From the left-wing Politico.

Excerpt:

In another setback for President Obama’s clean energy loan programs, the recipient of more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans is laying off workers at their Delaware and California operations.

Delaware’s News Journal reports that Fisker Automotive, a California-based electric car start-up company, is laying off an undisclosed number of staff to try to reserve enough capital in order to qualify for more federal help from the Department of Energy, according to a Delaware state development official.

“They’re trying to preserve the cash that they have,” said Alan Levin told the News Journal. “And unfortunately, until they meet the milestone that DOE continues to set … they’re not able to access the additional capital that they need.”

The company also came under fire last year for taking federal loans while producing cars in Finland. Company officials told ABC News at the time that “there was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle.” The company was working on reopening a shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington to produce vehicles — an effort that top Obama administration officials lauded.

[…]“This is proof positive that our efforts to create new jobs, invest in a clean energy economy and reduce carbon pollution are working,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “We are putting Americans back to work and reigniting a new Industrial Revolution that is paramount for the economic success of this country.”

The company received $529 million in loans to produce two lines of plug-in hybrid cars.

The Wall Street Journal explains who stands to gain from the loans that were given to Fisker.

Excerpt:

A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

[…]Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, confirmed that the former vice president backs Fisker and purchased a Karma. “He believes that a global shift of the automobile fleet toward electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy for solving the climate crisis,” she said in a statement.

Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn’t return requests for comment.

So let’s recap. A company connected to Democrats gets a $500 million pay-off, then lays off employees to qualify for more payoffs. And all of this money is coming f

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Navy buys fuel for $15 per gallon from Democrat-connected green energy firm

I found this Hot Air story on Right Wing News. Hot Air was at the top of John Hawkins’ list of the top 40 conservative blogs.

Excerpt: (with links removed)

This is going to help the Defense Department weather looming budget cuts, for sure.  Teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (which has a cheery Rotary Club ring to it), the Navy has purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for about $16 a gallon, or about 4 times the price of its standard marine fuel, JP-5, which has been going for under $4 a gallon.

You won’t be surprised to learn that a member of Obama’s presidential transition team, T. J. Glauthier, is a “strategic advisor” at Solazyme, the California company that is selling a portion of the biofuel to the Navy.  Glauthier worked – shock, shock – on the energy-sector portion of the 2009 stimulus bill.

The Navy sale isn’t Solazyme’s first trip to the public trough, of course.  The company got a $21.8 million grant from the 2009 stimulus package.

See, this is why we need to vote for lower and lower taxes. The more money that you give the government to spend, the more likely they are going to waste it buying votes and rewarding their supporters and fundraisers. Do you think that a private company could waste money like this, and stay afloat? No way – they have competitors to worry about. If they waste money, then they will go out of business. However, the government can just spend the money with abandon – it just gets added to the national debt. Eventually, the young people, who vote for for Obama in droves, will have to pay the money back. This will be hard for them to do given the fact that many of them are growing up without two parents supporting them, and often without a good education. What a mess. Leave the money in the hands of the private sector schools and private sector job creators – they actually have to care about pleasing customers and reducing wasteful spending.

Let’s do a quick review of more instances of stimulus spending.

What exactly was he trying to stimulate? His 2012 election campaign?

By the way, check out John’s list of the top 40 blogs – I am number 40.

Republicans want Obama to cancel Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonuses

From Fox News.

Excerpt:

A Republican senator is calling on President Obama to cancel the $12.8 million in bonuses that were approved for 10 executives at the government-seized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that received a $170 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

“I am calling on the president of the United States to cancel those bonuses and explain to the American people, the taxpayers who bailed out Freddie and Fannie, why he continues to reward failure,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at a news conference Tuesday.

The two housing giants have received about $141 billion in taxpayer funds since the government took them over in 2008 during the financial crisis.

Politico first reported the $6.46 million in bonuses for the top five officers at Freddie Mac — including $2.3 million for CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr., who is stepping down next year — and $6.33 million for Fannie Mae officials, including $2.37 million for CEO Michael Williams, for meeting modest goals.

A second bonus installment for Freddie executives in 2010 has yet to be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Politico reported.

So where will these million dollar bonuses come from?

Fannie and Freddie Bailout Chart
Fannie and Freddie Bailout Chart

They come from taxpayers. Obama’s millionaires and billionaires get the bailouts, you get the bill.

In case you are looking for a good summary of the subprime mortgage crisis, read this recent article from Investors Business Daily.