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Sep 10, 2011

Solyndra bankruptcy; your tax dollars at work.

Solyndra, a company Obama claimed, “represented the future of American renewable energy innovation” has gone bust, blowing over $500 million of federal loan guarantees from the $862 billion stimulus package.

Sadly, the President’s statement may be correct. The alternative energy industry has risen on the backs of taxpayers through generous subsidies and the brute force of federal and state mandates. If it were not for these market manipulations, most of the billions spent creating an uneconomic industry would be out in the viable area of the economy creating jobs.

The fact that such enterprises are uncompetitive even with generous handouts raises a stark image for the future should the government titty be withdrawn. It has to be, otherwise nations like Australia and the US are too heavily reliant on the most expensive and unreliable power sources known to man.

Probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the issue is that of probable political kickbacks in the process. One of the company's investors, George Kaiser of Oklahoma, helped raised money for Obama's presidential campaign. It should be of concern, but we have long ago come to expect this from the crony capitalist system.

US politics, like ours, are increasingly based on the principle of, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” More here:

"The FBI raid further underscores that Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and put taxpayers at unnecessary risk," said top Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Cliff Stearns of Florida, in a joint statement.

"Irresponsibly choosing winners and losers on projects like Solyndra is a perilous and often doomed method to create jobs," they said.

The bankruptcy announcement was a sharp departure for a company that had been held up as the model for government investment in green technology.

Obama visited Solyndra last year, saying the company represented the future of American renewable energy innovation and noting that it expected to hire 1,000 workers. Other state and federal officials such as former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also visited the company's facilities. …


  1. I remember the hype about Solyndra, and also some noise about a spouse of one of Solyndra's execs being on the Whitehouse staff or something? Must have misremembered that last bit because Barry Ohbother said that wasn't going to happen in his administration. And closer to home the same thing's happening to an Aussie company that's finding it impossible to survive without subsidy. Everyone's blaming everyone, of course, but one person nails the problem:

    Opposition Energy spokesman Mitch Williams said the State Government should shoulder blame and many people would now be burnt. "It was a wholly false industry built on the back of government subsidies," he said.

    Not bad for a Liberal.

  2. I'll say he nailed it. I have less sympathy for these companies than I do for the victims of Nigerian scammers.

    The Nigerians are ripping off the sort of unprincipled bastards who are greedy enough to have no compunction as to trying to steal what is not theirs, while these companies are greedy shonks who have no compunction on ripping off the taxpayer.

    (As a matter of interest, things must be tightening up in Nigeria. Scammers used to offer me 50% of the funds, now they have cut it back to 20. Hardly worth sending your banking details over there for.)