Obama’s “Green Energy” Program and Politics [Reader Post]

By 8 Comments 836 views

That President Barack Hussein Obama has made “green energy” a priority of his administration is no secret. Under the Obama watch, the Department of Energy (DOE), headed by Dr. Steven Chu, has spent, loaned, or guaranteed loans, and the total amount is $80 billion. And we all know that Solyndra failed, costing taxpayers over $500 million. So what? you say. That’s old news. Well, as the late (great IMHO) Paul Harvey used to say, here is “the rest of the story.”

Believe it or not politics played an important part of Obama’s green energy policy. As Gomer Pyle used to say on The Andy Griffith Show, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” Obama’s entire $80 billion clean-technology program now looks like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign. With that in mind, let’s “follow the money,” let’s see how politics played a part in the entire Solyndra and green energy scandals.

Obama’s green-technology program was rife with politics at every level. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, the DOE, and White House officials. But to no avail. Obama and his administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s bankruptcy would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology. “What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?'”

The Obama administration gave easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration. Many of those investors had given to Obama’s 2008 campaign. Some took jobs in the administration and helped manage the clean-energy program. “This was a merit-based decision made by expert staffers at the DOE,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. (personal comment: If you believe Schultz’s statement, I own a bridge in NYC in which you may be interested!)

Two days before Obama’s visit to Solyndra, fundraiser Steve Westly warned presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that an appearance by Obama could be problematic, citing Solyndra’s financial problems and that the company’s failure could generate negative media attention. Wrote Westly, “The president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall.” After assurances from DOE officials that their policy was sound and that Solyndra’s troubles would be short-lived, Obama made the appearance. However, Solyndra’s financial picture did not improve, and by the end of 2010, the company was failing. Its investors pitched bailout plans, seeking help from what a Solyndra executive referred to as the “Bank of Washington,” his term for U.S. taxpayers. Said Solyndra board member Steve Mitchell, “The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically.” Solyndra eventually realized that it had to lay off workers. But DOE urged company officials to delay the move until after the contentious November 2010 midterm elections. An e-mail among company investors stated, “No announcement till after elections at doe request.”   [emphasis mine]  

But that’s not all. Solyndra’s strongest political connection was to George Kaiser, an oil industry billionaire, and major Democrat fundraiser, who had once hosted Obama at his home in Oklahoma. Kaiser’s family foundation owned more than a third of Solyndra, and Kaiser took a direct interest in its operations. Kaiser flew to Las Vegas, NV, days before the 2010 midterm elections and was a guest at a private fundraising dinner for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and was seated next to Obama at the dinner. During the dinner, Kaiser complained to Obama about Chinese manufacturers dumping cheap solar panels on the US market. After dinner he pressed Obama’s deputy chief of staff about the need for a “Buy American Act” for federal agencies. The company was intent on making the federal government a major customer of Solyndra.

We now know that none of these political connections and string pullings helped, and Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on August 24, 2011. The first $75 million recovered from Solyndra’s sale is expected to go to Kaiser’s nonprofit organization and other investors. It is unclear how much, if anything, will be left for taxpayers.

All of this “politics” was played out around Solyndra and its loan guarantee from DOE. And we know that DOE provided loan guarantees for numerous other green energy projects. So what other “political” surprises await us? And all of this from the guy who promised us (taxpayers) an unprecedented transparent and open government. And I’m reminded of the definition of an “honest” politician: when he’s bought, he stays bought!

But that’s just my opinion.

8 Responses to “Obama’s “Green Energy” Program and Politics [Reader Post]”

  1. 1


    $500 million? That’s nothing. The dozen or so other alternative energy programs the government invested in are succeeding. So you think we should scrap alternative energy. We developed solar energy and handed it to the Chinese who is selling it back to us. Smart?  Don’t be another stupid wingnut screeching over Solyndra. It’s nothing. Bush wasted trillions.

  2. 3

    James Raider

    Obama’s spending $80 billion on clean technology boondoggles under the guise of ‘supporting’ alternative energy sources plays well to his base which is seriously debilitated by the fact that it’s uninformed.  It plays even better to those who financed him.  The companies who play in the solar and wind farm games, know that they need political connections to ‘take’ money from taxpayers through rebates, tax benefits, etc.  They cannot make money otherwise.

    Solindra and their ilk will have all of the usual excuses for failure, and will come up with some beauts for burning through well over half a Billion dollars gifted to  them by Obama, at the same time that Solindra’s executives knew they were going under. A monkey would have known their business model could NEVER work.

    The claims being made by the solar panel community are false, and have no foundation in reality.  They made absurd forecasts on performance, and durability, with no substantive data. They have no idea how long the panels will last, but make 20-30 year projections. Output decreases significantly after 5 to 7 years, as such things as ‘weathering’ seriously affect capability.  Dreams of “falling” cell manufacturing costs as volumes increase, remain just that, Dreams. And the exaggerations on the batteries and inverters are far from the reality that they last only 4-5 years.  The panels may drop in cost somewhat, but the bottom line is, the cost per KWH remains unattractive.

    There are some advantages such as the fact that a minor percentage of the solar power could be produced at the point of demand, but the full costs aren’t attractive enough to make an industry.  So, its promoters continue to applaud the up to 80% federal and state tax incentives for solar panel installations.

    Germany, which is committed to increasing its reliance on ‘renewable energy sources’, has been touted by Progressives as the example to follow. Germany announced that all of its nuclear plants will be closed by 2022.  It’s politicians lie about the costs of its solar energy efforts. It imports 2/3 of its energy and is now importing Nuclear produced energy from France, the world’s largest net exporter of electricity. France decided over 35 years ago that it would become energy independent.  As Germany rushes headlong into solar and wind, its economy is stalling, and imported energy is having a serious impact. The average German household is already feeling the hit with increased fees.

    Solar and wind power becoming viable sources of energy remains illusive, but the lies claiming otherwise flow faster than exited electrons.




  3. 4

    Nan G

    Don’t know about the national news, but tonight on our local news we watched as Solyndra workers destroyed over $8 million in fine glass cylinders they had not even paid their German supplier for!

    Threw them into garbage bins in such a way as to shatter every one of the several-feet-long cylinders into shards.

    At an auction for their equipment, these cylinders were not even listed.

    A man on the news said had they been, he would have bought them all!

    And the Solyndra top brass want $millions in bonuses!


  4. 5

    Nan G

    Ever hear of the “BlueGreen Alliance?”

    It was a combo of UNION workers and organizations with environmental ones.

    (Their joint goal was to see to it that union workers took green jobs as non-green jobs were destroyed by regulation.

    Well guess what?

    When Obama sided with the environmentalists over the unions on the Keystone Pipeline (a decision he could still reverse!) a schism formed in this BlueGreen Alliance.

    Details here:





  5. 6


    Nan G.




    I can see BIDEN REPEATING HIS WORDS TO THEM;  YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN IF YOU DON’T STAY WITH US.  AND I can see what they will think of telling him now that they know.



  6. 7

    cml in maine

    He gave an ex Governor here in Maine $100 Million in grants for a wind farm that does not produce. Worse, the farm projects’ partner was Yale’s Endowment Fund….the $22 Billion fund.

    Talk about subsidized scams.

  7. 8

    Nan G

    Obama has created an incredibly lie-filled 30 second ad.


    Watts Up With That blog Fisks the ad and points up several of Obama’s lies.

    1. Falsehood #1: “Secretive oil billionaires attacking President Obama”… The Koch brothers (and the oil & gas industry in general) have been anything but secretive in their attacks on President Obama.
    2. Falsehood #2: The ad implies that President Obama has created 2.7 million “clean energy industry” jobs.*
    3. Falsehood #3: The ad implies that President Obama somehow played a role in the increase in US domestic oil production over the last few years… That is beyond ridiculous! The plays and prospects from which the production growth was derived were worked up, leased, drilled and plumbed-up for production over the last decade or more. The effects of Obama’s disastrous anti-drilling policies won’t show up in production data for quite some time.
      1. Obama’s anti-drilling policies began in 2009 and were ramped up in 2010. This is either the most amazingly arrogant lie to ever come out of this President’s mouth or an example of his incredible ignorance of the oil & gas industry and energy in general.

    *See the main article for details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *