AP: Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor

Posted on September 19, 2011 by Donald Ferguson

 

The Associated Press reports:

The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show…

…Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under a stimulus-law program to encourage green energy and was frequently touted by the Obama administration as a model. Obama visited the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters last year, and Vice President Joe Biden spoke by satellite at its groundbreaking.

Since then, the implosion of the company and revelations that the administration hurried Office of Management and Budget officials to finish their review of the loan in time for the September 2009 groundbreaking has become an embarrassment for Obama as he sells his new job-creation program around the country.

An Associated Press review of regulatory filings shows that Solyndra was hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars for years before the Obama administration signed off on the original $535 million loan guarantee in September 2009. The company eventually got $528 million.

Given the company’s shaky financial condition, Republican lawmakers say the decision to restructure the loan raises questions about whether the administration protected political supporters at taxpayers’ expense.

“You should have protected the taxpayers and made some forceful actions here after this analysis,” Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., told a top Energy Department official this week. “Because you should have seen the problems. And you should have said, ‘Taxpayers need to be protected and this has got to stop.’ “…

…Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors — Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP — stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.

Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House. Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign, federal election records show. Kaiser has made at least 16 visits to the president’s aides since 2009, according to White House visitor logs.

“Barack Obama’s deepening Solyndra scandal shines a sanitizing light on the hopelessly corrupt ‘green’ energy regime,” said American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson.  “So-called ‘green’ energy is expensive and inefficient and relies on taxpayer handouts to survive.  When government rigs the energy market to pick winners and losers, government picks politically-connected ‘green’ corporations who then funnel that tax money back into their campaign accounts.”

“Obama’s Solyndra scandal requires a thorough and independent criminal investigation to determine if there were any pay-for-play agreements that would explain Obama’s inexplicable decision to throw a half-billion dollars of taxpayers’ money into something he was told would be a failure — albeit a politically-connected failure.”

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Wash. Examiner: Solyndra scandal unraveling Obama’s credibility

Posted on September 16, 2011 by Donald Ferguson

From Thursday’s Washington Examiner:

(Excerpt) “If you guys think this is a bad idea, I need to unwind the W[est] W[ing] QUICKLY,” so said Vice President Biden’s then-Chief of Staff Ron Klain in an email about President Obama’s impending $535 million loan guarantee to California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, on March 7, 2009. In fact, some officials in the Obama administration thought the Solyndra loan was a lousy idea. “This deal is NOT ready for prime time,” a White House budget analyst emailed three days later.

Documents made public Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee show why: An Energy Department analysis of Solyndra’s business model performed two years ago predicted that the firm would run out of money in September 2011. Yes, that was “September 2011″. But that fact was ignored by the president and his political advisers who wanted a “green jobs” photo op, no matter the cost. The result was, as an Energy Department analyst said in another email, “given the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra, we don’t have time to change the model.”

But while career staffers at Energy were trying to stop the Solyndra loan, Obama appointees in the White House were determined to push it through as fast as possible…(continued)

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2011/09/solyndra-scandal-unraveling-obamas-credibility#ixzz1Y7qwEwxs

Click here to chip in $10 to support American Tradition Partnership’s growing grassroots army, as we work to repeal market-rigging “green” schemes.

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Jon Stewart rips open Obama’s deepening Solyndra scandal

Posted on by Donald Ferguson

From Ben Hart’s “Escape Tyranny”: (Click this link or the image to watch.)

Call your Ohio lawmaker: Repeal the Expensive Energy Mandate

Posted on September 14, 2011 by Donald Ferguson

As I shared with you Monday, Speaker Boehner’s office tells me they plan to begin moving the REINS Act soon as part of the majority’s jobs plan.

But many members of Congress have not yet signed on as co-sponsors.

May I ask you to take a minute to do me a favor?

Call your congressman at 202-225-3121.  The switchboard operator will put you through to the right office.

Ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 10, the REINS Act, to make regulations accountable and create jobs.

And if you’re from Ohio, here’s another chance for you to fight back against Gang Green.

Citing a study by our think tank affiliate, American Tradition Ohio State Senator Kris Jordan has introduced a bill, SB 216, repealing the state’s Expensive Energy Mandate.

Expensive Energy Mandates jack up utility prices and destroy jobs by forcing consumers to buy their electricity from higher-priced, less-efficient, politically-connected “green” companies.  Ohio’s Expensive Energy Mandate is the kind of wasteful sweetheart deal the White House hatched with now-bankrupt Solyndra.

If you’re from Ohio, I need you to do two things.

1) Go to http://www.ohiosenate.gov/map.html to find contact information for your state senator.

2) Call or e-mail them.  Ask them to co-sponsor and support SB 216.

This bill would never had been introduced if not for ATP and our think tank ATI.  Thank you for all your support.

Obama dictate forces Texas to close power plants

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Donald Ferguson

 

The Hill reports:

(Excerpted) A major Texas-based power company said Monday it will close two coal-fired power units in the state and lay off 500 workers in order to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency air pollution regulation.

The company, Dallas-based Luminant, also filed a lawsuit aimed at overturning the regulation in the state and pushing back a deadline to comply with the new rules…

…The announcement comes amid growing resistance to EPA regulations from the country’s electric utilities. American Electric Power, for example, said in June that it will be forced to shutter five coal-fired power plants in order to comply with the agency’s pending rules.

Luminant, in a statement released Monday, said it will shut down two generating units at its Monticello power plant in order to meet requirements under EPA’s Cross-Air Pollution rule, which would limit toxic air pollution that crosses state lines in Texas and 26 other states.

The units began operation in 1974 and 1975 respectively. The move will cut the company’s generating capacity by 1,200 megawatts…

…“We have spent the last two months identifying all possible options to meet the requirements of this new rule, and we are launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities,” Luminant CEO David Campbell said in a statement. “However, meeting this unrealistic deadline also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs.”…

…The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, responding to Luminant’s announcement, blasted EPA’s cross-state regulations Monday.

“These rules, imposed on Texas without adequate notice and without adequate scientific justification, will kill jobs, put the brakes on economic growth, increase energy costs and impair our energy security—all with little or no positive environmental effects,” the commission said in a statement.

“Barack Obama’s latest assault on jobs and affordable energy are more proof we need a recorded vote on the REINS Act,” said American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson. “By farming out their attacks to nameless, faceless bureaucrats Gang Green’s puppets in Congress can shut down power plants, close down factories and eliminate jobs without taking responsibility for the destructive agenda.”

 

 

Click here to chip in $10 to support American Tradition Partnership’s grassroots army, and our efforts to stop Obama’s regulatory assaults on jobs.

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65% of voters support the REINS Act

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Donald Ferguson

Dear ATP supporter,

I’ve been telling you for months about our REINS Act, which has been introduced in the House and Senate.

As you recall, the REINS Act requires any proposed federal regulation costing more than $100 million to be voted on by Congress and signed by the President before it can take effect.

The prospect of further restoring Congress as the only constitutionally-authorized lawmaking body, and making regulations transparent and accountable, has whipped Gang Green into a frothing rage.

Well, I’ve just received word from Speaker Boehner’s office he intends to begin moving the REINS Act this month.

That means you and I must get active, because Barack Obama is going to pull every stunt and twist every arm to prevent a vote in the House.

You see, a new poll released this morning by the internationally reputable Tarrance Group finds overwhelming majorities of voters agree with you and me about the need for our REINS Act and 65 percent support the REINS Act.

Not many bills can boast they have the support of 65 percent of voters.

The poll finds:

> Three quarters (74%) of voters throughout the country believe that businesses and consumers are over-regulated.”

> More than two thirds (70%) believe increasing the number of regulations on American businesses will result in more jobs moving overseas.”

> A majority (56%) agrees that “more government intervention and regulation to the process of overseeing business means you have less accountability because everyone assumes someone else is in charge”, while only 38% agree more that additional regulation leads to more accountability because of the increased number involved in oversight.”

> One of the highest points of agreement in the survey is fact that 73% concur that “every time the federal government mandates a new regulation on America’s large and small business, the prices of American made good and services like gasoline and food go up.”

> Voters do not want a regulatory process that takes away legislative duties reserved for Congress…This strong support for Congressional involvement is consistent across partisan groups, including among Democrats (67%), Republicans (65%) and Independents (64%).”

> Voters are simply unaware that Congress is not in a lead position with regard to regulation, as a majority say that Congress (52%) creates regulations.

And most importantly:

> (T)here is a strong desire for checks and balances in creating regulations, as two thirds (65%) favor requiring regulations be approved by Congress and the President before they are enforced.

65 percent of voters agree with American Tradition Partnership.

But that just means Gang Green will fight even harder to stop us.

I need you to go here and chip in $10 to help us mount our fight to get a recorded vote on the REINS Act.

Any gift in any amount will be appreciated and put to wise use.

Speaker Boehner says he will begin the process this month.

You and I must be ready to fight.

Go here right to chip in $10 to help.

65 percent of voters support the REINS Act.

I hope I have your support as well.

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