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Thread: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

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    Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    House investigators said they have uncovered evidence that White House officials became personally involved in an Energy Department review of a hot-button $535 million loan guarantee to the now-failed California solar company Solyndra. The allegation surfaced in a letter House Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) sent to the White House Thursday night, saying he planned to accelerate efforts to understand an investment deal that may have left taxpayers out half a billion dollars. "We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra's application and communicated with [Department of Energy] and Office of Management and Budget officials during the course of their review," the letter says.

    -=-=-
    Peter Lynch, a longtime solar industry analyst, told ABC News the company's fate should have been obvious from the start. "Here's the bottom line," Lynch said. "It costs them $6 to make a unit. They're selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan."

    Solyndra Investigation: Probe Into White House Role in Massive Energy Loan - ABC News
    This is lining up to be another disaster for Obama. While I feel terrible for the people whom lost their jobs at the factory, those jobs should never have been created. If the WH pressured the DOE to give loans to the company, and the main backer was a huge Obama financial backer, this story may hang over Obama well into 2012.
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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    This was a crappy investment and Obama should face flak from it. The Solar industry is taking off, but that the competition is squeezing out the weaker players. The rapid drop in price is great for the consumer, but having a half-assed business plan and some government funding isn't going to cut it. Government funding would be better allocated for research funding or improvements to the overall industry rather than giving handouts to specific companies.

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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    This is now more than just "a bad loan" there are implications that there was Washington pressure to push the loan through to meet a White House announcement deadline. What this does is identify political meddling in a PR announcement by the Vice President - which is linked to the President and his hailing of Solyndra as a model for green jobs. This has some potential for a moderate sized scandal - certainly not something that Obama needs during this election season, what with operation "Fast & Furious" still being investigated and blocked by the White House.

    This from the Washington Post this morning:

    Quote Originally Posted by Washington Post
    Solyndra loan: White House pressed on review of solar company now under investigation
    By Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig, Published: September 13

    EXCLUSIVE | The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.

    The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget.

    The August 2009 e-mails, released exclusively to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by Republican congressional investigators.

    Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.

    One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

    “We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),” one official wrote. That Aug. 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”

    White House officials said Tuesday that no one in the administration tried to influence the OMB decision on the loan. They stressed that the e-mails show only that the administration had a “quite active interest” in the timing of OMB’s decision.
    Bolded parts I thought were particularly interesting.


    Full article here: White House pushed $500 million loan to solar company now under investigation - The Washington Post
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    This should sink Obama, but the media will turn a blind eye.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    I thought it was Republicans who did this kind of thing.

    And yes, it'll hardly see the light of day from the msm.

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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    I thought it was Republicans who did this kind of thing.

    And yes, it'll hardly see the light of day from the msm.
    Depends... if the Republicans make a stink about it and put it in front of a House investigation committee. Perhaps this will happen in March or April so as to maximize the timing and length of the investigation to coincide with Obama's Presidential run.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    It was a bad idea all around, and Obama knew it, but since it wasn't his money, the "political" ROI for getting this company up and running was huge, except for one thing, oh yeah, they needed to stay in business long enough for Obama to win a second term.. Ooopsie..

    I looked at getting off the grid myself earlier this year. I paid a team of consultants to really and truly look at all the options I had, and the real-time investment returns. To make a long story short, I decided to hold off on solar (And other combined renewable sources) power as a viable means of energy for our home. The ROI was horrible, almost approaching the ROI from buying a battery powered car..


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    Last edited by American; 09-14-11 at 02:52 PM.
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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    Here is what this shows.......We should NOT immediately pass any jobs bill. It should be dissected and debated before doing anything.

    Once again we are shown where something had to be done "now" and due diligence was not done. Same with TARP and the bailouts.

    Sorry, nothing bad would have happened if the time would have been taken to properly research the company. Not that it would like have stopped some from still supporting giving them a half billion dollars but when we are talking this kind of money NOW is never a good arguement.

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    Re: Investigators Probe White House Role in Massive Energy Loan

    This'll hurt Obama, no matter how his admin tries to spin it, which I heard today was going to be it's Bush's fault (never mind Bush's admin advised against the ill fated loan).

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