Solyndra Scandal Heating Up? – Updated


Drudge‘s top of the page headline this evening is intriguing:


Review of hundreds of documents, interviews with Obama officials… MORE…

Didn’t know ‘true financial condition and risks of the investment’… Developing Late…

The only link is to this Reuters article about solar companies on the defensive thanks to Solyndra.

The U.S. solar industry, eager to shake off the shadow cast by Solyndra’s high-profile collapse, has launched a full-scale public relations campaign as scrutiny of government support programs for renewable energy intensifies.

Solar industry officials are aiming to portray Solyndra’s failure as an isolated incident in an industry that is otherwise thriving, thanks in part to support from Washington.

“A big part of what we’re trying to do is correcting the record,” said Rhone Resch, president of solar trade group the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in an interview. “You can’t judge an industry by the bankruptcy of one company.”

Resch and others point to fresh figures showing that the U.S. solar industry now employs more than 100,000 people at more than 5,000 companies. (Read More)

Well, if they’re so great, they should do just fine without taxpayers subsidizing them. And please tell me that we the taxpayers aren’t somehow paying for that PR campaign of theirs.

What I’m wondering is, what is the NYT up to? Are they planning to come out in defense of Obama on Solargate? I wouldn’t be surprised. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they certainly haven’t been leading the pack when it comes to investigative reporting on this growing scandal.

Update: I almost forgot, guess who Solyndra employed with our tax dollars? DC lobbyists, including former Democrat aides!

Update 2: Looks like the NYT piece is placing the blame on the folks at Solyndra, rather than The One’s administration. Figures.

Solyndra’s two top officers are to appear Friday before a House investigative committee where, their lawyers say, they will assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The government’s backing of Solyndra, which could cost taxpayers more than a half-billion dollars, came as the politically well-connected business began an extensive lobbying campaign that appears to have blinded government officials to the company’s financial condition and the risks of the investment, according to a review of government documents and interviews with administration officials and industry analysts.

While no evidence has emerged that political favoritism played a role in what administration officials assert were merit-based decisions, Solyndra drew plenty of high-level attention. Its lobbyists corresponded frequently and met at least three times with an aide to a top White House official, Valerie B. Jarrett, to push for loans, tax breaks and other government assistance.


But during the period when Solyndra’s loan guarantee was under review and management by the Energy Department, the company spent nearly $1.8 million on Washington lobbyists, employing six firms with ties to members of Congress and officials of the Obama White House. None of the other three solar panel manufacturers that eventually got federal loan guarantees spent a dime on lobbyists.

Energy Department officials said the lobbying had no impact on their decisions. But Solyndra, which had been among 143 companies to express an interest in a loan guarantee and 16 that were asked to submit a formal application — ended up securing the first financial commitment. Solyndra’s loan guarantee was the highest of the four companies.


Similar positive predictions were shared with members of Congress this year, after the company sought and received permission from the Obama administration to restructure its $535 million loan, which put private investors ahead of the government for some of the debt if the company was liquidated.

That disconnect has led some members of Congress to question if Solyndra was intentionally misleading officials in Washington.

Ya think? But what about the officials in Washington who knew they were being misled, and didn’t care? That’s the half a billion dollar question.

Read the whole thing for yourself and make up your own mind. Even if the NYT is trying to paint the Obama administration as the “victim” in this whole fiasco, doesn’t that just go to show that the last thing we need is a bunch of dupes running our country and spending our money?