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We need a Green Energy Loan Moratorium; Plus: “The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad”

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 16, 2011 10:43 AM

Reader Scott sent this letter to his congressman about the dangerous Solyndra sinkhole. You should send one, too:

How about a Green Energy loan moratorium? The White House instituted an off-shore drilling moratorium over “safety concerns” and to prevent reoccurrence.

Isn’t ensuring tax dollars are not wasted on risky green energy companies important enough to review all proposed loans?

Same logic the President used last year.

Yep. And as I pointed out on Wednesday, Solyndra is the tip of the green iceberg. Know your Big Green Boondoggles, folks.

Fact: At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.

Fact: “A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.”

Fact: “To date, The Washington Post reports, the Energy Department loan guarantee program from which Solyndra benefitted has created one new permanent job for every $5.5 million spent.

Lend that kind of money to a private business in an industry that doesn’t rely on taxpayer support, and it will put hundreds if not thousands to work.

Contact Speaker Boehner here.

Send a message to him on Twitter here.

And be sure to report yourselves to Attack Watch!

***

Your latest Solyndra news round-up:

1) The White House was worried:

Emails released Thursday night show the Obama administration privately worried about the effect of a default by Solyndra Inc. on the president’s re-election campaign.

“The optics of a Solyndra default will be bad,” an official from the Office of Management and Budget wrote in a Jan. 31 email to a senior OMB official. “The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.”

That message has turned out to be a fairly accurate prophecy of Solyndra’s failure haunting President Obama’s 2012 campaign, even before the end of 2011.

Finally, a White House economic prediction that came true.

1)a – Solyndra-White House relationship has digital legacy it can’t escape. WaPo downplays cronyism even as it highlights the crony closeness of Solyndra and Team Obama.

2) GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, leading the House investigation of Solyndra, says the White House chief loan officer should be fired.

Fat chance. Given how things operate, he’ll be getting a promotion next week.

3) Solyndra employee: “You wonder where all the money went…” Yes, this is on CBS News:

4) Yes, Solyndra employees are applying for government assistance. Via Adam Bitely at NetRightDaily:

Solyndra, the solar panel firm that recently filed for bankruptcy, and the firm that is quickly becoming the focal point of the Obama administration’s first scandal after accepting federal loans that were possibly based on bad data, is becoming an even bigger drain on taxpayers as the employees of the failed solar panel maker are applying for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits according to a source within the federal government.

TAA benefits were established under the Trade Act of 1974. The TAA is meant to provide benefits to people who lose their jobs due to foreign trade. The TAA is a program that is overseen by the Department of Labor. Simply put, TAA benefits are just another type of welfare.

In the case of Solyndra, former employees are most likely applying for benefits based on the fact that China has a comparative advantage at producing solar panels thus leading to Solyndra’s ultimate failure.

Former Solyndra employees would be eligible for worker retraining (presumably away from ‘green jobs’ which are unrealistic), relocation assistance , job search help, income support, and unemployment services. This is a program that is above and beyond receiving the usual unemployment benefits.

5) Solyndra: A few new facts, a few new questions from a blogger sifting through the loan documents.

6) Stimulus Fatigue Stymies Obama in Rounding Up Votes for Full Jobs Package

7) When you’ve lost Jon Stewart

8.) Lachlan Markey at Heritage: The green jobs myth is finally dead. Dead. Good riddance.

9) Here is the feeble response from the Left: Solyndra failed because politicians aren’t courageous enough to enact a massive carbon tax!

10) A WaPo blogger lays out his “five myths” about Solyndra. Bottom-line liberal media admission: Yes, this scandal is a big deal.”

11) Surprise. Solyndra doled out $2 million in lobbying cash to the bitter end

<blockquoteAccording to records filed with the Clerk of the House and a search of disclosure forms compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Solyndra spent nearly $1.9 million on lobbying activities over a period of 43 months from 2008 to 2011.

About $1 million of that was earned by the company's two in-house lobbyists, Joseph Pasetti and Victoria Sanville, over an 18-month period from 2010 until this year. But Solyndra has also had several big-name lobbying shops on its payroll, including established powerhouses Dutko Worldwide and Holland and Knight, which began representing the then-fledgling company in 2008.

While Holland and Knight helped the company with renewable energy tax credit issues, Dutko was brought aboard, according to its filings, to "identify decisionmakers and to assist with the client's loan application" through the Department of Energy.

…By 2009, Solyndra was finished with Dutko and Holland and Knight and was working with well-known energy lobbyist, McBee Strategic Consulting, whose clients have included the Applied Materials Inc., a semiconductor and solar panel equipment manufacturer; Babcock & Wilcox; BrightSource Energy Inc., a solar developer; Google Inc.; Better Place Inc., an electric-vehicle charge station developer; Honeywell International; and Tesla Motors Inc., a developer of electric cars.

McBee was brought on to monitor how the new American Reinvestment and Recovery Act would affect the solar industry. The group specifically reported on lobbying forms that its issues included the DOE loan guarantee program, through which Solyndra eventually received $527 million in funding before it went bankrupt.

Behind Solyndra's own lobbyists, McBee was the shop that made the most off the company, taking in $360,000 over a two-year period.

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