Skip to comments.Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin
Posted on 09/01/2011 11:09:08 AM PDT by Nachum
A solar energy company that intends to file bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has a cozy history with Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show.
Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidents election campaign, is one of Solyndras primary investors. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obamas 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials.
Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obamas election campaign.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...
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Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obamas election campaign. And he raised between $50,000 and $100,000. For that he received $535,000,000 from the federal government. Wow. Who said opportunity is dead in America.
Which raises the question ‘what is the REAL status of the $535 million?’
“Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obamas election campaign. And he raised between $50,000 and $100,000. For that he received $535,000,000 from the federal government. Wow. Who said opportunity is dead in America.”
I bet they personally got a GREAT ROI.
Donate $53,500, receive $535,000,000?
Does that mean if I donate $5.35 I can get back $ 53,500.00?
Dont know, but the taxpayers can kiss it bye bye.
Thanks for this post as I have been wondering about the political contributions of “Green” corprations and their stockholders, directors and officers. I suspect a lot more has been contributed “under the table.”
Pi$$ed away, I reckon.
Thanks for the ping.
The “Climate Change” scam was always in the plan to help bankrupt this country and to pay off the communist and democrat government workers of the world.
This reminds me of the Mel Brooks movie/play “The Producers”.
Get a bunch of people to “invest” in your play. Make sure the play is a bomb. Keep all the money when the play shuts down after the first night.
Sure would like to know what salaries the company executives scammed from our taxpayer money who driving the bus over the Cliff.
By this definition if I jumped off an eight story building I would "succeed" in flying. That is until altitude conditions changed dramatically.
It's an old scam in Silicon Valley. Driving by the enormous Solyndra buildings regularly it was noteworthy that, unlike the expensive heardquarters buildings along HW 880, the Solyndra parking lots appeared never to have more than a skeleton staff's number of cars. In the glory days venture money paid startup executives royally, until the company closed the doors. The investors were generally ignorant about what did or didn't happen inside. But investors are often very smart, and politcally savvy.
Kleiner Perkins, which invested in Al Gore's abiity to sell global warning so they could get rich on the carbon credit scam, are clearly politically savvy. The supposed Solyndra investors were major Obama supporters. The enormous campus in Silicon Valley was for show - photo ops. It was obvious, to someone who has looked for commercial real estate for expanding companies, a scam from the outset. It was “optics.” No genuine venture fund, looking at the profitability of the solar electric industry, would invest. Startups begin in low-rent industrial parks. Solyndra began with space age buildings with enormous signage and what appeared as hundreds of thousands of square fee for manufacturing. Hardly anyone manufactures in Silicon Valley, and those for very high margin and usually sophisticated assemblies. Iphones and IPads are manufactured in China. Solar panels are not as sophisticated at LCD display panels, and those are all manufactured in Asia.
Progressives control the banks and the justice department. Solar energy, along with wind energy, is an old scam dependent upon the ignorance of the public, ignorance guaranteed by the complicity of state-run media and state-run educational system.
Some investors may think that if the left, Obama’s cadre, can only cut off all other sources of energy, these technologies will become profitable. If we prevent drilling everywhere, prevent pipelines from Canada, prevent Alaska from tapping new sources so that the Alieska pipeline is irreparably damaged by the low flow, then solar and wind generators will become profitable. That is either naive, or sabotage - probably some of each. Remember, Holdren and his minions have never veered from his openly stated belief that the world has four or five billion too many people. These are would-be revolutionaries. Everything they say, or fund, should be scrutinized.
Even the vaunted Wall Street Journal is feeding from the trough slop provided by the political left, with subtle propaganda in most every issue, paid for with our taxes, participating in the shrill campaign against nuclear power enabled by the earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima. The Japanese government must, in order to stay at the trough, not argue with the nonsense being propagated. All the while the perfect safety record for commercial nuclear power continues - no carbon emissions, no injury from radiation for commercial nuclear power, with four core meltdowns in sixty years(Chernoble was not a commercial nuclear plant, but still killed far fewer people than its coal replacement).
It is reminiscent of the war by the left on DDT, which saved more lives before Rachel Carson's acolytes forced us, based upon false rumors and manufactured data, to doom twenty to forty million youngsters in Africa to horrible death from malaria. Of course our pretty co-eds and their partners didn't know they were condemning millions of African children to death, but that is the power of political propaganda. The “renewable energy” campaign is purely an attack on capitalism.
The solar business is just such a scam, except that the government is providing the venture money - our money - and the principals are kicking back political donations. We have another one in The Valley which tickles elites, Tesla. Of course, who can say that the few remaining private sector workers won't stand in line to buy a $100,000 electric sports car which may drive 100 miles and even carry a passenger? Tesla has a beautiful and empty showroom in tony Menlo Park, and the cars themselves look like Ferraris. Obama should buy a few Teslas to keep at Martha's Vineyard for his drives to the golf course. Of course his handlers know that the 'optics' might be a bit too obvious. Besides, to provide the power to charge the Tesla would require covering a significant portion of Martha's Vineyard with heliostats (solar collectors) or the less efficient solar panels. Perhaps Marth's Vineyard would tolerate, unlike Holdren's and the Kennedy's Cape Code neighborhood, being surrounded by ocean-based wind turbines?
We saw the wind turbine scam fifteen years ago. The enormous field of dead windmills is a monument to graft and tax breaks for the wealthy on the Altamont pass. Farmworkers over the mountains paid for those subsidies while the wealthy used the turbines as tax write-offs.
Every advertisement (just count the tax subsidized marketing on radio and television) is siphoning our productivity to insure that the media only survives with government funding, and, naturally, reports what it's masters dictate. Because the left produces nothing, they are parasites who will milk our productivity until there is nothing left.
These little dictators are bright, like John Holdren, just not bright enough to compete with honest scientists and engineers. Being a Utopian dictator can be very profitable. A scientist of no accomplishment has become quite wealthy, much more financially successful than most physicists, by never doing an experiment, but producing political polemics - a community activist to inhibit the productivity of capitalist engineers. The numbers are not obvious, particularly since our media are controlled, and most reports are provided by outright propagandists. The place to begin is with the relatively minuscule energy density of solar energy (flux density). There are a few high value applications which will ever make economic sense for a low density energy source. Swimming pool heating is one application which does makes sense, but if someone can afford a swimming pool, he can save money by heating it with solar energy, and should invest because it makes economic sense. Solar electric should never be subsidized, and is likely being used by our current rulers to destroy capitalism - Cloward Piven at work!.
The unions, whose leadership is dominated at the top by self-described Marxists, will consume the source of jobs for their workers, who are more useful idiots.
Good post. There are lots of scams masquarading as startups around the Valley and elsewhere. Often they cross subsidize and I suspect a lot of the 500+ million went to other such “startups” including some savvy VC’s. A fair chunk of the VC industry is slimy leftists with political connections. It is not true of the whole industry and all industries have their share. But alt energy will create a perfect storm of wheeler dealers who would sell their mother, leftist politicians intent on destroying the economy, topped off with gullible morons like McCain. It won’t be easy to stop but our future as a free and prosperous country depends on it.
I hope Gov. Palin has this example, with a few TX state examples, for her speech tomorrow.
Talk about corporate welfare. This is crony capitalism at its worst. It doesn't even qualify as socialism. It's just outright fraud.
And I bet the lamestream media won't say a god-damn thing about it.
You have exposed my sloppiness from knocking out a hurried response when I should have been painting my house. I should have said “Swimming pool heating makes sense in some locales, and using some technology.” Your hose example is excellent, because the naive don't think of external factors. I don't have a swimming pool, but live in California where the majority of swimming pools are heated with natural gas. I, like Holdren, Ehrlich, and John Harte, know there is no such thing as diminishing resources (they lost a famous wager with Julian Simon), but I don't like to see natural gas burned if there is an economically and environmentally superior alternative. Natural gas burned to produce electricity is a misuse of a valuable resource, which is used and could be used to power combustion vehicles. CO2 is not an environmental risk, but why burn hydrocarbons if our brilliant engineers and indrustrialists have better solutions - solutions which are not introduced because of government interference?
In California we don't usually need to empty our swimming pools. I suppose, if you like ice skating, you might not empty your pool either, but I know there are other problems which we westerners don't know much about. The economic analysis I read about twenty years ago, possibly from Holdren himself, proposed using roof collectors, which means expensive plumbing and and pumps (unless you happen to have built your swimming pool on the roof of your home). They also proposed insulated pool covers.
I have not looked at the real costs of solar pool heating for a couple of decades. Your caution about hoses makes an excellent point. The analysis I was referring to made a good case that rooftop collectors made economic sense in California. But our state provided tax incentives, money taken from the pockets of the majority who don't (yes, even in California) have swimming pools. So my reference may have been to propaganda, and not valid. This points to the brilliance of our framers, who tried to limit the power of government. Each human being should have the freedom not to subsidize his neighbor's project, and the freedom to chose from a free market the resources which will provide a better environment for his or her family to flourish.
One cost I can easily address is the danger from roof collectors, and part of the reason solar energy is enormously more dangerous than nuclear power. We have reliable data from insurance company data about accidents from homeowners falling off of roofs. The numbers are in the thousands each year, with a good number deaths or broken backs. A homeowner knows the reality of roof leaks. You want roofing fabric with as few seams, and with roofing sealant around every joint. The emergency repairs most often are required in the rain, snow, wind... That there are accidents is perfectly reasonable, and predictable.
No citizen has ever been hurt by a commercial nuclear plant, and the only workers who have been injured fell off a loading dock, or were injured during mining operation. I can't resist a haunting piece of real information of nuclear radiation, reported in a little journal published by Linus Pauling's former colleague, Art Robinson, who once headed the Pauling Institute, but was attacked by Pauling for questioning some claims, not supported by experiments, about the palliative or curative value of vitamin C. The case went all the way to the supreme court, and Robinson won, but, needless to say, lost his job. It is a remarkable story about a great scientist, Pauling, whose scientific integrity was a casualty of a cause he wished to be true.
A few decades ago a very active strontium isotope made its way into a foundry for structural steel in Taiwan. High density housing was built with the steel. After more than a decade it was discovered that over ten thousand people who had lived in these buildings has experienced an average dosage of between 40 and 60 millisieverts each year, twelve to fifteen times the normal background. Many nations, including the IAEA of the UN, studied the epidemiology of these people. On average, the incidence of disease, particularly cancer, reported for these apartment dwellers, was one twentieth to one thirtieth of that of the controls. Radiation exposure was not just not a danger, it enormously valuable as a cancer preventative. Will our NSF fund studies to confirm or not this amazing result? No more than they will fund studies to honestly confirm the connection between HIV and Aids.
As you can imagine, it is not easy to get funding for double blind experiments, but we do have Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the towns surrounding our Nevada test sites. While the Nevada doses were much lower than the 40 msieverts/year, cancer was lower, in spite of all the scare articles and books, which sell to the conspiratorial (not to say that there are not lots of conspiracies - conspiracies are just good planning, but skepticism should be strong). The left claimed the Nevada anomalies were because there are lots of Mormons in Nevada, who don't drink, smoke, or eat meat. The facts remain, Hiroshima and Nakasaki's cancer data showed the affect, though epidemiologists were very circumspect about the interpretation. After all, nuclear bad, radiation dangerous. I can remember when California had Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and when magnetic resonance imaging was nuclear magnetic resonance.
The analysis of the Taiwan data, using regression analysis, determined that the ideal human dosage for humans to prevent cancer is about 100 mSieverts/year. The workers at Fukushima should actually be happy, some of them having been exposed to around 100 mSieverts when working near the overheating cores which released some short half-life (active) isotopes when they relieved pressure by releasing some steam. The safest place to be in Japan during the Tsunami was close to the plants, which is not to say that the diesel backup generators, had they been better sited, would not have saved Japan lots of money had they performed as designed. The plants would have been generating electricity today.
Travel to the Middle East, particularly Israel, shows solar collectors on almost every roof. In the desert, solar water heating makes economic sense. Most homes still have electric or gas heaters to boost the water temperature for washing and bathing. Solar energy makes sense for some applications and in some locations.
My, perhaps Utopian, dream is to free our Ultimate Resource, the human instinct for entreprenurial effort, and the productivity of the mind. "The Ulitmate Resource" is the title of a Julian Simon's book which sent the left, which rejects revolutionary ideas, and anything they can't control, into paroxysms. Simon put his money on the line in the preface with a wager that he would pay if someone could find a diminishing natural resource. That is the Wager Holdren, Ehrlich and Hart lost, where they picked the resources, and lost on all four. Ehrlich waited until Simon died to publish a snarky polemical book mostly read by the left, full of explanations about why he really was correct - egos are one of the great weaknesses of the left.
like the Chinese leadership, I see the full potential for nuclear energy, a truly limitless source of heat, which uses no hydrocarbons, emits no pollutants, and would allow the use of electricity to be converted into virtually every mode of energy. The Chinese plan to build 134 nuclear plants over the next years (the plan, announced in 2006, was either a twenty or twenty five year plan, and they are on schedule, with four new plants due to come on line this year.)
The problems with wind are similar to those with solar. Wind has some attractive engineering attributes, including remarkable efficiency in converting incident wind energy to a rotating shaft, but wind energy in industrial countries needs an equivalent base backup. When the wind isn't blowing the factories cannot shutdown: hospitals cannot survive on their local generators, electric transportation cannot sit idle. There are not many locations with the average wind velocities to justifiy the cost of the necessarily duplicated infrastructure. The risks are similar to those from solar, except that there would not be turbines on every roof. Maintenance is performed on thousands of towers, many of them at sea, which sometimes experiences hurricanes. The core issue is energy flux density. Diffuse energy requires proportionately more infrastructure. Maintaining that infrastructure is dangerous. No worker or consumer has been injured by the nuclear attribute of nuclear power in the entire history of the commercial nuclear industry - not intuitively obvious, but true.
I don't like to see dead birds such as one finds around the base of the turbines of those few operating out of thousands at the Altamont pass. But I don't like to see them on the ground underneath glass enclosed walkways between buildings at a national laboratory famous for its contributions to environmental nonsense (Being a national laboratory, its funding is largely politically determined, so we all understood and tolerated the nonsense, but the environmental projects were the price for doing real science). There are a few places where wind makes sense, and fear of the danger to birds is no reason to reject Wind Power. We tried gluing photos of hawks to our walkways, and broadcasting preditor sounds outside the windows. Skyscrapers cause many more bird deaths than wind turbines, though of course there are currenlty many more skyscrapers than big turbines. Noise from Wind Turbines may be legitimate environmental complaint, because turbines generate ultra-low frequency sound which causes problems for humans, and probably for other animals. But the core issue is one of economics.
While it would probably require a divorce, if I were to move up to Cheney country, I would be looking at wind turbines and battery technology too. Guys like toys and may have some pioneering genes. We, some of us, have an instinct for independence. But someone who really farms, or lives in a remote cabin, can easily dispel the illusions of starting again in the wilds. If you ever heard or met John Holdren’s community activist, Amory Lovins, and have, as I suspect, some real experience, you'd see that this guy would have been successful selling snake oil in another era. And you would realize that Amory, like Holdren never got his hands dirty trying to build anything or did experiments to validate his claims. Stephen Chiu actually did science, though none related to energy production. Holdren, our Presidential Science Advisor, has never actually done science. While other physics professors were principal investigators Holdren was writing for Ramparts and organizing antinuclear activists. In fairness, though his degree is in physics, his appointment at UC Berkeley, was to the newly created energy and environment organized research unit. His idea of research was to promote Amory Lovins' ideas and sponsor environmental activists, including sponsoring Amory, who, in spite of having questionable academic credentials, was made a "University Scientist", this at a university with Charles Townes, Luis Alvarez, Glen Seaborn, Melvin Calvin, ... (Amory was promoted as a Harvard Physicist, though he left Harvard after two years to attend Oxford, where he didn't graduate, and was "not allowed to pursue a degree in energy." He is clearly a bright guy, but his credentials are - imaginative.)
Amory sold wind turbines to the military to power the electronics in battalion operations centers. This is secondhand, but believable. The desk jockeys probably get points on their evaluations for such nonsense, even if the downstream intelligence provided these operations control centers from unmanned aircraft to inform infantry could be rendered inoperative from a week of silent air, causing deaths in exchange for Pentagon promotions. Amory is charming and very smart. This is his scam. I did see the analysis that his much cited "Steve Baer House," an environmental activist's dream house, was found to be unhealthy to its residents, and unlivable, besides being ridiculously expensive - sort of a Tesla home. Lovins was an acolyte of EF Shumacher, a Marxist, but I don't have personal knowledge that he is as politically doctrinaire as Obama or Holdren. All three have made excellent salaries representing the Utopian left.
And yes, I read about bargain-priced $60,000 Tesla (there was a parking lot full of Teslas the last time I drove up the El Camino, which may be the source of E-bay sales). I doubt they have sold as many Teslas as Government Motors has sold Chevy Volts - a few hundreds. The Tesla is a mid-life dream car - very sexy, even if it won't help to pick up "chicks". The operation came out of a pipe-dream by a Utopian Stanford professor (though perhaps he just knew what proposals were getting NSF funding that season - a common fact of academic research). Do you think there would be any Tesla buildings if we weren't funding it? I admit to working for and with venture companies. The reality is the need to "cash out", so that investors make money. A government guarantee is a relatively safe bet.
For a while the Tesla sign was on the Nummi plant (and may still be there), a testament to the corruption in our Union-controlled state, and now, Federal government. Of course Toyota, whose other US plants are not unionized, couldn't keep losing money by manufacturing in Fremont Calif. (I suspect that is the reason for suspected stuck accelerators in Toyotas, a fiasco which was palpable nonsense. The TSA accusation smelled of a union shakedown - "keep that union plant running in Fremont because if you don't you will pay more to settle the BS law suits our citizens will happily fund", whether they know it or not.
If Teslas were selling for a few hundred dollars I might be tempted. My mechanic warned me about the Hybrid Honda, made by a great company, and a great car to drive, but few mechanics have the training to troubleshoot them, and just imagine what a new motor generator would cost. Ni-Mh batteries are great, but, other than provide a boost for an underpowered car, are they really fuel efficient? Who, without plenty of money for expensive hobbies, would buy an engineering toy with a Lotus chassis? Why do we tolerate Nancy Pelosi, Obama, and others spending the money taken from the family of the sheet rock installer or Home Depot sales person to fund dabbles into building toys for the wealthy?
“I suppose, if you like ice skating, you might not empty your pool either,”
We do not actually empty them. I will drain it below the return lines and blow them out with the air compressor. The lines are then capped. Some people will put some antifreeze in the lines. You never want to take all the water out of the pool unless you are replacing the plaster. The static hydroscopic pressure could actually lift the pool up out of the ground in extreme cases. I have check valves on the main drains in the deep end to eliminate this possibility.
The solar pool heaters you can now buy for $300-400 actually work quite well according to friends of mine that have them. They have come down in price in the last five years. You can simply disconect them , roll them up for storage in the winter.
If you compare them to buying a Hayward natural gas/propane heater ($1500) plus $400 to have Irving set the propane tank , plus $300 each time you fill them up(twice a year in NH) they are actually economical. We do not have natural gas where I live in NH.
As far a Tesla goes. It seems like it would be a fun second car based on its acceleration specs. However, for the same money , a Porsche 911 is a lot better car. Also , there are so many other second car choices like a Miata for $80k less.
I now see what you mean regarding the maintenance of hundreds of wind mills verses one nuclear power plant.
I had never considered that. I always thought the biggest drawback was their distance between power generation and where it is consumed and the loss of KW along the way.
I always thought they made good sense for a ski area. However, maybe they wind on top of the mountain is too high for the windmill.
I saw a great bumper sticker yesterday at the Tea Party rally in Manchester, NH.
I will go green when AL Gore flys commercial.
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