Posts Tagged ‘Loan Guarantee Program’

From Rags to Riches on You and Your Neighbor’s Tax Dollars

by Jerry McConnell on Thursday, May 16th, 2013

This is article 856 of 1004 in the topic Obama

The wheels of TRUE justice, not those of the Obama-Holder unJustice Department, are beginning to move, if ever so slightly; but moving they do appear to be.  With all the roadblocks the dastardly duo of Obama and Holder are placing in the path of progress, it’s a wonder that they are moving at all.

Those two conniving chameleons of corruptness and chicanery run the most illegitimate department of justice in the history of this one-time great country (BO – Before Obama).  In fact, to call it the Justice Department is the most improper and nonfactual title that could be bestowed on it.  Justice does not dwell within its parameters.

It is only fitting that officials holding office in the Congressional House of Representatives are finally stirring with comments that include the word ‘impeachment’.  It is about time and probably close to FIVE years late; but I shouldn’t be saying “late” as it is NEVER too late to bring daylight to the dark and mysterious corridors of that terribly mismanaged and mishandled Executive Department.  The apparent sins of the Treasury Department’s former tax-Cheat Secretary and currect Internal Revenue Service are childish when compared to the unJustice Department.

As columnist Wynton Hall has stated in a TownHall.com column “Report: Obama Spent $11.45 Million per ‘Green Job’ Created” online on May 08, 2013, that alone should have been enough ammunition for a legitimate Justice Department to get ITS wheels moving.  But alas, no such thing at the Obama-Holder vice den of obfuscation and corruption.

Truthfully, the entire Energy Department loan guarantee program has been a veritable money fountain of wealth to Obamanistas and the man himself.  As Wynton Hall says in his TownHall.com column: “In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama promised to create 5 million “green jobs” if elected president. However, an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) finds that since 2009, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) $26 billion loan program created just 2,298 permanent jobs, at a cost of $11.45 million per job created.”

Any way you look at it two thousand, two hundred and ninety eight green jobs is one hell of a long way from FIVE MILLION green jobs; in other words, four million, nine hundred ninety seven thousand, seven hundred and two jobs short.  And Obama PROMISED to CREATE FIVE MILLION GREEN JOBS.  So far as I know the ONLY promise he has fulfilled during his whirlwind campaign prior to the election in November 2008 is that he would take care of his constituents and with 47 million of them on food stamps today he is keeping his word; AT OUR EXPENSE.

But let’s look at the BIG picture.  That number of less than 3,000 jobs at $11.45 million per job comes to a total of $26.3 BILLION.  Now you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer are paying for those jobs.  That’s your $26 billion plus that you paid in taxes with the honest expectation that it would be spent honestly; but you were wrong; DEAD WRONG!  When this Administration smells or sees money they can figure a lot of ways to make it disappear.  And their always-ready-to-collude, party members, are fully complicit.

As Mr.

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Emails contradict Obama as energy loans investigation widens

by Jim Kouri on Friday, November 2nd, 2012

This is article 186 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

In yet another allegation of a serious lack of transparency on the part of the Obama White House, lawmakers on Wednesday delved into evidence of misuse of taxpayer dollars for green technology programs that were run by supporters and friends of the current President and that ended up throwing millions upon millions of dollars down the proverbial black hole, according to lawmakers.

As an update on the Committee’s investigation into the green energy loan guarantee program, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday released a memorandum to its members including over 150 emails.

According to the lawmakers on the committee, the emails appear to contradict statements made by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and White House and Energy Department officials that politics had nothing to do with the Department of Energy’s controversial 1705 loan guarantee program, which used taxpayer money to fund “green energy” companies like Solyndra and Abound Solar, both of which are now bankrupt and under investigation, according to the Chairman of the Oversight Committee.

According to the committee, as recently as last Friday President Obama repeated the assertion that decisions made in the failed program are “decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”

“The Administration should have disclosed these emails directly to Congress and the American people,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “The Department of Energy failed to produce many of these emails, but the Committee received them from other sources.”

“The Administration has for too long attempted to distance itself from the management of the program and its failures- embracing the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and photo-ops, while blaming the bankruptcies and wasted taxpayer money on someone else,” Issa added.

DOE obligated $14.5 billion to 26 projects before the loan program’s termination in September 2011. Three of those projects (Solyndra, Beacon, and Abound) have already declared bankruptcy, and several others are facing serious financial difficulties. Twenty-two of these projects were rated below investment grade (junk) because of their bad credit quality.

The Oversight Committee’s memorandum stated in part: “Contrary to the Administration’s assertions, the loan program’s failure cannot be isolated to the Department of Energy Loan Program Office, or to the Department of Treasury or the Office of Management and Budget.

“Over 150 emails are enclosed with this memorandum. The attached emails demonstrate that non-political, career Department of Energy employees felt political pressure from sources as high as the President, Vice President, Secretary Chu and senior White House officials. The attached emails also demonstrate that infighting between agencies and mismanagement by the White House resulted in a breakdown of due diligence that ended up wasting billions of taxpayer dollars.”

“The Obama Department of Energy has overseen a process wrought with misdirection, changing and expanding requirements, unexplained delays, gross mischaracterizations, and a never-ending cycle of excuses. Not only does it appear that DOE purposely directed taxpayer funds at a failing enterprise, DOE’s action robbed taxpayers of genuine investment toward renewable energy.” stated Issa.

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Solyndra scandal: Official defies Congress, refuses to appear

by Jim Kouri on Saturday, September 15th, 2012

This is article 173 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

While several major news stories were eclipsed by the U.S. embassy attacks in Libya and Egypt, on Wednesday the Department of Energy’s Strategic Initiatives director, Morgan Wright, took the opportunity to refuse to appear for a deposition regarding the Solyndra scandal after receiving a Congressional subpoena, according to the chairman of a key House of Representatives committee.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) called Wright’s refusal to appear before Congress “unprecedented and regrettable.”

“Wright became the first person to ever defy a subpoena for a deposition issued under Oversight Committee authority [which was] first established in 2007 under then Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA),” said Issa on Wednesday.

“The decision of this key figure in the Solyndra scandal to ignore his legal obligation to appear for a deposition is unprecedented and regrettable. This reflects poorly on not only Mr. Wright’s character, but also on Secretary of Energy Chu and other employees who worked on matters related to the loan program,” Chairman Issa stated.

As the of Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Department of Energy, Morgan Wright played a critical role in making decisions about controversial loan guarantees that largely benefited political supporters of the Obama Administration, according to House investigators.

Wright is a former investment banker at DeutscheBank whose career moves from high-paying investment banking jobs to federal positions are often part of a “revolving door” strategy to gain new contacts and that are later cashed in for an even more lucrative salary in the private sector, according to the House committee’s investigation.

Under the §1705 Loan Guarantee Program, DOE awarded 26 companies loan commitments totaling over $14.5 billion. Three of these companies – Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Abound – have already gone bankrupt. Many others are struggling and taxpayers will likely suffer losses in the billions from failed loans, according to a report.

According to official allegations, e-mails show that Morgan Wright was involved in an organized effort within the Energy Department to use his non-official e-mail account to discuss loan decisions as part of an intentional effort to avoid scrutiny and disclosures under federal transparency laws.

Wright was the recipient of one e-mail from former DOE official Jonathan Silver. “Don’t ever send an email on [DOE] email with personal email addresses,” Silver wrote Aug. 21, 2011, from his personal account to Wright’s gmail account. “That makes them subpoenable.” [sic]

E-mails from non-official accounts have offered important insight into the decision making process at odds with narratives offered by Administration officials, according to the House committee.

“His [Wright's] refusal to appear as ordered by a lawful subpoena only adds to the perception of wrongdoing and attempts to hide what really happened in the loan program office. Taxpayers will likely lose billions on the Obama Administration’s ill-conceived loan guarantee program and the appearance of cronyism only enhances the need for answers,” stated Issa.

“Mr. Wright was given notice more than two weeks ago that he would be depositioned [sic] under rules written years ago by committee Democrats that explicitly bar agency counsel from representing him. His excuses for not appearing were last minute and not fully credible. I had already agreed with Ranking Member Cummings that we would discuss Mr. Wright’s concerns about representation when he arrived and before deciding whether the deposition would proceed today.

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Transparency update: Dept. of Energy pressed on use of personal email accounts for Solyndra discussion

by Doug Powers on Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This is article 225 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption

nullShortly before Solyndra and their whistling robots went microchips-up and took millions of taxpayer dollars with them, Jonathan Silver, who oversaw the Department of Energy’s $38 billion “green loans” program, warned DoE employees against using their “official” email accounts to contact private email accounts regarding department business. The warning wasn’t made in an attempt to uphold any high legal or ethical standards, but rather to safeguard against those private email accounts being subject to subpoena. How very transparent:

“Don’t ever send an email on doe email with a personal email addresses,” Silver wrote Aug. 21, 2011, from his personal account to a program official’s private Gmail account. “That makes them subpoenable.”

This hasn’t escaped the House Oversight Committee:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, along with Subcommittee Chairmen Jim Jordan and Trey Gowdy, asked Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to clarify apparently false testimony to Congress about efforts to conceal documents from investigators and White House involvement in the Department of Energy Loan Program that used taxpayer funds to support companies including Solyndra. The request comes after the Committee obtained documents from individual non-official e-mail accounts contradicting the testimony.

“Recently-obtained documents show DOE officials frequently used Yahoo! and Gmail to communicate about the loan guarantee program,” Issa, Jordan, and Gowdy wrote to Chu. “This use of non-government e-mail accounts for official business may have violated the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Federal Records Act (FRA). The documents also show that testimony given to the Committee by current and former DOE officials, including you, was inaccurate, and may have been intentionally false.”
[...]
The letter asks Chu to clarify inaccurate statements, produce relevant documents the Department continues to withhold relating to the loan program and to commit to testify before the Oversight Committee in September.

The following shows that yes, politics were taken into consideration. It also demonstrates the “chump change” mentality that takes over when one is gambling with money that doesn’t belong to them:

In the new e-mails, Silver cited political considerations in pressing for the administration to approve at least one loan applicant.

Silver wrote on June 12, 2011, to David Lane, counsel to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, arguing that approving a loan to a solar-generation facility called Project Amp would help Obama politically.

Project Amp then planned to buy from Solyndra, which investors hoped would help the struggling solar-panel maker.

“Why are the most senior people in the Administration worrying about a $200 million deal? Don’t we have bigger problems?” Silver wrote. “Obama will look like a hero if we do this to a constituency that is now worried about him.”

In related news, Solyndra is the gift that keeps on costing:

Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar- panel maker that received a $535 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee, reached a $3.5 million settlement with former workers who claimed they received inadequate layoff notices.

The settlement will resolve allegations that the company failed to give employees 60 days’ notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act when it fired most of its 1,100 workforce on Aug.

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Director of DoE ‘clean energy’ loan program: It’s not really intended to be a job creator

by Doug Powers on Friday, July 13th, 2012

This is article 387 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

In the 2010 State of the Union speech, President Obama spoke about all the jobs that were being created via the Department of Energy’s “clean energy” loan program, including plenty at Solyndra:

During his speech at the Solyndra plant in 2010, Obama said “When it’s completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world.”

Joe Biden got in on the “DoE loans program creates jobs” thing as well:

The loan to Solyndra will allow you to build a new manufacturing facility and with it almost immediately generate 3000 new well paying construction jobs. And once your facility opens, there will be about 1000 permanent new jobs here at Solyndra and in the surrounding business community and hundreds more to install your growing output of solar panels throughout the country.

Here’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu announcing that a partial guarantee for an $852 million loan had been finalized to support the development of the troubled Genesis Solar Project:

“This project creates jobs, avoids greenhouse gas emissions and helps strengthen our nation’s renewable energy future.”

Chu talking up the now bankrupt Abound Solar:

“Not only is this investment creating thousands of jobs, but it is also increasing our renewable energy manufacturing capacity and putting us on the path for our future prosperity.”

There are many other examples of the administration touting job creation as one justification to keep the loan program alive.

Fast forward the tape to today:

David Frantz, who runs the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, contradicted President Obama today by telling Congress that the program is not designed to create jobs.

“The predominance of our portfolio — and the objective, really, of the act — is to be creating large infrastructure, utility-scale projects; and, by definition, they are not a multiplier for job creation,” Frantz told a Joint Hearing on the No More Solyndras Act that would ban the loan guarantee program.

Somebody didn’t get the memo:

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Dept. of Energy: We’ve got a little more ‘green loan’ money to hand out — who wants it?

by Doug Powers on Saturday, April 7th, 2012

This is article 353 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

Why not? We’re only about $16 trillion in debt.

From the New York Times:

Six months after the expiration of a federal loan guarantee program that backed $16 billion in loans to solar, wind and geothermal energy projects, the Energy Department has decided to offer a smaller set of similar guarantees by tapping another pot of money appropriated by Congress last year.

The department said Thursday that it had sent letters to potentially eligible companies inviting them to apply for the new money.

Under the other program, which was passed as part of the 2009 stimulus legislation, about three dozen companies that had applied for loan guarantees were told that they would not receive guarantees because the department had been unable to finish reviewing their applications before the program expired on Sept. 30, 2011.

The money being handed out in this round is attached to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, with the exception of the upfront fee, which will also be subsidized:

Usually, applicants under the 2005 program have to pay a fee upfront, called a credit subsidy, to compensate the government for the risk it runs by guaranteeing such a loan. Those fees can be costly, and few companies have applied. But the Energy Department said on Thursday that it had $170 million, approved under the budget deal of April 2011, that it would use to pay all or part of those subsidies.

That would make the 2005 program more like the loan guarantee program financed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, in which the government paid the subsidy.

According to the NYT, the loan amounts are “likely to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

If you want to go for a loan, the letter the DoE is sending out with information on how to get yours is here (PDF).

Hopefully they approve my application for a $500 million loan to kick-start my idea for an algae-producing bio-fuel company called “Unkempt Aquarium Solutions.”

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Obama on Solyndra: Not Our Program Per Se

by Doug Powers on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

This is article 349 of 523 in the topic Government Spending

It takes a big bus to be able to back it up over all of Congress, and an even bigger one to back it up over a party that wasn’t anywhere near the bill that funded Solyndra… that is, per se:

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt,” Obama said. “But understand: This was not our program per se.”

“Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for start-ups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start up companies get to scale,” he said.

I remember well the beaming smiles on the faces of all those Republicans at the signing of the Stimulus.

The Solyndra loan was of course funded by a program in the “Recovery Act,” an Obama proposal that got the support of most Democrats in the Congress they controlled, and an even more excited reaction from Joe Biden’s office. The bill received no Republican votes in the House, and in the Senate only three Republicans voted for it — Snowe, Collins and Specter (before Snarlin’ Arlen switched parties). Hardly bipartisan support.

From Obama’s address at Solyndra, May 2010:

So that’s why we’ve placed a big emphasis on clean energy. It’s the right thing to do for our environment, it’s the right thing to do for our national security, but it’s also the right thing to do for our economy.

And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.

Since the project broke ground last fall, more than 3,000 construction workers have been employed building this plant. Across the country, workers — (applause) — across the country, workers in 22 states are manufacturing the supplies for this project. Workers in a dozen states are building the advanced manufacturing equipment that will power this new facility. When it’s completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world. (Applause.)

It sure sounds like an Obama administration program… per se.

Obama also put part of the blame for Solyndra’s collapse on China, because the Chinese government creates an unfair competitive advantage by subsidizing their solar industry, whereas the United States government only subsidizes its solar industry per se.

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It Wouldn’t Be Saturday Morning Without Another Friday Night Solyndra Document Dump to Sift Through

by Doug Powers on Saturday, February 18th, 2012

This is article 114 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

The Energy and Commerce Committee has given the White House a deadline of next Tuesday to release documents related to Solyndra in eleven specified categories. Failure to do so could result in a contempt of Congress vote. According to the ECC, yesterday’s 463-page Solyndra doc dump included material from only one of the eleven categories.

In their cover letter to Republicans on the ECC, White House lawyers pointed out that once again these documents contained “no smoking guns” as far as evidence of political favoritism goes (their defense on the Solyndra debacle up to now seems to be “we’re not crooked, just irresponsible”). As with any partial release of records on the honor system, why would anybody expect the docs contain any smoking guns? That’s not to say there weren’t a couple items of interest:

White House emails released Friday added further evidence that concerns about the Energy Department loan guarantee program that benefited Solyndra had reached as high as President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers, by early 2010.

References to Summers’s concerns turn up in a March 4, 2010, email exchange in which White House officials were second-guessing whether Obama should trumpet Solyndra’s exports to Australia during a planned visit later that month to the country.

And later, a poor private vs. public “investment” ratio is deemed to be worth not mentioning:

In the May 25 email exchange, Jared Bernstein wrote to Herbert Ziskend, one of Biden’s domestic policy advisers, “But do you have a leverage # for Solyndra — how much pvt cap [private capital] they raised off of the loan guarantee?”

Elizabeth Oxhorn, a press aide in Biden’s office, replied with the figure: “Solyndra raised $198m in private capital between selection in March 2009 and the loan closing in September 2009.”

Bernstein responded that the figure was not one he wanted to talk about with the press. “Weird — so leverage is like 2/5 ($198 m leverage against loan guarantee of $535m)… best not to go there,” he wrote.

The February 21st deadline will come and go, as other deadlines have. Part of the ECC’s mistake was requesting the material with a Tuesday deadline when the Document Dump Czar only works Friday afternoons. Levels of transparency this historic can’t be rushed and must occur just before the weekend in order to be fully appreciated.

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House Panel Subpoenas All White House Correspondence Regarding Solyndra

by Doug Powers on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

This is article 79 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

The Republicans don’t trust the White House’s review of the Energy Department’s “green” loan program to get to the bottom of the Solyndra debacle? Hard to believe.

USA Today:

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee investigating the collapse of Solyndra voted today to authorize the panel to subpoena the White House to produce internal correspondence on its dealings with the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer.

The committee issued a broad call for all internal documents–including correspondence, memorandums and drafts–and authorizes the panel’s chairman to issue to subpoenas to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Bruce Reed, Vice President Biden’s chief of staff.

“This is not a fishing expedition,” said Cliff Stearns, the chairman of the Energy’s oversight subcommittee. “We want answers and so do the American taxpayers. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but we do not have faith in the White House overtures” to produce relevant documents.

The White House has handed over 85,000 documents on the Department of Energy loan guarantee program since the committee launched its investigation.

Days before the collapse, an investment banking firm that had already made a million dollars analyzing options for Solyndra advised the White House to bail the company out, presumably so they could continue making money analyzing options for Solyndra. But the full bailout option was rejected. By then it was too late because they’d already auctioned off the whistling robots.

Then there’s this: Solyndra’s former CEO received nearly a half million dollars in severance. What was your cut?

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White House Orders Review of Energy Department Loans

by Doug Powers on Saturday, October 29th, 2011

This is article 129 of 458 in the topic Government Corruption

What are the odds this review determines that there was indeed malfeasance during their watch?**

**The Rhetorical Question of the Day was brought to you by QuietRock soundproof doors. When you don’t want to hear the answer, make it QuietRock!

From Fox News:

The White House has ordered a review of the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program in the wake of a growing scandal over Solyndra, a California-based solar company that went bankrupt after receiving a $528 million federal loan.

Congressional Republicans have been investigating the bankruptcy of Solyndra Inc. amid revelations that federal officials were warned it had problems but nonetheless continued to support it. The House Energy and Commerce Committee could vote as early next week to subpoena White House records related to the loan.

White House chief of staff Bill Daley says the new independent review will assess the condition of other loan guarantees made by the Energy Department. There are more than two dozen of these to a variety of clean energy companies.

Daley said he’s tapping a former Treasury official to conduct the review.

Don’t even bother to ask Rahm Emanuel about it.

Solyndra is the big name in the Energy Department’s venture socialism program where taxpayers only get a piece of the action on the downside, but Solyndra is not alone. Today brought just the latest example of a DoE loan to an Obama fundraiser:

An investment firm whose vice chairman has been an adviser and fundraiser for President Obama saw one of its portfolio companies win approval this year for $50 million in loans from the administration’s clean-energy loan program.

Washington-based Perseus says its affiliation with James A. Johnson, a major fundraiser for Obama’s campaign, played no role in persuading the Energy Department to award the loan to Vehicle Production Group, a Miami start-up that is manufacturing wheelchair-accessible cars and taxis.

Johnson headed Obama’s vice presidential selection committee in 2008 and is the former chairman of housing mortgage giant Fannie Mae. He was listed as a campaign fundraising bundler for Obama in the 2008 race, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and committed to raising $200,000 to $500,000 for the upcoming presidential race.

Energy Secretary Chu will testify before Congress next month. Sheriff Joe Biden, who was charged with monitoring every dollar of stimulus money to make sure it was accounted for and spent responsibly, would have also been asked to appear but I think he’s going to be busy filing for a restraining order against Jason Mattera.

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