One of Congressman Henry Waxman’s recent campaign ads includes the following claim:
"Moved clean energy legislation that creates thousands of jobs"
Is Waxman talking about and taking credit for Solyndra? This year, the House Energy Committee – which he no longer chairs -- just finished a mark-up for the "No More Solyndras" Act.
What was the problem that Democrats and Republicans found with the stimulus program initiated by the President and supported by Congressman Waxman?
The federal loan guarantees from Congress for green companies have been sunk and lost in bankrupted firms which had given the impression of financial solvency.
How many other government-backed firms have gone bust in the quest for efficient, green energy?
Here is a list (hardly exhaustive) of failed green investment firms that
sucked in millions in taxpayer dollars, from the loan guarantee stimulus which Congressman Waxman supports:
Solyndra (received $535 million)
Beacon Power (received $43 million)
AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy
Nevada Geothermal (received $98.5 million)
SunPower (received $1.5 billion)
First Solar (received $1.46 billion)
Babcock & Brown (received $178 million)
Ener1 (subsidiary received $118.5 million)
Amonix (received $5.9 million)
The National Renewable Energy Lab
Fisker Automotive (ABC News broadcasted its own investigative report on this company, a firm producing expensive, hybrid electric vehicles in Finland with American taxpayer dollars)
Abound Solar (received $400 million)
Chevy Volt (taxpayers basically own GM)
Solar Trust of America
A123 Systems (received $279 million)
Willard & Kelsey Solar Group (received $6 million)
Johnson Controls (received $299 million)
Schneider Electric (received $86 million)
Four years ago, Congressman Waxman grilled disgraced CEO Richard Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers for taking home nearly $500 million in pay, bonuses, and stock sales over the previous eight years. Appalled at the huge compensation that the former CEO had received, Waxman asked: “Is this fair? Didn’t you take home $500 million since 2000? Is that fair, for the CEO of a bankrupt company to make that much money? You made all this money taking risks with other people’s money. Do you think it’s fair?”
Four years later, with the fallout of Solyndra and $500 million taxpayer dollars, Mr. Waxman commented:
"I'm sorry that Solyndra happened. We lost $500 million dollars."
Waxman gives the impression that Solyndra was a spontaneous anomaly, as if he and his party -- especially President Obama, who is riding the Green Wave of environmentalism to shore up his base -- had nothing to do with such an extravagance and unaccountable expenditure.
“I’m sorry” -- That's all that Congressman Waxman had to say regarding the
$500 million boondoggle, among the many others, that served up nothing but waste and bankruptcy, risks that “We the people” did not authorize. "We" did not lose this money. The federal government, with Waxman-Obama’s policies at the helm, lost the money.
"That's a shame," Waxman continued.
More than "a shame", Solyndra was a sham. Green technology
bankrolled by the federal government is a dead-on-arrival proposal. If these
and other environmentally sound programs were efficient and marketable, then they would not need multi-million dollar backing with federal taxpayer dollars.
"That's why loan guarantees are provided, because these are risky
enterprises, and not all of them are going to succeed."
One company failing is understandable, perhaps – but NINETEEN in the past
two years? This is more than a fluke, this is a terrible trend, one about which
Congressman Waxman seems oblivious.
There's nothing wrong with investing in energy efficiency and sustainability,provided that the firm manifest some semblance of success
without breaking the budget. There is nothing wrong with a risky loan guarantee, provided that the creditor is using his own money to back up an investment whose failure will affect only him. But when millions of taxpayer dollars go “up in smoke”, when one company after another fails, taking down in bankruptcy millions of taxpayer dollars, someone has to shout: “Enough already!”
As a resident of the 33rd Congressional district, I have a question for the Congressman about the Obama Administration’s loan guarantees
to failed green tech companies: “Is this fair, Mr. Waxman? Is it fair for
taxpayer dollars to be frittered away on these wasteful and disgraceful green
investments, loan guarantees which are almost guaranteed to lose?
And “I’m sorry” is not going to make it better.
Visit "Waxman Watch" -- waxmanwatch.blogspot.com -- for more information.