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September 02, 2011

House Committee Steps Up Investigation Of Solyndra: How Did They Get Such Low Interest Rates?

VerumSerum sets this story up nicely. First there's video of Obama bragging on his terrific investment of taxpayer money in this shovel-ready tax-dodge...

Every day that you build this expanded facility, as you fill orders for solar panels to ship around the world you’re demonstrating that the promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith, not anymore. It’s not some abstract possibility for science fiction movies or a distant future, 10 years down the road or 20 years down the road. It’s happening right now. The future is here.

The future is in Chapter 11, Champ.

And then there's this chart comparing the interest rates Solyndra paid the government, for loans secured from the Treasury's private bank, the Federal Financing Bank.

John from VerumSerum explains further:

Congress requested documents related to the Solyndra loan from the Office of Management and Budget. After three months and zero documents produced, a hearing was scheduled. An OMB deputy director was asked to attend but didn’t show up, claiming a scheduling conflict. Finally, OMB allowed that congressional staff could view some of the requested documents on site, but when they arrived in mid-July not all the documents were available and some that were made available had been redacted. Specifically, the information on risk ratings had been lined out. Given that this was exactly the information congress had been looking for the entire exercise was becoming a waste of time. At this point the committee held a hearing to consider issuing a subpoena for the documents.

Why would Solyndra get such sweet interest rates for what is obviously now -- and also was obviously then -- a high-risk investment? Well, maybe because one of its "prime financial backers" was an Obama 2008 fundraiser.

The House Energy Committee wants some answers about all of this.

In a letter to the White House, committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns requested a scheduled briefing on the matter by no later than September 12 and asked for all documents related to the loan guarantee between Solyndra and the White House.

...

We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra’s application, and communicated with DOE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials during the course of their review in 2009 and when those officials were restructuring the Solyndra deal this year,” Upton and Stearns wrote. “Documents received by the Committee also show that DOE and OMB officials were aware of the White House’s interest in the Solyndra loan guarantee. In addition, we are also aware that a major investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, was a bundler for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.”

Solyndra was the beneficiary of over a half billion dollars in guaranteed federal loans, almost all of which money is now presumably lost.

Half a billion dollars.

You know what's scary?

There was a time when this would have been considered a major White House financial scandal.

Now?

Just a half billion dollars. Why make a fuss?



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posted by Ace at 10:29 AM

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