9/15/15 Remembering Solyndra

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Remember Solyndra?  It became the face of dozens of green energy companies that went belly-up [here, here, here].  That collective fiasco cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.

Solyndra began receiving millions in taxpayer-guaranteed loans in 2009.  In 2010, President Obama visited the main plant and had wonderful things to say about the company.

Months later Solyndra was bankrupt.  More than half a billion taxpayer dollars. Gone.

There was outrage in Washington.  But it was really just talk.  Because government agencies continued to give sweetheart loans to other companies that subsequently failed.

Four years after Solyndra’s collapse the Department of Energy’s Inspector General finally released its report.

The report is critical of Solyndra.  As it should be.  Company officials provided “inaccurate and misleading” information.

Unfortunately, the IG report is a whitewash of the Energy Department’s role in irresponsibly loaning taxpayer money.  Agency officials were sloppy and ignored obvious warning signs there were problems with Solyndra.

The report did mention Energy Department employees were under “political pressure” from Washington to grant loans to Solyndra.  But the IG failed to investigate who applied the pressure.  And for what reasons.

Solyndra and similar companies are now gone.  The real culprit – the Department of Energy – is still around.  And no one’s been held accountable for losing billions of taxpayer dollars.

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