The three major networks have, thus far, ignored the revelationthat American taxpayers will only recover a mere $24 million of the $535 million lost on Solyndra, a new report by the Dow Jones newswire revealed last week. The evening newscasts and morning shows have skipped the announcement.
The Washington Examiner explained, “In a little-noticed move, Solyndra LLC officially released it bankruptcy plan this week. The official word from it is that taxpayers will recover only $24 million of the about $535 million.”
The only utterance of Solyndra came when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus brought it up on Sunday’s This Week on August 5.
Talking to an unhappy-looking George Stephanopoulos, the RNC chairman zinged, “The entire philosophy of…Barack Obama can be summarized in one word and that’s Solyndra. That’s Barack Obama’s philosophy.”
The Examiner piece quoted the Dow newswire as pointing out that “documents filed Friday evening in a Delaware bankruptcy court say private equity firms, including one whose chief has ties to the Obama administration, will get back at least half of the $70 million they put into Solyndra early last year as the company battled for survival.”
An October 2011 study by the Media Research Center found that the three broadcast networks are providing virtually no coverage of the Solyndra scandal, a solar energy firm that went bankrupt after getting more than $500 million in taxpayer money from the Obama administration. This is not the approach the networks took after the collapse of Enron, an energy company with Republican ties. In just the first two months of 2002, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts cranked out 198 stories on the Enron debacle, compared to just eight so far on Solyndra, a 24-to-1 disparity.
Solyndra’s business plan was to convert the tubes into cylindrical solar panels for commercial rooftops. The company argued the panels could be packed more tightly into a given space than traditional flat-panel solar arrays, capture more energy for less cost and, due to their unique shape, never need to be reoriented towards the sun to achieve maximum efficiency.
The firm applied for a $535 government loan under a Department of Energy program to fund renewable energy technologies during the Bush administration. The project was ultimately approved, and heavily promoted, by the Obama administration as an example of the type of green projects that the country should be pursuing. President Obama even visited and gave a speech the Solyndra factory in 2010.
The following year, prevailing trends in the broader solar industry and alleged mismanagement by top company execs caused the firm to declare bankruptcy and shut down operations with little warning given to employees or outside vendors and contractors.
The federal government’s $535 million investment in the now-bankrupt and utterly ruined “green” energy company Solyndra has been surrounded by scandal, intrigue, and many, many unanswered questions.
“One of the great mysteries of the 2011 Solyndra bankruptcy was: What happened to all that money? After the United States government ‘loaned’ Solyndra $535 million, the money quickly vanished; the bankruptcy court later found that the company had essentially no cash on hand. They had spent it all on equipment and inventory,” the blogger Zombie writes for PJ Media.
“Surely, then, the inventory could be sold and liquidated, to recover some of the ill-spent cash — right?” Zombie asks.
“Auctions of the material at the shuttered Solyndra factory produced very little revenue, as the highly specialized machinery and proprietary photovoltaic components spurred little interest among the auction vultures, since the parts could be used only for one specific purpose: to make Solyndra’s unique tubular solar panels,” Zombie continues.
Now add to this the fact the Obama administration knew about the financial risks involved and you can see why many people have questioned the Department of Energy’s integrity over its decision to back the company. Were they incredibly misguided or was there something else going on?
Basically, and all questions about the DOE’s integrity aside, there is one thing we know for certain: We are never getting that money back.
After Solyndra collapsed, JIT Transportation, a San Jose-based company hired to transport and store the materials, ended up with $30,000 in unpaid invoices and whole lot of glass tubes it suddenly needed to unload.
But what about the rest of the inventory? Surely, this can’t be everything. Of course it isn’t. The art exhibit only features 1,368 of an estimated 24 million Solyndra tubes. So where are the rest?
Well, although not many people know for sure where all of the Solyndra tubes have gone, we do know where some of them have ended up:
A San Francisco-based CBS affiliate has just released shocking video of Solyndra employees destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.
“At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week,” CBS San Francisco reports. “They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters.”
This art installation isn’t the only Solyndra remnant being put to alternative use. Memory device manufacturer Seagate recently agreed to purchase the 412,000 square foot Fremont factory where Solyndra formerly made its solar panels.
The SOL Grotto exhibit will run through next January.