Friday, October 21, 2011

More great moments in the history of crony capitalism

The San Diego Tribune really wants us to get over the Solyndra scandal

Solyndra Aside, State Leads U.S. in Solar Jobs Tally*

California has the most solar industry jobs of any state by far — 25,575 — but was ranked sixth in per-capita employment, according to a survey by The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit education and research organization.

The study, published Monday, runs counter to the gloomy picture conjured by the demise of Northern California solar manufacturer Solyndra and the uproar over a half-billion dollar federal loan guarantee to the company.

Yeah, we probably should just get over this half-billion dollar adventure in cronyism as it's just one example that doesn't prove the entire green sector is rife with corruption, especially when there is another one brewing that makes Solyndra look like child's play.

How did a failing California solar company, buffeted by short sellers and shareholder lawsuits, receive a $1.2 billion federal loan guarantee for a photovoltaic electricity ranch project—three weeks after it announced it was building new manufacturing plant in Mexicali, Mexico, to build the panels for the project.

The company, SunPower (SPWR-NASDAQ), now carries $820 million in debt, an amount $20 million greater than its market capitalization. If SunPower was a bank, the feds would shut it down. Instead, it received a lifeline twice the size of the money sent down the Solyndra drain.

Two men with insight into the process are SunPower rooter Rep. George R. Miller III, (D.-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and the co-chairman of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and his SunPower lobbyist son, George Miller IV.

That $1.2 billion dollar loan is for the construction of a solar farm in the San Luis Obispo County that will create 350 construction jobs over two years and 15 permanent jobs. 15.... for $1.2 billion.

Go to the link and check out the political conections and the interesting timing of some of the events surrounding the loan approval and you'll understand how SunPower may just be the latest green jobs boondoggle to blow up in the administration's face.

* We went with the title the U-T used in their print edition today.

1 comment:

SarahB said...

very, VERY interesting! We've been shopping for solar for 4 months and have quotes from a dozen companies. We just signed a lease with a broker/installer for Sun Power that was SIGNIFICANTLY lower than any other offer out there. And they threw in everything we asked escalator, groundmount, purchase option, etc. All the while feeling it was too good to be true. Clearly this is a fire sale to boost their 'growth' on paper. Curious to see if we get our array up before the Feds shut them down.