Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Green firm that got $1.46 billion in bailouts announces 2000 layoffs

Doug Ross linked to this Washington Examiner article about First Solar.

Excerpt:

First Solar, a solar energy company that received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, announced today that it will layoff 2,000 workers in the United States and world-wide.

The company will  “indefinitely idle” four production lines in Malaysia and shutter a plant in Germany. “These actions, combined with other personnel reductions in Europe and the U.S., will reduce First Solar’s global workforce by approximately 2,000 positions, about 30 percent of the total,” First Solar announced today.

“After a thorough analysis, it is clear the European market has deteriorated to the extent that our operations there are no longer economically sustainable, and maintaining those operations is not in the best long-term interest of our stakeholders,” said Mike Ahearn, Chairman and Interim CEO of First Solar, in a statement.

In December, First Solar laid off 100 employees at a Santa Clara , Calif., plant. The DOE has committed $1.46 billion to a project in Riverside County, California expected to create 15 permanent jobs and 550 construction jobs.

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney reported last month that the Export-Import Bank also subsidizes First Solar, helping the company “to sell solar panels to itself” by having a Canadian solar company “wholly owned” by First Solar by its parent company’s products.

Selling solar panels to a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary??? YES.

Excerpt:

A heavily subsidized solar company received a U.S. taxpayer loan guarantee to sell solar panels to itself.

[...]First Solar is an Arizona-based manufacturer of solar panels. In 2010, the Obama administration awarded the company $16.3 million to expand its factory in Ohio — a subsidy Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland touted in his failed re-election bid that year.

Five weeks before the 2010 election, Strickland announced more than a million dollars in job training grants to First Solar. The Ohio Department of Development also lent First Solar $5 million, and the state’s Air Quality Development Authority gave the company an additional $10 million loan.

After First Solar pocketed this $17.3 million in government grants and $15 million in government loans, Ex-Im entered the scene.

In September 2011, Ex-Im approved $455.7 million in loan guarantees to subsidize the sale of solar panels to two wind farms in Canada. That means if the wind farm ever defaults, the taxpayers pick up the tab, ensuring First Solar gets paid.

But the buyer, in this case, was First Solar.

A small corporation called St. Clair Solar owned the wind farm and was the Canadian company buying First Solar’s panels. But St. Clair Solar was a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar. So, basically, First Solar was shipping its own solar panels from Ohio to a solar farm it owned in Canada, and the U.S. taxpayers were subsidizing this “export.”

How did this company get such a huge taxpayer-funded bailout from the Obama administration?

Because, like Solyndra and SolarReserve, etc., First Solar is linked to Democrats.

Excerpt:

First Solar founder and Chairman Michael Ahearn, whom Reuters reported cashed in $68.9 million of his company’s stock last month, has donated $123,650, along with his wife, to the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates during the three most recent cycles, mostly in Arizona.

The solar energy giant, the nation’s biggest, also spent more than $1.5 million lobbying Congress and the Obama administration since 2009 on the stimulus and subsequent green-jobs plans. This included approximately $400,000 paid to the Washington Tax Group, which also represented Solyndra.

If you click through on that article, you can read about how SolarReserve is linked to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ronald Pelosi and to Tony Podesta,  the brother of John Podesta — who ran Barack Obama’s presidential transition team. This is the energy policy of the Obama administration: stop drilling, stop coal, stop nuclear, stop pipelines, and give taxpayer money to people who can get you elected. All the Democrats do is provide bailouts for Democrat-connected businesses and subsidize exploding Chevy Volts built by overpaid unionized auto workers. That’s it. That’s their plan.

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Electric car company that got $500 million in stimulus announces layoffs

From the left-wing Politico.

Excerpt:

In another setback for President Obama’s clean energy loan programs, the recipient of more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans is laying off workers at their Delaware and California operations.

Delaware’s News Journal reports that Fisker Automotive, a California-based electric car start-up company, is laying off an undisclosed number of staff to try to reserve enough capital in order to qualify for more federal help from the Department of Energy, according to a Delaware state development official.

“They’re trying to preserve the cash that they have,” said Alan Levin told the News Journal. “And unfortunately, until they meet the milestone that DOE continues to set … they’re not able to access the additional capital that they need.”

The company also came under fire last year for taking federal loans while producing cars in Finland. Company officials told ABC News at the time that “there was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle.” The company was working on reopening a shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington to produce vehicles — an effort that top Obama administration officials lauded.

[...]“This is proof positive that our efforts to create new jobs, invest in a clean energy economy and reduce carbon pollution are working,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “We are putting Americans back to work and reigniting a new Industrial Revolution that is paramount for the economic success of this country.”

The company received $529 million in loans to produce two lines of plug-in hybrid cars.

The Wall Street Journal explains who stands to gain from the loans that were given to Fisker.

Excerpt:

A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

[...]Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, confirmed that the former vice president backs Fisker and purchased a Karma. “He believes that a global shift of the automobile fleet toward electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy for solving the climate crisis,” she said in a statement.

Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn’t return requests for comment.

So let’s recap. A company connected to Democrats gets a $500 million pay-off, then lays off employees to qualify for more payoffs. And all of this money is coming f

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Navy buys fuel for $15 per gallon from Democrat-connected green energy firm

I found this Hot Air story on Right Wing News. Hot Air was at the top of John Hawkins’ list of the top 40 conservative blogs.

Excerpt: (with links removed)

This is going to help the Defense Department weather looming budget cuts, for sure.  Teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (which has a cheery Rotary Club ring to it), the Navy has purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for about $16 a gallon, or about 4 times the price of its standard marine fuel, JP-5, which has been going for under $4 a gallon.

You won’t be surprised to learn that a member of Obama’s presidential transition team, T. J. Glauthier, is a “strategic advisor” at Solazyme, the California company that is selling a portion of the biofuel to the Navy.  Glauthier worked – shock, shock – on the energy-sector portion of the 2009 stimulus bill.

The Navy sale isn’t Solazyme’s first trip to the public trough, of course.  The company got a $21.8 million grant from the 2009 stimulus package.

See, this is why we need to vote for lower and lower taxes. The more money that you give the government to spend, the more likely they are going to waste it buying votes and rewarding their supporters and fundraisers. Do you think that a private company could waste money like this, and stay afloat? No way – they have competitors to worry about. If they waste money, then they will go out of business. However, the government can just spend the money with abandon – it just gets added to the national debt. Eventually, the young people, who vote for for Obama in droves, will have to pay the money back. This will be hard for them to do given the fact that many of them are growing up without two parents supporting them, and often without a good education. What a mess. Leave the money in the hands of the private sector schools and private sector job creators – they actually have to care about pleasing customers and reducing wasteful spending.

Let’s do a quick review of more instances of stimulus spending.

What exactly was he trying to stimulate? His 2012 election campaign?

By the way, check out John’s list of the top 40 blogs – I am number 40.

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$737 million green jobs loan given to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law

Does Obama give taxpayer money millionaires and billionaires?

Does Obama give taxpayer money millionaires and billionaires?

As if Solyndra’s $535 million loan wasn’t enough, now we find out about where more of the stimulus spending went.

Story from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve has secured a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for a Nevada solar project.

That company has ties to George Kaiser, the Oklahoma billionaire who raised $53,500 for President Obama’s campaign in 2008. Through his Argonaut Private Equity firm, Kaiser holds a majority stake in Solyndra.

Argonaut has a voting stake on SolarReserve’s board of directors in the person of Steve Mitchell, who also serves on Solyndra’s board of directors.

Additionally, Federal Election Commission records made available by the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve board member James McDermott has contributed $61,500 to various Democratic campaigns since 2008, including $30,800 to Obama’s presidential election campaign.

McDermott’s U.S. Renewable Energy Group has a significant financial stake in SolarReserve, and has drawn scrutiny for its ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and for reportedly driving green jobs to China.

And Lee Bailey, a fellow SolarReserve board member and U.S. Renewables Group investor, has donated $21,850 since 2008 to Democratic candidates including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, California Sen. Barbara Boxer and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

SolarReserve’s board of directors also includes Jasandra Nyker of Pacific Corporate Group Asset Management, where former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ronald Pelosi, holds a leadership position.

Other data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve paid $100,000 in lobbying fees in 2009 to the Podesta Group. That firm’s principal, Tony Podesta, is the brother of John Podesta — who ran Barack Obama’s presidential transition team.

I hope everyone is now very clear on what we got for these three trillion-and-a-half trillion dollar deficits. And very clear on why unemployment went up and not down.

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