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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Planned Parenthood loses fight for $397,000 in taxpayer-funding

Good news from Life News.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business has lost its battle to keep a $397,000 taxpayer-funded contract in Memphis, Tennessee after pro-life advocates contacted members of the county commission requesting that the grant be given to someone else.

Shelby County Health Department director Yvonne Madlock had announced in September that , after significant lobbying from pro-life advocates, Christ Community Health Services would receive the $397,000 contract with the county for family planning rather than Planned Parenthood. Then, in a 6-4 party-line vote, the Shelby County Commission decided to postpone its decision and allow Planned Parenthood more time to make its case that it should continue receiving the tax money.

Now, the Shelby County Commission voted 9-4 on Monday to give Christ Community Health Services the family planning contract instead of renewing it with Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region. However, the Memphis Commercial newspaper reportsthat the abortion business has a pending bid protest with the county government.

[...]The money comes from the Title X family planning grants states are given by the federal government and Davidson County, the location of Nashville, made the decision earlier this year to move the recipient of its funding elsewhere from the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Because Shelby County was the lone holdout, pro-life advocates focused their efforts on persuading the county government to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

So, it sounds like things are not quite settled yet. But still – good news so far.

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New House GOP bill de-funds Planned Parenthood

Rep. Denny Rehnberg

Rep. Denny Rehnberg

Story from Life News.

Excerpt:

The battle over yanking federal taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business is back in Congress as House Republicans have unveiled new legislation attempting to remove its Title X funding.

Republicans tried earlier this year to de-fund Planned Parenthood but Obama refused overtures from pro-life Speaker John Boehner to do so when Republicans and Democrats were working on ironing out legislation to fund the federal government. Obama eventually agreed to a compromise that allowed both the House and Senate to vote on a stand-alone bill de-funding Planned Parenthood and, while House Republicans approved their measure, Senate Democrats defeated it in the upper chamber.

[...]Now, Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, the chairman of the House Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee has introduced new legislation to fund the federal government that prohibits any funds going to Planned Parenthood unless the organization stops doing abortions.

“This bill is the result of the cumulative effort of members of the Subcommittee, and Americans I heard from at 81 listening sessions and in countless meetings in Washington and in Montana.  Now, it’s posted online for the only test that matters, and that’s the approval of the American people,” Rehberg said.

Naturally, the head abortionist is outraged – someone is taking away her dollars!

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards issued a statement last week condemning the legislation.

“Eliminating funding for the Title X family planning program and prohibiting Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care through federal programs will result in millions of women across the country losing access to basic primary and preventive health care,” Richards said.

The new bill also came under attack from both pro-abortion organizations and pro-abortion lawmakers.

“Another health-related provision prohibits any funding under the bill from going to any Planned Parenthood affiliate unless the organization promises not to perform abortions with non-federal funds,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a pro-abortion Connecticut Democrat and a member of the subcommittee, groused. “The main effect would probably be to prohibit Medicaid patients from choosing to receive services such as contraception and cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood clinics.”

I listed Planned Parenthood AND the Democrats as being interested in the dollars. It’s a vicious circle. Planned Parenthood gets the dollars to kill the babies, and then they make campaign contributions to the Democrats who give them the taxpayer money. It’s all about the money. They kill babies for money. It’s a big business, and we subsidize it with our taxes.

Hon. Maurice Vellacott

Hon. Maurice Vellacott

And even in Canada, some Canadian conservatives are trying to push to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Excerpt:

Two more Tory MPs are taking swipes at the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.

One claims the group conned the government when it applied for and got a federal grant of $6 million over three years.

Another is linking it to the sinister and long-discredited science of eugenics.

Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott says the federation was deceitful in claiming that the money would only go to countries where abortion is illegal.

Alberta MP Leon Benoit wants to condemn the foundation over an award named for Margaret Sanger.

Sanger was a pioneer in planned parenthood who embraced a type of eugenics.

Saskatoon MP Brad Trost started the ball rolling earlier this week with a web post condemning the decision to fund the international family-planning group.

While the Prime Minister’s Office is adamant that abortion is not an issue for the Conservative government, it still seems to be a touchy subject for backbenchers.

The Planned Parenthood grant is a case in point.

Trost said in his web post that the government’s claim that the money would be used in countries that bar abortion is “hair-splitting.”

Vellacott said the federation is “trying to dupe” the government over abortion.

“Even in those countries where abortion is technically illegal, it’s naive to think that Canadian tax dollars are not being used to promote abortion,” he said in a news release.

Maurice Vellacott is my favorite Canadian MP. He is the Canadian-equivalent to Iain Duncan-Smith in the UK. And don’t think these guys aren’t good on fiscal issues – they are. They just are also good at social issues, which should go together anyway.

Related posts on Planned Parenthood

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Guttmacher Institute: states enact record number of abortion restrictions

Enacted Abortion Restrictions By Year

Enacted Abortion Restrictions By Year

Great news from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion think tank. (H/T John from Truth in Religion & Politics)

Excerpt:

In the first six months of 2011, states enacted 162 new provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Fully 49% of these new laws seek to restrict access to abortion services, a sharp increase from 2010, when 26% of new laws restricted abortion. The 80 abortion restrictions enacted this year are more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005—and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. All of these new provisions were enacted in just 19 states.

The post breaks down the pro-life measures by category:

  • Counseling and waiting periods
  • Gestational bans
  • “Heartbeat” bill
  • Banning abortion coverage in new insurance exchanges
  • Medication abortion
  • Cuts to abortion subsidies

All of these bills were supported by Republicans, and opposed by Democrats.

Elections have consequences. We elected a massive number of Republicans in 2010, and now we are seeing the results of that effort. I could not be more proud of the Republicans who voted in these measures to protect the unborn.

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Obama administration threatens Indiana for defunding Planned Parenthood

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is not happy with Indiana for being the first state to defund Planned Parenthood. According to reports, the administration is considering taking away the state’s Medicaid money in retaliation.

Pro-life Gov. Mitch Daniels recently signed into law a measure that bars state agencies from entering into contracts with abortion providers, aside from hospitals. The law also bans abortion past 20 weeks gestation, with an exception for the life or physical health of the mother.

The law effectively cuts Planned Parenthood off from approximately $3 million in state family planning funds, unless the state organization divides into separate independent affiliates that have nothing to do financially with abortion-providing affiliates.

The New York Times reports that federal officials are considering withholding some or all of the state’s Medicaid money in order to pressure the state to allow the nation’s largest abortion provider to tap into family planning funds.

The Times reports that the administration has 90 days to take action.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement approved by the White House: “Federal law prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from being spent on abortion services. Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need — like cancer screenings and preventive care — because their provider offers certain other services. We are reviewing this particular situation and situations in other states.”

Marcus J. Barlow, representing the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, pointed out to the Times, however, that the state was not cutting off funds for family planning services. “It’s a change in providers,” he explained, observing that clients of Planned Parenthood could go to other non-abortion providing clinics for those services.

Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith posed the question on his blog: “Is PP so important to Obama that he and his HHS Secretary are willing to materially hurt poor people by cutting off Medicaid funding to try and leverage restored funding for PP?”

“So long as those services are available, what business is it to the Feds which facilities provide them? Or, are we to believe that PP has a right to receive public money?” he said.

Well, the other service providers didn’t donate massive amounts of money to the Demcorat Party, like Planned Parenthood did. (See below) Some people who claim to be pro-life voted for Barack Obama, and I think those people really need to reconsider the facts. The Democrats are a pro-abortion party.

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