Obama’s New Spin on Solyndra: Blame Congress

by Greg Pollowitz

Welcome to 1984 where we’ve always been at war with Oceania. Via Real Clear Politics:

Obama: We are doing the “all of the above” strategy right. Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for startups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start up companies get to scale. And the understanding is is that some companies are not going to succeed, some companies will do very well — but the portfolio as a whole ends up supporting the kind of innovation that helps make America successful in this innovative 21st century economy. Do I wish that Solyndra had gone bankrupt? Absolutely not. And obviously it’s heartbreaking what happened to the workers who were there. When you look at the overall portfolio, is it right for us to make sure that we’re not just cashing in our chips and letting the Chinese or the Germans develop the technologies that we know are going to be critical in the future? I’m proud to say that we’re going to continue to support it.

In summary: Don’t blame President Obama for the risky Solyndra loan. It was Congress that somehow forced his hand to make said loan because they had authorized the program. I guess Congress also forced him to travel to the factory and make a big, flowery speech on how Solyndra would be the future of American manufacturing, too?

Also note how the president combines apples and oranges in this quote. Apples, which are startups like Solyndra and oranges — large companies who don’t need the financing. If you look at the entire DOE loan guarantee program, the majority of the funds lent are to companies that do not need taxpayer dollars to get their programs finished. For example, this latest news release on the DOE site on partial loan guarantees of $1.46 billion to Desert Sunlight 250, LLC and Desert Sunlight 300, LLC:

The $1.46 billion in loans that are partially guaranteed by DOE will be funded by a group of investors led by lead lender and lender-applicant, Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, which submitted the project under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as co-lead arranger.

This project is being managed by a subsidiary of First Solar — a $2 billion+ publicly traded company. To coin a phrase from Goldman Sachs, taxpayers are just a bunch of muppets subsidizing companies that don’t need the help.

Planet Gore

The hot blog.