Energy Secretary Chu of the Department of Energy as well as President Obama have assured us all that decisions made about which companies receive DOE loans “have nothing to do with politics”. This is despite the fact that oil billionaire George Kaiser, an Obama campaign bundler, was the main investor in Solyndra, which promptly went bankrupt after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Kaiser bundled up to $100,000 for Obama’s election, and personally donated more than $50,000. According to Capital Research, at his home, Kaiser had an early fundraiser for Obama which Obama attended when he was still battling Hillary for the primary. Kaiser has reportedly visited the White House 16 times while Obama has been in office, and investors in Solyndra have given a total of $87,050 to Obama’s election campaign. In 2010, Kaiser also “contributed $30,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $2,400 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat”, making him plenty of friends in high places.
The Daily Caller reports on other loan failures by the Department of Energy, including the a $1.2 billion loan to Shepard’s Flat wind project which created 35 permanent jobs ($34 million per job). The DOE has a terrible track record in loaning to successful companies.
Beacon Power declared Bankruptcy in October 2011 after receiving a $43 million loan guarantee along with another $29 million from the federal government and the state of Pennsylvania.
Abound Solar declared bankruptcy last year after drawing down on $70 million of a $400 million loan guarantee. A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation later revealed that Abound was selling underperforming solar panels.
In reality, the $15 billion in stimulus funds meant to spur green energy growth was handed out to campaign supporters of Obama. That is crony capitalism at its best, when under 90 grand in campaign contributions can turn into a $535 million loan used to pay bonuses to the leaders of a failing company. What a return on their investment!
“The green energy loan program was essentially a recycling program designed to send taxpayer dollars to the administrations financial supporters,” said Peter Schweizer, author and Hoover Institution research fellow.
If we want to stop the revolving door of politics, we need to ban tax dollars from being handed to private companies in the forms of bailouts, subsidies, loans, and grants. When the government cannot use our money as a way to buy support, the donations will stop flowing in to corrupt politicians. Why donate to their reelection if you cannot get “free” taxpayer money in return?
In the end this will hurt the green energy industry, because dollars that could have stayed in the private sector to spur energy developments instead went to solar companies which never got off the ground. Billionaires who made their money on oil, like George Kaiser, get richer, while the American public get poorer, and no closer to an alternative fuel or energy. This, like many things the government does, was a complete scam. This is just one of many ways that the government takes our money, and hands it to their friends. And these are the rich that people should have a problem with, the ones who make their money by stealing it from the taxpayers. George Kaiser doesn’t care if he pays higher taxes, as long as he can add to his bottom line, even if it means robbing the middle class to pad his billion dollar bank account.