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Solydra bankruptcy highlights green failures or Obama and McNerney

Original post made by jimf01, another community, on Aug 31, 2011

The Obama administration and Jerry McNerney have touted green technology to lead this country out of recession. They attempted to pick winners in this country, lending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to companies like Solyndra. We see the futility of these efforts. $500 million down the tubes, 1100 more workers laid off in our already shaky economy.
Web Link
This is the second major solar company in the US to go bankrupt this month , Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts threw away another $400 mil+ gifted by Democratic lawmakers in that state, over the objection of Republicans., in addition to $100 mil+ in federal stimulus funds.
Web Link
That's a billion dollars, folks. $1,000,000,000. That's just this month. Local governments in California, as noted in a San Jose Mercury story this month, are not purchasing American made solar panels, even for government projects. Web Link
The writeup highlights $18 mil savings over 25 years, and lowlight the $20mil cost of installing, which alone exceeds the savings. How about an analysis of the total cost of installing and maintaining these units over the 20 year period, including the cost to taxpayers of the interest on the bonds, since the taxpayers are paying for the whole thing?
It takes a little digging through County records to find that the contractors are using Chinese made solar panels Web Link
This is where the rubber meets the road in clean technology. The repeated failures of our elected officials to use taxpayer dollars wisely is obvious.

Comments (82)

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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

Yes, both those boondoggles, sucked up a BILLION $$$ from us taxpayers ! ! ! We could have kept our own $$, or had them returned to us. Some of our small manufacturing companies that had been in operation for a decade or more went under, like my son's employer, who ran our of $$ and couldn't even offer any severance pay...so son has been UNemployed for 1 1/2 years. BUT, Obama's "favored, chosen ones" got to play with our funds, the incompentent wannabees didn't take ANY RISK...bankruptcy cleans their slate, and our taxpayer 'guarantee' (like Fannie & Freddie guarantees) picks up the "owner-dreamer" garbage he leaves behind for us to worry about !! We lose our jobs AND we pay the players bills. Is this American 'FREEDOM' ??? ...feels more like I'm a victim and hostage.


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Posted by FormerDemocrat ButNeverAgain
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:19 am

Good posts, Jim and ST,
This is yet another example of the socialist/marxist Democrats who take money from the productive sector and forcefully re-distribute to the non-productive sector.

This is tantamount to legalized grand theft and the hard-working public are the victims of these EXTREMELY CORRUPT government officials.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This is a warning to all former Solyndra workers....do not roll over and play dead. Start picketing along Kato Road in front of the headquarters building. If you do not, the executives, lawyers, and banks will steal all of the monies owed to you.

The President/CEO will leave with a golden parachute. The CFO and COO will be held on retainer and will get huge bonus checks for "cooperation with the bankruptcy process". The lawyers will make a killing as they always do.

The bankruptcy judge does not care about employees.
The US Trustee does not care about employees.
The lawyers and banks think and treat employees like they are lower then a snake's belly.
The politicians do not care about non-union workers.

Whatever you have been promised don't believe a word. You are on your own, and if you work as a group you have a chance at collecting monies which rightfully belong to you. Draw as much media coverage as possible. You have to be willing to be uncivil to fight a corrupt system.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This is a warning to all former Solyndra workers....do not roll over and play dead. Start picketing along Kato Road in front of the headquarters building. If you do not, the executives, lawyers, and banks will steal all of the monies owed to you.

The President/CEO will leave with a golden parachute. The CFO and COO will be held on retainer and will get huge bonus checks for "cooperation with the bankruptcy process". The lawyers will make a killing as they always do.

The bankruptcy judge does not care about employees.
The US Trustee does not care about employees.
The lawyers and banks think and treat employees like they are lower then a snake's belly.
The politicians do not care about non-union workers.

Whatever you have been promised don't believe a word. You are on your own, and if you work as a group you have a chance at collecting monies which rightfully belong to you. Draw as much media coverage as possible. You have to be willing to be uncivil to fight a corrupt system.


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Posted by My 2 cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

"In July, a congressional panel voted to subpoena White House documents related to Solyndra's loan guarantee. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee said they want to ensure that funds appropriated for the loan guarantee program were properly invested."

Source:
Web Link

I am not a fan of republicans but I am so glad they are looking into this. I read that Solyndra chose not to go public (IPO) and instead pursued private funds, one has to wonder about what is really happening in the financial aspect of Solyndra, especially since our taxpayer funds were used:

"The federal government offered $535 million in low cost loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. NBC Bay Area has contacted the White House asking for a statement."

I am all for protecting the environment and I do believe in global warming, BUT I think we NEED TO DRILL instead of relying on a green energy source that has yet to be developed. Even my child understands how silly it is for the US not to drill because of concerns about the environment and yet have BP (British) come here and spill oil! At least if the USA drills, we are in control of every aspect and can better protect the environment.

I hope Romney wins the republican nomination, I see no other candidate I could vote for, and Obama is a complete disaster.


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Posted by My 2 cents - to clarify
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

To clarify my statement about drilling: I know it does not apply to Solyndra as they were involved in other things (solar panels...); what I mean is that Obama is pushing for other energy sources everywhere, including in cars, and that is fine but until we have such technology and it is successfully being used by all, we need to drill.

Solyndra's failure should be a wake up call to an administration that lives in fantasy world.


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Posted by FormerDemocrat
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

To My2 cents,
I submit to you that voting for Lindsey Lohan would be better than Obama.
Seriously, I realize that the Republican candidates vary in their degree of communication skills, however any of them would govern more consistently according to the US Constitution. Obama, McNerney and the other ruling class (yes, and some RINOs too) have attempted to shred the Constitution.


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Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Jim, I think you have missed the big picture here. Solyndra's woes are a big gain for Solaria, also based in Fremont. And if you will note, Solaria is shopping for new fabrication facilities:

Web Link

I am not a conspiracy nut, but the timing here was no accident. And I expect that certain members of congress were in on this secondary development due to the loan guarantees that Solyndra carries.

As for the issue of local governments and public agencies not using domestic products, California Public Contract Law requires hose entities to accept the lowest bid, not the best bid. Changing the statute or inserting protectionist language into public bid documents would largely solve the problem.

You have been absent on these boards for some time, Jimbo. Your glass-is-half-empty skill of bashing Democrats all the time for everything was missed.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm

My sympathies to anyone suffering from this situation. This certainly highlights the need to have a back-up plan.

As far as bankruptcy, grants and tax incentives go, however, this category of business is hardly unique. In addition, green energy isn't always about saving money. It's also about saving resources.


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Well Mike, why didn't you step up and invest your dollars in the Solyndra (calculated) debacle. (might also be known as public theft)' Actually, at this moment in time, the ONLY RESOURCES I care to 'save' are my own ! You can be as green as you wish with your $, not mine ! ! ! I'm sick of the failed "targeted" stimulus. Going over the cliff like really stupid lemmings on "GREEN SCAMS" like Solyndra must stop. This is where taxpayer rage is justified.
This 'panel' crap was obsolete before any of this was started ! Stop charging ahead on unproven green crap with public money..where are the 'investors'. We're just getting started with more "CA mandatory" 32 theft of the people ! so tragic...history will not be kind to the zealots....
"zealot...well meaning, but without understanding". We the people are being trampled and steamrolled.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm

jimf01,

How does the government investment in AIG compare with its investment in Solydra? As I recall, you in favor of pouring government money into AIG (correct me if I'm wrong) so they could do something with it. How is that one working out? What makes the AIG investment OK, but the Solyndra bad?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Patriot,

Because AIG is not a "green" company. You should add to the list Monsanto and any other company receiving corporate welfare, etc.

Fact of the matter is that the solar industry is highly competitive due to China flooding that market with their own subsidies. They've caused oversupply problems. The US just won't compete on that level, who can out-subsidy the other.

Or let's put it this way, no amount of tax cuts could have helped Solyndra. I know the response; it isn't the tax cuts, but the company was doomed to fail anyway because the market is "green".


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Green does not mean good, it means gullible !


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Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:36 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

Convenient, Jim01, that you left out that China can import their products at a cheaper cost, thereby putting our workers and companies out of business..." as is the past, Jim, please state clearly " I am a conservative, and not matter what the Democrats can do right, I oppose them."

And, "FormerDemocrat ButNeverAgain," you never were a Democrat. Aka, Sheep in wolf's clothing... And, I might add, self-serving....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Town
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:21 am

I hope the dems are watching Egypt, Libya, England, and Greece.....could get ugly for them.


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Posted by OldTimer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:26 am

China will become the OPEC of solar. Soon they will be able to set the prices and we will just have to live with it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by dknute
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:39 am

Wonder if Mr. Gore is part of that 1.1 billion in private investor money?


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Posted by more Solyndra
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:47 am

After Investing $1B, Solyndra's Backers Finally Lose Their Grip.

"Now, as the company prepares to enter Chapter 11 or sells its assets, the government will want its money back. According to a DOE spokesman, $527 million of the $535 million loan has been drawn down. It's not clear which secured debt holders will get paid back first–the case will go to a bankruptcy court to sort it out–but the venture capitalists holding equity may be out of luck.

It's also not clear who would want to buy Solyndra's assets. Specialized equipment used to make this type of panels isn't exactly a hot commodity."

WSJ: Web Link


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

Oh dknute, remember Gore, who has never had a 2 way discussion with anyone on GW, knowing his claims would be challenged. He very quickly said ""the conversation has been closed on the subject"" and the lemmings followed. Then he took his show on the road and has made his own quick billions with the con. Sadly, he did con the famous VIRGIN AIR BILLIONAIRE, into investing billions in CORN ethanol (proven to consume more than it produces & raising corn food prices for all people in the world), and Gore did con him into huge solar, but I don't know which companies.


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Posted by Larry
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 1, 2011 at 9:20 am

This is not a republican or democratic thing, it's a stupidity thing.
I was going to install solar on my roof, but it didn't make any sense.
Government buildings will install solar because it is not their money.
Every penny you spend you have to look at your return on investment, even if it's a green thing. When the cost of solar on your roof is less then your electric bill, then green will take off. But don't take my money and give it to my neighbor so he can install solar or whatever. 11k jobs lost in Fremont, has anyone ever seen the size of the buildings? When you make something for sale and can only sell it at half the price, you have a problem as has been proven. Blame the Chinese, blame the weather, blame Bush, what about the business plan and the idiots that invested half a billion dollars of OPM into it.
Let's stop this insanity and get back to drilling for oil, digging coal, and plumbing natural gas.


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Posted by Scared for the Future of this State
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

The problem with this and with so many other things is that we can get things so much cheaper from China. We need to tax the goods coming in from China and make them less desirable if we hope for American goods to ever be the first choice.


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Posted by fed up
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

Just one more example of governmental corruption, and incompetence,
a billion here, a billion there, a few hundred million dollar pay offs, for pity's sake, when are we the people going to wake up. We keep electing crooks and cronies, the politicians with rare exception are either self serving crooks, or drooling bufoons that have never had a job or run a business. We either change this at the ballot box, or we are toast.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

just wondering if any of you are outraged at the $60 billion mismanaged under the Bush administration to private companies for the Iraq and Afganistan war. Money that is unaccounted for.


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Posted by My 2 cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Robin:

How did Bush benefit from the war on a personal level? I am not a fan of Bush and I am against the war, but before I hear more blame passed on to him (even though it is Obama being incompetent), I'd like to see some proof here.

Read this about Solyndra and Obama's personal connection and interest in giving that loan:

"ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News first reported on questions about the choice of Solyndra for the loan in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure its loan package for the company, which was showing early signs of financial distress. One of Solyndra's major investors was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election. "

full story:

Web Link

I can't wait to see if the republicans truly pursue this and what irregularities they might find about the Solyndra deal.


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Posted by My 2 cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

It seems like Obama's idea of "job creation" is "getting people to work" just to say he did and be able to boost his own image, even if these jobs disappear soon after they are created.

If anyone watched one forum where Obama proudly announced how teachers' jobs were saved thanks to him, you know what I am talking about. The teacher whose job was saved for one year was later given a pink slip!

Solyndra created jobs and is now laying people off soon after hiring them.

Obama's idea of creating jobs is more damaging, since people are fooled into thinking there is economic recovery when in truth we are heading into another recession.

Do I regret voting for Obama? Yes, but I am sure we'd be in just as bad (or worse) shape under McCain/Palin.

We need a good candidate to defeat Obama in 2012!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

"2 cents" said: "Do I regret voting for Obama? Yes, but I am sure we'd be in just as bad (or worse) shape under McCain/Palin. We need a good candidate to defeat Obama in 2012!"

And you're expecting one from the Republican party? LOL! These is the same group that forced Palin onto McCain, remember? Yes, they could probably beat Obama IF they came up with a reasonable, fiscally conservative candidate but that's not going to happen with the Republican party of today. The Republican party thinks that their worst enemies are liberals and Democrats. But that's not true. The Republican party's worst enemy is its own far-right conservative wing - that's what's preventing them from winning the White House.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Town
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Obama will lose, Perry will win and we will have another Texan thanks to Obama's terrible performance.


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Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

As long as there is a Democrat in the White House, government subsidies, grants, and cheap loans will be given to the companies that donate to Democratic candidates, articulate the proper social agenda, and have diversity as a foundational hiring principal. Private equity will go to the companies with the best technology, with defensible positions in a market, and with people who have the education and experience to get the job done - no matter what their ethnicity. Now that we have seen his job-killing health plan, his job-killing energy plans, and his phony green jobs funny-money plans, do we really care about Obama's "new" jobs plan? I predict the country will be watching the football game.
Chemist


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

If the goal is to save money, then you go for the cheaper product. If your goal is to reduce pollution or dependence on imports, then you go for the cleaner, local product. I chose to go for the cleaner, local product. Fortunately, my personal resources allowed me to do so without financial discomfort.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Informed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm

The Federal dollars lost in these solar energy companies, will be nothing compared to the costs that all of us will have to pay due to the "Climate Action Plans" that are being adopted around the Bay Area. While these government adopted plans may or may not positively impact our climate, such plans will cost billions. Thus killing job growth, increasing the cost of housing & business construction, negative impacts on crop production, increased spending on mass transportation, dictate the use of air conditioning & heating, etc...


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Posted by Exactly
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Chemist and Informed are spot on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just saying
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Larry thank you. you have nailed it perfectly.


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Posted by Ernest
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

One company bites the dust and all the climate deniers, tea baggers, and anti-Obamaists claim the sky is falling. No so claims this recent CNN report:

"Being environmentally friendly is the de facto mindset of most people today. Many cities provide recycling bins for their residents. Gym goers carry around reusable water bottles instead of disposable plastic ones. Businesses proudly tell their customers that their shopping bags are made from 100 percent recycled material. As a whole, we've all gone green.

Although the well being of the planet and breathable air for future generations are good enough reasons to stop pollution and energy waste, another (more immediate) reason exists: your career.

Green jobs aren't going away; in fact, they're on the rise. One area you might want to consider is solar energy. According to a new survey from The Solar Foundation, solar companies are on target to add jobs at a greater rate than the rest of the economy.

From the survey:

"[As] of August 2010, the U.S. solar industry employs an estimated 93,000 solar workers -- defined as those workers who spend at least 50 percent of their time supporting solar-related activities. Over the next 12 months, over 50 percent of solar firms expect to add jobs, while only 2 percent expect to cut workers. This funding is especially relevant given that the overall expected 12-month growth rate for the entire U.S. economy is only about 2 percent."


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Sam, you targeted the Repub's nemisis as conservative wing. Actually the fiscal conservatives are great, but the dangerous ones precisely are the social conservatives, the radical religious right.
Sam, we'll only suffer Perry, if the Repubs are feeling suicidal at the time of primaries. He's pure politician, no real world experience. He's held assorted elected positions for 26 years ! But maybe that beats, a community organizer with 1 1/2 yr in Senate, and 3 years as President. It's hard when we have to live in the real world to have fantasy-world leaders,
Repubs will only win, IF they pick a winner...not likely. 40% on right will vote Rep no matter who, and 40% on left will vote Dem no matter, but the 20% of independent types in the middle will DECIDE WHO is the winner. Of course those 20% indepents coast to coast can only pick between the TWO they are presented.....Obama and ?? religious zealot or electable, mainstream, presidential business person. IF mainstream people vote in the primary the country's safe, but historically, it's the nuts in boths parties that go to vote in primaries, so losers go forth in Nov. This time the Dems have an incumbent, so the country hangs on WHO Repub NOMINATE in the primaries to go against him. (


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Posted by free markets
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Chemist, Informed, and Larry are all spot on. Ernest seems to think solar provides job growth, and it does, but most growth can be attributed to government subsidies. If not for the subsidies there is no growth.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ernest
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Sep 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

@"Ernest seems to think solar provides job growth, and it does..."

Then instead of bashing one company and claiming that the entire industry is a complete boondoggle, lets give it a chance. We are concerned about the planet are we not? I think it is worth the investment.

As for your reference to "free markets," there really is no such thing. It's a fiction. Most who have wealth got there by taking advantage of family ties, pre-existing wealth, elite connections, govt subsidies, a lack of govt'l regulations, exploitative labor practices, monopolistic and oligopolistic structures .... The list is long and could be lengthened all evening long. Hey, I'll tell ya what? You say you're hurting because you're unemployed. I'll give you 50 bucks free. All you have to do is come to my house, cut my lawn, walk my dog, and sit my kids for 9 or 10 hours. But the 50 bucks is free; all you have to do is come over, do the jobs, and claim it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Ernest, you are my hero. Please run for public office. No nonsense, no spin. Step up your game and you will get my vote.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

So Ernest, you "think it is worth the investment", did you put up your own personal investment ???? No, just sit back and deplete public taxes of people who are opposed. How unjust, but so easy to use OPM.


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Posted by winemanjmr
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 2, 2011 at 5:40 am

I am in the solar industry, and the sad thing is, forgetting politics, the company Solyndra should never have gotten loans or investment in the first place. The technology never made technical or economic sense (why coat 50% of a pipe with expensive thin film when only 1/3 of the substrate will be exposed to direct light? A flat panel will beat that every time! And the rreflected light was much less than projected due to real-world effects like dust.). It was the equivalent of solar snake oil. The real incompetence was in the DOE for ever granting the loan guarantee. What were they thinking?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 2, 2011 at 6:12 am

Anyway, we've got to break our fossil fuel habit; so alternatives are worth exploring. If we keep looking, we're bound to find an answer.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

jimf01,

So was Stacey's answer to my question the one you would agree with? The government's $182 billion investment in AIG was OK because AIG is not a "green" company, but the government's $535 million investment in Solyndra is not OK because Solyndra is a "green" company?

Does it have anything to do with the fact that a Republican administration was in charge when the AIG got the money and a Democrat administration was in charge when Solyndra got the money?

Can anyone else please explain why the government investment in AIG (and Morgan Stanley and many others) was OK and but investments in companies like Solyndra are not OK?


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

Ernest creates not one, but two straw man arguments here. Lots of people are trying to 'go green'. No one wants to go back to the smog belt days. The belt, for those not old enough to have ever seen one, was in a basin area like LA, literally you would drive in and see a brown belt of smog hanging over the area.
Second one is the growth of solar. Easily confirmed by the statistics that a relatively new technology is now catching on in a bigger way, but it deserves a closer look.

The government should still not be picking winners and losers. The federal government handed out $37.2 billion in direct energy subsidies in 2010, an increase of more than $19 billion over 2007.
Of that $19 billion increase, additional subsidies for renewables amounted to more than $9 billion, a 186 percent increase.

Per MwH generated, solar is being subsidized at a VASTLY higher rate than the fossil fuel industries are today.

Web Link

The EIA study shows that these critics have fingered the wrong energies. Researchers report that last year, oil, natural gas, and coal received a total of 11 percent of all federal energy subsidies. And most of those oil and natural gas "subsidies" are typical deductions, deferrals, and credits that all businesses take.

In fact, as a share of net income, the oil and gas industry paid 41.1 percent in federal income taxes last year, compared to 26.5 percent for all non-oil and gas S&P 500 manufacturing companies. Meanwhile, oil and gas account for 78 percent of domestic energy production and are responsible for more than 9.2 million American jobs.

If we are looking at moving away from fossil fuels, nuclear is cheaper. And as far as land use and centralization of power generation (easier to transmit to the user on the existing grid), nuclear is 'greener' than solar.

As for your little screed on the fiction of free markets, I would say one should ask the richest guy in California about that. Larry Ellison employs lots and lots of people in this state, he is a true free market success story. The concept of free markets is anything but fiction to him. And while you are speking with him, ask him how many federal subsidies he got while starting up Oracle.


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

No comparison Pat, one is a bailout for an already successful company which was in trouble, in part, because of factors beyond their control (but I do not want to argue the reasons for TARP, etc).

Solyndra was a bet on an unproven technology from a company with no track record. Might as well have gone to Vegas and put all that money on 'red', a spin of the wheel.

And besides, has TARP as a whole been over 70% repaid? Do you think the government will get 70% of the $535M that went to Solyndra?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Somalia is a true free market success story. Let's get right down to it. A truly free market free from government "interference" would look like... not everyone playing by the same rules of social norms. I mean, you would _expect_ it from everyone, but that would require Perfect People.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 9:18 am


Along the same lines, I suppose that the recent bankruptcy of the Andronico's supermarket chain means that ALL supermarkets are therefore untenable businesses and the whole supermarket industry is a collossal failure and a waste of money.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

"because of factors beyond their control "

Factors beyond their control? Did I read that right? What factors could possibly have been beyond their control? They took big bets in the derivatives market and bet wrong. They didn't have near enough cash to cover their losses. This was pure, unregulated capitalism. It was gamboling. It was casino capitalism, just side betting on debt failures using derivatives. No one forced AIG to write those derivatives. AIG's proprietary trading desk knew exactly what they were getting in to. They were under-capitalized, made horrible bets, and failed utterly.

So it sounds like you are OK with the "too big to fail" policy of government bailouts for large, failed, but politically connected companies, but not for investments in companies doing development in new areas of technology.

You say "The government should still not be picking winners and losers." But by bailing out AIG, but not Lehman Brothers (for example), that is precisely what the government did. You said you supported that policy. Please tell me how that is not picking winners and losers?

As far as TARP getting "repaid", isn't there more to it than that?

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

"If we are looking at moving away from fossil fuels, nuclear is cheaper. And as far as land use and centralization of power generation (easier to transmit to the user on the existing grid), nuclear is 'greener' than solar. "

Yes, in that sense nuclear is greener than solar, but nuclear energy wouldn't exist without government subsidies.

Web Link

"As for your little screed on the fiction of free markets, I would say one should ask the richest guy in California about that. Larry Ellison employs lots and lots of people in this state, he is a true free market success story. The concept of free markets is anything but fiction to him. And while you are speking with him, ask him how many federal subsidies he got while starting up Oracle."

Now you're hitting close to home for me. You do realize that Oracle got its start with money from the US government?

"From a Central Intelligence Agency deal that launched the firm 25 years ago, to recent software contracts in Sacramento and Los Angeles, Oracle is no stranger to the halls of political power."

"A quarter century later, close to a quarter of the company's revenue -- $2.5 billion a year -- still comes from selling software to federal, state and local agencies.

"Oracle wouldn't exist if it weren't for government contracts," said Mike Wilson, author of the book "The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison."

Web Link


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

my login isnot working, but my response is apples and oranges, again Pat, selling something to the government to get your company off the ground is much different from getting loan guarantees to help you develop and launch a product for the commercial market. Vastly different.
And I touched on the difference between nuclear and solar, wind, other non-fossil energy sources, linking to the forbes article which references an EIA atudy on that very subject.

As for your other post, I am not going to divert this topic to rehash TARP, especially since you brought up AIG, and I still maintain it is not a comparable situation to Solyndra.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

"As for your other post, I am not going to divert this topic to rehash TARP, especially since you brought up AIG, and I still maintain it is not a comparable situation to Solyndra."

But you are making blanket statements like "The government should still not be picking winners and losers." But that is exactly what the government did with TARP. So what you should have said was that the government should pick winners and losers in some cases, but not in other cases. It is fine to pick winners and losers when choosing what company to bail out, but it is not OK to pick winners and losers when investing in new technologies (unless it is nuclear energy, then it is OK.

"Pat, selling something to the government to get your company off the ground is much different from getting loan guarantees to help you develop and launch a product for the commercial market. Vastly different."

Not really that different. Ellison and company used their personal connections to government officials to get the capital they need to write the Oracle 2.0 database. That helped Oracle get the money they needed to (in your words) "help you develop and launch a product for the commercial market"


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

To a certain degree there is a commonality, of course, taxpayer $ going to a corporation chosen by the government. An apple and an orange are both types of fruit.
My reasoning, specific to the energy industry I was addressing, and not making a statement about giant financial houses which are a completely different ballgame, so it is not a blanket statement in that regard.
To focus this on the energy industry, President Obama choppered in to Fremont last year and used his newly closed NUMMI plant parking lot, conveniently empty for parking of his helicopter and motorcade, toddled over to Solyndra and declared, "When (the new factory)it's completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels and (to) sell them across America and around the world."
Web Link

He lauded California's "entrepreneurial spirit". What the government was ignoring was fundamental numbers: according to another SJ Merc story "Chinese manufacturers, which benefit from massive government support, are manufacturing at costs in the $1.10 to $1.20 a watt range. Thin-film leader First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., manufactures at 75 cents a watt and aims to be at 53 cents a watt by 2014. Solyndra says its current manufacturing costs are about $3 per watt."

That is why the government needs to get out of the business of trying to pick winners and losers.


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

Update: the latest info I find in this piece from gigaom, Solyndra disclosed at the end of 2009 that per-watt manufacturing cost was $4.00 per watt, quite a bit more than First Solar, who says it can manufacture solar for under $1 per watt, and most recently said it has hit 85 cents per watt.

Web Link

but this was probably overlooked when a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign, George B. Kaiser, came looking for federal help to prop up his investment

Web Link


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Hey comfortablY rich MIKE, you say if we just keep wandereing around looking for alternatives, we're "bound to find an answer". So if we just keep throwing*@+* taxpayer $$$ at the wall, something's bound to make sense. Meanwhile, idiot political whores write bills they don't understand with ARBITRARY DEADLINES !! We have arbitrary AB32 deadlines bearing down on the screwed taxpayers of CA, with this economically destructive hammer ! ! !


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Gee, I wonder which month Solyndra's 1,100 newly unemployed fall s into. For the first time since 1945,(66yr) the US had ZERO jobs added last month. For August, CA unemployment is 12.1% again, as it has been for months. The nation's pitifiul 9.1% actually looks pretty good....CA would happily settle for 9.1% unemployment....that would be 25% better than our 12.1%.


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Of course, since CA equals about a third of the country, our 12.1% is pretty grim.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amused
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2011 at 4:26 am

@"Gee, I wonder which month Solyndra's 1,100 newly unemployed fall s into. For the first time since 1945,(66yr) the US had ZERO jobs added last month. For August, CA unemployment is 12.1% again, as it has been for months."

Zero jobs growth? Yeah, except for all those negative jobs 'growth' months experienced during the Bush years.

Only a month ago Screwed was crowing about how positive jobs growth over the past year was a function of GOP gaining the House. How's that workin' for ya now, Screwed?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Sep 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

Amused, here's a news flash for you: bush is no longer in office and the guy who is, is totally incapable of providing any leadership. How's that working out for your leftist cheerleaders? Maybe you should be in favor of solutions to the Obama recession instead of blaming past leaders.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amused
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

[removed] I was simply correcting one of the many lies that emanate from the right wing. You didn't catch that, of course, because you'd need an i.q. in triple figures to do so.


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Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Amuzed, obviously you are ill informed....and uneducated as well (reading off union thug talking points instead of newspapers).
All over C-span and CNN yesterday, was the comparative fact repeated "the FIRST time the jobs report was ZERO net gain, SINCE 1945". Possibly it wasn't on your MSnbc....remember they fired extreme liberal progressive Chenk Ugur (Olbermans & Ed's replacement) for making several negatives about Obama. The 'ol hook phonecalls have come several times to networks to terminate commenters that make negative statements about Obama. But, this official 'jobs report" can't be denied...so the report is OFFICIAL and PUBLISHED, but doubt you read papers....just union talking points.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amused
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm

[removed] The zero growth rate is based upon decades, not months or years, which means 8 of the 10 years of this decade were under Bush "leadership". If you bother to look, you will see many, many months of negative job growth under dubya the dunce.
[removed]


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Not even fifth graders would mistake an adverbial clause for the subject of a sentence.


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Posted by Amused
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

More hard-hitting criticism of ideas by Stacey the Screwed Taxpayer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

If you think that was hard-hitting criticism, I'd hate to know what you consider constructive criticism.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Amused, I'm fairly certain you wouldn't be subscribing to any newspapers. I take several, so I'll share the front page of our Saturday Valley Times....headline 'Nation at hiring standstill'.
This was an Associated Press article.
With the article was a chart, appropriately printed in red ink...
'O Jobs added in August', '1945 Last time a net job growth rate of zero was reported in the US'.
Obama was always touting his 'stimulating green jobs'. So he gave our half billion $$ to one of his biggest donors (payback), and was out here for on site photos twice....nothing helped ! ! Apparently, none of that helped him or Solyndra ! Screwed taxpayers are left holding the bag.


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Posted by Good Time
a resident of Happy Valley
on Sep 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Screwed is terribly screwed up, as he can't seem to read past a headline. Try looking up how many months under Bush hiring was in negative territory.

Rather than subsidize cutting edge green, lets drill in the Everglades instead. What do you say, Screwed Up?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Good Time, take it up with the 'Associated Press' and the 'Valley Times' (BayAreaNewsGroup).
I knew you clowns would have trouble with 'print' media,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dana
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 4, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hey Amused,
Let's see your sources for your statements regarding no job growth under Bush and Obama. BTW: if you count government job growth...then you are undoubtedly correct. Obama is the hands-down winner of all times...creating government nannies to watch over us.

But then again...you probably need big government to make the decisions for you.

I'll be waiting for your job creation sources (probably the Obama-approved MSM, Media Matters, Moveon.org, and similar sources no doubt). Or then again...you may be relying not on facts...but of FEELINGS and INTENTIONS. Democrats are big on these two constructs...and don't pay much attention to OUTCOMES and FACTS.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Noreen
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Sep 5, 2011 at 5:56 am

You've gotta love these right-wing psycho zealots. They can't read, they can't argue, they can't reason. Big egos, weak egos, and lack of education.

Steeeve responds: 'Your all loosers. Every one of yous.'
KR responds: 'Noreen must be Sam must be Nate must be YAT.'
Stace responds: 'Prove it, Noreen. Prove I'm a right-wing psycho zealot. Show me the data!'

And so there you have pleasanton's line-up of right-wing nutjobs. Oh, and I forgot the kkk sympathizer jimbo.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

This is what happens when politicians decide where to place the financial bets. If any of them had actually talked to the venture community or people who understand the technologies, there would have never been this kind of excessive investmetn in a losing product.

Using tax dollars to promote industrial development is not the problem -- it is politicians choosing the winners and losers. This is not a democrat/republican thing, as both parties have been guilty of this -- although Obama's involvement here looks like a tremendous gaffe if not worse.

I am a big supporter of the environment and clean energy, but only if it works! Like 2 cents I am hoping Romney gets the primary as he is the only guy out there that seems to understand business and not just how to run a revival meeting (left or rightwing version, take your pick).


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Posted by Noreen
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Sep 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Yeah, I like Romney too. His ability to buy up companies and then cut and dice their workforces shows real potential for job creation.

I also really like how, over the week-end, he spent his time assuring [removed] ragtags and racists that he was willing to commit himself as pres to undoing all of Obama's accomplishments.

Bush digs us into a cavernous hole. Obama tries to dig us out (with no help from GOP). Romney wants to shove us back in. Yeah, sounds really reasonable to me.

(When someone posts as 'reasonable', it's akin to Trump insisting he's intelligent, or steeeve insisting he's a man of great love and joy.)


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

I was enjoying a bit of give and take, but even Pat gave up defending the Las Vegas roulette wheel style investments by the federal government.
Then of course the 'it's all Bush's fault' crowd arrives and you might as well forget about a decent policy debate --pretty much summed by the likes of 'Noreen', starting with insults , and then adding it's Bush's fault, and those Republicans who will not agree to everything Pelosi, Reid, and Obama asked for (conveniently forgetting the TWO YEARS of Democrat majority in the House, Senate, and WH). And rounding it out with more insults.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Noreen
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Sep 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm

[Removed] We should not look back at recent history, or indeed any history at all. Let's just be as ignorant as Jimbo is. Because of the TWO YEAR period of Dem majority in House and Senate -- actually, it takes 60% to have a genuine majority in the Senate, but when we're lying about everything under the sun, who cares about such details? -- we were forced into having to deal with the 9/ll devastation that the Dems were responsible for allowing to happen on THEIR watch. (Because, I mean, Bush did everything he could to keep the terrorists away: first he attempted to sucker the terrorists by convincing them that he didn't care if they attacked; and then he even hoped to distract them by reading 'my pet goat' to school children while the attack occurred.)

Most important, though, it was the Dem majority that took us to Afghanistan, then Iraq. It was the Dem majority that looked the other way while wall street fleeced the American public. And it was the Dem majority that forced tax cuts for the rich down everyone's throats. That's why we went from surplus to record deficits during the Bush years. It was the Dems' fault. So, yes, who needs history when there are idiots on these threads who tell us all we need to know? Thanks Jimbo for your pearls of wisdom.


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

I guess Solyndra is Noreen's perfect example of Obama trying to dig us out of an economic hole (with no help from the GOP)

According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing. In the week before the administration awarded Solyndra with the first-ever alternative energy loan guarantee on March 20, four separate visits were logged.

George Kaiser, who has in the past been labeled a major Solyndra investor as well as a Obama donor, made three visits to the White House on March 12, 2009, and one on March 13.

Web Link

Now that is a hands-on President!


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Posted by Capitalist Pauly
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Isn't that the capitalist way? Big money is SUPPOSED to have frequent and ready access to our leaders. What's your point Jimboy?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FBI
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Well to add to our taxpayer money being wasted the FBI is now at this company in Fremont and are in the process of hauling out boxes and boxes of records. What do you want to bet that our money has been wasted by more Obama fraud?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by interested
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

"...wasted by more Obama fraud"

And you have evidence to support this claim?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Screwed taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Now Kaiser is looking at a buyer who would take the 'company' out of the country ! ! Does that mean Kaiser would get the money. I certainly hope the boxes of files will tell us details of the switcharoo of political donation for 1/2 Bill $$ loan guarantee...that now puts taxpayers THIRD in line in the bankruptcy.
Now, if it's sold out of the country, will that money go to paying back the taxpayer debt that WE are owed. I guess there are at least 3 Obama emails, which I think we (taxpayers) are entitled to see.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm

For those interested in the details of the FBI's investigation into Solyndra, see

WSJ:
Web Link

and SF Chronicle:
Web Link

"Congressional Republicans have called for a probe of the Obama administration's clean-energy program, noting that a major Obama campaign donor runs a foundation that was the biggest private investor in Solyndra.

Several workers agreed with a criticism now being leveled in Washington: Solyndra should not have publicly asserted that the company was in good shape just weeks before the abrupt shuttering that left 1,100 people unemployed.

"It was a letter of deception that (Solyndra CEO) Brian Harrison wrote Congress in July saying that the company was in good financial standing," said Bob Hayes, who worked at Solyndra as a technician. "We went from 'everything is OK' to 'you no longer have a job' almost overnight."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2011 at 11:15 am

Solyndra for Dummies

Web Link


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Posted by Prescient
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

Gotta hand it to Jimbob, though. If there's a racist cartoon out there on the web, he'll find it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Sep 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

Nothing racist about the cartoon unless you think Obama is not black. It does appear to be completely illegal that he is one of Obama's supporters, Obama gives them our money, and then they go bankrupt only weeks after saying they were fine financially. Probably the most corrupt administration in US history.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jimbob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

And Obama is VERY black!

[Removed]


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Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

jimf01 is a registered user.

A few more days in the news cycle and this story will be referred to as Solyndragate or something equally inane.

Web Link

Scandal naming aside, this new information validates the point I raised in the original post, that the federal government is trying to pick winners and losers, knowing that D&B had already rated the investment as speculative to highly speculative, knowing that the business model had them building a product that they could sell for only half of what it cost to produce, and knowing that the company would run out of cash in 2 years, they went ahead with handing over $500 million in taxpayer money.
Adding to that the fact that the Kaiser family are major investors in the project and major fundraisers for Obama's campaign, makes the White House direct involvement in the decision to loan the money look highly suspect at the very least.


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