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Green energy failures under President Barack Obama’s Department of Energy are nothing new. However, it is becoming apparent that the cronyism behind these loans could lead all the way to the White House.
The most infamous of green energy failures was, of course, Solyndra. It was discovered that George Kaiser, the man who secured $535 million in government loan guarantees for Solyndra also gave money to Obama and causes close to administration officials. As you may know, Michelle Obama used to work at the University of Chicago Medical Center, as did several of Obama’s advisors. Kaiser donated to the First Lady’s pet project at that organization, the Urban Health Initiative.
Next, let’s take a look at BrightSource Energy, a power-tower solar thermal system company in Nevada. Not only did Harry Reid receive campaign donations from BrighSource executives, the CEO John Woolard also held a fundraiser for him in 2010. Woolard also donated to the Obama Campaign and has visited the White House numerous times since Obama took office. Other Obama donors include Sanjay Wagle, an executive with one of BrightSource’s major stakeholders. Wagle was also an advisor at the DOE at the time the loan was approved, which should have raised eyebrows. BrightSource Chairman John Bryson became Obama’s Secretary of Commerce. It certainly causes one to suspect cronyism in their $737 million loan.
Obama’s latest green failure was Abound Solar, and it turns out that he is also intimately connected to that company. President Obama went on television after news broke of Abound Solar’s bankruptcy to say that politics had nothing to do with their loan guarantee. However, new e-mails have come to light which seem to prove that this is not the case.
Energy Department loan executive Jonathan Silver states in one e-mail to credit adviser Jim McCrea that “You better (let) him know the (White House) wants to move Abound forward,” and references the “transaction pressure under which we are all now operating.” Furthermore, he stated that there was some discomfort as to Abound’s risk and their readiness to enter the marketplace.