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More Than Twenty House Democrats Voted To Pass The “No More Solyndras Act”

 Today, 22 Democrats Joined 223 Republicans In Support Of H.R. 6213, “No More Solyndras Act . (H.R. 6213, Roll Call Vote #584; Passed 245-161: R 223-4; D 22-157, 9/14/12)

“Democrats Broke Ranks And Voted For” The No More Solyndras Act, Which Would Curtail The Energy Department’s Loan Guarantee Program. “The House passed legislation Friday afternoon that would curtail a Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee program that backed a $535 million federal loan to Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar panel maker that Republicans have held up as proof that the Obama administration has funneled billions of dollars to undeserving green energy companies. Members approved the No More Solyndras Act, H.R. 6213, in a 245-161 vote. Passage sends the bill to a Senate that is expected to ignore it completely. While the two parties have had heated debate over the Solyndra failure for the last year, 22 Democrats broke ranks and voted for the bill, along with all but four Republicans.” (Pete Kasperowicz and Ben Geman, “House Passes ‘No More Solyndras Act,’” The Hill, 9/14/12)

Even Subcommittee Ranking Member For The House Energy And Commerce Committee Acknowledges Solyndra Is A Mess

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): “None Of Us Likes The Idea Of The Taxpayer Position Being Second” On Solyndra. REP. DIANA DEGETTE: “None of us likes the idea of the taxpayer position being second, to be honest, because in a situation like the Solyndra situation where the company goes bankrupt, then the private lenders have a superior position to the taxpayers, and we don’t like that.” (Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Joint Hearing On Discussion Drafts Of The ‘No More Solyndras Act’ And The ‘Smart Energy Act,’ House Committee On Energy And Commerce, 7/12/12)

SOLYNDRA’S SHORT STORY

In March 2009, Solyndra Was Offered The First Recovery Act Loan Guarantee, Receiving $535 Million Of Taxpayer Dollars. “Solyndra, Inc. announced today that it is the first company to receive an offer for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Solyndra, a Fremont, California-based manufacturer of innovative cylindrical photovoltaic systems, will use the proceeds of a $535 million loan from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity in California.” (Solyndra, “Solyndra Offered $535 Million Loan Guarantee By The U.S. Department Of Energy,” Press Release, 3/20/09)

“Solyndra Filed For Bankruptcy On Sept. 6, 2011.” (Jim Snyder and Brian Wingfield, “Solyndra Funds Mostly Lost to Taxpayers, Chu Tells Lawmakers,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/22/11)

A Total Of 1,861 Workers Were Laid Off By Solyndra As It Went Bankrupt. “Since September 1, 2010 (impact date), an estimated 1,861 workers have been separated from the firm. This total includes an estimated 649 temporary workers as well as leased workers from West Valley, Aerotek, Oxford Global, GES and Lighthouse Management. Most of these separations occurred at the time of the shut-down of the Fremont, CA facility on August 31, 2011. An additional 85 workers are threatened with separation as the company’s operations wind down.” (Employment And Training Administration, “Investigative Report TA-W-80,410; Solyndra LLC,” Department Of Labor, 9/12/11)

“Government Is Expected To Recover Little, If Any, Of Its Investment” On Solyndra Loan Guarantee “Obama administration officials say the decision to give Solyndra a loan guarantee was not political. They say cheap imports from China, the collapse of the European market for solar panels and other economic changes doomed the California firm. Last week, a federal bankruptcy judge cleared the way for creditors to begin voting on a proposed reorganization plan for Solyndra. The government is expected to recover little, if any, of its investment.” (Terence Chea, “Calif. Art Work Emerges From Solyndra’s Bankruptcy,” The Associated Press , 9/14/12)

TAXPAYERS GETTING THE SHAFT ON SOLYNDRA

The Obama Administration Argues That “It Needs To Retain The Ability To Subordinate Taxpayers.” “The Obama administration has argued that it needs to retain the ability to subordinate taxpayers as a last-ditch tool for rescuing highly distressed loan recipients. David Frantz, the acting head of the loan programs office at DOE, told a House hearing in July that removing this tool would hurt the program. ‘You would be hamstringing us and taking a very critical tool that could, in fact, save taxpayers’ money,’ Frantz said at the time.” (Pete Kasperowicz and Ben Geman, “House Passes ‘No More Solyndras Act,’” The Hill, 9/14/12)

“Solyndra’s Final Liquidation Plan Estimated That The Government Will Recover Just $24 Million Of The $527 Million That Taxpayers Lent To The Company” Because The Restructuring Loan From Obama Specifically “Put Private Investors Ahead Of Taxpayers.” “Even so, senior officials in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget did not discourage the Energy Department from proceeding with its plan to restructure a federal loan to Solyndra — a move that put private investors ahead of taxpayers for repayment if the company closed, the investigation by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee found. The restructuring went forward, but within months Solyndra failed anyway, leaving federal taxpayers on the hook for much of the half-billion-dollar federal loan. Now, a year after the company’s collapse, debate continues over whether the refinancing plan was legal or a wise investment. Last week, Solyndra’s final liquidation plan estimated that the government will recover just $24 million of the $527 million that taxpayers lent to the company.” (Joe Stephens and Carol Leonnig, “White House Analyst Warned Saving Solyndra Could Cost More Than Letting It Fail,” The Washington Post , 8/1/12)

  • Seagate Technology Will Pay $90.3 Million For Solyndra’s Building, Which Was Financed By Taxpayers. Seagate Technology Plc (STX.O), maker of hard drives and storage devices, has agreed to pay $90.3 million for the former manufacturing plant and headquarters building of bankrupt Solyndra LLC, which was financed by a controversial government loan, according to bankruptcy court documents.” (Ilaina Jonas, “Seagate Offers $90.3 Million For Solyndra Property: Court Filing,” Reuters, 8/24/12)
  • SOL GROTTO, Newly Opened Installation With 1,368 Distinctive Glass Rods From Now-Bankrupt Solyndra, Billed As “Most Expensive Art Project Ever Built.” “The work of experimental architecture is called the SOL Grotto — and Republicans are making fun of it as a symbol of a $528 million federal boondoggle, calling it the most expensive art project ever built. The newly opened installation owes its 1,368 distinctive glass rods, and its name, to Solyndra—the failed solar company that received a hefty sum in federal loans before going bankrupt and becoming a favorite target for critics of President Barack Obama’s energy policy. When the Fremont-based solar company went under, it left behind millions of 39-inch glass tubes custom-made for its signature solar panels. Husband and wife design partners Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello got the rods from a storage company that ended up stuck with thousands of pallets of them and created the installation in the Botanical Garden at the University of California, Berkeley.” (Terence Chea, “Calif. Art Work Emerges From Solyndra’s Bankruptcy,” The Associated Press, 9/14/12)