Solyndra Scandal Continues to Grow: White House Favors, Stimulus Bailout, Low-Interest Loans, Bankruptcy
|September 7, 2011||Posted by Beth Shaw under Energy, Issues|
The Solyndra scandal continues to grow with revelations of White House favors using tax-payer funded loans and bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration continues to stonewall answering any questions about how and why the solar-energy company, who had made significant contributions to the Obama campaign, was given special favors for loans when they had been rated sub-par for loan requests by the Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank prior to Obama becoming President.
Solyndra was given over half a billion in loans at far less than its competitors. George Kaiser, a major investor in Solyndra, Obama’s poster-child for green jobs, and frequent visitor to the White House is to get his investment back before tax-payers are reimbursed for the half a billion dollar loss in the Solyndra collapse. In addition, 1,000 more people are out of work due to the company’s collapse.
From ABC News:
The $535 million loan to Solyndra Inc., issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank, included a quarterly interest rate of 1.025 percent, the government bank reported in July. Of 18 Energy Department loans cited in the bank’s report, Solyndra’s rate was lowest. Eight other Energy Department projects, each also backed by the Federal Financing Bank, came with rates three or four times higher, the report shows.
That treatment is in keeping with the history of the loan to the California solar panel maker, an arrangement inked in September 2009 with great fanfare — and touted, not long after, during a factory visit from the president. Monthly government bank reports filed since then reveal Solyndra’s rate as the lowest for any energy-related project in nearly every report; in every case its rate was well below that of most energy projects, which ranged from cutting-edge electric car makers to wind and solar ventures. …
Solyndra’s most prolific financial backer is George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who was a bundler of campaign donations for Obama’s 2008 race. Kaiser’s Argonaut Ventures and its affiliates have been the single largest shareholder of Solyndra, according to SEC filings and other records. The company holds 39 percent of Solyndra’s parent company, bankruptcy records filed Tuesday show.
Under terms of the bankruptcy filing, investors including Argonaut — which led a $75 million round of financing for Solyndra earlier this year — will stand in line before the federal government and other creditors.
When Solyndra announced that round of fundraising this February, it noted that the DOE had refinanced terms of the $535 million loan to extend the payment period. Under an “inter-creditor agreement” cited in the bankruptcy filing, the investors in the $75 million financing are considered first lien holders. That leaves Obama officials to confront the prospect of waiting behind private companies.
It seems it time for the Obama administration to start answering some questions about the Solyndra scandal.
UPDATE: The FBI is now investigating Solyndra.