Bob Beauprez

With the Solyndra scandal already beyond the boiling point, the Department of Energy pushed through nearly $6 billion more in green energy loans in the final hours of the maligned program.  One of those was to another California based company, SunPower, who just three weeks earlier had publicly announced plans to build its 320,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Mexico. 

The Mexico plant will produce solar panels to be shipped back to California for a proposed "solar ranch" in San Luis Obispo County that will have a grand total of 15 permanent presumably American jobs.  That works out to $82.6 million per job created. 

Like Solyndra, SunPower is in a perilous financial condition.  SunPower's stock price has tumbled 94% from the once glory-days of 2007 when the company was worth $13 billion.  Based on July 2011 financial reports, the current market capitalization of the company is $800 million and it owes $820 million in debt.  You can find a further explanation of what that means in the dictionary under "insolvent."

In addition to financial woes, SunPower and its officers are defendants in a federal lawsuit in which the plaintiffs include the Austin (Texas) Police Retirement System, the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System and various other institutional investors.  The lawsuit alleges that SunPower deceived "the investing public by making false statements contrary to nonpublic information known to the insiders."  In addition, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against SunPower in California state courts alleging "gross mismanagement, breach of fiduciary responsibility, unjust enrichment and abuse of control," according to Human who broke the story earlier this week. 

Bob Beauprez

Bob Beauprez is a former Member of Congress and is currently the editor-in-chief of A Line of Sight, an online policy resource. Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Beauprez was a dairy farmer and community banker. He and his wife Claudia reside in Lafayette, Colorado. You may contact him at: