Recently revealed emails show the extent of the abject corruption and reckless waste surrounding Obama's Solyndra project. The Heritage Foundation has compiled a list of the 10 most revealing emails referred to in the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative report, many of which I wrote about in my book "The Great Destroyer." A number of these will make your blood boil.
We know that taxpayers lost more than $600 million in the debacle, but how many knew that the administration never even intended the business to be wholly self-supporting? Obama's "you didn't build that" slander could certainly be applied to this government-created and -dependent monstrosity.
Indeed, Mitt Romney should grill Obama on these emails and his energy policies in the presidential debates. Maybe he should start with Obama's protest that his "you didn't build that" statement was taken out of context. Who needs to quibble over context when Obama has made so many other similar statements and when his administration has lived that philosophy?
A statement in one of the released emails -- from Aditya Kumar, a senior adviser to the vice president, to White House communications staffer Dan Pfeiffer -- underscored the point: "When government plays a part, it can bring the private sector along."
Similarly, in October 2009, Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet wrote in an email, "The Bank of Washington continues to help us!" On Aug. 10, 2010, Tom Baruch of CMEA Capital, an investor in Solyndra, wrote, "Getting business from Uncle Sam is a principal element of Solyndra's channel strategy."
The White House pressured the Department of Energy to move forward on the Solyndra loan guarantee. As disclosed in an Aug. 28, 2009, email, DOE official Steve Spinner, in charge of the agency's Solyndra activities, said, "The (office of the vice president) and (White House)" were "breathing down my neck" on the loan guarantee. As detailed in my book, this urgency was all a result of the White House's prescheduled presidential photo op with Solyndra. The White House Office of Management and Budget later admitted that it had hurried its analysis because of the White House pressure. The sheer corruption in these developments by itself would be enough to trigger an impeachment inquiry if it had occurred under a Republican administration.
In addition, the Office of Management and Budget warned that the Energy Department's restructuring of the Solyndra loan to subordinate taxpayer loans to those of private investors would result in enormously greater taxpayer losses, calling it a "bad idea." But it proceeded anyway, resulting in $168 million worth of additional losses to taxpayers. What's more is that the White House's hands were all over this one; there are no six degrees of separation here, not even one degree. White House chief of staff Bill Daley was explicitly made aware of Solyndra's grave financial problems before the restructuring decision.
At least a dozen more Solyndra-like Obama brainchildren have gone bankrupt, swallowing taxpayer dollars in their gluttonous paths to failure. In his encounters with Obama, Romney should slowly pronounce these names: Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Ener1, Energy Conversion Devices, Evergreen Solar Inc., Mountain Plaza Inc., Olsen's Crop Service and Olsen's Mills Acquisition Co., Range Fuels, Raser Technologies, SpectraWatt and Thompson River Power LLC. Romney should demand that Obama explain how cavalierly shuffling money from the private sector to these fantasy projects could have produced any net jobs in the first place. He should further demand that he be made to answer for the millions upon millions of taxpayer losses caused by their inevitable failures.
But do you think Obama is the least bit repentant about his waste of taxpayer money? Is he deterred from his maniacal insistence on pursuing other such projects?
In a word, "no." Just last month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar -- the arrogant administration official who defied a federal court order lifting the administration's scandalous ban on deep-water drilling in the Gulf, by rewriting a new ban that would devastate the Gulf economy and cost thousands of jobs -- weighed in on Solyndra-gate, dismissing it as casually as he did the federal judge's order. He referred to these government-created financial disasters as "just minor (and expected) blips for the industry."
Without a hint of administration contrition, he said, "Anytime you're dealing with an emerging future on energy, you're always going to have successes and you're going to have setbacks." And get this: He added, "And President Obama and I remain very confident that we're moving in the right direction."
Please, Mr. Romney, press Obama to elaborate on how incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in forced taxpayer losses in pursuit of green energy windmills is "moving in the right direction." Please, make our day.
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