Donald Lambro
WASHINGTON - Have you seen the latest development in President Obama's waste-ridden, clean energy program that's now under federal investigation at the U.S. Treasury Department?

Three of the country's biggest residential solar panel installers -- SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity -- have been subpoenaed by Treasury's Office of Inspector General for their financial records to determine if they had inflated the market value of their costs when they applied for federal reimbursement.

The firms have reportedly received more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits. Officials in two of them, Solar-City and SunRun, have been among some of Obama's most generous campaign donors.

The money these companies tapped into flowed from a $13 billion investment fund in Treasury that came from the president's economic stimulus program which has poured huge sums of money into clean energy programs across the country.

Obama has sunk billions of tax dollars into a scandal-ridden swamp of other energy deals that were crafted and promoted by administration business cronies who also were among his biggest fundraisers.

After an exhaustive analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails about Obama's green-technology spending program, the Washington Post concluded that it was "infused with politics" at every level of the decision-making process. Political considerations dominated the White House's deal-making and all too often overruled warnings that billions of tax dollars would be lost on shaky energy projects that should never have been approved.

Take, for example, Sanjay Wagle, a venture capitalist and one of Obama's fundraisers in 2008. He left his firm in California to work in Obama's Energy Department on a $40 billion spending program to stimulate the economy by investing in clean technology companies.

It's questionable just how much "stimulus" much of this money provided to the economy when unemployment is still close to 8 percent, and a number of these firms went bankrupt and eventually laid off thousands of workers.

Nevertheless, over the next three years the Energy Department officials Wagle was advising plowed $2.4 billion into clean energy corporations that Wagle's former company, Vantage Point Venture Partners, had invested in.

"Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers," the newspaper reported at the time.

Those insider connections helped grease the wheels for dubious clean energy investments that went belly up, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill on loans guaranteed by the government.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.