President Obama faces political catastrophe in the form of Solyndra -- a San Francisco Bay area solar company that he touted as a gleaming example of green technology. It has announced it will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More than 1,100 people will lose their jobs. (Original article here.)
During a visit to the Fremont facility in spring of 2010, the President said the factory "is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. "
It's not his statements the administration will regret; it's the loan guarantees. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup. The administration didn't do its due diligence, says the Government Accountability Office. "There's a consequence if you don't follow a rigorous process that's transparent," Franklin Rusco of GAO told the website iWatch News.
The President touted the federally back money as a way to create jobs. The President's opponents immediately jumped on the deal as Solyndra made its first layoffs.
Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida warned, "I am concerned that the DOE is providing loans and loan guarantees to firms that aren't capable of competing in the global market, even with government subsidies."
Another critic, Fred Upton of Michigan: "The unfortunate reality is that loan guarantee highlights many of the systemic flaws associated with the stimulus in the mad dash to spend hundreds of billions of dollars."