Another Solyndra: “Green Jobs” Stimulus Project Costing $80 Million Per Job

It gets worse and worse:

With the Solyndra scandal still swirling, the Obama administration is under pressure to reveal the financial condition of the solar companies that received $4.75 billion in similar federal loan guarantees on the last day of the program.

Republican lawmakers on two House committees are seeking details about the loans given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and ProLogis. Of those three companies, troubling financial revelations have emerged about SunPower, which received a $1.2 billion loan, more than twice the money approved for Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last month after receiving a $528 million loan.

The Energy Department says on its website that the $1.2 billion loan to help build the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, a project that will help create 15 permanent jobs, which adds up to the equivalent of $80 million in taxpayer money for each job. …

In April, the Energy Department gave SunPower a conditional loan guarantee, even though the company was receiving financing in the capital markets. Shortly after the conditional guarantee, French energy giant Total bought a majority ownership in SunPower and extended a $1 billion credit line to the company.

But SunPower posted $150 million in losses during the first half of this year and its debt is nearly 80 percent higher than the market value of all its outstanding shares. The company is also facing class action lawsuits for misstating its earnings.

This is why government shouldn’t “invest” in the private sector. Private sector investors put their money into companies based on their calculations of how likely that company is to succeed. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong, but if they invest wrong it’s only their own money voluntarily invested that they lose.

When the government invests its usually based less on a company’s viability but rather how politically popular that company is, like being a “green” company. And if the investment is lost, we all lose because it’s our tax dollars.

But hey, what do the politicians care? It’s only other people’s money.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • A Citizen

    This is about paybacks and obama killing the economy and the country. It’s the only things he’s done where he’s able to claim success

  • SigFan

    Things that make you go hmmm?  When you view all the bungles of this poseur and his gang of thugs you have to reach one of two conclusions.  He is either the most incompetent boob ever to be in the WH, or he is deliberately attempting to bring the economy down so that he can remake it in his utopian view.  My bet is on the latter.

  • A Citizen

    I think it’s deliberate, but I don’t think he wants to remake anything. He hates this country and everything it stands for. He’s a country killer.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    How can I get one of those $80 million jobs?

    • A Citizen

      You have to be deeply indebted to obama, or just a pawn in his scheme of killing the country.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Ironic how the dummycrats and liberals bark when someone suggests that social security funds should be invested in the stock market yet they have no problem stealing funds directly from our taxes and gaming it on bad speculative enviromental business

    • JustRuss

      That’s what they think the stock market does because they insist on managing their own portfolio instead of hiring someone who knows what they are doing. So they lose in stocks, and they lose in politically motivated loans, and they expect that the SS fund..if it werent empty…would also go belly up.

      Thats what you get when you invest your money in companies with a social motivation instead of a sound business plan.

  • robert108

    Solar power, in this form, is a fairytale, and the money we sink into it is wasted.

  • mikemc1970

    While it doesn’t seem to be helping the solar power industry much, the singing robot and custom shower industries are going gangbusters.

  • tony_o2

    With the Solyndra scandal still swirling, the Obama administration is under pressure to reveal the financial condition of the solar companies that received $4.75 billion in similar federal loan guarantees on the last day of the program.

      There shouldn’t be any pressuring needed.  Since this money belongs(belonged) to us, we have every right to know the financial conditions of the companies that we were involuntarily invested in.

    Since it was sums of billions of dollars ($4.75B on the last day, plus however much during the span of this program) the paperwork should be current and ready for review.  You don’t make billions of dollars in loans without having some sort of system to keep tabs.