Can we call it “Solargate” yet?
We already knew that Solyndra investor George Kaiser personally gave more than $50,000 to the Obama Presidential campaign in 2008. And that Solyndra executives visited the White House 20 times since Obama took office.
Now ABC News has evidence that the White House knew what everyone else did: that Solyndra’s products were ummarketable from day one.
Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department‘s deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
The company’s solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president’s green energy plan — billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News showthe Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. “This deal is NOT ready for prime time,” one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.
“If you guys think this is a bad idea, I need to unwind the W[est] W[ing] QUICKLY,” wrote Ronald A. Klain, who was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, in another email sent March 7, 2009. The “West Wing” is the portion of the White House complex that holds the offices of the president and his top staffers. Klain declined comment to ABC News.
Worse still, Solargate hasn’t slowed the Department of Energy’s efforts to redistribute taxpayer funds to other “green” companies (which just happen to be backed by Obama’s top contributors).
On September 7, the DOE announced its plan to guarantee 80 percent — or $275 million — of a $344 million private loan taken out by the firm SolarCity. The company installs rooftop solar systems that harvests electricity SolarCity then sells… The guarantee means that if SolarCity’s project [fails, taxpayers must] pay back 80 percent of the company’s private loans…
…The Chairman of SolarCity, Elon Musk, is a major financial supporter of the president. On April 15 of this year, Musk donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund. He also gave an additional $5,000 to the Obama campaign… Like Solyndra officials White House visitor logs show Musk has visited the Administration at least four times since 2009.
The second company is Solexel. On September 2, the solar energy company announced a $13 million award from the DOE as part of a program to make solar energy systems more affordable for homeowners… Solexel is financially backed by venture capitalist Steve Westly. In 2008, Westly bundled for Obama’s presidential campaign, bringing in more than $500,000. Westly also served as a California co-chair and was a member of the National Finance Committee for the Obama for American campaign.
He’s at it again for the president’s 2012 re-election campaign. So far, Westly has bundled between $100,000 and $200,000… [and] Westly’s companies have received millions in stimulus dollars from the Obama administration. The Westly Group’s portfolio includes Tesla Motors, which received a $465 million loan in 2009; Amyris Biotechnologies, which got more than $24 million; and Logos Technologies, which received $20 million in DOE loans.
This is an immense scandal. The Obama administration appears to have laundered billions of taxpayer dollars through green companies using its political backers as front-men.
As Mark Levin said last night, “We need a special prosecutor.”
Related: Solyndra employee: from day one, everyone knew that our solar panels were uncompetitive… including President Obama.
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