I have a confession to make. Like tens of millions of other Americans, I believe in green energy. I know that most people don’t believe conservatives think this way, but plenty of us do. I believe in a future with clean, renewable and sustainable energy powering our world, and I believe we need to work towards that immediately and urgently. I also believe we should drill for oil domestically, build natural gas pipelines, mine for coal, and use hydropower. (Who can believe that in my state, water is not considered a renewable resource?!) But while using our existing energy sources, we must move towards developing green energy. Americans should have energy choices that are economical and environmentally sustainable.
So I was a bit excited when I heard about Solyndra’s new technology for harvesting the sun’s energy. My eyebrows raised when the government dollars poured from the White House; still I had a little bit of hope. But as more and more details are revealed about the back room deals with the solar energy company Solyndra and other green energy projects, it becomes clear that the government’s green energy initiatives are less about a future with sustainable energy and more about spreading money around to cronies, donors and political friends. It is ironic that President Obama, on the forefront of promoting alternative energy, looks to be responsible for single handedly blackening the reputation of green energy and putting the alternative energy industry back decades. Let’s be clear. This was a scam and the victims are tax payers and green energy.
When President Obama received billions in his stimulus bill for the Department of Energy to invest in green energy, he painted a bright future for alternative energy in America. Hailing the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, Obama said it would create green jobs; but instead, the company moved manufacturing to China. He touted their advanced design, but it was far less cost efficient than the others on the market. He marveled at the new, high-tech plant they built, but Solyndra couldn’t even sell the units they were already producing. Obama invested a half billion dollars of public money into our green energy future, and now that investment is worth…nothing.
The taxpayers lost out, but who gained? Obama’s supporters who invested in Solyndra did, when they got the DOE to break its own rules and let them go ahead of the government to recoup their investment first. Obama’s supporters who ran Solyndra did, collecting 6-figure paychecks, bonuses and golden parachutes before the company folded. Obama’s supporters who handled the loans and legal work did as well. And of course Obama himself did, when he got an impressive backdrop for photo op, for only $535 million.
In the end, that appears to be what the billions spent on Obama’s green initiative goes to: wind and solar powered Potemkin villages, to provide a PR background for Obama’s next re-election campaign appearance.
Nansen Malin lives on the rural SW Washington State Coast, where windmills were a common site 100 yrs ago in her historical village of Seaview.
[photo credit: zackgrahamEE]
I have no doubt that we will eventually transition to “green” energy sources but when it happens (if the transition is to be successful) it will be because the marketplace drives us there.
Pouring public money into the market in an attempt to influence it unnaturally is more than an eyebrow-raiser. A centrally planned economy is always a loser.