More than $6.5 billion in taxpayer dollars have been wasted on Solyndra and 11 other green energy failures

Saturday, January 21, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Solyndra, green energy, failures

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(NaturalNews) Just a few months ago, FBI agents raided the headquarters of now-bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra, which received more than half-a-billion dollars in federal stimulus funds as part of the federal government's green energy stimulus initiative. But according to a new investigation by CBS News, the Solyndra scandal is just the tip of the iceberg, as at least 11 other green energy companies have either already failed, or are on the verge of failing, taking with them more than $6.5 billion in taxpayer money.

The federal government has basically been on an unbridled spending spree for the past several years, pumping billions of taxpayer dollars into risky green energy start-ups that were huge financial risks, and that in some cases were obvious bad investments. And now that these companies are failing, everyone is asking whether or not those involved will be held responsible, and whether or not taxpayers will get their money back.

Sharyl Attkisson from CBS News writes that, besides Solyndra, four other green energy companies that received taxpayer stimulus funds have filed for bankruptcy in recent days, and many others are on the brink. These include Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, and Eastern Energy, a subsidiary of AES.

According to Attkisson's analysis, Beacon Power, for instance, was already known to have had a dismally low bond rating before the government decided to hand over $43 million in taxpayer money. Standard & Poor (S&P) had allegedly given the company a confidential rating of "CCC-plus," which is the equivalent of a "junk" bond.

Another company, Nevada Geothermal, had indicated potential defaults in US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings long before the Energy Department decided to give the company nearly $100 million in taxpayer money -- so why was it chosen to receive this cash infusion?

And First Solar, a company that BusinessWeek says was the "worst performer" on the S&P 500 Index in 2011, was awarded a whopping $3 billion in taxpayer money. A producer of thin-film solar panels, First Solar dropped 73 percent on the S&P index throughout the year, and also had to let its CEO go -- but the company reportedly spent millions lobbying the Obama administration prior to receiving its exorbitant grants.

All this mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, of course, can be traced directly back to the Obama administration's Energy Department, which not only carelessly invested the people's money without properly assessing the viability of the companies involved, but is also now neglecting to take responsibility for these behemoth failures that have ransacked the public purse.

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