published Saturday, September 17th, 2011

‘Green energy’ and politics

It was painful to learn recently that a California solar panel manufacturer was filing for bankruptcy, costing more than 1,000 workers their jobs.

And it was troubling that the now-bankrupt company, Solyndra Inc., had received a federal loan of half a billion dollars — for which U.S. taxpayers now are on the hook.

But it is absolutely appalling to learn that the Obama administration pressured the federal Office of Management and Budget to hurry its review of the proposed loan — for brazen political purposes!

The Washington Post reported that the White House repeatedly sent email demanding to know when the OMB would complete its financial review of the proposed loan to the solar power company.

The White House kept pointing out to the agency that there was an upcoming groundbreaking for the company, during which government officials wanted to announce the approval of the loan to Solyndra.

Officials at OMB said they felt pressured to rush their approval of the project even though they had not fully evaluated the risk to taxpayers.

As the bankruptcy of the company that got the loan clearly shows, that risk was great — and taxpayers are going to pay the price.

Government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing solar or other energy projects. And it certainly should not be irresponsibly rushing that process for partisan political reasons.

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