A solar power money pit

A solar power money pit

November 28th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The scandal over the bankrupt, federally funded solar panel manufacturer Solyndra keeps growing.

Taxpayers are on the hook for a half-billion-dollar loan to Solyndra, which went under in August.

But other revelations are just as troubling. As Solyndra was collapsing, its managers were getting bonuses of up to $60,000. And its $733 million facility had costly "touches" such as a conference room whose high-tech glass walls could be made smoky gray at the touch of a button, hiding those inside.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, a Solyndra manager likened the new facility to the Taj Mahal. And a Solyndra engineer told The Washington Post, "After we got the [federal] loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right."

Meanwhile, the company, backed strongly by the Obama administration, spent more than $1 million lobbying lawmakers in Washington while its solar panels went unsold.

Congress is looking into this boondoggle, but there appears to be little appetite in Washington for shutting off the subsidy spigot to impractical alternative energy.

That's unhappy news for taxpayers and for our massive federal debt.