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Waste Abounds In Democrats’ Failed Stimulus
NRCC | October 9, 2012

Waste Abounds In Democrats’ Failed Stimulus

Internal Documents Show $68 Million Taxpayer Dollars Went to Build Solar Panels That Only Work “As Long As You Didn’t Put Them In The Sun”

  • While middle class families struggle to find work, new documents show that the Democrats’ failed stimulus wasted $68 million taxpayer dollars for Abound Solar to make solar panels that ludicrously only worked “as long as you didn’t put them in the sun.”
  • Sadly, this isn’t the Democrats’ only failure. Democrats have spent billions of taxpayer dollars funding failed, high-risk companies that have gone bankrupt one after the other.
  • The Democrats’ careless disregard for the American taxpayer is simply unsustainable. President Obama and his allies in Congress have recklessly gambled away taxpayer dollars, run trillion dollar deficits and exploded the debt at a rate unprecedented in U.S. history.

While middle class families struggle to find work, new documents show that the Democrats’ failed stimulus wasted $68 million taxpayer dollars for Abound Solar to make solar panels that ludicrously only worked “as long as you didn’t put them in the sun.”

ABOUND SOLAR FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY AFTER GETTING STIMULUS FUNDS: “A solar manufacturing company that received nearly $70 million from the Obama administration is shutting down and filing for bankruptcy protection, the Energy Department said Thursday. ‘Abound Solar won approval in 2010 for a $400 million loan guarantee to aid construction of solar manufacturing facilities in Longmont, Colo., and Tipton, Ind. But amid growing problems for domestic solar panel manufacturers, the company began missing milestones laid out by the department in its loan guarantee agreement.’” (Andrew Restuccia, “Another Solyndra? DOE: Loan Recipient Closing,” Politico, 7/3/2012)

INTERNAL DOCUMENTS SHOW ABOUND SOLD “FAULTY, UNDERPERFORMING PRODUCT, AND MAY HAVE MISLEAD LENDERS”: “Internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound show that the company was selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.” (Michael Bastasch, Sources, Documents Suggest Government Subsidized Abound Solar Was Selling Faulty Product,” The Daily Caller, 10/2/2012)

ONE OF THOSE LENDERS–AMERCAN TAXPAYERS–LENT COMPANY $68 MILLION TAX DOLLARS: “Abound made solar panels which it sold across the country, Europe and India.The Department of Energy approved nearly $370 million in federal stimulus money for Abound. The company received $68 million before payments were stopped in 2011.” (Marshall Zelinger, “Abound Solar Under Investigation by Weld County District Attorney; Received $68 Million Stimulus,” ABC 7 News: Denver, 10/6/2012)

ABOUND SOLAR EMPLOYEE: “OUR SOLAR MODULES WORKED AS LONG AS YOU DIDN’T PUT THEM IN THE SUN:” (Michael Bastasch, Sources, Documents Suggest Government Subsidized Abound Solar Was Selling Faulty Product,” The Daily Caller, 10/2/2012)

COMPANY HAD TO REPLACE THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED PANELS FOR “LOW PERFORMANCE, UNDER PERFORMANCE, AND CATASTROPHIC FAILURES”: “7NEWS obtained internal documents from 2012 that show orders for tens of thousands of replacement solar panels. The orders cite different reasons for the replacements including, “low performance,” “under performance” and “catastrophic failures.” (Marshall Zelinger, “Abound Solar Under Investigation by Weld County District Attorney; Received $68 Million Stimulus,” ABC 7 News: Denver, 10/6/2012)

VIDEO FROM ABOUND EMPLOYEES: ABOUND-MANUFACTURED SOLAR PANELS IGNITING, CATCHING ON FIRE: (Michael Bastasch, Sources, Documents Suggest Government Subsidized Abound Solar Was Selling Faulty Product,” The Daily Caller, 10/2/2012)

PANELS FRADULENTLY “JUICED” WITH COPPER TO MAKE PANELS SEEM LIKE THEY PERFORMED BETTER: “Once panels were put in the field, they began to seriously underperform because the panels were ‘juiced’ with copper. Copper makes the ‘panels test better at the end of the production line, but perform worse in the fields’ … ‘the more copper you put in it, the better it performed in the factory and the worse it performed out in the field,’ another source added.” (Michael Bastasch, Sources, Documents Suggest Government Subsidized Abound Solar Was Selling Faulty Product,” The Daily Caller, 10/2/2012)

MORE ABOUND EMPLOYEE CONFESSIONALS: “WE STLL DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A GOOD [SOLAR] MODULE:” (Michael Bastasch, Sources, Documents Suggest Government Subsidized Abound Solar Was Selling Faulty Product,” The Daily Caller, 10/2/2012)

Sadly, this isn’t the Democrats’ only failure. Democrats have spent billions of taxpayer dollars funding failed, high-risk companies that have gone bankrupt one after the other.

BEACON POWER GOES BANKRUPT AFTER $43 MILLION OBAMA STIMULUS LOAN: (Tom Hals and Roberta Rampton, “Beacon Power Bankrupt; had U.S. backing like Solyndra,” Reuters, 10/31/2011)

BRIGHTSOURCE ENERGY GOT $1.6 BILLION LOAN GUARANTEE, NOW FACING FINANCIAL STRUGGLES AFTER CANCELLING ITS IPO: (Dana Hull, “BrightSource Shelves IPO, Walks Away from Public Markets,” The San Jose Mercury News, 4/18/2012)

Amonix Inc. CloseS AFTER RECEIVING $20 MILLION FROM TAXPAYERS: “The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened.”(Hubble Smith, “Amonix Closes North Las Vegas Solar Plant After 14 Months, Heavy Federal Subsidies,” Las Vegas Review-Journal , 7/18/12)

ENER 1 FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY AFTER RECEIVING MORE THAN $118 MILLION FROM STIMULUS: “The parent company of an electric car battery maker that received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company announced Thursday… EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1 dedicated to making batteries for electric cars, was awarded a $118 million grant from the Energy Department in 2009 as part of President Obama’s economic stimulus package and green energy push.” (Lee Ferran and Matthew Mosk, “Ener1, Parent of Obama-Backed Green Company, Files for Bankruptcy,” ABC News, 1/27/2012)

SPECTRA WATT FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY AFTER RECEIVING $500,000 TAXPAYER DOLLARS FROM STIMULUS: “In June 2009, SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the stimulus package. SpectraWatt was one of 13 companies to receive the money to help develop ways to improve solar cells without changing current manufacturing processes. The company filed for bankruptcy…” (“Solyndra Not Sole Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding,” Fox News, 9/15/2011)

EVERGREEN SOLAR DECLARES BANKRUPTCY AFTER GETTING $5.3 MILLION FROM STIMULUS: “Evergreen Solar Inc., reportedly received $5.3 million of stimulus cash through a state grant to install 11,000 photovoltaic panels installed at 11 colleges and universities, a recycling facility and an education center in Massachusetts. The company, once a rock star in the solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection last month, saying it couldn’t compete with Chinese rivals without reorganizing. The company intends to focus on building up its manufacturing facility in China. (“Solyndra Not Sole Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding,” Fox News, 9/15/2011)

$535 MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS LOST ON NOW-BANKRUPT SOLYNDRA: (Jim Snyder and Brian Wingfield, “Solyndra $535 Million Loan Guarantee Mostly Lost to Taxpayers, Chu Tells Lawmakers,” Bloomberg, 11/17/2011)

The Democrats’ careless disregard for the American taxpayer is simply unsustainable. President Obama and his allies in Congress have recklessly gambled away taxpayer dollars, run trillion dollar deficits and exploded the debt at a rate unprecedented in U.S. history.

OBAMA RECORD “THE MOST RAPID INCREASE IN THE DEBT UNDER ANY U.S. PRESIDENT”: (Mark Knoller, “National debt has increased $4 trillion under Obama,” CBS News, 8/22/2011)

$5.53 TRILLION INCREASE IN NATIONAL DEBT SINCE OBAMA TOOK OFFICE: (“The Daily History of the Debt Results,” Bureau of the Public Debt, Accessed 10/5/2012)

POLITIFACT SAID LAST YEAR THAT OBAMA WAS THE “UNDISPUTED DEBT KING OF THE LAST FIVE PRESIDENTS”: “Obama is the undisputed debt king of the last five presidents, rather than the guy who added a piddling mount to the debt.” (Louis Jacobson, “Nancy Pelosi Posts Questionable Chart on Debt Accumulation by Barack Obama, Predecessors,” Politifact, 5/19/2011)

NATIONAL DEBT CURRENTLY STANDS AT $16.15 TRILLION; SIZE OF NATION’S ECONOMY AT $15.59 TRILLION: (“The Daily History of the Debt Results,” Bureau of the Public Debt, Accessed 10/5/2012; Bureau of Economic Analysis, Accessed 9/18/2012) 

THREE YEARS AND TWO MONTHS OF OBAMA WAS MORE DEBT THAN EIGHT YEARS OF PREDECESSOR: “The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency. The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased More Under Obama than Under Bush,” CBS News, 3/19/2012)

STUDY: ANNUAL COST OF OBAMA’S DEBT AMOUNTS TO $4,000 A YEAR IN HIGHER TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS: “In a new paper, AEI’s Aspen Gorry and Matt Jensen look at the real annual cost of servicing the debt for households at various levels of income — including a potentially higher tax burden. As the table below illustrates, a household making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year could find its tax liability higher by roughly $2,400 every year. Over ten years, that works out to $24,000. And when you add in the debt already accrued the past four years under President Obama (the second table), that’s another $1,600 a year. So now we are now talking about $4,000 a year, $40,000 over ten years.” (James Pethokoukis, “Study: Obama’s Big Budget Deficits Could Mean A $4,000 A Year Middle-Class Tax Hike,” American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)

PRICE TAG FOR FAILED STIMULUS: $833 BILLION: (Congressional Budget Office, 8/23/2012)

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