Solyndra Bankruptcy: Why Solyndra Blood Smells So Green

Reuters reported yesterday that the bankrupt Fremont, Calif.-based solar firm Solyndra has been cleared for bankruptcy auction on October 27th – with a Delaware bankruptcy judge directing the firm to attend a major solar trade show in Dallas in October to solicit a buyer. And  yesterday in California, the state treasurer announced “a pause” in the state’s clean-energy funding that provides tax breaks for green manufacturers, of which Solyndra was one, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Solyndra, which borrowed $535 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, and in total raised more than $1.6 billion in public and private funding – since the start of September has manifest just one in a series of headlines forecasting President Barack Obama’s demise at the hands of Republicans. And what is spiralling into collateral damage are tax incentives for green manufacturing overall.

Forbes’ environment editor Todd Woody puts the matter in a macro way in his September analysis: Can U.S. companies developing advanced solar technology compete against low-cost Chinese manufacturers who benefit from state support and a government policy to create markets at home and abroad for their products?

Solyndra filed for bankruptcy on September 6, just several weeks after assuring the feds that everything was rosy. As recently as February 2010, the San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday, an MIT tech magazine named Solyndra one of the “World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.”

Obama paid a visit to Solyndra Silicon Valley headquarters in May 2010. But by November last year plans to build a new factory had been shuttled and 1000 new employee hires, associated with that factory-building, did not occur. Now questions of influence and cronyism are finding the usual suspects lining up at microphones to denounce Obama. Solyndra’s September bankruptcy filing followed a $75 venture loan package in February this year. Obama fundraisers George Kaiser and Argonaut Ventures of Oklahoma, were among Solyndra supporters- and a House panel is currently investigating the DOE loan to the company. House democrats have countered that venture backing also came from Madrone partners, associated with the Waltons of Wal-Mart.


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