How Solyndra spent its money—the taxpayer’s money

Was Solyndra a bad mistake, a freak, or, as I suspect, is it typical of what happens with any enterprise subsidized by the government? This from the Washington Post:

Former employees of Solyndra, the shuttered solar company that exhausted half a billion dollars of taxpayer money, said they saw questionable spending by management almost as soon as a federal agency approved a $535 million government-backed loan for the start-up.

A new factory built with public money boasted a gleaming conference room with glass walls that, with the flip of a switch, turned a smoky gray to conceal the room’s occupants. Hastily purchased state-of-the-art equipment ended up being sold for pennies on the dollar, still in its plastic wrap, employees said.

The collapse of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra raises new questions about President Obama’s push for alternative energy [LA asks: raises questions, or provides answers?]—and whether White House pressure played a role in a loan guarantee that has taxpayers on the hook for millions.

As the $344 million factory went up just down the road from the company’s leased plant in Fremont, Calif., workers watched as pallets of unsold solar panels stacked up in storage. Many wondered: Was the factory needed?

“After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right,” said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. “Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy.” [cont.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 22, 2011 08:24 AM | Send

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