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Soylndra Energy Probe Points To Energy Secretary

Energy Secretary Chu
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Of all the officials in the Obama Administration, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has managed to avoid scandal, and the political spotlight altogether (compare how many people know who he is as opposed to Janet Nepolitano).  But now, his leadership and even ethics are being called into question.

GOP Legislators and even some Democrats are pelting the Department of Energy with accusations of how the DOE missed serious red flags over the green energy company Solyndra, and failed to carefully assess the firm before giving it a 500 million dollar plus loan.  The firm recently went bankrupt, laying off over 1,100 workers.  Chu is a former scientist and award winning researcher who is not considered a political brawler.  The investigation into Solyndra is over whether the Obama Administration hastily approved hundreds of millions in loans to Solyndra and other supposed green companies to further Obama’s political agenda, rather than look hard at them to see if such technologies are even feasible.  Solyndra is not the only green company that has fallen on hard times.   Despite the Obama Administration touting green energy, and pouring millions into such companies via the Stimulus and other bills,  the return on investment has not come.   Soyndra is not the only significant green energy company to go under in the last two years.  Four other firms have either shut their doors, or have been dismantled and spun off to other companies as mere shells of their original structure.  Proponents of green energy, especially solar panels, blame cheap competition from China. But opponents say most of these green programs A) will not meet the massive energy needs of the US,  B) cannot do so in a cost effective manner, and C) many Americans resent being told they have to pay higher costs in order to just be green.  Opponents rightfully point out that no major green energy company has been able to turn a meaningful profit,  significantly grow, or supply affordable energy without government subsidies. In January, CNN ran a story about a typical “green” energy company (solar panels) that illustrated how most if not all such firms would not survive without Federal subsidies in the form of loans, grants, or significant tax breaks.  Even the owner of the firm admitted he did not know how they would grow, much less survive, without Federal help.

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