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The FBI Raids Solyndra

The NBC Bay Area affiliate reports new troubles for President Obama’s showpiece “green jobs” company, which taxpayers were forced to loan half a billion dollars, in order to produce 1,100 pink slips (presumably printed on recycled paper):

FBI agents armed with search warrants descended this morning on bankrupt solar company Solynrda this morning.

The investigation comes after a request by the Department of Energy’s inspector general, FBI spokesman Peter Lee told NBC Bay Area News.

Agents arrived at 7a.m. and are examining the factory. Solynrda has a skeleton crew of 100 workers on the scene, closing the factory down. A CNBC photographer on the scene says the FBI has promised a press conference. An agency spokesperson at its San Francisco headquarters says he’s unaware of any such plans.

Obama really should have given his big “jobs speech” tonight from the wreckage of Solyndra.  The FBI could have left its podium and teleprompters in place for him.

NBC Bay Area said it was planning to send a helicopter to the scene.  I wonder what its carbon footprint will be.  I hope they’re not thinking of risking the lives of their employees in a solar-powered helicopter.

The Silicon Valley Mercury-News adds some details about the raid:

Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the search came was a surprise, but he emphasized the company is “fully cooperating” the federal officials. He said he did not know the purpose of the search, but he speculated it could have something to do with the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy awarded to Solyndra.

There are indications that the agents are in the process of interviewing Solyndra employees.

Matters of interest to the FBI might include the incredible “sweetheart” financing Solyndra received on its taxpayer loan – lower than even the rates extended to other “green energy” failures – and the bankruptcy deal that ensures President Obama’s crony capitalist pals will recover their investments long before taxpayers do. 

Or maybe some of that taxpayer loot is unaccounted for, just like millions of Obama’s “stimulus” dollars.  The Associated Press ran a story just yesterday about Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman’s determination to track down unspent stimulus funds:

The Energy Department’s inspector general said Wednesday that state and local governments have left as much $879 million unspent from a $2.7 billion program intended to boost energy efficiency and create jobs. That is a big change from a year ago, when less than 10 percent of the grant money had been spent, but is far below what the Obama administration projected when the stimulus was approved in 2009.

Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the unspent money undermines a basic premise of the stimulus law: “to promptly stimulate the economy and create jobs.”

You may have noticed that nothing of the kind has happened, which is why we stand on the verge of enjoying Obama’s sixteenth “pivot to job creation,” unless you want to be charitable and count tonight’s speech as an extension of the “pivot” he announced last month.

The report on the DOE’s energy efficiency program found that less than $1.4 billion of the $2.7 billion allocated for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants program has been spent as of last month. Another $500 million had been committed by state and local governments but not spent, the report said.

Even so, that leaves $879 million unspent and uncommitted, a full two years after the stimulus law was approved. The program is designed to help states, territories, local governments and Indian tribes improve their energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions, through projects such as retrofitting buildings.

“Ultimately if recipients fail to utilize their Recovery Act” funding, the Energy Department should terminate the grants and return the money to the U.S. Treasury, Friedman said in the report.

Maybe instead of giving another pointless political speech full of the same stale ideas that have been failing consistently for the past two years, Obama should spend tonight accounting for all the money he seized from our children.  The FBI has people who could help him with that.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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