What We Know and Don't Know About Obama's Loans to Green Companies
A recent Freedom of Information Act request from the Wall Street Journal has opened an important door into a very dark room.
According to the Journal, at the end of February the Obama administration had made loans or loan guarantees to 32 electric car and green energy companies. And 10 of those companies were on the administration’s watch list, though what triggers a company’s inclusion on the list seems vague.
We don’t know which companies are on the list; the “most transparent administration in history” is keeping that a secret.
And though the Journal was able to determine that the administration has handed out about $8.3 billion, we don’t know which companies received how much taxpayer money.
We also don’t know, according to the Journal, specifically why those 10 companies are on the list. However, Solyndra, which got $535 million from Uncle Sugar, apparently never made the list until it shut its doors. Prologis, Inc., which got a $1.4 billion loan guarantee for putting solar panels on distribution warehouses, hasn’t installed any and will miss some of its targets. And now we learn that Solar Trust of America, a German majority-owned company that got a $2.1 billion loan guarantee—which was later withdrawn, according to news accounts—has filed for bankruptcy.
And there is one more thing we don’t know: Have big Obama donors invested in those companies and are they now encouraging the president to shovel more money their way? That apparently was the case with Obama donor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser, who claimed he never discussed Solyndra with White House officials—and then the House released emails apparently
contradicting his claim.
What we do know is that an administration that has repeatedly imposed trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits is handing out billions of dollars to high-risk companies and doing its best to keep that secret—at least until after November, when the president might have a little more “flexibility.”