Vice President Joe Biden told an audience, “the President and I are not going to listen” to critics of their $90 billion in green energy spending during a speech the day before Solyndra went belly up and laid off most of their workers, a rarely-seen speech shows.
Given the tussle between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney over the current administration’s green energy expenditures, the remark and its fateful timing may come back to haunt Biden in the upcoming Vice Presidential debate against Republican pick Paul Ryan.
On August 30, 2011 Biden was the keynote speaker at the Think Progress sponsored National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 in Las Vegas. According to a post made on the Think Progress site:
Vice President Joe Biden made the case for continued investments in renewable energy, explaining that “we have to unleash” innovation in the sector to stay competitive and rise to the environmental and economic challenges of the day.
“If we don’t develop renewable energy, we will make the biggest mistake in this nation’s history,” he explained a crowd of over 700 policymakers, investors, students and other business professionals in Las Vegas.
He also criticized political opponents of clean energy investments who have fought to de-fund major R&D and deployment programs, explaining “the President and I are not going to listen to those voices.”
On August 31, 2011 Solyndra issued the following statement:
Solyndra LLC, the American manufacturer of innovative cylindrical solar systems for commercial rooftops today announced that global economic and solar industry market conditions have forced the Company to suspend its manufacturing operations. Solyndra intends to file a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code while it evaluates options, including a sale of the business and licensing of its advanced CIGS technology and manufacturing expertise. As a result of the suspension of operations approximately 1,100 full-time and temporary employees are being laid off effective immediately.
The federal government's investment in Solyndra has gone on to cost taxpayers over $530,000,000.