Barack Obama denied politics had anything to do with his administration’s green-energy loans to companies like Solyndra and Abound, both of which have gone bankrupt. The President even chuckled when asked if those loans were a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Denver’s News9 reporter Kyle Clark said in a Friday interview that Obama touted the “stimulus money going to Abound Solar” in a national address, but Abound Solar is “out of business and under criminal investigation” while the “jobs are gone and taxpayers are out about 60 million dollars.”
“How do you answer critics who see Abound Solar as Colorado’s Solyndra — a politically connected clean energy company that went under and took our money with it?,” Clark asked Obama.
Obama chuckled, saying only “four percent” of green-energy loans went to companies like Abound Solar and Solyndra. Since those decisions are made by the Department of Energy, he reasoned, “they have nothing to do with politics.”
Obama then claimed just “some” of the companies that benefited from stimulus funds have failed, and the “vast majority of them are pushing us forward into a clean energy direction.”
“And that’s good for Colorado and good for the country,” he concluded.
Except when it is not.
Pat Stryker, an Obama bundler who has donated, according to the Center For Responsive Politics, “$500,000 to Democrats over the last five years including $50,000 to President Obama’s inaugural fund and $35,800 to his victory fund in 2008,” was an original investor in Abound and visited the White House three times around the time the DOE loan was approved.
Abound subsequently filed for bankruptcy in June, and the government is refusing to release the company’s trade secrets for fear they will reveal the Abound’s solar panels were not up to par.
Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter at a Libertarian think tank, told Fox News that former employees have told him the panels had “catastrophic” defects, such as a tendency to catch fire and much lower output than promised.
“Either people at Abound knew they couldn’t produce a good product and they misled the DOE,” Shepherd said. “Or the DOE knew how bad the product was and they were willing to overlook it simply because the politics of green energy is such a feel good political movement.”
Weld County Attorney General Ken Buck is also investigating Abound separately from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation for potential securities fraud and consumer fraud.
According to a statement from Buck’s office:
• Investigators are looking into possible instances of securities fraud based on allegations that Abound officials knew the company was selling defective products but solicited investments without telling investors about the deficiencies.
• A second allegation centers on a bridge loan received by Abound that was used to keep the company afloat until it received federally guaranteed loans. That investigation centers on whether lending institutions were misled when Abound applied for the bridge loan.
• A third allegation centers on possible consumer fraud and whether officials at Abound knowingly sold defective products to consumers.