Solyndra Destroys Inventory And Credibility
By: John Hampton
In 2009 the Obama administration awarded Solyndra, a green energy solar panel manufacturer, a $535 million taxpayer funded government loan. This was part of the Energy Department’s mandate to create a clean energy economy and a clean energy America. Sounds good on the surface doesn’t it? But somewhere along the line, something went wrong. In August of 2011, Solyndra announced that it was suspending operations and planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
This caused 1,100 employees to be laid off. And suffice it to say that many American taxpayers, including myself, are more than a little ticked offthat the government has once again demonstrated its inability to manage our money. But politicians will rest peacefully in their beds each evening secure in the knowledge that they remain strict adherents to the axiom: There’s always more where that came from!
Solyndra, progeny of the Obama administration, was in the news again last month. Recent video footage taken at their plant in Fremont California, shows workers destroying millions of dollars worth of specially made glass tubes. These tubes were purchased by Solyndra to facilitate the manufacture of their solar panels. And they had quite an inventory on hand – somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 pallets. The glass, purchased from a German manufacturer, was valued at approximately $2 million. And Solyndra still owes about 8 million additional dollars to the same manufacturer. By the way, are there no American companies capable of making these glass tubes? That’s a whole different discussion.
With an enormous amount of debt on their books, why would Solyndra or any company in bankruptcy, be destroying existing inventory? Heritage Global Partners, the company that is liquidating Solyndra’s assests, reported that they were unable to find a buyer for the glass. Attorneys for Solyndra described the glass as “of inconsequential value and benefit” and said the cost to return or resell the glass exceeded its value. The court did not object to the destruction of the glass tubes, but there must have been a better way to dispose of them.
According to theblaze.com, the glass tubes were never included on the list of Solyndra’s assets put up for sale at two auctions last year. Investors have since come forward and said they would have bought the glass. David Lucky, who specializes in buying and reselling equipment and components, said he would have bid on the tubes as he had already purchased hundreds of Solyndra’s completed solar panels, after they had shut down.
In addition to the above, bankruptcy records indicate that Solyndra has requested permission to pay bonuses, some as much as $50,000, to several of its remaining employees. I am relieved to report that this has drawn the attention of many members of Congress, who have informed the White House that they are opposed to any such payouts. Solyndra attorneys argue that the bonuses would help to keep workers in their jobs because replacing them with outside consultants would be even more expensive to the bankruptcy estate. Are we really expected to believe that anyone steering this ignominious machine is concerned about costs? The court has yet to decide whether or not the bonuses will be paid.
Once again our elected officials have not only let us down, they have made it unequivocally clear that debt, spending and the interests of American taxpayers are considered to be about as insignificant as a wart on a frog. When possible, write to your representatives and express rational and prudent opinions about such salient events. Politicians must be made to understand that We The People are watching! They must protect our interests and well-being as they would protect their own.
John Hampton lives in Tehachapi CA and is quite concerned about the policies and motives of the current Administration. He believes in a system that holds our freedoms sacred, promotes personal responsibility, prudence and high moral standards.