Feeling the solar heat

It’s hardly astonishing that the bankruptcy filing of a California solar company which received a $535 million federal loan guarantee — and was touted by President Barack Obama as a poster company for the new green energy industry— has become a political paddle with which Republicans can drub the president.

But information from Washington last week suggests that the president did far more than just endorse the company called Solyndra. Republicans (of course) on the House Energy Committee say the White House apparently put pressure on the Department of Energy to approve the loan guarantee for Solyndra, even though the Office of Management and Budget and other federal agencies questioned the viability of the company’s business plan.

Beyond that, one of the key investors in the company was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised more than $50,000 for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, ABC News reported.

All this is bad political news for a president already floundering in the polls and repeatedly losing skirmishes with Republicans.

But even more, it is an unfortunate turn of events for those companies and entrepreneurs who are attempting to create legitimate businesses based on solar and other green energy sources. They will find it more difficult to win public approval and financial support in the wake of the Solyndra fiasco.


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