If you need some shill stupidity to mock, David Atkins never disappoints:
Solyndra in a teapot
David Roberts at Grist has a great overview today of the Solyndra nontroversy, based partly on recent polling and focus groups. The upshot? Support for solar energy remains strong even among conservatives, and the non-scandal “scandal” is basically confined to the Fox News nuts
If all you knew about Solyndra came from David Atkins you might think conservatives were opposed to solar energy. To the best of my knowledge no one is trying to make that argument.
There are two main issues with Solyndra:
1. How did Solyndra get approved for a half-billion loan when there was ample evidence it was a bad investment? Was it incompetence or corruption? Were any laws broken and if so, by who?
2. What should be the government role in the development of alternative energy sources? Should the government stay out of it, fund research only or make huge loans to companies like Solyndra?
Both those issues are legitimate areas for investigation and discussion.
In regards to the former, the questions go beyond Solyndra:
Nancy Pelosi is facing accusations of cronyism after a solar energy project, which her brother-in-law has a stake in, landed a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, despite the growing Solyndra scandal.
The massive loan agreement is raising new concerns about the use of taxpayers’ money as vast sums are invested in technology similar to that of the doomed energy project.
The investment has intensified the debate over the effectiveness of solar energy as a major power source.
The SolarReserve project is backed by an energy investment fund where the Minority Leader’s brother-in-law Ronald Pelosi is second in command.
PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East) LLC is listed as one of the investors in the project that has been given the staggering loan, which even dwarfs that given to failed company Solyndra.
Other investors include one of the major investors in Solyndra, which is run by one of the directors of Solyndra.
Steve Mitchell, who served on the board of directors at the bankrupt energy company, is also managing director of Argonaut Private Equity, which has invested in the latest project.
Since Solyndra has filed for bankruptcy has been asked to testify about the goings on at the firm by two members of the House and ‘asked to provide documents to Congress’
The project approval came as part of $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies yesterday.
Crony capitalism is the term for when success in business depends on close relationships between private businesses and government officials. It includes favoritism in issuing permits, awarding government grants, passing special tax breaks, and writing regulations.
If a businessman gave a politician $50,000 in exchange for receiving a $500,000 grant we would have no problem calling that bribery. Crony capitalism is more insidious because there isn’t always a “quid pro quo” or even a direct connection between the businessman and the politician.
Corruption is always an issue with government. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.