“The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” bragged Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet in emails released last week.
An investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed that Solyndra—the solar company that went under, taking more than $600 million in taxpayer funds with it—wasn’t ever supposed to be an independent business. It was built to rely on the taxpayers.
“Getting business from Uncle Sam is a principal element of Solyndra’s channel strategy,” wrote Tom Baruch, founder of Solyndra investor CEMA Capital, in an August 10, 2010 email.
Getting federal money was integral to Solyndra’s business model. But even with government backing, Solyndra failed—just one of a growing list of companies in the Green Graveyard that took taxpayer money and went bankrupt.
The emails released between Solyndra stakeholders and Obama Administration officials show that Solyndra’s investors knew the company was a bad bet for taxpayers, but the Administration wanted the energy loan guarantee program to be perceived as successful. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office was finding that the Department of Energy played favorites with the program, and high-level advisers including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner were raising red flags.