SO a new attack ad is out going after Obama again for the Solyandra and other alternative energy companies in the stimulus. With some very deceptive claims. They ignore that the companies that failed accounted for far less then 1% of the$835 Billion stimulus- even using their inflated numbers which count 2nd rounds of stimulus money- money that was not given out once signs of trouble arose. That the amount given to the fledgling alternative energy industries was less then the subsidies given to the established and highly profitable fossil fuel industries in America each year. Is far less then the amount american taxpayers pay every year to deal with the environmental, social, and health costs related to fossil fuels.
And they claim that this money was given to Obamas supporters- which ignores the fact that many of the people behind these companies were longtime Republican funders.
And of course- they ignore that the Solyandra they so love to harp on was a pet project of George W Bush. And the Pulitzer Prize winning Tampa Bay Times Politifact indeed confirms the Solyandra loan guarantess was initiated by the Bush administration, and that they did indeed try and rush it through, with less protections for taxpayers then the stimulus version under Obama, so the Bush administration could say they had done something for green energy.
And of course- the right doesn’t want to talk about the underlying issues. That highly advanced and inventive american companies could not compete with Chinese firms. Chinese firms that are heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. That decades of Republican pushed “free trade agreements” have led millions of american jobs being lost- with companies being forced to mechanize or outsource american jobs to compete. (and yes- the very business friendly Bill Clinton likewise supported free trade- something he has since admitted was both a mistake and a failure.
The sad truth is that the solar companies Such as Solyandra that took stimulus money were required to set up production in the US. Now, if they had followed the Republican idea of business – maximize profits by minimizing costs (at the expense of american jobs) it’s highly likely these companies would be doing just fine.
So when will the right stop belittling an industry they have never liked- an industry that threatens some of their largest contributors, and the very paradigms they live by. When will we address the issue of americas inability to compete with countries with non existent labor costs and little to no regulations to prodect their own people from the true costs of industry? When will we discuss the true costs of our fossil fuel addiction- costs that our government hides in our taxes rather then making the companies who profit figure into their costs.
So let’s look at the Solyandra timeline:
May 2005: Just as a global silicon shortage begins driving up prices of solar photovoltaics [PV], Solyndra is founded to provide a cost-competitive alternative to silicon-based panels.