Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Obama Solyndra Solar Plant Visit Clouded By Controversy

3 years ago
  4 Comments Say Something  »
Print Text Size
A dark cloud has settled over the President's trip to sunny Northern California today, and it has everything to do with his photo-op to promote jobs purportedly saved and created by the Recovery act at solar panel production company Solyndra.

President Obama toured the Solyndra plant in Freemont, Calif. and gave an address before the press and state officials, including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, outlining his vision for a thriving U.S. alternative energy sector buoyed by government funding.

"The promise of clean energy isn't just an article of faith," Obama said, "It's not just some abstract possibility for science fiction movies or a distant future or 10 years down the road or 20 years, it's happening right now. The future is here."

But while the President's remarks were intended to inspire confidence in the U.S. alternative energy sector and reinforce the economic benefits of "green jobs" as the country climbs out of recession, it instead generated another, less favorable story line:

"Construction workers at the Solyndra Plant in Fremont will be spending the day at home Wednesday without pay as President Obama visits the company to praise its work on solar panels," reported local news channel KRON 4 (via Real Clear Politics).

What's more, Solyandra, a five-year-old company, has faced dire financial straights and had just recently undergone an audit, according to BNet.
As Solyndra's own CEO points out in an open letter response to the audit, Solyndra's future does depend on finding more financing, either through an IPO or privately. If it doesn't, the leading question about what happens to revolutionary companies that fail, at the top of this post, will get an answer. When big expectations lead to big disappointments, entire industries can be affected.
The White House blog, by contrast, proudly trumpets the fact that Solyndra's closure was averted by a $535 million dollar loan from the Department of Energy last year.

In addition, the President's visit came during an especially precarious political climate for energy policy reform:

1. BP is still struggling to close off its undersea well that has already spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Atlantic -- this time via a new, riskier "top kill" method.

2. As Politico notes: "A bipartisan group of senators will move after the Memorial Day recess on a resolution to block the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gases."

3. On a separate but relevant note: Republicans have not responded well to the President's most recent overture of bipartisanship on immigration reform, even calling a meeting with him this morning "testy."

With Republicans looking to block Obama agenda items in the run up to the November elections, it seems that no photo op -- even if gaffe-free -- will get the Congressional GOP behind any new proposed energy or climate change legislation, the latter of which the president has said he would spend the rest of the year fighting to pass.
Filed Under: Surge Desk

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

2 Comments

Filter by:
Brian

I\'ve posted comments on this and other articles, but not one has shown up. call it governing or editing all you like, but when legitimate discourse is suppressed without reason, it appears, however justly or not, as blatant censorship. I for one will take you up on that offer to frequent other sites for my news, as I don\'t particularly like supporting a site that won\'t allow differing viewpoints than those of it\'s editorial SS taff...

Brian C. Wolfe
chrisbw1965@yahoo.com
Atlanta, GA 30040

May 27 2010 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>