Behind the Headlines

  • Green Economy in the Red

    September 1, 2011
    written by

    In response to:

    "Fremont solar tech firm Solyndra to shut down, lay off hundreds of workers"
    San Jose Mercury NewsMay 31, 2011

    In May 2010, President Obama visited the snazzy (and expensive) new plant of solar-technology manufacturer Solyndra, in Fremont, California. The president heaped praise on the company for its “incredible, cutting-edge solar panels,” which he saw as “a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism.” The president also used the opportunity to tout his administration’s economic plan, especially for “green jobs.” Solyndra was the poster child. “Less than a year ago,” Obama said, “we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.” The company got $535 million in government loans, in fact.

    A little more than a year later, Solyndra has ceased operations and declared bankruptcy. Back in 2010, the president noted that Solyndra’s snazzy new government-backed plant would soon “hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world.” Well, eleven hundred employees were just laid off. So much for that.

    And so much for the president’s calculation about the impact of Solyndra’s snazzy new government-backed plant. Over its lifetime, he said, this facility would produce enough solar power effectively to “replac[e] as many as eight coal-fired power plants.”

    I guess federally funded green jobs aren’t the economic elixir we were promised. Who’d have thought?

    The views and opinions expressed in Behind the Headlines content do not necessarily represent those of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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