A couple of weeks ago, I wondered whether President Barack Obama would even mention green jobs in his new jobs plan, considering the "green economy" has been more boom than bust. Many people thought he would still put something about green jobs in his plan.
Clean energy was sold as the means by which our economy would be saved. Companies received generous government subsidies and the (un)stimulus included various ineffective means to incentivize people to rework their homes to be more "green."
A couple of weeks ago, Seattle reported that the city has only 14 new jobs from a $20 million grant to invest in weatherization. And the New York Times reported on the failure of a solar panel company in California to increase the number of green jobs in one city five fold -- up to 25,000. In fact, green job employment fell in the area.
And now we learn that Solyndra, Silicon Valley's poster child of green energy that laid off 17.5% of its workers the day after last year's elections, has officially closed shop and filed for bankruptcy.
Solyndra Inc., a renewable energy firm that became a darling of the Obama Administration, shut the doors of its California headquarters Wednesday, raising fresh questions from critics about political favoritism and wasted money in the federal loan program.
The manufacturer of rooftop solar panels opened its doors in 2005, and in 2009 became the first recipient of an Obama administration energy loan guarantee – a $535 million federal commitment that helped minimize the risk to venture capital firms backing the solar start-up. Obama visited the factory last year to herald its future.
“The promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith — not anymore,” Obama told Solyndra workers then. “The future is here.”
The government loan guarantee was supposed to spur 1,000 fulltime jobs once Solyndra’s solar plant was fully operating. Instead, the company announced Wednesday it intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that 1,100 full and part time employees had been laid off “effective immediately,” without severance. Some said they no longer have health insurance, either.
Wow. Who could have seen this coming? Imagine all the ways this money could have been better spent. It's infuriating.