KEENE: Obama blows another billion on green fantasies

Crony capitalism may have lurked in the shadows of this solar-panel bust

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Mr. Chu’s spokesman argued that “the project that we supported succeeded. The facility was producing the product it said it would produce, and consumers were buying the product.”

He failed to note that the solar panels Solyndra designed and manufactured were too complicated and expensive to compete in the marketplace. Those that were sold were sold at a significant loss, and the company would have closed its doors even earlier but for the federal loan guarantee.

It wasn’t Mr. Obama’s fault, though. Mr. Chu’s spokesman said the ultimate failure of Solyndra was traceable to those pesky market forces that continue to plague private-sector entities. In other words, it was the capitalist system rather than the administration’s flawed judgment that led to Solyndra’s downfall.

Moreover, the evidence suggests that the aspiring crony capitalists in the Obama White House monitored and no doubt encouraged Solyndra’s application for the loan guarantee, ignored warnings that there had been little or no due diligence and rushed the process at the request of the company. Because most of the major corporate players involved were huge Obama financial backers, it doesn’t take a total cynic to wonder if there wasn’t a bit of favoritism involved.

Many members of Congress, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, are seeking evidence as to whether Solyndra paid to play in Mr. Obama’s new, green economy, but such evidence is going to be hard to find because the administration somehow managed to destroy the records of emails, correspondence and other contacts with the folks at Solyndra regarding the granting of the guarantee.

What a shock.

David A. Keene, former chairman of the American Conservative Union, is a member of the board for the ACU, the National Rifle Association, the Constitution Project and the Center for the National Interest.

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