- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Bankrupt solar company Abound ruled not on par with Solyndra
When he appeared before a House committee during the summer to explain why his solar company went bankrupt owing taxpayers $70 million, the chief executive for Abound Solar Inc. placed the blame largely on competition from heavily subsidized Chinese competitors.
Months earlier, executives at Solyndra LLC made a similar argument, and its workers later became eligible for assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor worth about $13,000 per employee.
But Abound workers aren’t so lucky.
The Labor Department has rejected aid packages for workers at the Colorado company in four locations. Notices for three of the determinations were published late last week in the Federal Register.
In each case, the Labor Department decided against doling out special government aid for workers who were displaced by foreign competition.
While officials previously certified assistance packages for Solyndra workers, the Labor Department said imports of products competing with Abound’s products had not increased enough to make workers eligible for the aid.
Solyndra went bankrupt last summer owing taxpayers more than a half-billion dollars, transforming the company from a darling of President Obama’s stimulus program into a political headache seized upon by Republican critics, including White House candidate Mitt Romney.
Abound Solar filed for bankruptcy in June, losing about $70 million in taxpayer funding. Its collapse drew immediate comparisons to Solyndra as administration officials and company executives alike blamed heavily subsidized Chinese imports for driving the solar companies out of business.
“Extreme price actions by Chinese companies believed to be selling solar panels below cost, or dumping, has had a harmful effect on many American solar manufacturing companies, including Abound,” Craig Witsoe, the company’s former chief executive officer, told a House panel this summer.
Citing the successful Trade Adjustment Assistance petition filed on behalf of Solyndra employees, three former Abound workers told Labor Department officials in their application that Abound “was drastically affected by a worldwide plunge in solar module price, based in part on subsidies that Chinese manufacturers receive from their government.”
Two of the workers could not be reached for comment and a third declined to comment Tuesday.
In a written ruling rejecting the Abound application, the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration found that imports of products comparable to Abound’s weren’t significant and “thus could not have contributed to worker separations” at Abound.
Indeed, the Labor Department ruled that “customer and aggregate United States imports of articles like or directly competitive with the cylindrical solar panel systems by Solyndra LLC have increased.”
Abound made thin film cadmium telluride solar modules that turn solar energy into electricity, and the company said its technology performed better than crystalline silicon in low light and high-temperature conditions. By contrast, Solyndra made cylindrical panels that were new to the market and unproven.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- HHS nominee got $1.2M at 'zero' salary job at Wal-Mart
- Federal workers watch 'Star Trek' on clock
- Sen. Menendez pal Salomon Melgen collected $20 million from Medicare
- U.S. picks up $700 million tab for coalition's food and laundry in Afghanistan
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.