Jonathan Silver, the Department of Energy official who supervised the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, announced he will be leaving the Department of Energy. According to the DOE, Mr. Silver decided in July, (before the public knew the Solyndra deal “blew up”, but after the DOE knew that it would) that he would be leaving at the end of the fiscal year.
In all fairness to Mr. Silver, the original loan guarantee to Solyndra was made two months before Mr. Silver took over the position of “green energy loan czar”. However, he was in charge of the loan’s restructuring earlier this year that put the Solyndra investors before the federal government in the event of a bankruptcy…a clear violation of federal law.
Funding for these loans (part of the Stimulus bill) expired on September 30, 2011, and Mr. Silver remained with DOE, perhaps to insure that every penny of the stimulus funds, all of which simply contributed to our deficit, was spent. After the Solyndra scandal broke in August, under Mr. Silver’s leadership, the DOE shoveled out another $7.9 billion in loan guarantees, $4.7 billion of which happened in the last week of September.
All told, this program issued $35 billion in loan guarantees in less than two years…easy, if it’s not your money.
In researching this post, I came across an article from CNBC, and I would be remiss if it did not share this quote from a news article:
Until the fossil fuel industry has to pay for the carbon it emits, renewables such as solar and wind are unlikely to attain the scale needed to compete with cheaper coal, oil and natural gas, and will depend on government support.
Back in the day when I was News Editor of my college newspaper, I would have told the reporter who wrote that sentence that it belonged on the op ed page, not the front page. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that “opinion” is increasingly found in front page articles?