09 September 2011

Solyndra Saga: The Kaiser Connection

Image representing Solyndra as depicted in Cru...In my post Wednesday on Solyndra's bankruptcy I alluded to the fact that some people are questioning why the government took such a strong interest in backing this particular company with an expensive, risky technology. 

I wrote then that I'd leave it to the pundits.  However, Thursday morning's reported FBI raid of the company begs comment.

According to the Washington Post, "a House investigation is looking at possible White House involvement in Solyndra winning the loan, and said it has found evidence that White House officials were monitoring Solyndra’s status in the application process.  The Department of Energy has asserted that it chose Solyndra through a competitive, non-political process."

One of Solyndra's leading investors, The George Kaiser Family Foundation, is the foundation of Obama fundraiser and supporter George Kaiser

As reported by Bloomberg this afternoon, the foundation, "a charitable organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and backed by donations from Kaiser, holds about 35.7 percent of Solyndra, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

"A Government Accountability Office audit last year found Solyndra was among a handful of companies that the agency awarded billions in loan guarantees before completing required reviews of their applications," reports the Post.

Bruce Krasting of iStockAnalyst explored some of the Kaiser connection in a post Wednesday afternoon.

At the very least, this situation doesn't pass the sniff test.  What more will the FBI shine a light on?  And what impact will this have on other cleantech companies?  Stay tuned.

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