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Barack Obama Solyndra Scandal: 8 Key Figures Caught Up in Green Energy Controversy

By    |   Friday, 30 Jan 2015 03:41 PM

Key figures caught up in the Solyndra scandal ranged from the imminently visible President Barack Obama and administration officials to relatively unknown Obama fundraisers.

Investors in Solyndra, a green energy solar panel manufacturer, as well as Solyndra employees were also pulled into the controversy. The scandal stemmed from a Department of Energy guaranteed loan issued under pressure from the White House despite reservations held by the treasury which was not given time to do its due diligence as dictated by law.

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Here are eight key figures caught up in the Solyndra green energy scandal:

1. President Barack Obama has been criticized for his apparent willingness to ignore facts and throw taxpayer funds into the financially failing Solyndra to appease his base and major donors. "The White House strongly denies the allegations of political favoritism," reports The Hill.

2. Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to appear at the groundbreaking of the Solyndra factory. A major PR push for the White House was the intention of the Recovery Act to create jobs and support green energy. Biden wanted to be able to announce that the Obama administration was providing Solyndra with a $535 million federal stimulus loan. The Office of Management and Budget alleges it was pressured to fast track the loan.

3. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was caught up in the Solyndra scandal by virtue of his position in the Obama administration. Chu testified to a House committee that he had no knowledge of the financial problems at the green energy company. Chu also claimed there were no political motivations to the fast tracking of the loan.

4. George Kaiser, a major campaign donor to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign played a potential key role in the scandal. Kaiser's family foundation owned one-third of Solyndra and as Capital Research Center reports, "It’s been suggested that Kaiser, ever seeking a boost for his hometown, may have used his political contributions to help secure the construction of a Solyndra plant in Tulsa."

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5. Ron Klain, who was Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff, dismissed the warnings that Solyndra was in financial meltdown. In an email to senior White House advisor Valerie Jarret, Klain wrote, "The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few would be belly-up by election day 2012 — but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries," reports ABC News.

6. Dr. Christian M. Gronett served as the Chief Executive Officer of the now bankrupt Solyndra. Despite a criminal investigation into the loan scandal, Gronett, who relinquished his post before the company filed bankruptcy, was not charged with any crime.

7. Brian Harrison replaced Gronett as the Chief Executive Officer of Solyndra. CNS News reports Harrison received an email from a Solyndra investor alleging that during President Obama's visit to the plant he witnessed the president 'actually promise' the company’s previous CEO, Chris Gronet, that he would 'look into' having the federal government buy Solyndra's solar panels to place on federal buildings.

8. Steve Westly, former state control and venture capitalist, attempted to warn President Obama about Solyndra. During an investigation into the controversy, emails surfaced in which Westly advised senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett that the green energy company's finances were questionable. Westly suggested that the president should not visit the plant, ostensibly to avoid any embarrassment or future scandal.

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Key figures caught up in the Solyndra scandal ranged from the imminently visible President Barack Obama and administration officials to relatively unknown Obama fundraisers.
Barack Obama, Solyndra, Scandal, Green Energy
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2015-41-30
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 03:41 PM
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