Obama's green energy program 'infused with politics at every level'
So declares the Washington Post after an extensive investigation of the $80 billion program:
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama's green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.
The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.
The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.
They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the "optics" in Washington and the impact that the company's failure could have on the president's prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra's collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-
It's not just Solyndra, of course. Politics seemed to permeate the entire clean energy program:
The administration, which excluded lobbyists from policymaking positions, gave easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration, the records show. Many of those investors had given to Obama's 2008 campaign. Some took jobs in the administration and helped manage the clean-energy program.
Cronyism, incestuous regulatory relationships, and plain old political corruption seems to have been at the heart of this program all along. Congress is currently trying to make an accounting of the waste - a process that will continue long after the 2012 election.