“I was told by a security guard to get my [stuff] and leave,” one employee said. The company employs a little more than 1,000 employees worldwide, according to its website.
Shortly after it opened a massive $700 million facility, it canceled plans for a public stock offering earlier this year and warned it would be in significant trouble if federal loan guarantees did not go through.
The company has said it will make a statement at 9am California time, though it’s not clear what that statement will be. An NBC Bay Area photographer on the scene reports security guards are not letting visitors on campus. He says “people are standing around in disbelief.” The employees have been given yellow envelopes with instructions on how to get their last checks.
Solyndra was touted by the Obama administration as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs. The President visited the facility in May of last year and said “it is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. And you guys all represent that. “
The federal government offered $535 million in low cost loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. NBC Bay Area has contacted the White House asking for a statement.
“We smelled a rat from the onset,” Republican House Energy and Commerce Committee members Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Fred Upton said in a statement to ABC News of the the $535 million government loan guarantee awarded to Solyndra in 2009.
The manufacturer of rooftop solar panels opened in 2005 and in 2009 became the Obama administration’s first recipient of an half-billion dollar energy loan guarantee meant to help minimize the risk to venture capital firms that were backing the solar start-up. Obama made a personal visit to the factory last year to herald its bright future.
ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News first reported on questions about the choice of Solyndra for the loan in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure its loan package for the company, which was showing early signs of financial distress. One of Solyndra’s major investors was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election.
Following the ABC News and iWatch News reports, the House Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation into the loan, which Stearns and Upton said today was “suspect from day one.”
“I think what happens is they give some of this money out to people who are either contributors or strong supporters,” Stearns said weeks before Solyndra announced its closing. “I think in the long term we have to worry about the United States government guaranteeing loans for businesses based perhaps upon favoritism.”
It’s so out of character isn’t it for the most transparent administration evah to be involved in shady dealings and cronyism?
I’m thinking it’ll be tough to blame this on either Bush, the Japanese earthquake or Tea Party racism but I expect the attempt to be made… and some to actually buy it.