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THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, March 15, 2012


COLORADO’S OWN GREEN LOAN SINKHOLE


Ther e’s


by Michelle Malkin Syndicated Columnist


GAS PAINS WASHINGTON -


by Oliver North Syndicated Columnist


One year ago this week, I wrote a column titled “Crude Cruelty,” which covered a jump in the cost of motor fuel and a corresponding spike in prices for food and ris- ing unemploy-


ment. Government “experts” at- tributed the bad news to “supply disruptions” and “uncertainty” caused by unrest in Libya. To- day Moammar Gadhafi is gone, but the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States is $3.79 -- up 27 cents from a year ago. Unsurprisingly, mort- gage defaults are up 22 percent, and orders for durable goods -- cars, appliances, machinery and aircraft -- are down. Our ane- mic economic recovery is being threatened. Gasoline prices are expected to top $4 per gallon by this summer. None of this is good news for the incumbent in a presidential elec- tion year. So now, in an alterna- tive version of college basketball’s


“March Madness,” the Obama propaganda machine is on the hunt for someone to blame. It’s not OPEC, the cartel that controls nearly 80 percent of the known oil on earth and is now headed by an Iranian. Nope, we are to blame. We’re just not doing enough to reduce our need to get to work, feed our families, light our homes and cut consumption. There can be no doubt about the


inverse correlation between the availability/cost of petroleum and its effect on the U.S. economy -- and our national security. When global oil producers perceive in- creased risk, prices invariably go up, and our economy contracts as the cost of delivering food and consumer goods increases along with the cost of Americans get- ting to work. Though the Obama administration acknowledges this irrefutable connection, its actions don’t match the rhetoric. The O-Team -- infatuated with


“Arab Spring” revolts in North Africa, Yemen and Syria and ap- parently blind to Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz -- can’t seem to figure it out. At a campaign appearance this See NORTH on 18


no escaping Solyndra Syn- drome. Here in my home state of Colo- rado, citizen journal ists have uncov- ered our own gaping gov- ernment green loan sinkhole.


The stench of Chicago-on-the-Po- tomac is fouling the fresh Rocky Mountain air. Meet Loveland-based Abound


Solar, the lucky winner of a $400 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama administration. Earlier this month, the thin-film cadmium telluride solar module- maker announced layoffs of near- ly 300 employees (70 percent of its workforce). In addition, the firm froze plans to build a new factory in Indiana. Abound says it will ride out bad market conditions and “hopefully” survive until the market recovers. But White House hope-a-nomics


is what got Abound and taxpayers into trouble in the first place. Back in 2010, President Obama


promised America in his weekly radio address that Abound would “manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creat- ing more than 2,000 construc- tion jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu waves his green pom-poms, too. “Not only is this investment creating thousands of jobs, but it is also increasing our renewable energy manufacturing capacity and putting us on the path for our future prosperity.” Like the rosy projections Obama


and Chu used to justify pouring half-a-billion dollars in eco-sub-


sidies down the now-bankrupt Solyndra solar drain, Abound’s financial outlook was based on mathematical make-believe. Hope plus change equals fail. Turns out Abound raked in green govern- ment funds despite big red flags from Fitch Ratings. GOP House Oversight and Re-


form Committee Chairman Dar- rell Issa wrote: “Fitch describes Abound as lagging in technology relative to its competitors, failing to achieve stated efficiency tar- gets, and expecting that Abound will suffer from increasing com- moditization and pricing pres- sures. DOE’s willingness to fund Abound, despite these concerns, calls into question the merits of this loan guarantee.” The financial mess was reported


by ABC News, but the Obama ad- ministration has so far escaped real scrutiny of his crony venture socialism. How were Fitch’s warnings ig-


nored? Thanks to the intrepid investigative work of Colorado’s Todd Shepherd at Complete- Colorado.com, Amy Oliver at the Independence Institute and Michael Sandoval at the People’s Press Collective blog, the crass political science driving this latest Department of Energy loan scan- dal has been exposed. The loan deal appears to be textbook “pay- for-play” between Team Obama and one of Colorado’s wealthiest progressive activist scions, Pat Stryker. She’s the billionaire heir- ess whose family founded a medi- cal device and software company. Her investment firm, Bohemian Companies, dumped nearly $500 million into Democratic coffers between 2008 and 2012. Bohe- mian also invested considerably in Abound.


See MALKIN on 28


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