Skip to comments.SolarCity — Another Obama Scandal
Posted on 10/12/2012 1:51:43 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
SolarCity (SCTY), another green energy company and recipient of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds, in under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), sources reveal.
The company, which recently filed for its initial IPO, has disclosed that it received subpoenas in July from the U.S. Treasury Department. The Treasury Department is investigating whether companies overstated the market value of solar panel arrays they installed when claiming the 30% federal cash grant. The IRS also notified SolarCity that it is auditing two of its investment funds and reviewing the claimed value of solar systems submitted to receive the federal cash grants.
The story of SolarCity is different from that of Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, Beacon Power, and the host of other companies that gave big political contributions to the Obama campaign and received taxpayer loans and grants in return because its worse.
Like the other scandals, SolarCitys founder is Elon Musk; the high-profile billionaire has a history of giving lots of money to the Obama campaign. Musk is a big donor to Obama, having given $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund and another $30,400 to the Democratic National Committee. The relationship has paid huge dividends for the billionaire.
But unlike the other scandals, he has been able to parlay his relationship with the president to creating not one but three Solyndra-type companies.
The National Legal and Policy Center discovered that SolarCity spent $535,000 in 2009 and 2010 to lobby Congress and the Department of Energy on climate legislation, the Recovery Act, green workforce training and development, and provisions in various legislation relevant to solar development. SolarCity has sought to extend a program, due to expire at the end of 2012, that delivers to manufacturers an upfront cash grant in lieu of a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (called the Section 1603 grant program). So far, according to DOE reports, SolarCity has received more than $66 million from that program.
SolarCity also received a $344 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Most suspiciously, much of the companys revenue is generated from a partnership with military housing developers with a goal of installing solar panels on 120,000 rooftops of military housing units across the country
This is not Musks first foray into the Washington, DC swamp. His electronic car company Tesla received a loan guarantee for $465 million. Thanks in part to Obamas DOE, Tesla went public, enriching Musk by nearly $1 billion on his $35 million investment. His other company SpaceX relies on over $1 billion in NASA funding.
Musk symbolizes the Obama entrepreneur someone who relies on government to make their riches as opposed to the marketplace.
During his debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney quipped that the president was not picking winners and losers, but losers and losers. This certainly appears to be the case with SolarCity
Last year, Musk gave $5,000 to Obama for America and $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, but he has also contributed heavily to Democratic and Republican congressional incumbents and challengers.
Under Obama, NASA uses Space Act Agreements (SAA), which lack the financial transparency and competitive bidding requirements bidders face under the government's Federal Acquisition Regulation (DAR) system.
In a statement to The Washington Examiner, NASA spokesman Trent Perrotto defended SAAs, saying they put "flexibility in the hands of the providers."
But others, including space program experts and congressional critics from both parties, argue that SAA is a carte blanche handover of public money without litmus tests, design specifications, financial audits and adequate safety oversight.
A former NASA astronaut complained in an interview with the Examiner, that design and financial details under SAA are beyond the reach of government officials.
"The contractors are saying 'give us some seed money, trust us,'" said the former astronaut, who requested anonymity.
Thus far, NASA has awarded at least $2.1 billion in SAA money to private space companies, including a total of $824 million to SpaceX......"
IPO coming soon for this piggy ,, announced 10-5-12 ,, looks like they’ll try to push it through before 01/20/2013 ... nasdaq proposed symbol SCTY
Everything about this company has to do with gov’t handouts ,, #1 in the form of contacts on DoD owned buildings and #2 expanding into the NYC/NJ/Long Island area where gov’t has pushed electric power prices through the roof with taxation (ie. Long Island Lighting / LIL .. just about the highest price per KWH in the USA).
"The $683 million "Climate Solutions Fund" piece of GIM has made direct, minority investments in a number of cleantech firms including SolarCity, Tigo, Ausra, and SMA." Source Oct. 4, 2012
"...........Gore entered the investment world full time by co-founding Generation Investment Management [GIM], a London-based investment firm. He was the type of high-profile partner sought by Goldman Sachs executive David Blood, who had headed Goldmans $325 billion asset management division and was looking to start a new firm. The pair launched GIM in 2004 to back companies focused on sustainability, including clean energy, water scarcity and poverty....
....Gore also found himself to be a sought-after star among elite Silicon Valley investors. In late 2007, he became a senior investment partner at one of the worlds most successful venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins. He was combining forces with longtime friend John Doerr in a joint mission to spur clean tech.........
As Obama was preparing to take office, it was clear his public agenda supporting clean energy aligned with Gores personal agenda. Obama held a highly publicized meeting with Gore at transition headquarters in Chicago to talk about energy policy. Later, Obama closely echoed several of Gores talking points and his plan for public investment in clean energy. Obama even adopted Gores campaign catchphrase for the effort, Repower America.
This is a matter of urgency and national security, Obama said. We have the opportunity now to create jobs all across this country in all 50 states to repower America, to redesign how we use energy and . . . make us competitive for decades to come even as we save the planet......
Gores investments coincided with the governments largest investment in clean tech. A full 10 percent, estimated at $80 billion to $90 billion, of the 2009 stimulus package was devoted to clean energy.......
....Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a leading critic of clean tech funding, said Gores portfolio is reflective of a disturbing pattern that those closest to the president have been rewarded with billions of taxpayer dollars . . . and benefited from the administrations green bonanza in the rush to spend stimulus cash........"More Oct 10, 2012 [Washington Post]
Peter Schweizer details the startling extent of the cronyism that has pervaded President Obamas green jobs push. According to Schweizer, 4 out of every 5 renewable energy companies backed by the Energy Department was run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers. Those companies political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy, Schweizer explains. It brought them returns many times over.