Two years ago today, May 26, 2010, President Obama traveled to Fremont, California to showcase a "brighter and more prosperous future" promised by the green-energy company Solyndra.
The solar panel maker went bankrupt last year, taking with it $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees. More than 1,000 people lost their jobs. The Obama administration had cut corners to rush money to Solyndra, with some of the beneficiaries being top Obama fundraisers. Even as Solyndra failed, the administration considered giving it another $469 million.
But on this day in 2010, with Solyndra already facing serious obstacles, President Obama was filled with optimism. "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra," the president said. "Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans."
"We've placed a big emphasis on clean energy," Obama continued. "It’s the right thing to do for our environment, it’s the right thing to do for our national security, but it’s also the right thing to do for our economy…When it’s completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world."
"It's happening right now. The future is here," Obama said. "It's here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."
Fifteen months later, Solyndra was bankrupt, and that taxpayers' money was lost.
For those who are interested, here is the entire text of Obama's speech, from the White House website: Link