When Barack Obama was sworn in as America's 44th president in 2009 he began earnestly pushing his green jobs and clean energy agenda.
In a speech at George Mason University in Virginia President Obama promised to "modernize 75 percent of federal buildings" and "improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.”
Obama pledged strong backing for clean energy and the development of renewable energy technology -- bankrolled by taxpayer funded loans to the tune of billions of dollars.
In 2009 the Energy department -- with the blessings of President Obama -- doled out truckloads of cash to unproven and untested renewable energy companies such as Solyndra.
An early beneficiary of President Obama's clean energy initiative was George Kaiser, already one of the richest men in the country. Kaiser ran the now bankrupt solar-panel company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan from the Obama administration in 2009.
It took a little more than a year for Solyndra to burn through $500 million with nothing to show for it.
In danger of defaulting on the loan, Solyndra went back to the Obama administration in 2010 to request an additional $67 million to fend off bankruptcy.
In an email dated January 31, 2011, an Office of Management Budget staff member warned: “If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will be arguably worse later than they would be today. .?.?. In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.”
The email suggested that the staffer was more worried about the political ramifications for the Obama administration than the cost to taxpayers.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy 2 weeks ago, putting 1,100 employees out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the loans.
Did we mention that George Kaiser was one of the largest financial contributors to President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008?