Solyndra, a major manufacturer of solar technology in Fremont, has shut its doors, according to employees at the campus.
"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.
Some Republicans have been very critical of the loans. "I am concerned that the DOE is providing loans and loan guarantees to firms that aren't capable of competing in the global market, even with government subsidies" Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns told the New York Times.
This doesn't bode well for Barry:
President Obama faces political catastrophe in the form of Solyndra -- a San Francisco Bay area solar company that he touted as a gleaming example of green technology. It has announced it will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More than 1,100 people will lose their jobs.
During a visit to the Fremont facility in spring of 2010, the President said the factory "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. "
It's not his statements the administration will regret; it's the loan guarantees. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup. The administration didn't do its due diligence, says the Government Accountability Office. "There's a consequence if you don't follow a rigorous process that's transparent," Franklin Rusco of GAO told the website iWatch News.
The President touted the federally back money as a way to create jobs. The President's opponents immediately jumped on the deal as Solyndra made its first layoffs.
Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida warned, "I am concerned that the DOE is providing loans and loan guarantees to firms that aren't capable of competing in the global market, even with government subsidies."
Another critic, Fred Upton of Michigan: "The unfortunate reality is that loan guarantee highlights many of the systemic flaws associated with the stimulus in the mad dash to spend hundreds of billions of dollars."
Wow, the administration didn't do due dilligence? This was unexpected? Aren't these familiar themes in this joke of a presidency? Everything takes this administration by surprise, except when the rare good news happens, then it is all about the self-congratulations. Obama doesn't appear to do much research into where he puts OUR money. If he were a financial planner or broker, he would have been fired three times by now. Luckily, we have a chance to fire him in a little over a year.