Is there anything Obama touches that doesn’t turn into a toxic mess?
It may be the height of irony that a company that was supposed to soar to the top of the new clean energy economy, with the help of U.S. taxpayers to undergird President Obama’s stimulus visions, has instead left both an environmental and financial mess after its demise.
Yet that’s exactly the case with miserable failure Abound Solar, which the president’s Department of Energy thought so much of, they awarded it a $400 million loan guarantee. That proposition quickly soured and the government halted payouts after about $70 million. The company went bankrupt in June 2012, leaving taxpayers out between $40 million and $60 million that was never recovered.
There was other collateral damage, not the least of which was a huge toxic mess from unused panels and abandoned chemicals at Abound’s former facilities. The environmental nightmare was discovered earlier this year, but this month – thanks to an investigation by the Northern Colorado Business Report – an estimate of the amount of damage was revealed. According to documents the publication obtained, cleanup at Abound’s Longmont location is expected to cost as much as $3.7 million because of the materials left behind.
“As lawyers, regulators, bankruptcy officials and the landlord spar over the case,” NCBR reported, “the building lies in disrepair, too contaminated to lease.”
In addition 2,000 of Abound’s panels that were “deemed unsellable” – and included among its toxic waste – have mysteriously disappeared. They had been sitting in a Denver warehouse but now the bankruptcy trustee won’t disclose what happened to them. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment doesn’t know where they ended up, either. If a coal, oil or gas company pulled something like that the EPA would send out SWAT teams and the U.S. Marshals to track down the offenders, bankrupt or not.
Oh, did we mention they’re under criminal investigation? A lot of that goes on with Obama cronies, but if you like your corruption, you can keep your corruption.