Obama at Solyndra touts clean technology, climate and energy bill

a solar panel installation with a panel being lifted into place

At Solyndra, Obama used the solar panel company as an example of clean technology to be promoted in the Senate climate and energy bill. Flickr photo.

Solyndra is a clean technology company in northern California where President Obama chose to deliver an address promoting the climate and energy bill Wednesday. Obama cited the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 to emphasize the need for alternative energy and to highlight clean technology jobs created by the $787 billion economic stimulus package 2009  known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The president also had a private meeting with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before he gave his speech at the Solyndra plant.

Solyndra: Obama’s clean technology example

Solyndra was the first U.S. company to receive an Energy Department money loan. Mercurynews.com reports that after the $535 million loan guarantee, the 5-year-old company has become a government case study for the benefits of the economic stimulus package and the ripple effects the federal stimulus spending has had on the nation’s economy. The president, promoting the climate and energy bill,  sought to give the struggling company a lift. Speaking on Solyndra’s factory floor, Obama said “A year ago, this was an empty lot. Through the federal Recovery Act, this company received loans to build this facility. And more than 3,000 construction workers have been employed building it.” He also said that the company will hire 1,000 permanent workers when the factory is completed.

Solyndra IPO jinxed by Energy Dept. audit

Solyndra solar panels are part of the solar powered energy systems the company makes for the commercial market from a 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif. Obama was there to show his support for Solyndra, which has been having trouble arranging a $300 million public sale. VentureBeat.com reports that Solyndra solar panels were an up and coming leader in solar energy after the company secured a $535 million economic stimulus package loan guarantee from the Energy Department last fall. Seeking to ride that momentum, Solyndra filed an IPO in late December. But Solyndra’s IPO hopes were dimmed after a Department of Energy audit pointed out massive losses and negative cash flow, along with mounting debt that could bury the company within a year.

Schwartzenegger at Solyndra Obama event

During the Solyndra Obama event, California governor Arnold Schwartzenegger announced a $20 million program to train works for clean technology industries. The San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Schwartzenegger’s  Green Innovation Challenge Grant program will provide as many as five challenge grants at up to $4 million each to encourage business partnerships to develop new training for jobs in a broad range of clean technologies.

Obama to address offshore drilling

After his brief remarks at Solyndra, Obama was on his way back to Washington. The Wall Street Journal reports that Thursday the president will announce a series of changes to the process used for issuing offshore drilling permits. The changes will require additional safety and environmental protection measures along with stepped-up inspections to ensure regulations are enforced. He is scheduled to to release the findings of a three-day review of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 disaster by the Department of Interior.

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