Another story of Obama rewarded taxpayer-backed loans to his campaign Bundlers.
Free Beacon reports:
Holdups on a local construction permit could scuttle the sale of a solar farm between two energy companies with deep ties to the Obama administration.
Because of an issue with the construction permit, First Solar Inc., which sold the solar farm to the Exelon Corporation in a DOE-backed deal, has yet to receive any funds from the $646 million DOE loan that was finalized in September. First Solar, one of the world’s largest solar-panel companies, has warned it may have to buy the plant back from Exelon unless the Department of Energy starts funding the loan.
Both companies have significant and longstanding connections to the Obama administration. Exelon and its employees contributed at least $71,850 to Obama during his four-year Senate career, making it the seventh-largest source of campaign money for Obama before his run for president, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
During Obama’s run for the presidency, Exelon’s employees continued to give, contributing at least $200,000 during Obama’s 2008 campaign. Exelon board member John Rogers Jr. was a top Obama bundler, hauling in at least $500,000. Bloomberg reported that former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel worked on the $8.2 billion merger that created Exelon in 2000, and former senior adviser David Axelrod had ownership in a consulting business that had Exelon as a client.
Jose Villarreal, a board member of the Center for American Progress (CAP)—a left-wing think tank closely tied to the administration that has argued strenuously for green energy loans—also sits on the board of First Solar.
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera told the Wall Street Journal that the agency “continues to support this project” but explained that its loan guarantees “have strict conditions in place to protect taxpayers.”
The department can only disburse such funds “after all applicable permitting issues are resolved,” LaVera said.
Calls to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, which handles local permit issues, were not returned.
If the deal falls apart, it would be yet another setback for the Department of Energy and the Obama administration’s much-touted “green energy initiative.” Controversy has dogged the DOE’s loans, starting with the bankruptcy of solar company Solyndra in August 2011.