RUSH: Ron, San Diego, California, great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: I first started listening to you when you had your television show. It was a long time ago, but great.
RUSH: Seems like it was just yesterday to me. It was in 1994, you’re right.
CALLER: I miss seeing you on TV, so I’m glad you have the Dittocam. I appreciate that.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: The reason for my call is I’ve listened to the spin that’s coming out of the administration on Solyndra, and I thought I would give you a different take on this from someone who is in this industry. I’ve been a tech entrepreneur for a long time, been in the semiconductor industry for over 30 years, and I’ve made investments and been on the board with several start-up solar companies. And the spin that I hear, which is you know they’re blaming China for its failure is just so far from the truth. And there’s actually a hidden story in this. And it goes to the administration’s sort of war on coal and some of the other sources of power, generate power we have in the US.
CALLER: And basically the industry has known for over 10 years to make solar panels viable, they need to have the panels cost $1 per watt for the consumer. That’s the way that it’s competitive and actually gives you a return on investment over a 20-year expected life. And they’re nowhere near that. And China’s nowhere near that.
RUSH: Of course. There’s no business there.
CALLER: Exactly. So the failure of Solyndra was, one, it’s a bad business model to begin with, and its incompetent management, which may be criminal.
RUSH: Let me tell you something, the more I learn about it and look at it, I’m beginning to wonder if solar energy was ever the real purpose of this whole thing. Because the more I look at this, this is just a giant slush fund. All of these solar energy loans, companies getting federal loans, they’re all made up of Obama bundlers and donors, they’re all being paid back for what they donated. They’re getting their campaign contributions back under the guise of trying to create some clean energy. They’re going bankrupt, going through federal money, and now they’re clamming up, not saying anything. Obama in the midst of this keeps handing out more money to his bundlers and donors and the money will come back to him, at least a little of it is in the form of donations and so forth. I smell a giant rat with all of this. I think the last thing anybody was actually trying to do here was create solar panels.
CALLER: You’re exactly right. And the other part of this is what they’re trying to do to restrict coal and natural gas, because in the US our costs per kilowatt hour right now is about ten cents on an average. If you look at Europe, it’s 30 cents. And look at what happened to Europe when the government took away its subsidy. Even at 30 cents a kilowatt hour, you would think that would make panels more competitive. But when they took the subsidies away the whole thing crashed.
RUSH: Precisely. What does that tell you? It means there’s no business there. It means there’s no market for it.
CALLER: So if you take away our cheap source of power in the United States here, coal and natural gas, and even nuclear, you force the price up, which is what they’re trying to do. Because if you can’t make the panels any cheaper —
CALLER: — you raise the price of the alternative to the point where people have to expense it.
RUSH: Where is the government grant for fracking? Fracking is horizontal drilling. It’s a way of extracting oil. It’s causing a boom in the Dakotas. It’s causing a boom in a number of places, and it’s American. It can provide us enough energy for a century and the regime is fighting it every way and every day that they can. They don’t want any part of this, because it’s oil. And there’s no subsidies. This is not about energy. We’ve got a genuine case of crony capitalism corruption here that would rival anything that’s happened in any previous administration. This is redundant, too. It’s happening more and more. More and more solar companies, more and more people, more and more bundlers, donors, contributors to Obama. It just keeps adding up here. As you point, there’s no business.
They were manufacturing their solar panels at Solyndra for six bucks and selling them for three, and hoping to make it up on volume while at the same time telling us they couldn’t compete with the Chicoms, because the Chicoms are underselling them. How in the world are they ever gonna get any volume sales? Now they won’t say a word about it. This whole thing just stinks to high heaven. Add to that the fact that we’ve got this idealistic theoretical utopian grand plan of clean energy. The recent grants totaling over a billion dollars, one outfit’s getting $737 billion, solar energy plant. They’re going to create 55 permanent jobs.
It’s going to cost in the neighborhood of between 16 and $22 million per permanent job if the business works. And this is said to be advanced thinking, forward thinking. It’s the new way. It’s clearly not about energy. It’s not about green energy. This is just the PR selling point to convince people to support it and not oppose it, go along with it. It’s not sustainable. It doesn’t make any economic sense. There’s no business there. This is the old adage, follow the money. Nine times out of ten, 99 times out of 100 you’ll always find the answer to whatever perplexes you, if you’re able to follow the money. Thanks for the call out there.
RUSH: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today that Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary, has Obama’s “full confidence.” Steven Chu is charged with implementing all of these subsidy programs to the solar energy outfits. This can cut two ways. In sports, when a coach or the manager gets a full vote of confidence from the owner, he’s gone. In politics, it can also be the same way: Some energy secretary gets a full vote of confidence from the President, won’t be long before he’s seeking a job in the private sector.