Ex-Im Bank Gives Leg Up to Failing Solar Company
Last December, First Solar, a solar panel manufacturer which received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, announced that they would lay off 100 employees. Then, in April of this year, the company announced another round of layoffs totaling 2,000 employees. But First Solar’s troubles weren’t over, in early May, the company reported 1st quarter losses of 8 cents per share, a 12% revenue decline.
But First Solar is a politically favored company, and as such – under this Administration – they will continue to receive preferential treatment. Taxpayers will continue to pay to keep this company on life support until it goes the way of Solyndra and Beacon Power by declaring bankruptcy.
The next round of taxpayer-funded life support will come from the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. The Ex-Im bank was already subsidizing First Solar to sell solar panels to itself. As absurd as that was, it occurred in March, before the majority of First Solar’s problems took place, even though, for taxpayers sakes, loans should be stopped for companies that show signs of failure.
But that’s not how this Administration works.
The Export-Import Bank (which was expanded by Congress just two months ago) is awarding $57.3 million in loans to two Indian firms to subsidize the export of solar panels manufactured by failing solar company First Solar.
So, the Ex-Im Bank is supposed to help businesses compete globally, but First Solar can’t even compete domestically!
Not only that, but the Ex-Im Bank is skewing who gets these loans. With all the problems surrounding First Solar, can anyone assume that more qualified companies didn’t apply for the loan? Are taxpayers expected to believe that First Solar was the best choice, considering their downward spiral?
Or is it more likely that this company is continuing to receive taxpayer support in order to protect this Administration from another “green” energy embarrassment?