Green dream a red nightmare for taxpayers

Solyndra, whose major shareholder is a significant Democratic donor, was the first clean-tech company to receive a loan guarantee following passage of the stimulus bill, even though the Energy Department credit committee had unanimously rejected the loan in early January 2009. ABC News reported last week that Solyndra is currently under criminal investigation because newly uncovered White House emails show the company may have bypassed normal vetting procedures in obtaining its loan approval, despite being deemed a high risk.

Even if corruption wasn’t a factor, the Solyndra debacle demonstrates the ineptitude of government bureaucrats when speculating with other people’s money — they’ll never perform as well as experienced investors risking their own capital.

So after examining the results, its clear green policies don’t create jobs. Instead, they’ve lowered living standards globally and weakened the technological progress that market forces usually deliver, distracting us from finding optimal solutions to the economic and environmental challenges we face.

Like the proverbial vampire who fears daylight, optimal solutions are the last thing “green energy” proponents want to see. Given the economic bloodletting, American policymakers must reverse course and drive a stake through the vampire’s green heart.

Melanie Sturm has 15 years of private equity investment experience, previous to which she specialized in project finance at International Finance Corporation and mergers & acquisitions at Morgan Stanley and Drexel Burnham Lambert. She has an MBA from INSEAD and undergraduate degrees in international relations and economics from Tufts University.