Solyndra officials made numerous trips to the White House, logs show

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Not only does the now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra have a cozy financial  relationship with the Obama administration, company representatives also made numerous visits to the White House to meet with administration officials, The Daily Caller has learned.

According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing. In the week before the administration awarded Solyndra with the first-ever alternative energy loan guarantee on March 20, four separate visits were logged.

George Kaiser, who has in the past been labeled a major Solyndra investor as well as a Obama donor, made three visits to the White House on March 12, 2009, and one on March 13. Kaiser has denied any direct involvement in the Solyndra deal and through a statement from his foundation said he “did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan.”

But the countless meetings at the White House seem hardly coincidental. Kaiser, in fact, is responsible for 16 of the 20 meetings that showed up on the White House logs.

In the meetings on March 12, Kaiser met with former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Austan Goolsbee at 11 a.m., Senior Advisor Pete Rouse at 3 p.m., and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council Heather Higginbottom at 6:30 p.m. On the 13th, Kaiser met with Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Jason Furman at 9 a.m.

Other Solyndra officials that made the trek over to the White House include Chairman and Founder Christian Gronet on September 22, 2009, at 9:30 a.m.; and Board Members Thomas Baruch and David Prend.

Baruch went to the White House May 7, 2010, and September 20, 2010, at 8:40 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. Prend visited on September 21, 2010, at 9:15 p.m. (RELATED: Bankrupt solar company with Fed backing has cozy ties to Obama administration)

The visitor logs also show that a number of members of the administration though a loan guarantee for Solyndra was pressing enough to take meetings. Former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Adviser Valerie Jarrett even took meetings with Kaiser.

As TheDC previously reported, Solyndra officials, including Kaiser himself, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Barack Obama.

Kaiser personally donated $53,500 to Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. Ben Bierman, executive vice president of operations donated $5,500 to Obama, and Karen Alter, senior vice president of marketing gave $23,000, just to name a few.

In 2009, Solyndra secured a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Treasury to produce solar panels. But on August 31, 2011, the company shut its doors and announced its intent to file for bankruptcy.

The revelation came after President Obama visited the plant in May 2010 and touted it as a shining light for the future of green jobs and a green-energy economy.

“The promise of clean energy isn’t just an article of faith — not anymore,” Obama said at the time. “The future is here.”

The future was bankruptcy.

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