New video details Obama administration connection to failed Abound Solar loan

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

A new video details the political connections between the Obama Administration and Democratic benefactor Pat Stryker in the controversial government loan given to now bankrupt Abound Solar.

“Colorado billionaire Pat Stryker, whose foundation gave abound millions of dollars in startup capital, she has given Democrats $500,000 dollars over the last five years, including $85,000 to President Obama,” the video by Revealing Politics says.

WATCH:

Pat Stryker founded Bohemian Companies and was an early investor who contributed to $300 million in start-up capital for Abound. Stryker is also an Obama bundler who has given more than $440,000 to Democratic groups and candidates, including the president, in the last three elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“She is listed in the White House logs three times, and all of those times come around key points in the process of Abound Solar getting this loan,” says Todd Shepherd of the Independence Institute, on the video.

The video also displays portions of emails obtained by COMPLETECOLORADO.COM that the White House was involved in the Energy Department’s decision to award Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee.

“You better [let] him know the [White House] wants to move Abound forward,” said one email by Energy Department loan executive Jonathan Silver to credit adviser Jim McCrea. It was apparently in reference to Treasury adviser Ian Samuels not moving fast enough to schedule calls regarding Abound.

That same email thread also mentions “transaction pressure under which we are all now operating.” This email chain came just days before President Obama hailed government loan guarantees as a boon to Colorado’s economy in 2010.

Another email called into question Abound’s market readiness in regards.

“I was talking with Technical today… re Abound and they still have major issues with the transaction,” wrote McCrea in the email sent just two months before the Abound loan was announced.

These emails throw doubt on President Obama’s statements in an interview last week, where he said politics had nothing to do with Abound Solar getting the Energy Department loan guarantee.

“And these are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics,” President Obama told KUSA’s Kyle Clark last week.

Abound is currently under criminal investigation by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office in northern Colorado for securities fraud, consumer fraud and financial misrepresentation, according to the Denver Post, though no criminal charges have been filed yet.

Congress also launched an investigation into the company, asking Energy Secretary Steven Chu to provide documents and information regarding what the Energy Department knew about the troubled company.

Both investigations came after a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation, using internal documentation and testimony from sources within Abound, revealed that the company was selling a faulty, underperforming product, and may have mislead lenders at one point in order to keep itself afloat.

“Our solar modules worked as long as you didn’t put them in the sun,” an internal source told The DCNF.

The company knew its panels were faulty prior to obtaining taxpayer dollars, according to sources, but kept pushing product out the door in order to meet Energy Department goals required by the company’s $400 million loan guarantee.

“The DOE hurt us more than anything,” another source told The DCNF, referring to the Energy Department’s production and revenue metrics.

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