A company that President Barack Obama once claimed would provide “more than 1,500 permanent” green energy jobs has now become a Colorado toxic waste dump.
In his July 3, 2010 weekly address, the president touted Abound Solar, which had by that time received a $400 million Department of Energy loan guarantee. On June 28, 2012, the Energy Department announced that Abound was filing for bankruptcy after having received $70 million of the guarantee.
Claims of corruption soon surfaced, and on Oct 26, Kyle Clark on KUSA 9NEWS, an NBC Denver affiliate broached the issue of Abound Solar during an interview with the president. He described Abound as “a Colorado company connected to one of [Obama’s] billionaire fundraisers,” now bankrupt and under criminal investigation.
“How do you answer your critics who see Abound Solar as Colorado’s Solyndra, a politically connected company who took our money with it?” Clark asked.
Instead of answering the question, the president gave a three-minute monologue on green energy, sounding more like a State of the Union address retread.
Now it appears that Abound’s financial woes are only half the mess its executives left behind. It also created a health hazard, as reported by The Denver Post.
When Abound Solar closed its doors, it left behind 3,600 pallets of solar panels and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants cleaned up.
The Post’s Mark Jaffe reported:
Abound made solar panels by applying a thin film of cadmium telluride to a sheet of glass.
Cadmium is classified as a toxic substance and is a known carcinogen, according to federal health agencies.
The company has been ordered to bury the panels in concrete, at an estimated $2.2 million cost.
Bankruptcy costs are estimated at between $40 million and $60 million, which will also be footed by taxpayers.
Read more at The Denver Post.
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