The Solyndra Syndrome

The solar company's failure is more than a political scandal. It's a sign of the times

Larry Downing / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a newly manufactured light as he tours Orion Energy Systems, a power technology company, as part of his Administrations White House to Main Street Tour, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The shiny photo Ops long ago became a blur: President Obama posing on one gleaming factory floor after another, often in shirtsleeves or protective glasses, with newfangled green-energy gizmos funded by his policies. He lifted high-efficiency light fixtures in Wisconsin, touched windmill blades in Iowa, drove an electric car in Detroit and admired steam turbines in New York. "It's happening right now," he said after examining solar panels at a California company called Solyndra in May 2010. "The future is here."

His message strategists loved the visuals: Obama, far from Washington, pointing the way to a bright, clean future for America....

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