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Solar Panels From China

The U.S. has slapped big tariffs on Chinese solar panels. So, what do we need more? To go green or buy American?

n this photo taken Nov. 18, 2011 and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese work on the production line at a solar panel factory of the Eoplly New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in Nantong City, east China's Jiangsu Province. A federal trade panel voted Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 to investigate whether Chinese companies are harming the U.S. solar panel industry by dumping low-price products on global markets. (AP)

In this photo taken Nov. 18, 2011 and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese work on the production line at a solar panel factory of the Eoplly New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in Nantong City, east China's Jiangsu Province. (AP)

When China moved into the American solar market, it was murder for American solar manufacturers. They were undercut right and left by Chinese companies with major backing from the Chinese government.

Many shut down. But it was great for American solar panel installers. From China, they got a low-cost product that sold like hot cakes. You may have some of those panels on your roof right now, pumping out green energy.

Last week, the U.S. government stepped in with big tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports.

This hour, On Point: the question — what do we need more? To go green? Or buy American?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Keith Bradsher, Hong Kong bureau chief for the The New York Times.

Clyde Prestowitz, founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute. He blogs at Foreign Policy.

Ned Harvey, chief operating officer and vice president of finance at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld industries America.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The move by the Commerce Department is certain to infuriate Chinese officials already upset after recent bilateral frictions over China’s human rights policies and its increasingly confrontational approach toward American allies like the Philippines and Japan.”

Wall Street Journal “China unleashed a storm of protest Friday on multiple fronts against the U.S. decision to impose a 31% antidumping tariff on Chinese solar-panel makers and said the action could backfire on U.S. industries.”

South China Morning Post “Solar power equipment and parts will remain in major global oversupply and product prices will continue to be under downward pressure for at least another year, according to the chief of the world’s largest maker of solar panels.”

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  • Guest

    The Chinese government’s subsidies of solar have already pretty much decimated the American solar panel manufacturing industry. There aren’t many companies left to pick up the slack. 

    That said, this is a brave and long overdue move from the US, that has too long been unresponsive to the aggressive trade strategy of the Chinese government.

  • Roy Mac

    There is much teeth-gnashing about how we MUST provide commensurate subsides to “get the industry on its feet.”  Those subsidies never go away (see:  agriculture, e.g.).  And the govt. refuses tariffs on GOK what grounds, even tho US jobs drift off shore inexorably.

    • ebw343

      Yes, we’re still subsidizing mature, profitable industries like coal and oil. And we’re going to keep doing it as long as Grover Norquist defines a subsidy cut as a “tax increase” .

  • Azra

    Since our priorities are not aligned with those of the rest of the world, it seems we have been left behind, and are being surpassed, in many ways, by China and India. We’ll have to adjust, but it seems that we will have to bow to China’s expertse in the field of clean energy. China has realized that solar panels, and other forms of clean energy, are the next big thing, and will soon be in such big demand that they have directed all resources into these green projects. Right now, China is the leader in this field, ahead of even Germany.

    Weaning ourselves from dangerous, expensive, and unsustainable fossil fuels is much more important, in this case, than buying American. America is lagging far behind the other great countries, so we haven’t got much choice anymore. We’re much too late. When it comes to twenty-first century power, they’ve got us beat. China is far-sighted enough to see that solar energy is the future, and they’re doing everything they can to be the world leader. We flubbed it, now we’re at their mercy.

    • Victor Vito

      It is the benefit of a more planned economy.  China can plan beyond the next quarters profits or the current business cycle.  A definite weakness of American Capitalism.

      • Zing

         American Capitalism bad, blah blah blah

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You realized that American Capitalism has gone bad, and is blah?

    • Don_B1

      There is NO reason that the U.S. cannot return the favor and recover the lead, but it cannot wait forever, which is what will happen without government help. What has to be decided is how to provide that help.

      It is not clear that the previous approach of subsidizing customers will not work but must be set up to be more than year-by-year and China or other countries dumping prohibited.

      Also the cost of installing panels needs to be reduced by finding better procedures or new panel types that install more directly.

  • Obama happens

    In an effort to pander to the unions,

    President Obama has embraced the perils of Protectionism.

    Before you know it, President Obama will probably have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bring up the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act for a vote in Congress as well.

    • Victor Vito

      Obama bad, blah blah blah…..

      • Obama happens

        Chomsky: Bush kidnapped & tortured, Obama murders
        http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/05/16/241483/bush-tortured-obama-kills-chomsky/

        It looks like your fellow liberal, Noam Chomsky agrees with you.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          THOUSANDS OF DEAD, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries, from Bush Wars?
             Millions of refugees and otherwise displaced persons and orphans?
            Iraq and Afghanistan industries and economies in disarray?
            Then, Obama Happens, and the casualty lists start going down?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      YOU WHINE about union wages for workers, to SUPPORT CEOs, that get HUNDREDS, to THOUSANDS of times MORE pay, EVEN if they make ‘decsisions’ that BANKRUPT the company?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    You ask the question, “To go green, or buy American?”
    Why can’t it be both? 

    It is time that we start applying tariffs that reflect the environmental cost, the Human Rights cost etc. of China’s Manufacturing methods.  They send us products laced with toxic chemicals either on purpose or because their environmental controls and awareness are so lacking and we do nothing other than try to force a recall.  They must be made to bear the full cost of production or look elsewhere for their markets.  Cheap ain’t necessarily so!

    • TFRX

      Yeah, I don’t come to this show for a cheap “either or” headline that sounds at home on “The Evening News”.

    • Don_B1

      Eventually the U.S. will have to include the cost of CO2 emissions in that list, but it can’t while it does not have a credible NATIONAL policy to lower our emission. I give great kudos to states and cities for their efforts. One of the best is RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions), which has funded the creation of thousands of jobs as part of the trading of emission credits. Note that Governor Romney first approved this plan and then withdrew Massachusetts from it but Governor Patrick has returned Massachusetts to it in his first year as Governor.

  • Victor Vito

    Tariffs and even isolationism suffer from the same taboo as taxing the rich.  We’ve been told for so long that it simply cannot or should not be done, that we no longer seriously consider either.

    Time to dial down free trade and globalization.  When you are the richest nation with the highest standard of living, free trade globalization gives you no place to go but DOWN.  I think many of us have figured that one out.  Now it is time to do something about it.

    • Still Here

      We’ve got plenty of tariffs/duties/trade restrictions and the “rich” pay the vast majority of the taxes, so not so taboo apparently.  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        DO the rich pay the percentage of taxes, that they get of the income?

      • denis

        as a % to their wealth can you say the rich pay the vast majority of tax with a straight face? 

      • Don_B1

        Tariffs/duties etc. are on the imported GOODS which are purchased across ALL income levels, some unequally but in aggregate probably reasonably equally, at least in proportion to amount of imported goods purchased.

        The meme that the rich pay the “vast majority” of taxes does not mean that much: they also receive the “vast majority” of INCOME, so they SHOULD pay the vast majority of taxes. They also work hard to keep the income of the workers low, so that those workers do not have the income to pay more taxes on.

      • Victor Vito

        I’d answer the charge of the rich paying all the taxes, but several already have. 

    • denis

      and how do you measure the highest standard of living?

      • Victor Vito

        You are right, it is in a sense subjective. 

  • AC

    we can’t whine about a challenge – it’s just not American. Why are they able to do this so much cheaper? Having seen Manufactured Landscapes, I sincerely hope it’s not by ignoring basic environmental truths – while selling ‘environmental products’. I wish you could offer an industry person from China so we could hear directly from them…
    or
    perhaps the Chinese can pull a little muscle and threaten to hold back on rare earth metals….or does anyone know what’s going on since a complaint was filed with the WTO in March? they continue to raise & lower prices to hold that market completely.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Two of the best sources for the best sand for Solar Panels, are reported to be in Tennessee.  Three major Solar Panel Manufacturing Plants are, or are being built in Tennessee!

    • ToyYoda

      Through some market protectionism, government and industry coordinated research, the Chinese have become the world leaders in Solar panel technology.  The feel-good placebos that Chinese can’t innovate nor think for themselves is so wrong that not only is it a placebo, it’s denial.  I’ve met a few, they are hard working, clever, ingenious and hungry with ambition…. watch out!!

      Here’s a good article that paints a broader picture of this discussion.  It’s more than just tariffs that we need to do.  It’s way more.  But, because we are Americans, we will do the cheapest thing and bunble it.

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/12/21/091221fa_fact_osnos?currentPage=all 

      Enjoy.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How much are CEOs of U.S. Solar Panel manufacturing plants being paid?  ARE they WORTH it?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Ovshinski (sp?) manufactures Amorphous Silicon Panels, a mile at a time? 
       NEW Solar Panel Plants are being built, in Tennessee, and elsewhere!
       A Solar Panel, once installed and connected, starts making power, as soon as the sun shines!
       Oil, coal, and gas have MANY transportations and their costs, with the resultant losses of energy, BEFORE they are converted into energy for your use!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    RENEWABLE ENERGY, is National Energy Security, therefore National Security!
       Can Al Quieda interfere with Solar, Wind, or other Renewable Energy produced here, near the site of use, NEAR as easy as they can interfere with oil drilled in the Mideast, trucked or piped to ships, and shipped here?

    • Gregg

       Drill here, drill now.

      • RolloMartins

        That’s like lighting a match to your own home. Forget the petroleum and gas: double down on the energy products of the future. All of them: solar, wind, biofuel, hydrogen, tidal. 

        • Gregg

          I love solar, wind, biofuel, hydrogen and tidal but forgetting petroleum and gas is not possible.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Forgetting petroleum is NOT possible for La., Ala., Fla.?   THEY will have reminders of BP, for DECADES?

          • Gregg

            The world would screech to a grinding halt without oil.

      • Adks12020

        Not only is that short sighted (depending on who you ask maybe 100 years worth of oil and gas) but it will barely make a difference in price or supply available to Americans. Emerging markets are still the most profitable for oil companies. There are new customers in places like China and India every day as more people are able to buy vehicles. Private industry is out to make profit, not to help our energy concerns. 

      • nj_v2

        Greggg thinks repeating the same, simplistic, refuted, stupid thing over and over for months somehow makes it tenable.

        • Gregg

          Please don’t tell me what I think.

          • nj_v2

            Then please tell us. Why do you keep repeating the same, simplistic, refuted, stupid thing over and over for months?

          • Gregg

            I don’t think I’ve ever said it here.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg once again resorts to smarmy evasion.

          • Gregg

            Just denying the stupid charge, that’s all.

  • Gregg

    Solyndra was money down a rat hole. Ditto Evergreen. The technology to compete with fossil fuels is not there yet. Germany has made massive investments in solar and her citizens pay the second highest rates in the developed world for electricity. Who is first? The world wind-energy champion, Denmark.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Have they fracked your horse farm yet?
         Do YOU have a gas or oil drilling rig within 150 foot of your house where you live?

      • Gregg

        There’s no oil here.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

       I won an all expense paid trip for two to the Fukushima, Japan. Want my tickets?

      Germany has chosen to do a safe and responsible thing which is to back away from their nukes and prevent potential nuclear disasters.

      So their electricity costs are high? What is their quality of life, healthcare, education, sense of well being… who cares about an electric bill when you’re happily employed and building a bright future to look forward to?

      • Gregg

        Germans are worried.

        • denis

          worried about what?  Where do you get your enlightened info?  Oh I forgot, you are a Fox 24/7 guy and they give you all you need to know – true or not.

          • Gregg

             Oooo the fox monster.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Solyndra, when starting production, was hit with a Chinese price-drop in Solar Panels! 
         How many NEW business can take a price cut like that, when just starting in the market?
         Evidently Solyndra had other problems, too?

      • Gregg

        Yes, problems everyone foresaw before we threw a half billion down the rat hole.

        • denis

          You would rather throw it down the BP rat hole?

          • Gregg

            Oil works so it’s not a rat hole. BP is still in business. Obama was stupid enough to exempt them from oversight as if they could be trusted to police themselves.

        • Don_B1

          Then why didn’t YOU get up on your hobby-horse and YELL out the proper warning?

          Show me where EVERYONE knew that Solyndra was a bad investment? There were some people who had problems with some company issues, but I don’t remember the story including pricing competition from China, which is what did Solyndra in.

          In hindsight the technology was enough different that its competitiveness maybe should have been doubted, but it wasn’t by ANYONE. A Republican committee member wrote letters trying to ease Solyndra’s path.

          The program overall was designed to be able to survive making several mistakes like Solyndra because it is impossible to be right every time. But the program has done MUCH BETTER than expected as shown by the fact that the losses will turn out to be much less than budgeted for.

          The problem that the program was designed to overcome is the provision of financing for companies to bridge the funding gap companies face when developing new technology. This occurs have they have a working product but face the costs of expanding to full manufacturing capability. It is often called the “Valley of Death” for such companies, and is what the Guaranteed Loan Program was designed to help companies deal with.

          If only those that will be successful companies are given guarantees, then it is a pretty useless program as,, at least in an economy not in depression or with banks not lending, the private sector will finance them as it would need no guarantee. The Loan Guarantee Program is actually costing $2 billion LESS than had been projected and provided for in the legislation.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Yes, Chinese subsidies up the wazoo… like leasing land at 10 cents on the
        dollar…
         

        So we just roll over and play dead as a former industrial power?

         

        If the Chinese aren’t laughing at us, they don’t even have the time to look
        at us with scorn for being so stupid and weak.

    • nj_v2

      Greggg thinks we can live in the Petroleum Bubble forever.

      • Gregg

         Please don’t tell me what I think.

        • nj_v2

          Then please tell us. How much “new” oil do you think there is? What do you think fossil fuel prices will do in the next few decades? What do you think is going to happen when fossil fuel prices double? Triple?

        • Don_B1

          And tell us how the world will avoid food, water and war/terrorism from the effects of Climate Change caused by the emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, of which oil is one?

          Note that EVERY geoengineering “solution” so far proposed has inherent problems that will cause more problems than it solves.

    • Alan in NH

       If we took into account the true price we pay for the continued use of fossil fuels in environmental and health costs, would we not already be competitive with them when we use power generating technology that doesn’t create that kind of havoc with our well-being?

    • denis

      Perhaps it is time we realize that nothing is free… paying the highest energy cost is not necessarily bad. Look at Denmark’s standard of living, happiness level, economic strength and you can easily see why the citizens look at the “better good” not just their own greedy self-interest.

      • Gregg

        Yea, higher electric bills are just what struggling Americans need to be happy. You’re a genius.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The national security of the United States has always been based in large part upon the economic vitality of US industry from family farms, through cottage industries up to industrial giants like US Steel, GE and GM. Without that vitality WWII could have ended much differently.

    For 30 years we have been lowering our national industrial defenses with leaders promoting ‘free trade’ and the benefits of a level playing field while our competitors (China, India…) take advantage of us by not doing so unencumbered by safety and health standards and labor laws that our ancestors fought for decades to protect us their children. Behind them corporate leaders have been calling for more and more ‘incentives’.

    By not enforcing tariffs or demanding equitable rules have not political leaders betrayed the trust of the American worker? By vigorously engaging in unbalanced trade for short term gain, corporate leaders have been directly eviscerating our economy. Outsourcing our jobs and off-shoring profits has been going on for years in the open but no one is crying foul until now with the huge imbalance in the US economy: workers get starvation wages and CEOs are deified.

    So what is the definition of treason?

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Do you really want a “green” and solar based economy ? Put the ownership of these technologies into the hands of everyday people and then START PAYING SUSTAINABLE AND MEANINGFUL DIVIDENDS ! Yes ladies and gentlemen, ROI ( return on investment ) and ROE ( return on equity ) drive business decisions and feeds old ladies and pension funds. If you don’t start thinking this way, some day soon, you will find that a small handful of people will own all the solar panels, produce all the electricity and will charge you whatever they want.

    What ever happened to General Motor’s , “Hy-wire” vehicle concept car. This car was fully electric, had no transmission, no hump in the middle of the front seat, had amorphous solar panels as “skin” of the car body, could power your house while not in use driving, ( Of course, it could have also powered your boss ‘s business allowing you to make a little more money ! ), could provide portable power while on or off road. The body was removable, allowing you to switch body styles, at will, roadster one day, pickup truck the next ! GM didn’t need a bailout, they needed someone to tell them to make the cars we would all want to purchase !

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Oh, you mean a CEO, like Rick Waggoner, that BANKRUPT GM, and got paid $20 MILLION BONE-US, to Bone us?

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Is there anything we use today that was not subsidized? Computers, cars, roads, airports, power plants, power infrastructure, football stadiums…

    • Don_B1

      Since the administration of Abraham Lincoln, most of new technology has been the result of various forms of government-industry collaboration. Beginning during the Civil War, the Transcontinental Railroad was subsidized.

      The integrated chips that enabled the design of small computers was developed for the space program and missile systems of the Defense Department. And the Internet was developed by DARPA to provide robust communications with those missiles when under attack. Al Gore WAS instrumental in getting government funding for the civilian version of the military system. [He NEVER claimed to have 'invented it." Two FEMALE reporters, one for The New York Times and the other for the Washington Post put that false message out.]

      No energy system was developed without government subsidies; see:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies

      • Drew (GA)

        Nice!

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

         Bingo! and yet Fox news would have us believe that all this technology and economic might arose from the guts, heroic efforts of godlike VCs!

  • RolloMartins

    If Reagan hadn’t dismantled our solar industry we would most likely be exporting, like China is now, to the rest of the world, and be the world’s leader in solar technology. 

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    For the heck of it, I would like to reintroduce an idea I posted some time ago on a past NPR show. The idea was to place solar panels over graves in cemeteries. By doing this you eliminate the need to purchase land for placement of the solar power station, as you have already purchased the land for the burial.

    By etching the solar panels with information about the deceased, you eliminate the need for a grave headstone. These are two major cost savings and could be used to offset the ridicules price of burials today, providing an incentive to purchase the panels . The placement of a “solar farm” in a cemetery would allow for efficient distribution of harvested solar power, as it would be near areas where people live, reducing expensive “line loss” that occurs when you have to transport electricity from areas that are far from consumption.

    This type of power production would be quiet, attractive, and very affordable. It would also help to produce some much needed investment and jobs for communities.

    • nj_v2

      Most cemeteries around here are mostly shaded. 

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         The residents prefer it that way.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Because they think they’re cool?

        • Alan in NH

          I think the residents would welcome seeing that they are still useful to those of us that are on this side of the soil.

          • Wm. James from Missouri

            I know you are being whimsical, but there is actually much wisdom in your statement. Many of us would like to go to our final resting place knowing that our children and grandchildren would not have to die in a war fought needlessly, due to costly energy .

    • Gregg

      I always thought putting solar panels on the tops of tractor-trailers would be a good idea. There’s gotta be truckloads of batteries or products that contain batteries that could be charged in the truck as opposed to the factory.

      • Wm. James from Missouri

        Thanks Gregg,

        I have thought of that also, as have many others I am sure. The panels would have to be rugged and very, very light weight. Some of those fully loaded rigs are only getting about 4 miles to the gallon. Also, the ceilings on trailers take a lot of abuse with those fork lifts, they punch many a hole in those ceilings. Then you have to worry about ice build up on the roofs, etc. . Gregg, I think you are on the correct path though. Getting dual or multiple uses out of costly products is the way to go !

    • Ellen Dibble

      Are you thinking of leaving the green fields underneath?  I’m trying to imagine, and I realize I saw a photo in the local paper of solar panels over fields near here, with cows munching grass here and there underneath.  Raised panels — some company here specializes in that.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Here’s a clip from an article last summer; it seems to predate the company doing it.
        “Stephen Herbert, a professor of agronomy who serves as the director of the Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, has been overseeing a test program at the university’s 358-acre research farm in South Deerfield where 106 solar panels, set almost 10 feet off the ground, have been generating 25 kilowatts of power, while at the same time the rich soil beneath them continues to be used for raising nursery plants and vegetables and grazing cattle.
        He explained that his research could eventually be exported and help state and federal officials learn how to site solar projects without disturbing agricultural land.
        “We can raise animals beneath the panels and keep land in agriculture,” Herbert said. “This is really a good thing for Massachusetts to lead the way on.”
        UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said the initiative, offering both research and community outreach opportunities, would also generate clean power and save the university about $200,000 a year in electricity costs.”   (The link:  http://www.gazettenet.com/2011/08/24/neighbors-object-to-umass-researcher039s-solar-farm-proposal )

        • Wm. James from Missouri

          Thanks for writing Ellen,

          I am all for creative ideas. In a true free market system, I am sure that many people would develop new and interesting variations of my idea. The good people at Lascaux France pressed their hands against the walls to produce images, later artist invented sketching and then painting, and then computer generated art and then … .

      • Ellen Dibble

        The company I have in mind is Hyperion Systems, which markets itself to supplement incomes for small to moderate scale farmers.  I’d hate to see these businesses fold.  
        http://www.hyperionsystemsllc.com/our-system/

    • GMG

      Great idea.  Not sure about the headstone thing, but, for example, a lot of the grassy open spaces in NYC are cemeteries, and the users of the electricity are right there. 

      • Wm. James from Missouri

        Well let’s see now… ( he said quietly to himself ). If every living person were to plan for his final resting place to be covered with a solar panel … . That would be ( starting with the current world population estimate ) 7 billion panels. ( Furthering the daydream, he says ). Now didn’t that article in Scientific American say some time ago that “ they” estimate that there have been about 106 billion humans born since that moment we became “ Human” … ( reaching for his pen and paper, he goes to the internet to figure out how much power could have been generated, over all those years if , only if … .

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Living in an oil, coal, and gas-producing area, I see the oil trucks, the coal trucks, and the truckloads of drilling chemicals and material.
       AFTER they get a lease to drill, they have to GUESS where to drill.  2 to 5 DRY HOLES, or non-production wells to 1 producing well are drilled.  (‘W’s companies drilled ONLY dry holes, from what I have read!)
       Once producing well is drilled, the rig has to be removed, and a pump set up, with a tank.  Oil gets pumped from that tank into a truck.  Much of that oil is pumped into a larger truck.  Then the oil is trucked to a pipeline, or train, ship, or straight to refinery.  Refined oil products are piped to terminals, or trucked from refinery.   From the terminal, oil it trucked to Distributors.  From the distributors, the oil products, including gas, is trucked to other middle-men, or to your service station.  You then pump it into your tank, to be able to use it.
       ALL of this pumping, trucking, refining, and storing, USES energy!  ALL of that energy costs money!  EVERYONE involved gets money!  YOUR money!
       If you install a Solar Panel, Wind Turbine, or other Renewable, less-polluting Energy System, to charge your electric vehicle, light, power, heat, cool your home, does a terrorist attack against a pipeline, ship, oil truck, railroad, in the Mideast, hurt you near as much?

  • Drew (GA)

    The US could have gotten on the ball in the Solar Industry thirty years ago and this discussion would not exist. We (America) did nothing because it would be financially detrimental in the short term. It’s the same as it ever was; Not profitable? Not worthy.

    We could all be driving vehicles with an independent electric motor at each wheel. Stability and safety would be unparalleled and maintenance costs would all but vanish. And performance? Electric motors can provide far more torque than combustion engines without the noise and pollution. But of course no drive train, no brake components, and not one single use of a petroleum product would put a serious hurt on some powerful pocketbooks.

    And Solar Panels? If we had gotten our s___ together when we should have, a Photovoltaic paint (or coating) process could have been developed by now. The ENTIRE surface of a vehicle (or a building for that matter) could be collecting and transferring solar energy.

    We always hear preachers from the political pulpit telling us that America is Great, America is innovative, Amen. I say America is an obstructionist and not much else these days. We could innovate our way out of our current malaise but that would require some effort and some sacrifice. There are some individuals striving for advancement but they are stifled at every turn. It’s so much easier (and profitable in the short term) to just sit around whining and crying about how unfair the world is.

    It’s hard to be a fighter when your hands are always tied.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       Jimmy Carter had the right idea when he started wearing sweaters for his “fireside” chats and installed solar hot water panels on the Whitehouse.  Let’s not forget one of Regan’s first acts in office was to have the solar panels removed and then he trashed the alternative energy funding push in the Department of Energy which was leading the way to a much more secure energy future than we are now faced with.  Short-sighted repugnicans to the “rescue”once again!

      • Drew (GA)

        You must have read my mind, I was thinking of the Carter/Reagan transition when I wrote that comment. Carter (like several Presidents before him) looked down the road and saw what was coming. He then preceded to discuss it with the Nation in a reasonable and rational manner. Our response? Shut up Carter, you’re bumming us out. Let’s hire a spokesperson to tell us what we want to hear and see how that works. Rinse and repeat.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Difficult issue – on the one hand US solar panel makers are being killed by China flooding US with below cost panels. On the other hand “fixing” this issue through tariffs, is causing China to respond in kind. And many US solar panel installers may go out of business due to the higher costs.

    • Don_B1

      So far China is only talking (and in a way, so are we; the tariffs are not final yet) about a Trade War. As one of the guests said, Japan did not start making cars here until tariffs were in place; maybe China will respond in the same way but sooner.

      As for installers going out of business, solar panels were being installed before when panel prices were higher than those produced here now. Electric utilities are sitting on cash that they could use to meet their sustainability requirements and offer loans to their customers or actually rent their customers’ rooftops to install their panels and sell the generated electricity to the homeowner.

      It could also get installers to focus even more critically on their installation process for ways to reduce costs there. When developers start building houses again, if the installation process can be integrated with the house design, a lot of the costs might go away or at least be reduced.

  • ebw343

    Some pundit was saying the other day, I don’t remember who, that China runs its’ economy according to its’ national interest and we run ours based on some 20-years-out-of-print textbook.

    This is a classic case.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Chinese state sponsored predatory capitalism has been eviscerating us for decades now. Solyndra is just a recent example of how we allow ourselves to be victimized.

    So should we just roll over and play dead as a former industrial power?  If the Chinese aren’t laughing at us, they don’t even have the time to look
    at us with scorn for being so stupid and weak. 

    So when are we going to stand up and fight back as a nation? Never if we continue to embrace Republican lazy fairy economic policies cause corporations ain’t doin’ it!!!

  • Bruceguindon

    Good, the Chinese have undercut the market to such a degree that no one can compete 

  • Yar

    Residential solar installation gets more bang for the buck with heating water than with photovoltaics. Why hasn’t some US entrepreneur combined the two?  I have a vision for a tubular solar collector that carries water inside a glass tube and is surrounded by a larger tube with a mirror coating on the bottom half.  Photovoltaic cells could be coated on the outside of the center tube.  Make it out of Gorilla glass, vacuum sealed, and make it modular so each tube can be plugged into a rack with O rings to circulate water through the inside tube.  It will create heat and electricity.  Innovation is much better than tariffs.  If China builds such a system, like I want, and if I can afford it, I will buy it.  My concept looks a lot like a long thermos bottle with a center hole in both ends.

    • Tod

       Check out SunDrum – it is a solar thermal system that attaches to PV panels so effectively it does combine the two.

      • Yar

        My concept uses a mirror to concentrate light on the photovoltaic surface, thereby creating more output per cell, and like SunDrum, thermal cooling increases efficiency.   I am looking for an all in one design instead of a hybrid system from different manufactures.
        SunDrum shows why the concept makes sense.  Most residential power goes to heating and cooling. 

  • Aaron

    If 4 of the 5 most profitable companies in our country receive petroleum industry subsidies, why isn’t an equal amount of funding also given to domestic renewable energy technology companies including those producing PV solar panels?

    • William

      Apple and Google both receive taxpayer subsidies. Why? They are hugely profitable and don’t need such subsidies from the taxpayers. Should we not go down a list of all profitable business and eliminate all taxpayer subsidies?

      • Still Here

        Plus getting a subsidy doesn’t mean they don’t pay taxes, because they do.  Their subsidies are tax credits.  Subsidies are used to elicit some desired action; each subsidy should be judged based on these terms.  Charitable and mortgage interest deductions are subsidies as well.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Guess I just missed my opportunity to afford solar panels.

    On the other hand, I’m all against “robber baron” economics. If the Chinese were selling below their cost, it really is not OK.

    Then there is the question of quality. Did/do the cheap Chinese panels function as well and last as long as US made panels?

    • Tod

      At the time I purchased my US-made Evergreen panels, they cost more but were more efficient (converted a higher % available sunlight into electricity). 

  • Brads77

    I don’t mind tarriffs on panels from China and offsetting it with tax breaks to Americans who buy American panels and have tem installed.  That way it helps both our manufacturers as well as installers, and also promotes green energy.

  • mgreen/ Omaha

    China can open factories in USA  or American Solor companies can move back to America from China

  • Chris

    It was known in  2010 China was subsidizing their companies to the tune of 30 billion dollars in order to drive solar manufactures the world over out of business.

    So, many of our companies were undersold and went bankrupt.

    Washington did nothing to stop this. No tariffs. Nothing.

    You are responsible Washington for Solyndra going bankrupt.

    Issa’s little hearings about loans to solar companies is a witch hunt.

    Hey Issa, we should be subsidizing our companies like China does.

    • TFRX

      Before the 2010 election Daryl Issa promised a new hearing every day to “investigate” President Obama’s many and varied affronts to the government and American people.

      I guess Issa has better things to do with his time than worry about a level playing field for nascent American businesses in a growing field.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    How can the American people buy Solar panels when they cost a fortune and installing them.

    India and China’s rural areas are using solar energy that uses cheap reliable solar panels.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I prefer and buy Indian made Solar panels.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    It seems a little late to impose tariffs. After the US factories have closed?

    Of course, this is a faux market, boosted by huge government subsidies.  China wouldn’t be incented to dump if the subsidies were removed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    As long it hurts Chinese companies I won’t complain about that.
    Getting even with the Chinese aggression in the Philippine territorial waters and illegal poaching.

  • TFRX

    Did our host actually say “Chinese way of free trade”?

  • Nancy Gaudreau

    Haven’t we harmed our solar industry ourselves with our cheap fossil fuel policy?

    • Drew (GA)

      Yes and there’s nothing cheap about our fossil fuel policy when it’s objectively examined.

  • Guest

    At the rate we are going, we will have to pay companies to stay within the US. I am absolutely against this corruption on the SOLAR PANELS. Fortunately, our house is solar, the well is solar, the barn is almost completed and I’m working on the chicken house, which will be solar.

    After I install my last solar panels, I will have to shop internationally. Or NOT buy solar panels for a while. Too bad the US can’t build anything at reasonable prices. You will suffer !

  • greggm04

    Small Town: The Next Great Industrial Revolution
     
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NextIndustrialRevo

  • Tod

    Two years ago I had the choice between Massachusetts-made Evergreen and Chinese made panels.  I installed Evergreen  at our home, even though they came at a premium, in order to support our local economy.  Now, of course, Evergreen is out of business.  Tough lesson there.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thanks for trying, Tod!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Nobody understands the motivations of China?
    Just look at what they’ve done to computers, electronics, plastics, machine tooling, hardware, clothing…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Insofar as solar energy in the medium run saves anybody a lot of money, this is an issue of financing, not affordability.  I stopped thinking about cost about the time the local utilities told the city that they would upgrade the energy systems to green, and guarantee the savings, essentially financing the cost of the upgrades to the public buildings, by promising (with their own pocketbook) that there would be ample savings in energy costs.

    On a smaller scale, solar suppliers (or geothermal or wind) could ALL do that financial trick, and front the cost of the upgrade in the deal.  We’ll put in your wind power or whatever we see fit, and you pay the same you’d pay anyway, and we all end up with a net profit in five years.  Something like that.

    In the meantime, if we’ve lost an entire green industry to China, over the comparative cost of their panels versus ours (their fake cheap cost, as it happens), What a Bummer!  What would Romney do?

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    We don’t need tariffs, we need to realize the power of Boycotts!
    And then utilize them.  The powers that be can be brought to heel with the power that is in a true boycott.

    Did he just say “nobody understands what China is thinking”  H-E Double Toothpicks, I was born and raised in Kentucky and I understand what they are thinking.  They realize the Earth is a limited resource in the middle of nowhere and they are acting according to a 500 year, one thousand year, etc. planning horizon.  Wake up world!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Filipinos already Boycotts Chinese made products.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    INTERESTING CALLER FROM EVERGREEN SOLAR!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Ned Harvey is delusional like everyone at the Rocky Mountain institute.  Could it be the lack of oxygen at high altitudes?

  • BHA in Vermont

    Would the Evergreen panels have been cost competitive with Chinese panels if the Chinese weren’t dumping? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Chinese made solar panels are low quality that they break so easily.  Of course they are so cheap that you can break as many as you want.

    • guest

      You sound like you have never seen a Solar Panel of any kind. You are absolutely WRONG on the Chinese Solar Panels.

      What are you a bitter out of work assembler?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        You are protecting the Chinese Quality of solar panels? please. have you tried buying their shoes or other products that FALLS APART WITHIN MONTHS IF USAGE.

        Compared to Umass of Boston that highly developed solar panels that can achieve maximum energy input compared to huge bulky solar panels from China that made of unknown materials that the Federal governemt has not seen yet but it will come out soon don’t worry.

        I work for a Hospital in Boston. I am not bitter compared to you.

        • Wm. James from Missouri

          A while back I went to the dollar store to buy a pair of reading glasses. I kid you not.. I purchase them, went to my car, put them on and then one of the arms fell off, right there !

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Scale of production is dependent upon consumers having money as in jobs. Ship their jobs overseas and you lower consumption.

  • John in IA

    our trade “wars” with China are focused on the wrong thing, we’re racing to the bottom.  We need to orientate our trade policy to get other nations to bring up their labor and enviro standards to Amerca’s

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Interesting it’s always presented as “China vs. US” – there’s every possibility that US investors have their money in the Chinese factories and want nothing more than the US solar panel industry to collapse – and lobby (even if quietly) to that end in Congress.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Oil Industry, Coal Industry, Nuclear Industry, and Gas Industry, LOBBY, and NOT quietly, against Solar, and other Renewables!  The use money that could be part of the subsidies they get?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Coopetition, co-opetition, word of the day from Ned Harvey, how to work cooperatively with China to bring what makes sense to have here here, and what makes sense to have there there.  And the trade negotiator speaks up, and I’m thinking we have a possible change of administration here, a change of administration there, and who knows…

  • David Daniel

    Price is one thing, what about quality?  Are we consumers going to end up with solar panels that routinely have cells failing?  That’s how things are in the American/Mexican/Chinese auto parts market.

    • Drew (GA)

      You have to engineer things to break or your parts and repair businesses will dry up. We can’t have that can we?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Paul Ryan talking against Crony Capitalism?  Isn’t he being EXTREMELY HYPOCRITICAL?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Look at the subsidies handed out to oil and agriculture – extremely hypocritical doesn’t even cover it.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      How?

  • TFRX

    Wow, this is such a surprise, Paul Ryan calling Solyndra an Obama campaign donor. Solyndra was started under Bush, but who’s counting? Certainly not Fox News. And On Point just playing their spiel, not to be examined.

    Tom, you’re smarter than this to pretend Paul Ryan is the virgin in the cathouse. Didn’t NPR’s ombud say something recently about how ennabling lying by politicians isn’t doing a service to your listeners or public radio’s journalistic cred.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Huh?
      The government loan to Solyndra was done by the Obama admin.  In fact, it was accelerated.  There is no honest way to blame Bush for the government Solyndra loan.

      It is also a fact that major Obama contributors were involved in both Solyndra management and investors. 

      Connect the dots.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Word was, that the loan started in ‘W’ admin.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Solyndra requested the loan during Bush’s tenure but they never approved the loan.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            TOTAL DENIAL FOR A REPUBLICAN

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             Who is a republican?  Not me.

          • Gregg

            Either way you’re right, Bush denied the loan.

      • TFRX

        Bush signed the 2005 act which gave Solyndra loans.

        “Solyndra first came into the picture during the Bush administration, when it was one of just 16 firms found eligible for several billion dollars available in the Energy Policy Act of 2005′s guaranteed loan program.

        And more, the Energy Policy Act, which the Bush administration used to promote Solyndra, was passed by the same committee under the leadership of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/13/solyndra-bankrupt-solar-republican-problem_n_960287.html

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Nice try.

          The Bush admin never approved the loan.

  • William

    We should just demand China make a percentage of the product here as a joint venture with a US company. This is what the Chinese demand of American companies that want to sell products in China.

  • Cindysachs

    Please discuss the following:

    1.  Intellectual Property and how US solar Ip is not protected in China.
    2. World implications – Do you think Europe will follow suit?  Solar companies in Germany have almost all gone under.
    3. Do you think China will get around the issue by manufacturing in other countries?

  • TimMcK

    There is another choice. Perhaps we should match the Chinese subsidy. Think farm subsidies. Subsidize the price of US built panels. Don’t pick winners. We work toward a ‘greater good’. 

  • Daven

    Tom,

    Front page story in the Ithaca,NY Journal. New York State Public service Commission has doubled solar support to $432M over the next four years.

  • Peter from Newton, MA

    Our experience with panel prices in Massachusetts –
    late last year we obtained bids from 2 installers (both headquartered in other states).  One of them used Chinese panels.  There was a difference in the final bids for a 5KW home system, with the US-designed-and-built panels being more expensive. The Chinese-panel system was virtually the same as the one we used.  We went with US-made (or at least assembled) panels, designed and marketed by a German company.  I was concerned about how the Chinese company would back their warranty, since they had a much shorter track record.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Did the Chinese Panels broke apart after 3 to 4 months of New England weather?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    FORGET ABOUT CHINA!!!! Let them suffer the strict tariff.

    India’s solar panels are more reliable please check this web site:http://www.selco-india.com/management.html

    Harish Hande is the man that can help us with solar panels. 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Low income consumers of solar panels?

    That is funny.
     

  • onesolar

    Can Mr. Brinser describe how his company plans to compete with the even lower cost thin-film products that are produced in the US.  Can he also describe what efforts his Company is making to achieve the same protection in Germany, which historically has been a bigger market than the US for solar panels

  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t see solar competing with electric.  Where I live, solar is part of my electric bill, and as I understand it, my energy company is glad to have solar contributing to its supply that it distributes.

  • mgreen/ Omaha

     Chinese manufacturers just like GE, Vestas, and …get that GE General Electric Co

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      at least GE or Vestas makes Quality products compared to China.

  • gilscotheron

    The issue of Solar companies who no longer exist in the US via Chinese dumping is theater its bull puckey look what the FED has done  they have sold the Chinese a seat at the FEDs repo window with their 1.7 trillion in Us treasuries they have4 allowed them to lever their investment via the fractional reserve banking to turn the 1.7 trillion into 12 trillion.

    Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) won approval from
    the Fed on Wednesday to buy a U.S. lender in the biggest opening of the
    American banking market to Chinese companies. The Fed allowed ICBC to
    operate as a bank holding company, buying a controlling stake in Bank of
    East Asia’s U.S. unit. The Fed also let Bank of China and Agricultural
    Bank of China open U.S. branches.

    The decision marks the first time that regulators have allowed a
    Chinese bank to buy a majority stake in a U.S. depository institution.
    ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing has spent more than $6 billion on
    acquisitions in regions spanning Asia to South Africa and the Americas
    over the past three years, seeking to triple the share of profit coming
    from abroad to 10 percent.

    Also the Chinese have been granted a direct link to the Treasury market the only country allowed to buy treasuries directly from the us Treasury. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/21/us-usa-treasuries-china-idUSBRE84K11720120521

    All of the bluff and bluster from the US solar industry is bunk the subsidies are running out and there is pent up supply in the system local installers are dead in the water any way from my sources.  This is just a political nerf ball.

     

  • Chris

    Oil, gas, coal and Washington doesn’t want America using solar for our energy.

  • ana

    I am all for moving ahead with solar, wind et al.  I am wondering, though, what is the “life” expectancy of each panel and how are they to be disposed of and can they be recycled.
    So often we have given little thought to envir end costs.
    Encouraging that all parts of cars are now being recycled, so perhaps not to worry.

    • Kberg95

      Solar panels are expected to work for about 30 years with a 1% loss of power generated per year.  I have had my panels for 4 years and have not seen that sort of degradation, however.

  • Bob

    During the “space race”  US Gvt  subsidized many technologies that  later became profitable.  Why not here?  IT is a very important market and the US had and probably will continue to provide the intellectual innovation anyway!!

  • Clean Tek Dad

    With two sons in the Clean Tech industry (one with a graduate degree in Renewable Systems) I can confidently say that the US is behind the world in terms of commercializing solar.    We subsidized a few panel makers and it didn’t work!  We subsidize the demand side with credits. This whole anti dumping exercise is antother mega boo hoo over the US not winning the game. We are simply not competitive on the manufcturing side.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Baker/100001012473293 Aaron Baker

       OMG you’re wrong. I was there at Camarillo before we got closed we made the highest ever panels in a month by 10,000 and got highest ever quality. It was a tough job 12 hour shifts standing up all day and we were getting pushed for more and more and higher and higher quality and the cost per watt was going down every year and the power per module was going up. I’m sorry but you are just wrong about us not being competitive, this is communism trying to gain a monopoly period.

  • Mojalam

     

    To me, we are dealing with an archaic law that does not
    makes sense with today’s world>  We
    are trying to bring up the renewables for a reason that is bigger than trade
    policies – it is about important environmental issues that effects people’s
    lives and the health of the planet. Now, there are subsidy programs in the US
    as well, and will happen if the solar panel costs go up for due to the tariffs is
    that U.S. government would need to fill that void through its continued tax subsidies
    to the owners of PV installations.  It will
    also delay the solar PV sector from reaching grid parity and continue to be
    beholden to the government handouts. 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Ned,  I guess that investment in sacrifice and austerity here and now to preserve free trade are not worth the payback down the road with a vital domestic solar manufacturing base and the jobs that that industry would represent.

    • Nharvey

       I get the concern and in general the trade issues between the US and China worry me as well.  However, relative to the PV industry, when you dig into the viability of US PV Cell manufacturers, especially PolySilicon based cells its likely we’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater here.  The likely jobs and economic wealth creation for the US will not likely be in this sector.  We should be investing in advanced cell tech and the downstream industry and leave to low cost production to the low cost producers, which in the end won’t even be China.  In the end my issue is not with the US Commerce Dept, but with an overall lack of a definitive US Energy Policy and with SolarWorld and the others in its consortium for what I think is short sighted action.

      Ned

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

         
        We have a systemic problem: an unhealthy employment balance.  Without a balanced economy, the US ship of state will sink. Past US economic policy appeared to look to the derived benefit of cheaper stuff. Fundamentally, it does not really matter if jeans cost 10$ or 20$ if you’ve sacrificed the American dream. All that cheap stuff
        that we can now get from China is just that: stuff. Unfortunately all of the things that really matter – food, shelter, transportation, healthcare and education are not getting cheaper. Compounding
        the imbalance, the poor quality coming out of China afflicts consumers, corporations and the government alike and we spend more time and money compensating for poor quality.

        To worsen matters 7 million middle class jobs are gone and more are being outsourced regularly being replaced by lower paying jobs here. Those jobs include high-tech engineering jobs which require substantial training, knowledge and experience. I have lost 2 of them. I have won a third.

        Manufacturing is a key leg to maintaining a viable, innovative economy. America and its University systems thrived under DARPA funded research. University systems spun off many, many successful corporations. The computer industry was raised by and thrived under NASA, the NSA and DoD. We had the cold war to give us discipline, unite the government and generate a focused managed investment. That fragile unity
        is gone now and we are left with corporate interests dominating the legislative
        process by proxy.

        Take away manufacturing, take away the need for engineers, designers, technicians, technocrats, machinists, technocrats and you reduce the pool of innovation for from that population of managers, technicians and engineers of many disciplines emerge ideas and innovations.

        The health of our national security depends upon healthy industrial sectors across the board resulting in a healthy balance of trade. We cannot prosper as a service economy, importing everything and exporting only IP. This model is producing very little opportunity for the middle class to survive let alone prosper. This model is investing less and less in maintaining the middleclass, and thus our population of engineers, technicians and future innovators.

        The corporate model does not distribute wealth as evenly as it used to. Corporations contribute a significantly lower portion to our tax base than they used to. Our infrastructure is starting to show the signs of neglect and society is under
        stress of scarcer resources (jobs/money). Our economy is wavering with something like 4 out of 5 new corporate jobs being filled overseas. Growth is
        no longer encouraged by logical, rational economic policy. These are the fruits of chaos. This our laissez faire economy.

        We’ve nearly outsourced thinking.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    AMC was both by China. I hope AMC install solar panels at their theaters so the prices of movie tickets will go down from $20.00/$10.00 to $5 bucks.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      my bad Bought.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68
    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      it was not President Obama.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I have to research this Solyndra for almost 2 months now and the facts is that President Obama never signed anything to approved the loan he was just continuing the agreement that the Bush administration did with Solyndra.

    THE MEDIA OF COURSE never Really Investigated to clear Obama’s name.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I thought I will forget President Bush after 4 years out of office but his Legacy of Screw up still haunts the American economy.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Nice try.

      Maybe media matters will hire you for superb investigative skills?

      The truth is Obama is responsible for the Solyndra debacle.  There is plenty to blame Bush for but not this one.

      Obama’s admin approved the loan.  Steven Chu took responsibility for it.  In fact, he gave himself an ‘A’.  Biden and Obama happily visited Solyndra for photo ops.

      And then there is there is little matter of Obama political contributors all over Solyndra.  It stinks of corruption.

      At best it is incompetence.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        LOL!!!! I can only say to you and to your Republican Party Plausible deniability

        We will see in November.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          by the way I am not trying it is the truth but too late for Obama to clear his name after Bush signed the THE LAW for Solyndra to get the loan. hey if you are a starving  singlemother and you applied for WIC will the government approved you to get those freebees of course yes.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            that’s what happened to Solyndra a starving wanna be company waiting for Bush to sign the law.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            You clearly don’t understand the law.  The law does not force the government to give loans to every applicant, especially one on the verge of going under.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            I know the law. I handle CMS claims. Ha??? Especially on the verge of going under? LOL

            How can the government know Solyndra is going down the drain if Solyndra hasn’t started making solar panels without the loan?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           yup, I’m one of those coveted independents that will decide the election.

          I can’t wait until November.  This is looking more and more like Carter-Reagan redux and it can’t come soon enough.

      • Chris

        The Bush administration approved the first loan.

        Great reporting, ie whatever you want the facts to be.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           False.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            True he started this bogus loan with Solyndra.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             ’started’

            You are incredibly dense on this issue.

            Try going to a bank to get a house loan with no collateral or source of income.  Let’s say one bank officer receives the loan application and a different one approves it.  Which bank officer should be held accountable for the delinquent account: the receiver of the application or the approver of the loan?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Who signed the law in order for the applicant to apply for the loan? if the law was not signed into effect the applicant will not exist. Bush signed it a stepping stone for Solyndra

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        It was not a nice try Bush was the one started this Business crap with Solyndra, If he has nothing to do with it and didn’t keep pushing for the loan do you think Obama will inherit this bogus loan. NO!!!!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Bush’s DOE was NOT ready to approve the loan.  But keep trying to make things up to protect Obama’s incompetence.  Notice the date.

       From the congressional investigation on the solyndra debacle:

      “The Solyndra application was presented to a DOE Credit Committee on
      January 9, 2009. While the Credit Committee stated “that the project
      appears to have merit, there are several areas where the information
      presented did not thoroughly support a finding that the project is ready
      to be approved at this time.” Specifically, the Credit Committee noted
      that there was no independent market analysis “addressing the long term
      prospects for this company beyond the sales agreements already in
      place.” The Credit Committee also stated that “[t]here are questions
      regarding the nature and strength of the parent guarantee for the
      completion of this project.” The Credit Committee concluded that the
      “number of issues unresolved makes a recommendation for approval
      premature at this time,” and remanded the project to the Loan Programs
      Office for “further development of information.”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        It started in 2005 when he passed the bill in order for Solyndra to get the loan. I think Bush passed the bill just to give loan to Solyndra. The application was already in process before 2009.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           OK-ignore the facts and evidence.

          Your claim that passing the law is equivalent to loan approval is demonstrably FALSE — no matter how many times you repeat it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            That is the facts Solyndra got the first loan from President Bush but second loan from Obama I am not sure if they got it.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             Who was President in March 2009 when the first loan was approved?

            Oh yeah, it was Vice President Cheney at the photo op with Solyndra.

            Ooops!!!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            In 2009 President Obama was FIXING President Bush incompetency for not doing his home work. Try being a President and inherited hundreds of major problems in the American economy, American healthcare, Jobless issues, Wall Street Greed, Iraq and Afghanistan war etc etc

            These are the problems Obama inherited for 4 years from the Bush Administration or Republican Party.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             You appear to be the person changing the subject.

            You should stop digging.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            you are the digging screw up by Bush especially medicare part D

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            I am not ignoring the Facts.

            The facts is if the President Bush did not made a deal with Solyndra this mess will never happened in the Obama administration.

            The only reason Obama is getting blame because his campaign contributor work for Solyndra.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Also, your charge that Bush is responsible for Obama’s incompetence because he signed the 2005 law is analogous to LBJ being held personally responsible for the $100Bs of Medicare fraud today because he signed the Medicare act.

          It appears that you are only interested in holding the executive branch accountable for competence when they are a member of the GOP.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Please Medicare Act is helping millions of retired Americans if wasn’t for Medicare those elderly people will be paying thousands of dollars for a doctors visit.

            if you want to suppor the HMO for profit for the rest of your life. Please Start saving now for your medical bills and please include your retirement savings. FDR is actually the brain of Universal Healthcare in America.

            Have you heard of the Second Bill of Rights and do you also heard the white house recording of Kaiser Permanente and President Nixon about creating the HMO to make profit from the American people.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Nixon?

            Why do you change the subject?

            Oh, because I was spot on with my analogy.  I could have picked any government program that is being mismanaged.

            We’ll save the debate for the $100T unfunded liability of Medicare + Medicare part D for another day.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            LBJ!!!!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            And Medicare has something to do with Solyndra. PLEASE

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             I guess you missed the point completely.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            lol funny Medicare Part D was another BOGUS law passed by the President Bush that DID NOT HELPED THE Medicare patients.

            Great Jobs give more Laws that were big time screw up by BUSH

  • Obama happens

    G.A.O.:

    Recoverable Oil in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming ‘About Equal to Entire World’s Proven Oil Reserves’

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gao-recoverable-oil-colorado-utah-wyoming-about-equal-entire-world-s-proven-oil

    America could be:
     
    energy independent
     
    grow our economy

    create good-paying jobs that can support families 

    bring down our massive trade deficit significantly

    Unfortunately for America, the current squatter in the White House will have no none of that.

    • Alan in NH

      Isn’t this all oil shale/fracking reserves? Are there environmental and health consequences for the continued use of fossil fuels, wherever they come from? Couldn’t you make the same claim for coal reserves in the U.S., also with the same trade-offs in environment and health?

      • TFRX

        Conservative News (sic) Service (sic) is the last refuge of a hack.

        Your questions, while of merit, are wasting good argument after bad.

        • Obama happens

          Hey Einstein,

          the story was a link from the G.A.O!

          That’s stands for Goverment Accountability Office.

          They were the ones making the claims.  CNS news just reported on their findings.

          So now the G.A.O. has been taken over by ‘the vast right-wing conspiracy’ according to you?

          You feeble minded liberals are always a good source of comic relief.

          • Alan in NH

            But I wasn’t commenting on the veracity of the source you cited…but rather on the consequences of such resource extraction on environment and health, which I didn’t see you address. It seems to me that the trade-offs involved are significant.

          • TFRX

            If it’s true, it’ll be in another link than Conservative News (sic) Service.

            Continual linking to CNS is symptomatic of an unbalanced media diet.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Yes, Oil, Coal, Nuclear, and Gas POLLUTE! 
            EACH of them has health-problems!
            FEW, if any of their proponents, LIVE next to their worst polluting sources!

    • Nharvey

      One of the many challenges with an energy system based on non-renewable fossil fuels is that they are traded (or in the case of gas will likely soon be traded) on a global basis and thus subject to global supply/demand balances that drive global pricing and inherent volatility in those prices.  Importantly, they’re also subject to the whims of nation states and individual companies/players that stand to benefit from high prices in their segment of the fuel supply chain.

      Speaking from Colorado, I’d prefer my state to benefit from the transition to NatGas by selling its gas to the highest bidder, but at the same time decouple the cost side of our economy from the potential of high and volatile fossil fuel prices by shifting to a more efficient energy system with renewable sources.

    • PithHelmut

      You don’t seem to get it do you – we cannot keep burning oil. What does it take to get this through to people’s head?  You may not believe in “anthropogenic climate change” but what if you’re wrong? That would be sentencing everyone. Let’s just move away from oil now while we have a small window to will prevent the economic shock waves that would come should the world change the reserve currency. Instead of arguing let’s get busy building an innovative and thriving industry the world is dying to buy into. There’s an untapped market for alternative, clean fuels. China’s needs for clean energy and clean tech will become urgent as they realize there is no quality of life if you live in a toxic sewer.

      • Gregg

        China won’t lift a finger to have a cleaner world. The world cannot function without oil. You best consider these two realities.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Worried for the Country -here is another Screw Up by President Bush and this is out off topic:

    The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act  is a federal law of the United States, enacted in 2003.  It produced the largest overhaul of Medicare in the public health program’s 38-year history.
    The MMA was signed by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003, after passing in Congress by a close margin

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Is this Medicare and Medicaid Part D you are talking about that you want to mention to the American people that President signed and passed but did not actually helped the American people but helped the pharmaceutical companies to create more Generic drugs to be sold to Americans.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         The merits of the program and the proper funding are two separate issues.   You are correct that this is off topic so I will not engage.

  • Michiganjf

    This kind of protectionism for U.S. industry is ABSURD!!

    If Republicans would STOP THWARTING every attempt Congress and the President to bolster U.S. competitiveness by GROWING U.S. industries the correct, traditional ways, such protectionism would NOT be necessary or even contemplated!!

    Get rid of Republicans in 2012 and help U.S. industry the right way!!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Your post makes no sense. It is an ad hominem attack with no substance.

      What is the ‘correct, traditional’ way to grow US industry?

      What did the GOP do to hurt Solyndra?

      You would be singing a different tune if the Chinese were dumping products in your industry and you were forced out of business.

      • Zero

        The republicans and Fox News did actively pooh pooh the Chevy Bolt.  Why would they trash an American product?  Does it have to do with the fact that oil companies finance their political coffers…?

        There is corporatorcracy in America, and democrats are not immune.  But if we had more democracy in this country, where only individual, breathing human beings can donate a limited amount to politicians, then they would have to make everybody happy. 

        Do you think republicans would be so-pro oil if they weren’t being financed?  Do you think Obama would have trashed the coal companies to make way for natural gas?  Think about what this country would look like if politicians aimed to make everybody happy instead of corporations.  

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Mmmmm.  You didn’t answer the question.

          The Volt failed because it is priced too high.  The GOP has nothing to do with it.  I’ll concede that a couple GOP politicians (and late night comedians) used the Volt as a punching bag when it caught on fire.  It is a good punching bag against failed government bailouts and green subsidies.

          I doubt it has anything to do with the oil industry.  The oil industry does not fear the Volt.  Expanding the domestic oil industry is good for energy security and for helping the economy.  Corn ethanol is a different story.  The only upside is replacement of MTBE due to the ground water risk.

          btw – I’d love to see a plug in hybrid work.  We’ll get there someday.  Hopefully, we’ll have some cheap electricity ready for it.

          • PithHelmut

            What really threatens the oil industry is battery technology. And if people cannot see that Republicans overwhelmingly stymie clean technology and cherry-pick their battles opposing exclusively subsidies to clean tech but never oil or coal or agriculture, then blindness must be endemic.

          • Gregg

            So batteries charged with coal that require a hazmat team to dispose of are clean technology, gotcha.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ???

        • Gregg

          The Volt is a crappy overpriced vehicle. It’s HUGE drain on the taxpayers. The average income of people who buy Volts is $170K yet we subsidize them to the tune of $7500 each. It’s a toy for the rich who want to fool themselves into thinking they are saving the planet. The journalistic malpractice lies with networks and radio programs that tout it’s non-existent virtues.

  • Bruce

    Great show today!  Although I could not listen to the entire program, from what I could glean, OnPoint deserves credit for bringing guests who were prepared to explore the downsides of globalization–free trade without rule of law, without reciprocity and without safeguards against unfair competition. 
     
    It’s sad to see the Green Energy spokesperson reduced in a vain attempt to justify illegal dumping of these products on the U.S. market by invoking the old saw about how the benefits to society of cheaper goods outweighs the costs in terms of job loss and the further erosion of our manufacturing sector. 
     
    Once again the myopic interest of short-term gain is promoted at the expense of the long-term pain and dislocation when U.S. companies are not allowed to compete on a level playing field.   Apparently, those who advocate unrestricted “free” trade will not be satisfied until there are more Solyndras we can point to as examples of the “creative destruction” inherent in a mythical “free” market economy.
     
    The difference between a glut of cheap Chinese consumer goods flooding our retail chains such as Wal-Mart and the impact of solar panels is that, unlike a cut-rate pair of socks, solar panels have the potential effect of transforming our energy grid.  Hence, solar panels (unlike socks) come with consequences not only for our economic well-being, but also for our national security and infrastructure of production.
     
    Hopefully, common sense and fairness will prevail over those voices who discount the future in favor of immediate gratification and slavish obedience to a bottom line that omits the long-term economic, human, social and environmental costs of growth mania.

    • Bruce

      To clarify the above, what I meant to convey was “Once again the mypoic interest of short-term gain is promoted  by those who seem oblivious to the long-term pain and dislocation caused by trade deals that do not allow U.S. companies to compete on a level playing field.”

    • Jsmyle

      I must respectfully disagree with you.  What would think if China was subsidizing the production of cheap panels by dumping the industrial effluents into from the manufacturing process, untreated, into rivers that are drinking water sources and utilizing the unpaid labor of political prisioners or child labor to hold down costs?  I use that as an extreme example of a “subsidy” you probably would not agree with, not implying that this is the actual case.  If you agree that these types of subsidies are undesirable, now where do you draw the line?  “Fair” and “level playing field” are not theoretical concepts.  “Sustainability” has financial and economic dimensions as well as social, environmental and institutional ones.  You cannot get to sustainability without worrying about all these aspects.

      • PithHelmut

        If we did away with all subsidies then the solar market could better compete with the highly subsidized oil, coal and agriculture industries.

        • Gregg

           The solar market is also highly subsidized.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Oil, Coal, and Gas have been subsidized for several decades!  The executives’ PAY and PERQs?
               If they can’t survive WITHOUT subsidies by now, they PROVE the LIES they spread about Renewables being ‘too expensive’?

      • Bruce

        I don’t find much in your statement to disagree with.  Maybe my post was unclear (see edit below this comment).

        Specifically, I agree with your assertion about “sustainability.”  I don’t think the “free” trade model adopted by Reagan et al reflects the true costs of growing our economy and feeding our hyper-consumerism.  While the system it has produced has created an abundance of cheaper goods and services, it has imposed a huge cost not typically calculated, that is, the cost of replacing our manufacturing jobs with service jobs, which pay far less on average. 

        It has also resulted in an enormous product trade deficit that has caused more investment money to flow into the U.S. primarily benefiting wealthy business owners and investors.  Since “trickle down” has been shown to be insufficient to compensate for our loss of manufacturing jobs, this type of “free” trade has excacerabated income inequality–a hallmark of the Conservative Nirvana.

        In addition, this “free” trade model rewards our  multi-nationals for outsourcing their operations to countries with lax or no environmental protection, consumer safety, occupational health and wage standards–all in order to hold down production costs.  Moreover, besides decreasing GDP through job loss, this brand of “free” trade undermines our own democratic values by creating incentives at home to lower the above standards in order to compete for, attract or keep the production of multi-nationals within our borders.

        Generally speaking, “free” trade without reciprocity or safeguards confers a significant competitive disadvantage to the U.S. and other countries that have implemented environmental regs, labor laws, progressive taxes, minimum wages, safety regs, human rights as well as strong banking regs, legal and tax codes.

        I would certainly agree that economic growth based on this trade model may be unsustainable as well as harmful to our long-term economic and strategic interests. 

              

  • Brucep

    I tried throughout the program to call in but consistently received the message, that caller’s box is full’…after which the system disconnected. Don’t know what that was about!
    I do want to add the perspective of an individual, rather than someone trying to make money within the industry. I have researched and implemented solar energy for my own purposes for over 8 years. Although I live in a location good for solar there are no utility related assistance or installer ‘lease’ programs in my area. It doesn’t seem to be in the interest of the utility companies, already vested in their own generation solutions, to provide assistance to something they cannot see future gain for themselves from.
    Personally, I try to find the best price per watt I can when I buy panels. When I first began, I bought Evergreen panels (USA). Initially, the problem was there were no close by distributors and snipping on these heavy, fragile items was nearly as much as the cost of the panels. Over time the issue became these panels did not produce nearly what they were rated at nor did they hold up as well as the cheaper (Chinese) panels I replaced them with. Incidentally, the Chinese panels, although lesser rated, far out produce the remaining Evergreens in my system.
    If the US manufactures want to play in the game I think they should concentrate on making solid, basic panels at a competitive price. I was distressed a couple of years ago to read the US industry was concentrating on new panel technology with nano micro inverters built in, blah, blah, blah. From an individual consumer’s viewpoint I want a solid, basic panel that will get the job done at the best price I can find it. I can’t pass the price of the unnecessary bells and gee whiz things onto my affluent customers.
    I think there is a very strong argument to be furthered surrounding the benefit to the environment, and ostensibly to the humans living here, to furthering the use of solar and other non fossil fuel technologies. The German model of small, individual or community owned systems has proven itself in real use. Perhaps the US government should concentrate its efforts on assisting individuals and communities by also underwriting the cost of equipment rather than on actions which will make access to these components even more out of reach of the average person.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If you don’t call in the first 3 to 5 minutes, you have to try some other day.  Calls go in fast, and fill up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zaragozabill Bill Milner

    A way forward, a way to finance a green transformation from the ground up;
    http://bit.ly/bYrZxj 

  • Jsmyle

    If (repeat, “if”) there is compelling evidence that China is engaged in unfair trade practices and dumping panels at below real cost on the US market, then this action is justified and necessary.  Otherwise, central planners in China (or any other government) can decide that a certain sector or industry is “strategic” and use public funds to destroy competition from other nations…like the US has done in the past with cotton subsidies that damage African nations.

  • Szal

    The China gov’t can easily afford to subsidize their solar panel manufacturers–to comp them for selling below cost–because  the gov’t has several trillion US dollars in cash reserves.  They get this money from all of the US gov’t debt that they have been underwriting.  This easy money from the US gov’t is being used to subsidize their solar industry.  If the US gov’t goes out of debt, the easy money will go away and their competition in the  solar industry–and many other industries–will then be more fair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Baker/100001012473293 Aaron Baker

    China #1 counterfeiter of US brands.
    China #1 pirater of our music, movies and software
    China #1 technology thief of US technology
    China eats breathes and sleeps STEAL US TRADE.
    Whoever thinks a communist controlled solar monopoly in the US is a good idea IS EXTREMELY STUPID.
    A Chinese company is not the same thing as a US company.

    Go to americanmanufacturing.org and read the PDF on China and how many jobs they have STOLEN not out competed for but STOLEN FROM us.
    Go to the USITC government website and read the pdf on China and see how much technology they STEAL FROM US every year amounting to 300 billion to 1 trillion dollars per year lost to us according to an NPR program I heard in February.
    The communism in China is trying to make itself look like a legitimate form of government which it is not and it has ruined China and kept it behind the times and poor so its answer has been to build its economy on stealing US trade and they are using “the art of war” to do it and we are falling for it! Why?
    The Catch 22 goes – steal our manufacturing jobs and technology, reducing our wealth and value as a country and lowering our wages by creating more workers than there are jobs making us more and more dependent on Cheap Chinese goods and counterfeits putting us more in debt to communism.
    And what are they doing with all this money they are getting by stealing our trade? They are reinvesting it into stealing more of our trade!
    We cannot just run around doing service jobs all day IT WONT WORK! As a country you have to make things that other countries buy. You have to produce products and commodities. I can not fly to China and wash a car and clean a carpet and come back everyday.
    Not only are they outright trade thieves but they are breaking the trade rules too. One day we will wake up and China will go “you know what, screw the dollar” and the whole world will follow them because WE WILL HAVE NO VALUE BECAUSE THEY STOLE OUR TECHNOLOGY AND TRADE.
    WAKE
    UP!

  • Gordo

    demand and interest will go hand in hand.
    1.  many states have reduced their tax incentive for private individuals to install pv systems.  
    2. you can not get a mortgage on a off the grid home.  so the only people that can afford to be trend setters are the wealthy, that demographically are not the type to be interested in renewable resources.  if the mortgage industry refuses to acknowledge that solar is viable people will not be inclined to install pv.

    the cash needs to flow from banks to private to industry to workers to public.  no flow from the banks no economy.

  • Mitchell Witt

     I am a engineer and a specialist building Semiconductor clean rooms including Solar Cell manufacturing facilities. I built a plant
    near Williamsburg Va in the late 1990’s that produced an excellent low cost solar panel.  This plant was
    sold to BP and within 2 years BP closed the plant and disassembled the production line including scrapping
    some very specialized equipment. BP now owns this technology and is producting solar cells in China. In my
    capacity as QA inspector in contact with material suppliers around the US I hear constantly of major quality
    problems with Chinese produced intermediate and finished products. This is a concern for US consumers.
    In addition Chinese manufacturing does not scrub hazardous effluent (waste vapors) before releasing into the atmosphere. So in manufacturing solar panels to save on use of fossil fuels there are other pollutants being
    released.   The US Commerce commission is to be applauded for the tarrif. At the same time I am
    a consumer of solar technology and know that individual consumers cannot absorb significant price increases
    for US manufactured panels – so US manufacturers must keep prices very low or there won’t be a market. US Manufacturers should realize that there is no gold in solar panels.

  • onesolar

    Once again the average American has gotten “played” by
    special interests.  This time it’s around
    the anti-dumping measures levied on the Chinese solar panel manufacturers.  The people hurt most are the small businesses
    who distribute, install and use solar panels in their products and the American
    consumer who will pay higher prices.  There
    are hundreds of thousands of jobs adversely affected by this action.  Who really benefits from these tariffs are PV
    manufacturers and system integrators from other countries and incumbent forms
    of power generation – such a gas turbines or coal plants.  What is frightening is that this was
    orchestrated by a German owned company with only 1,200 employees in the
    US.  You can bet that the owners of
    SolarWorld were popping open the champagne corks in Bonn when they got this
    news.  They get advantaged access to a
    protected market not only for their US made products, but their German made
    products as well.  At the same time, by
    increasing the costs to their US based competitors, they reduce their
    competition in other international markets.

    How cleverly they worked the archaic International Trade
    Commission’s and Commerce Department process of assessing and imposing tariffs
    in a political climate where the administration was looking for an expedient
    opportunity to offset its Solyndra embarrassment.  It’s just more evidence of how easily this
    Country’s system can be manipulated these days. 
    It certainly cost SolarWorld a good deal less then modernizing their
    facilities, training more workers or diversifying their business in the US.

    That is not to say that some Chinese
    manufacturers could have been “dumping” or conducting unfair trading practices,
    but that horse was let out of the barn a while ago, and it was our government energy
    policies…or lack thereof that opened that door to begin with.  The way that this country should deal with
    this situation is 1st to recognize what it is today….not what it was
    3 or 4 years past and then work on a cohesive plan looking through the
    windshield and not the rear view mirror as it has done with the imposition of
    these tariffs.  I just pray that some
    intelligent commissioner at the ITC or Commerce Department figures this out and
    has the authority and guts to deny confirmation.

  • Gregg

    Relax, American innovation will produce cheaper and better manufacturing methods. My nephew Brandon is on it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OyF6IRPCiNE

    • Terry Tree Tree

      WOW!  Gregg’s nephew is going to save us ALL?  Some kid!

      • Gregg

        Yup.

  • PithHelmut

    Henry Ford said this: “Why use the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the fields?” He was talking about that most versatile plant, industrial hemp. Our renewable energy future will take solar, wind, hydro and hemp and we ought to start growing this wondrous plant as soon as possible not just to rescue the planet from climate change but also to offer farmers a new source of revenue and decent standard of living. Henry Ford made cars out of hemp and fueled them with biofuel made from hemp seed. Paper can be made within about one hundred days of growing the plant. Imagine the reforestation that could heal the planet!  And marijuana growers would never hazard growing their lovingly-cultivated high THC plants near industrial hemp because cross-pollination always results in lower-grade marijuana. We really have to demand from government that industrial hemp be taken off the controlled substance list immediately. To hoodwink the People by keeping it on that list is to defraud the public and prevent the very critical prosperity we need to rebound. Learn everything about it here: http://www.hempfarm.org/index.html

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Chaos rules.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Depending on ANY other country, for MOST of anything you use, is DANGEROUS, for the country! 
       How VULNERABLE is our Energy Security, when our Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, the computer hardware, the software, the oil, the money, and many other essential parts, are from, or controlled, by another country?

  • Pingback: David Vognar: The Solar Trade Balance in the Tariff Debate | Rumors & News | Information Without Filters!

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Denying federal support for nascent industries doesn’t betray free market ideals. Think of it as Mother’s milk for baby. Now, subsidies for mature markets such as fossil fuels and certain sectors of agriculture? That’s corporate welfare. Difference. If China does it and subsidies work, why mess with a process that works? Why expose our struggling businesses to unnecessary stresses? Heck, we nationalized banks, THEY certainly didn’t deserve our shelter …

  • Pingback: Master David Vognar: The Solar Trade Balance in the Tariff Debate

  • Jrelric

    Why are we discussing this without talking about how this competes with high profit energy (oil) companies?
    I agree with the tariffs but wonder why other industries are not getting the same job protection. 
    Senator, where are you monies invested? 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    MUCH Industrial Espionage, Corrupt Trade Deals, and UN-American Politicians, that sold out, sending profitable Solar Panel, and other Renewable production capability to China?

    • Gregg

      Sometimes it’s really hard not to play grammar cop.

  • Pingback: The Solar Trade Balance in the Tariff Debate | "Global Possibilities"

  • Romney Bin Bush

    The only reason why “buy american” and “green” are mutually exclusive is because much of our government is owned by few coal and oil oligarchs who are playing every trick in the bag to keep their obscene profits. There will be no job creation from big coal and big oil, because for a century, they have been squeezing efficiency out of the workforce. 

  • Paxtriot

    I am wondering how the Chinese government will pay their GOP lobbyists to argue against the tariff. Probably something along the line of “interfering with the free market job creators” while they ruthlessly execute a long-term, winning, government-industry partnership.

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  • GreenROI

    the amount of energy to properly dispose of the silicon tetrachloride is more energy than the solar panel will ever produce in its lifetime for most of those chinese panels (and probably most amercian made ones).  so there should be a tariff on them, they are skirting proper disposal of the toxic byproducts that is why they are so cheap.

  • your listener

    Ned Harvey sounds most sensible and practical in this discussion.

  • william

    Once all the periferal benefits of becoming independent of fossil fuels are taken into consideration, I suspect that it would be in America’s interest to take up all the dumped solar panels China can manufacture.  Similarly wind turbines if they are up to spec.  All other industries, no

    • qcubed

      I think if you took in to account the cost benefits in power generation and, if more electric vehicles were in use..which would lead to lower oil usage, over a reasonable amount of time it would be much cheaper to do what you suggest.

  • John Taylor

    Instead of slapping on a tariff, the USA should have given their manufacturers an equal subsidy to offset their cost difference from fossil fuels. (and yes, the money for this could have came from ending some of the giveaways now going to fossil fuel corporations).

    • qcubed

      So, you are suggesting more government handouts? Why is it ok to subsidize businesses but not ok to help feed the poor in America?

  • steph

    Isn’t part of going green buying local? It would help if we found a better way to support solar installation at home.

    • qcubed

      Agreed. There are solar water heating set ups that could be produced locally. I really wish there were cellphone and computer manufacturers that made their products in the US.

  • brunoboltemore

    I think what we should learn is to produce our own solar panels and buy our own product.
    Solar Panels Perth

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Apr 23, 2014
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Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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