First Solar CEO grilled for dumping stock after taxpayer loan
First Solar chairman of the board Michael Ahearn, who was once CEO of that fabled “green energy” disaster, hopped on his corporate jet and flew to Washington this week, for a nostalgic look back at President Obama’s “investments” held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. I asked House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa if Ahearn’s jet was solar-powered, or perhaps powered by lightning strikes like the one used by France’s new socialist president Francoise Hollande, but the busy Chairman hasn’t gotten back to me yet.
The House hearing bore a title that could serve as one of American history’s great rhetorical questions: “The Obama Administration’s Green Energy Gamble: What Have All The Taxpayer Subsidies Achieved?” One of the President’s notable achievements was inspiring Ahearn to sell over $450 million of his own company’s stock between 2008 and 2012, a period when First Solar’s stock value dropped by almost 95 percent.
Michael Ahearn might have thought his own company was a lousy investment, but who was he to question the investment wisdom of Barack Obama? In August 2011, after years of collapsing First Solar value, and undoubtedly tense conversations between Ahearn and his broker, the President – which means you – subsidized a billion-dollar Department of Energy loan to First Solar. A couple of days later, Ahearn celebrated by selling another 700,000 shares of his own First Solar stock, raking in a cool $68.5 million.
Life is not tough for everybody under Obamanomics.
Despite all these taxpayer loans, which actually total up to nearly $3 billion, First Solar has laid of 30 percent of its workforce, and work on its big Mesa, Arizona plant appears to have stalled out. Ahearn got to discuss all this with Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), who has very different ideas about how “investment” should work. If the video below doesn’t make your blood boil, you probably didn’t pay any income tax last year.