How Solyndra Spent Your Money

Green company's $733 million plant featured whistling robots, spa showers


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," September 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Tonight on Solyndra -- money, mayhem and murder. Well, not really.

But get this -- as we hear more about the hot, green mess we're starting to see exactly how the government wasted taxpayer money on the solar panel company. Solyndra's factory cost over 730 million bucks, equaling the size of five football fields.

Now, let me put that in perspective. That is the size of five football fields.

Worse, according to, the glass and metal monstrosity has robots that whistle Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid crystal displays, and glass-walled conference rooms.

It sounds just like Bob's apartment.


GUTFELD: Robots that whistle. That's definitely something you'd buy if it wasn't your money. Seriously, what's next? A dog, lion peacock hybrid that tap dances?

Even an employee compared this to the Taj Mahal. But it's worse. It's a Taj Mhal that taxpayers are stuck with.

And so, this indulgent feel-good investment proves again that when dealing with the green causes, adults become wide-eyed children, their mentality nothing more than green good, people bad. Rather than vet the loans or heed warnings, they shovel your cash into money pit without concern for demand.

The result: you got electric car charging stations that nobody is using, pricy landscape no one sees, and robot whistling just to let you know they're there. They must be so lonely.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: You just made Bob's apartment sound fun and amazing, right?

GUTFELD: Yes. I did, didn't I?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: It is. You ought to try that.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, yes, I'll get on that.

GUTFELD: I assume whistling robots are there for safety reasons, if you don't see a robot coming -- yes, if you don't see them coming, they could just run right over you, I'm assuming.

GUILFOYLE: It's Disney tune. Happiest place on earth, on taxpayer money.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: That can only happen in southern California, which you two know more than the rest of us.

GUTFELD: Yes. But what do you -- Eric, what do you make of this? Energy Department yesterday approved two loan guarantees worth $1 billion, similar to this mess. That takes serious beans.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Very quickly, on Solyndra, not only was this is a factory. It's a factory. It wasn't an office. Factory built on some of the most expensive land in North America if not the world. I mean, what a way -- what an insult to American taxpayers to go ahead and spend their money that way.

Then we find out today, there are two more solar companies, one of them $757 million went to company called SolarReserve. All right. So, you say they want to get a lot of money, hurry up and get this money out while they still can.

SolarReserve, one of the investors in SolarReserve through another vehicle, is none other than Ron Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law.

PERINO: So they have

BOLLING: Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law gets -- is part of the company getting taxpayer money to the tune of 737 million bucks.

PERINO: So they have a perception problem. I remember crony capitalism is not illegal. It happens. It's been happening for decades, maybe centuries.

Their problem is this, and everybody seems to be missing this as I look at other news stations. And, actually, one of the most popular magazine -- they had a piece that said new e-mails are coming out tomorrow from the White House, but it doesn't show there's any special favoritism.

I'm like, that's not what the investigation is about. The investigation is about whether or not the company misled the government in which Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette is quoted today saying, "I think I was misled because in July, they told me this. And six weeks later, they laid off 1,100 employees and went bankrupt."

GUILFOYLE: That's the problem, cronyism.

PERINO: So the reason they put out the money yesterday is because it was use it or lose it. The fiscal year ends tomorrow.

But the problem for them is they have a perception problem. Everybody at the highest levels including Larry Summers said to the president and others, our process for approving these loans is not good enough but they didn't stop and change it.

BOLLING: But that in itself isn't the problem. They were -- they sucked at giving loans. There's nothing illegal about that, if they gave loans because the bundler --

PERINO: The preferential treatment.

BOLLING: -- ties with bundler, that's not it.

PERINO: But that's not even it.

BOLLING: If this company SolarReserve got money because Pelosi's brother-in-law was owner, he's the board --

PERINO: I think it's probably not fair to tar him with that yet.

BOLLING: This is worse than crony capitalism.

GUILFOYLE: No, we can't tar him. We do know that yet for sure. But nevertheless, the fact

BOLLING: We do know that.

GUILFOYLE: But the fact of the matter is that they, in fact, misled in order to get this project to go through, that they fast tracked it, that they were aware of information. That's at least why this investigation is going on to say, did you, in fact, push this forward when you knew the following that this wasn't a project that was ready to go, that the financials were off, that the math didn't make sense and that the science wasn't ready and that we are going to get our lunch eaten and the robots would no longer be whistling.

GUTFELD: I think we are generating a lot of energy out of Bob's head right now. Hey, here's a question for you. If this company is now own by the taxpayers, that means you and I could move in there. What would you do?

BECKEL: I'm reflecting on two things like, crony capitalism. I know in Dana's administration, the Halliburton people were happy to have that going on. Secondly, if you don't want to give out alternative energy grants like Eric doesn't want to do, it will depend on dinosaur bones and poop to keep going the rest of the time.

And the last thing I would say is, you all sat on this table two weeks ago and told me, big headlines, FBI goes in, this and that. I don't know if the prosecutors office in this company doesn't leak. Nobody has a grand jury convened yet. So you have to stop indicting people before it happens.

BOLLING: Maxine Water is under congressional investigation, an ethics investigation, because her husband owned stock in a company, a bank that got TARP money. What is the difference if Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law owned stock in solar reserve?

BECKEL: What's the difference between your buddies in Wall Street should have gone to jail and are sitting on boats.

BOLLING: We're not talking about that.

BECKEL: We are. All the bums that got bailed out and you pick out somebody in Congress when the Wall Street bums ought to be in jail.


PERINO: I don't think it's fair. We don't know about that guy in particular.

BECKEL: We're sitting here sound like a grand jury indicting these people.


BOLLING: We are cutting Pelosi slack and her brother-in-law slack now because we're not sure if the Obama administration knew --

BECKEL: How about Pelosi's brother-in-law, cousin, third time --

GUTFELD: They're probably guilty of incompetence, and I wonder how Steven Chu is still there?

BECKEL: What is incompetent is people like you and you who don't believe we ought to have alternative energy. There are no dinosaurs left except for Republican Party.


BOLLING: Maxine Waters, anything wrong there?

GUTFELD: We got to go.


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