Elon Musk: The Great Congressional Swindler

This month, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blew up, destroying Facebook’s $195-million-dollar satellite.

This event eerily reminds us about the failed Falcon 9 launch just 15 months earlier, where SpaceX’s rocket blew up as it approached orbit and destroyed $118 million dollars of NASA cargo. This is the second failure in succession, reminding the public of the “risks of spaceflight.”

Except that “risk of spaceflight” is just rhetoric by the government – the other orbit launching company, United Launch Alliance (ULA), has experienced a 100 percent success rate in launches over a course of 10 years, compared to SpaceX’s reckless six years in business.

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Big Solar’s Subsidy Bubble

The Department of Energy’s Inspector General revealed last week that the legendary solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra—a poster baby of the Obama stimulus—lied to the feds to get a $535 million loan guarantee before going bust in 2011. Solyndra is a cautionary tale, but the Obama Administration is still showing caution to the sun.

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ALEXANDRIA, VA – It was revealed this week that the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, sending letters containing a series of questions to seven U.S. and international solar companies including Elon Musk’s beleaguered SolarCity.

“This investigation is an important step in cleaning up what has become a disgraceful abuse of taxpayer dollars in the solar industry,” said Diana Banister, executive director of Citizens For The Republic (CFTR). “The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee are right to begin holding the likes of SolarCity accountable for the egregious waste of taxpayers’ money. But more must be done. CFTR is proud to continue its work in exposing the fraudulent solar subsidy network and will continue to push lawmakers in taking action against these crimes.”

Solarcity, has been propped up by more than $2.5 Billion in government subsidies, $1.5 Billion of which comes from the Solar Investment Tax Credit (SITC). The SITC is a 30% subsidy to every solar panel sold in America and was extended in last year’s Omnibus package. The credit, intended to help individual homeowners buy solar panels, instead lines the pockets of Solarcity’s executives, including Musk and his cousins, the Rive brothers.

“Elon Musk has bilked the American taxpayer out of more than $4.9 Billion in subsidies, grants, and government sweetheart deals. With that, he has produced a solar financing company that’s in financial free fall. A car company whose average vehicle sells for more than $100,000 and a rocket company that lost $118 million of cargo in one explosion,” said Banister. “It’s time for congress to stop taking money from hardworking Americans and giving it billionaires and their friends.”

Citizens for the Republic (www.CFTR.org) is a conservative 501(C)(4) grass roots lobbying organization dedicated to promoting the ideology and political philosophy of Ronald Reagan. Reagan established the original CFTR in 1977. In 2010, a group of Reagan stalwarts re-launched the organization. Its board includes Chairman Craig Shirley and Director Diana Banister.

To schedule an interview with Diana Banister, please contact Brendan Bradley with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or bbradley@sbpublicaffairs.com.

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Autopilot tech supplier fears Tesla is pushing safety envelope too far

The chief technology officer of a technology supplier that enables Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving technology believes the carmaker is pushing the safety envelope too far.

“It is not designed to cover all possible crash situations in a safe manner,” Amnon Shashua, CTO and executive chairman at Israel-based Mobileye NV, told Reuters Wednesday.

Shashua’s comments came the same day a second fatal accident was revealed through a lawsuit filed against Tesla by the father of a man allegedly driving a Model S with the Autopilot engaged.

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Tesla Motors: Will Senate Solar Investigation Put SolarCity Acquisition at Risk?

Yes, says Axiom Capital’s Gordon Johnson who writes that a Senate investigation into solar company tax incentives could derail Solar City’s (SCTY) merger with Tesla Motors (TSLA). He cites this Wall Street Journal article on the investigation by Brody Mullins, Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, and Richard Rubin, which details why it might be a problem: In […]

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Solar Energy Faces a Rocky Road Ahead

The takeaway from the last 10 months in the solar industry should be that the long-term picture is bright, but there’ll be a lot of bumps along the way. Right now, the bumps will be in utility-scale solar and changing trends in the residential solar market. But by 2019 the market will be back to growth across the board.

Investors will want to stick to solar companies with solid balance sheets and technology differentiation. Long term, those are the companies that are going to win, even if it takes a few more years to sort out the industry’s winners and losers.

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