Last week the Independence Institute launched a billboard across the street from the Denver Post building, shaming them for ignoring a major political scandal in Abound Solar’s collapse. In this morning’s paper, a story appears detailing the extensive failure of green energy firms in Colorado. Coincidence?
We can’t be sure one is tied to the other, but one thing is certainly true: the Independence Institute and investigative reporter Todd Shepherd have led the charge to peel back the rhetoric around “green energy” and look at the issue without rose-colored glasses.
Knowing that, it’s rather interesting to us that the Post story completely ignores any mention of Shepherd or the Independence Institute’s work. The slight seems especially intended as the author quotes a DC-based think tank on green energy, rather than calling up the local experts over at i2i.
For the last couple of years, while the press corps acted as a virtual cheering section for one-term governor Bill Ritter’s “New Energy Economy” and green energy writ large, the good folks at the Independence Institute have been doggedly pursuing the real story beneath the slogans and feel-good rhetoric about renewable energy.
Amazingly, the most politically connected solar panel firm in Colorado — Abound Solar — got a $400 million taxpayer-backed loan from the US government, proceeded to collapse spectacularly and then received virtually no investigative scrutiny from the state’s flagship newspaper.
Thankfully for Coloradans, Shepherd, Amy Oliver, Michael Sandoval and others stayed on the case, which ultimately culminated in a damaging investigation that revealed serious issues with Abound’s solar panels and have led to investigations by both Congress and the Weld County DA’s office.
The collapse of mainstream newspapers across the state has had many negative side effects, but it’s perhaps felt most acutely by the lack of resources outlets have to pursue serious investigations. Add that to the increasingly shrill and left-wing Denver Post editorial board, who we expect to continue to opine in favor of green energy subsidies regardless of what the Post reported today about the industry’s problems, and you have a recipe for continued political cover for green energy advocates.
But all hope is not lost — there remains a dedicated, but small cadre of folks who won’t let go of green energy scandals. And sometimes, it appears, they even have the ability to force the Post to do its job.
Read more about the Independence Institute’s crusade to get the Post to cover the collapse of Abound Solar here.