Investors.com reports that the Labor Department today approved a plan to pay $14.3 million in severance packages to the failed solar company that received half-a-billion dollars in government loans. The firms ex-employees, 1,100 in all, will now be elegible for aid packages including job training and income assistance courtesy of federal tax payers (about $13,000 per employee). This will increase the amount of money tax payers are on the hook for from $528 million to $542 million.
This decision may also be good news to a number of solar companies who have recently filed a trade complaint against China for allegedly dumping solar panels on the U.S. market:
The department’s decision also bodes well for a trade complaint made against China by a coalition of domestic solar panel makers. The request for the TAA was based on the claim that Solyndra failed because China was underselling U.S. manufacturers. By granting the assistance, the Labor Department has indicated it believes those charges have at least some merit.
A successful outcome for the U.S. industry will result in less supply of solar panels and higher prices, exactly what the environmental community does not want.