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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Paul Kanjorski and solar energy

For years I have been calling on Representative Paul Kanjorski and departing Senator Arlen Specter to act to embrace the industries that will support the new energy economy - specifically, solar cell manufacturing, wind turbine manufacturing, and lithium-ion battery production. But it seemed that Senator Specter had no interest in this, at least not in any way that would benefit Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Representative Kanjorski saw fit to tie this area's future - and his legacy - to natural gas drilling.

But it turns out that at least some Kanjorskis see a future in solar energy.

Solar panel producer tied to Kanjorski receives $400M federal loan - News - Citizens Voice

A Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer for which the nephew of U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski is vice president of marketing has received a $400 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The loan commitment to Abound Solar Manufacturing - announced by President Barack Obama during his July 3 weekly radio address - is to increase solar panel production at an existing plant in Colorado and build a second plant in Indiana that will create more than 1,200 jobs, a company statement said.

Part of the management team of Abound Solar is the Nanticoke Democrat's nephew, Russell Kanjorski. But a campaign spokesman denied the congressman had any part in the awarding of the loan commitment.

"His nephew works for the company, but is an executive and has nothing to do with securing federal projects, I don't believe," said spokesman Ed Mitchell. "The congressman doesn't know any of the executives of the company and has had no contact with them.

"The congressman has also had no contact with anyone in the administration to get the (loan commitment) and that's what it comes down to," he added.

Kanjo nephew works at firm that gets loan The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA
The company that employs the nephew of U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski has received a $400 million guaranteed federal loan.

The same company, formerly called AVA Solar and now known as Abound Solar Manufacturing, received a $3 million federal grant in 2008.

The two federal awards and the Kanjorskis’ relationship have been called “coincidental” by the company. The Kanjorski campaign said the congressman played no role.

Lou Barletta, the Republican challenger to Kanjorski in the 11th Congressional District race, said, “I guess the Kanjorskis are just lucky.”
(It should be noted that Lou Barletta worked very closely with Senator Specter to secure the Hazleton Creek Project, which imports Delaware River dredge so toxically contaminated with heavy metals that no other municipality will touch it to be used as landfill in Hazleton. This is a major reason why I voted to end Specter's career, and why it will be a cold day in Hell before I vote for Barletta. The federal agents who have been assigned to this area have taken an interest in the particulars of this project.)

According to the Times Leader story, the company denies any involvement by either Kanjorski in securing these awards:
Mark Chen, spokesman for Abound Solar, said Congressman Kanjorski had no role in the process.

“He was not involved with the securing of the initial commitment of the loan guarantee,” Chen said. “The company has received DOE grants in the past – including the $3 million in 2008 – but the decision on that was made before Russ Kanjorski worked here or even applied for a job. It was purely coincidental.”
So, hooray for the Colorado-based solar manufacturer. Good for them for getting this award, and good for Russ - my former Speech and Model U.N. teammate from high school - for having entered this field. It's just too damned bad that his uncle didn't have the foresight to try to bring companies like this - and all those jobs - to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

2 comments:

broc said...

When do the indictments come?

Anonymous said...

(a voice from the future)

in time my son, in time