Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In case no one has recognized it yet...

...both, the pharmaceutical and solar industries have industry wide problems.  These failures are a direct result of the Bush White House and outsourcing of vital USA technologies and drug sources.  

The Right Wing Media are liars.  They never took the time to look at the root causes of the problems with any of these industries and only cherry pick what they can exploit to further their ideology.

I have much more to write.  The USA has to recapture its manufacturing sector and stop the imports from China.  It is killing this country and may even kill us.

Tomorrow is another day.  

Why doesn't the USA produce enough glycerin for its pharmaceuticals domestically?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Senate Health, (click title to entry - thank you) Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is examining the globalization of the pharmaceutical drug market and supply chain. According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released today, up to 80% of the chemicals and ingredients of prescription drugs are made outside the United States....
Not only are 80% of the ingredients of USA pharmaceuticals produced overseas, but, 40% of all prescription drugs are produced overseas.  
Additionally, it take the FDA 9 years to inspect all the global facilities that contribute to the supply chain for USA pharmaceuticals while they routinely rotate through US facilities at least every two years and more frequently if necessary.
China has no regulations and their facilities are substandard to US specifications and the drug supply is being contaminated with substances such as anti-freeze instead of glycerin by plants with rusty pipes and broken windows.
The US Senate Committee is trying to grapple with the enormous task of laying blame for contamination by placing a bar code on a product as it changes hands through global brokers while making its way to the USA manufacturer market place.  Deaths have occurred globally due to this problem, including contaminated heparin from China in 2007 and a cough syrup sent to South America resulting in 67 deaths of which most were children.

The entire issue surrounding the medication supply chain is out of control.  There is no way the USA can insure a safe supply chain with foods and drugs coming from third world countries.  To think there should be FDA inspectors all over the globe to do the job that the country's infrastructure is suppose to do is hideous to say the least.  The security of our medication chain has to begin and end at our borders by returning manufacturing of these vital ingredients to the USA and to supply inspectors at the place where the drugs manufactured in the USA are produced.  It is an issue of sovereignty as well as Homeland Security.  This is a hideous subject and it only goes to prove how far afield the products purchased by US consumers has become.

This is the link to the video.

Committee Examines Foreign-made Pharmaceuticals (click here for video of hearing)

Watch it!  It will make you sick.  It made me sick.

Allan Coukell, Pew Health Group, Medical Programs Director, in his testimony before this committee shows a picture of a substandard facility in China.  We don't have to put up with this, we have to be willing to produce our own ingredients when they don't come from Europe.  This is some of the hideous stuff I have ever heard.  To think that Pharma actually expects the USA government to place a global inspection process in place is outrageous.  We need to rethink our involvement with China and other third world countries when it comes to food products, including that for our pets and livestock and our medication supply.  I can't believe how far this has gone "W"rong all in the name of profits.

The chemical formula in the picture is melamine.

Mr. Coukell also appeared on the "Washington Journal" in an interview about his testimony.

Allan Coukell, Pew Health Group, (click here for video link) Medical Programs Director, discusses the oversight of the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the risk that foreign components present to individuals in the U.S.  The GAO recently released a report looking at the makeup of prescription drugs, finding that up to 80% of the chemicals and ingredients in the drugs were made outside the U.S.

It will take a while to get this boat turned around, but, if we complain enough it will get turned around.  I've enough of being the global police and this is just another expenditure we should not have to endure.  This is outrageous.  How did it ever get this bad?

If products produced in foreign countries cannot measure up to USA standards then we don't import anything!  

This is India's problem and China's problem, not mine!

Let "Pharma" pay for it, then we'll see how quick it all ends.

There is even a nice new patent law so Pharma can enjoy profiteering longer.  

Summary of new patent bill (America Invents Act) (click here)
Chris DixonCDixon.org.

 Sep. 16, 2011, 7:21 PM

As you may be aware, the Senate passed the America Invents Act (AIA) on September 8, 2011. This act will create sweeping changes in US patent law once signed by President Obama, who has stated his intention to sign this bill.
The AIA will create significant changes to the law, and we wanted to take a moment to inform you of some of its most important provisions....

"Solyndra" is not the problem. The problem is a profound lack of subsidies for new technology.

The Loan Guarantee Program was a Bush Program.  When Dr. Chu was nominated and confirmed he promised to move the applications along since the beginning of the program in 2005.  Solyndra was next in line and it is just that simple.  There was no crony capitalism for Solyndra, it had the application in place long before the new administration took over.

There is no cronyism, the country's economy needed an infusion of capital to create jobs.  Solyndra had the right idea.  I do not know if the FBI will turn up any wrong-doing, but, it seems to me what was thought to be a good method of moving from a research based enterprise to one that manufactured the product it researched came up short in order to move the company to an IPO.  

The problem with Solyndra has been the problem with alternative energies for as long as I can remember; there is no capital invested in the industry because of the overwhelming power of the petroleum industry.  If alternative energies were going to impact the 'energy market place' they needed the government to provide SUBSIDES and not just loan guarantees.

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 
Keith Olbermann

"Subsidies for oil and gas companies make up 88 percent of all federal subsidies. Just cutting the oil and gas subsidies out would save the U.S. government $45 billion every year." (click title to entry - thank you)

The stockholders of Solyndra included the Kaiser Family Foundation (click here) which makes sense, healthier air makes for a healthier nation and why would they not want that to happen. 

Alternative energies are vital to all the nations of the world, not just the USA, but we are behind the curve and competing with companies that stacks the deck against companies like Solyndra.  Currently, Solydra was selling their product for 50% less than it cost to manufacture due to unfair market competition.

As an example to how the market place has mistreated the solar industry in the USA, "Xunlight," a dreamscape of a PhD at the University of Toledo (Ohio) has aspirations to expand its production.  But where?  In the USA?  No, in China because the labor there can compete with the imports here.

…Ohio and local business development agenciessaid Xunlight (click here) has been open with them about the Chinese plant development since the plans were first being made.
The numerous federal and state loans, grants, and tax incentives that the company has received include a $34.5 million federal tax credit approved in January, a $4 million state loan granted this year for the installation of a production line, and nearly $7 million in grants from Ohio's Third Frontier program, the state's $2.1 billion investment pool for advanced technology research, development, and expansion. One of the Third Frontier grants is intended to help Xunlight ramp up its local assembly operations.
Mark Shanahan, energy adviser to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, said state officials were aware of Xunlight's Chinese plant and are confident that state funding has been used only for local operations….

The fact of the matter is the cheaper labor in China and India are exactly the problem.  There is also a ton of bad credit circulating as Xunlight has had to lay off workers in the USA because of a $5 million deal that proved to yield no payments for their product.  Solyndra's perdicament is much larger than simply a 'bad loan.'  Solyndra had $1 billion already invested in it by the time it applied for loans during the Bush White House.

Xunlight Corporation has laid off 30 workers at its Toledo plant and has stopped paying several executives because it has not received payment for a $5 million order of the company's solar-panel modules. The company also plans to lay off 70 workers from its production facility in Kunshan, China. The decision leaves 60 Xunlight workers in northwest Ohio and will leave 70 workers at the China plant. The cuts came after an Italian customer delayed payment for an order of 2.5 megawatts worth of Xunlight's thin-film solar panels. The customer, who ordered the modules in January, has been waiting for Italy's government to finalize a set of financial incentives for the solar industry. The company has projected its 2011 sales will fall between $20 million and $40 million.
Recently, Toledo, Ohio has offered Xunlight a place in the city with property the city assisted in funding.  Toledo, Ohio and others have brought the development of this USA company along from its inception and Toledo is trying to make a place for it to give workers jobs.

...Inside Xunlight, (click here) that optimism is pervasive. The firm, founded by University of Toledo physics professor Xunming Deng, moved into new offices just a few weeks ago. Last week the cubicles still had a pristine, unsullied look to them, and some employees didn't yet have working phones. The firm hasn't even made its first sale, but employees say its product - a superthin, flexible solar cell created using sheets of stainless steel - should be in high demand. Within two years, Deng expects to employ hundreds. Many will be twentysomethings, but there are veterans, too. "The excitement of being in a start-up is the same whether you're 32 or 52," says facilities VP Stan Rubini, as he surveys the mammoth empty warehouse in which Xunlight hopes to manufacture more than $200 million worth of solar cells each year. As fuel costs rise and concern about climate change spreads, investors and employees aren't the only ones hoping firms like this one find a viable solution. Almost everyone is.

The reality of the USA market place extends to far more than simply a bad loan to Solyndra.  It has extensive dynamics that begins with the collapse of 2008, but, it sure as heck doesn't end there.  As if the present administration doesn't have enough to contend with, it might want to investigate the 'credit rating agencies' to find out exactly how 'bad faith' is occurring as well.  

Amazingly, the Republicans are relishing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Solyndra as an indicator of poor judgement by the current administration.  I don't think so.  To begin, the depth of the 2008 Great Recession is still contracting and no one knows exactly the extent of the entire mess.  And by all measure it is a mess.  

Not only that, but, when the loans were being moved through after the 2008 collapse there were plenty of Republicans with their hands out pushing loans through the Energy Department.

…In April 2009, Vitter urged Energy Secretary Steven Chu toapprove (click here) a loan for Red River Environmental Products, saying the Coushatta, La., company could help meet a growing demand for products that help power plants comply with stricter federal regulation of mercury emissions.
"I understand the importance of accessing the domestic energy resources we have, like coal, in an environmentally conscious manner," wrote Vitter, who also backed projects for nuclear power, renewable diesel fuel and a company that makes fuel-efficient cars.
Vitter and other Republicans have pounced on the bankruptcy of Solyndra, saying the White House rushed to approve a loan guarantee to the politically connected Fremont, Calif., company without adequate oversight.
He said in a statement Monday that "in the age of Solyndra, we need full transparency and accountability."
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of a subcommittee investigating the Solyndra deal, also has supported projects that promote green jobs.
Stearns, who heads the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, endorsed a battery manufacturing plant in Jacksonville.
The Saft America plant makes lithium-ion battery cells for military hybrid vehicles and solar and wind energy storage. It received a $95.5-million grant from the Energy Department through the stimulus law.
It doesn't stop there.  Now, Vitter is screaming about better monitoring of Green Energy.

Vitter defends measure putting renewable energy under watch (click here)

Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 9:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said there's nothing inconsistent about seeking loan guarantees for renewable and other energy projects while advocating legislation that would require increased scrutiny of taxpayer-assisted renewable energy products....
And this is from today:  Wasn't he involved in some kind of sex scandal, too?

Sept. 20, 2011, 10:30 a.m. EDT

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) Named One of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress (click here)

From misusing taxpayer funds to aid a violent criminal to blatantly trying to bribe the Secretary of the Interior, it has been another bad year for shameless Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). The morally and ethically bankrupt senator once again has been named by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) as one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress. Click here to read the full report on Sen. Vitter.
"Sen. Vitter solicited prostitution, employed a known criminal, and even tried to bribe a cabinet member," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "What will it take for the Senate Ethics Committee to take notice of Sen. Vitter's endless misconduct?"...
Why not subsidies.  I mean you have got to be joking.  This plant not only received government monies to develop their technology, they had a guaranteed market place with the USA military when they were ready to market the stuff.  If that isn't 100% government funded, don't ask me what is?

From above:

Stearns, who heads the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, endorsed a battery manufacturing plant in Jacksonville.
The Saft America plant makes lithium-ion battery cells for military hybrid vehicles and solar and wind energy storage. It received a $95.5-million grant from the Energy Department through the stimulus law.

Give me a break, the USA needs these technologies today and in the future.  These technologies are the future of our children and we have to perfect them.  There is no reason to continue to supply subsidies to oil and gas companies while they out maneuver these new technologies in the market place.  Solyndra is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  They'll reorganize their debt and be back producing their product.  The question is will their market place be one where they can survive.  If Solyndra was an airline no one would blink an eye.  Enough already!

Solyndra was employing 3400 people at last head count before they laid off 1100 when Chapter 11 came into play.  According to departing employees, they loved their jobs and the factory was growing with new mechanized production on a regular basis.  $527 million wasn't enough to securely launch Solyndra into an IPO, but, let's hope eventually they will.

I look forward to the findings by the investigation by the Solicitor General.  

Sep 20, 2011

Studies: Clean energy loans help despite Solyndra's fall (click here)

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

Despite the recent collapse of federally-backed solar maker Solyndra, two new studies find economic and climate benefits in helping to finance energy efficiency and clean tech industries.
Energy efficiency loans are a stable investment with low default rates and large-scale potential, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The review of 24 loan programs found default rates ranged from 0% to 3% throughout the life of the financing and remained largely unchanged despite the near collapse of the real estate market over the past few years….

The lastest in solar energy is 'the thin film' solar  array.

Sculpture uses thin-film solar technology at football stadium (click here)

One of the largest solar power developers in the United States, NRG and the Washington Redskins celebrated FedExField's energy future with the help of former NFL quarterbacks and Redskins' fans during the "NRG Solar Bowl" Quarterback Challenge and an official "flipping of the switch" at halftime to inaugurate the new NRG solar power installation at FedExField.
The solar power system - with more than 8,000 solar panels - is capable of providing all power to the stadium on non-game days and up to 20% of its needed electricity on game days - the equivalent of providing 300 homes with energy for a year. In addition to being the largest solar installation at an NFL stadium, it is the largest solar installation in the D.C.-metro area.
A variety of green energy technologies, including translucent solar panels and a specially designed sculpture created using thin film solar technology will generate power through the solar entry plaza at Gate A. The sculpture - a 30-foot tall silhouette of a football player dubbed "solar man" -showcases the flexibility of this innovative solar technology and also is one-of-a-kind work of art welcoming fans to FedExField....