Financial pundit apparently doesn't know much about cleantech history.
FORTUNE — During an O’Reilly Factor conversation last night about Tesla Motors TSLA , guest Eric Bolling made two demonstrably untrue statements about the cleantech industry within the span of just 15 seconds. Even by the loose standards of cable news punditry, this was a galling disregard for basic facts.
What follows is the relevant part of the conversation between Bolling and host Bill O’Reilly:
For starters, Solyndra didn’t fail because homeowners couldn’t afford to put its solar panels on their roofs. How do I know? Because Solyndra was building solar panels for commercial buildings, not residential ones.
Second, Bolling is very wrong about the winners vs. losers breakdown of companies that received loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. Of the 31 programs that received such loan guarantees, only four have gone the way of Solyndra (i.e., failed completely and been shut down). Moreover, as of last check, the overall program is on track to turn an overall profit (inclusive of the Solyndra losses).
Finally, Bolling also later suggested that Tesla — and other companies in the DoE loan program — borrowed from the government instead of raising private capital:
This isn’t really accurate, since the government loan guarantees were conditioned on the recipient having also raised substantial funds from the private sector (often in the form of equity, which is higher risk than debt). Tesla, for example, raised more than $270 million in private funding — including from Wall Street stalwart J.P. Morgan JPM . So, yes, those “smart guys on Wall Street” (and in Silicon Valley) did take a big chance on Tesla. And in Solyndra for that matter (so much for the idea that they’re always so much smarter than the government guys).
I’d like to blame all of this misinformation on some young intern, but Bolling insists that he alone is responsible for his own research:
Perhaps it’s time to hire some help…
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