Solar Small Business Owner Abandoned by WH that Once Championed Him

• August 23, 2012 12:35 pm


An Indiana small business owner once touted by the Obama administration is on the brink of laying off his work force — and cannot get the White House to return his calls.

SunRise Solar makes attic fans powered by solar panels without government subsidy and primarily manufactured in the United States. The company's owner, Bill Keith, once appeared at Obama rallies, but now is facing steep penalties for the Chinese-manufactured solar panels that power his fans, CNN reports:

SunRise Solar started exporting fans all over the world. While his home-based business employs only about 21 direct and indirect employees, it brought a much-needed economic boost to an area of the country hard hit by the recession.

Today, Keith's solar star appears to be on a collision course with another Obama policy that may put him out of business. The irony is not lost on Keith: A man whose profile and company soared because of the administration's energy policy is now falling apart because of a new Obama anti-dumping policy involving China.

While 95 percent of Keith's fans are American-made, he has yet to find a U.S. company that can make the small customized solar panels that make his fans run. It's not that he hasn't tried. He initially used a company in Michigan but they stopped manufacturing the kind of panels he needed. Then Keith turned to a New York company but the quality was so bad that he was replacing the defective parts faster than he could sell the fans.

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