The loan-guarantee program for these alternative energy companies, in turn, was created as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 — sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who has been a leader in the congressional probe of Solyndra’s ties to the Obama administration.
Among those in the Republican majority who supported the bill was Rep. Louie Gohmert (Tex.), who, in a trio of speeches on the House floor in recent days, has taken a rather different approach than the one in the legislation he supported.
Dana Milbank writes a regular column on politics.
On Sept. 13, he invoked “the Solyndra fiasco” and said we are “prioritizing green practices kind of like a bankrupt Spain has done.” On Sept. 15, he denounced Obama’s new jobs proposals because “green programs, like Solyndra, will have priority.” On Sept. 23, he complained: “Apparently, half a billion dollars squandered for crony capitalism was not enough. There’s more provisions for that in the president’s so-called jobs bill.”
Also supporting the legislation creating the loan-guarantee program was Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), who on Sept. 22 said on the House floor that Republicans were removing $100 million from the loan-guarantee program “to ensure that we never again have another boondoggle like Solyndra.”
The complaints were much the same in the Senate, where DeMint said the Solyndra case exposed the “unintended results when our government tries to pick winners and losers.” That’s a valid criticism, but it would be more valid if DeMint hadn’t been a supporter of the loan-guarantee legislation in 2005.
But that was before Obama’s presidency, and views back then were different. They were more like the March 2008 press release from Bush’s Energy Department, announcing that it was funding research projects on photovoltaic technology. “These projects are integral to President Bush’s Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015,” the announcement said.
Among the winners listed in the press release? Solyndra.
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