No More Solar Energy Act passes House
Actually, they’re calling this misbegotten piece of political theater the No More Solyndras Act, but it amounts to the same thing.
Because one solar power company failed (mostly because subsidies for Chinese solar power companies dropped the price of solar to the point that they couldn’t make a profit), the GOP says there should be NO further subsidies for ANY solar power companies.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) attempted to remind the House of the truth behind the Solyndra investigation:
“The facts simply do not support the over-the-top allegations that there was anything wrong with this decision,” she said.
“What the evidence showed is that the career officials — and the Bush and Obama administration appointees who worked on the loan — told our investigators (is) that political considerations played no role in the decisions on Solyndra,” she said. “They told us that there was no improper pressure to rush key decisions on the loan, to approve the loan, or to change the terms of the loan.”
That didn’t stop them from passing the bill, 245-161 .
This comes on the heels of the GOP’s opposition to renewing the tax credit for wind power (See: Romney’s policy on wind energy is a real jobs-killer).
And ironically comes on the heels of the GOP’s insistence on KEEPING subsidies for big oil – the most profitable industry in the history of profits – even though the oil companies need subsidies like Mitt Romney’s wife needs a third Cadillac.
And ironically comes on the heels of a failed “clean coal” project, subsidized with the backing of Illinois Congressman John Shimkus, one of the backers of the anti-solar push.
As Willinois notes at DailyKos:
Shimkus lent his support to a $2.5 Billion DOE loan guarantee for Tenaska’s failed coal plant in Taylorville, Illinois. The Taylorville Energy Center is stalled indefinitely after failing to get the special subsidies and fixed rate increases they need from the Illinois legislature. In other words, it’s a failed project the market can’t support that’s far, far more expensive and unrealistic than Solyndra. But, that doesn’t register as a scandal to Shimkus and other House Republicans.
Sad, but fortunately the Senate is expected to ignore this piece of election-year grandstanding.
Doubly sad, in that the House ought to be passing a farm bill to help Midwesterners devastated by this year’s (climate change-induced) record drought. Or maybe passing a jobs bill. But the GOP appears to be too busy making grand empty gestures to get any of that important business taken care of.