• Sep 21, 2011
One of the many, many contentious issues that make up the ongoing pointless battles between the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C. is the Solyndra case, about how the now-bankrupt solar-power company got loan guarantees. Republicans say the Obama Administration pushed the loans through in a less-than-honest manner. The Administration and the DOE say everything was aboveboard.
One of the Republican Representative leading the charge against Obama is Darrell Issa, who announced yesterday that he will soon launch an investigation into the Solyndra situation with the oh-so-subtle title "How Obama's Green-Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs." Speaking on C-SPAN this week, Issa said, "There's been this attitude that somehow the government can weigh-in with loan guarantees and money and pick specific company winners and losers. We see that as a backdoor, easy way to end up with corruption in government."

Well... Issa is not some sort of blameless pol who is against all federal support for green tech companies. Bloomberg has a story today about how Issa, in early 2010, was stongly in favor of an Energy Department loan for Aptera Motors. "Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district," he wrote to DOE Secretary Steven Chu. Aptera never did receive the loan it requested. Issa also wrote to the DOE to support battery maker Quallion in 2009.

In a sort of response to the issue at hand, Rep John Dingell gave a speech today calling on Congress to not end the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. The headline on the presser about the speech? "Republicans must not walk into the most important issue America faces with their eyes completely closed." Read the text and see the video after the jump.

*UPDATE: Then there's this.


Show full PR text
DINGELL: KILLING THE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY VEHICLE MANUFACTURING JOB-CREATING LOAN PROGRAM MAKES NO SENSE

Republicans must not walk into the most important issue America faces with their eyes completely closed

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative John D. Dingell (D-MI15) took to the floor to defeat H. Res. 405, providing for the Consideration of H.R. 2608 during his effort to defeat the previous question after the rule on the House floor today. If defeated, Congressman Dingell was to have offered an amendment to strip language rescinding funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. This procedural tactic was last successful over twenty years ago. Below is the Congressman's floor speech as prepared:

"I thank the gentle lady for yielding. This bill is brought to you by people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Mr. Speaker, I am just baffled by why we are considering a measure that will cut funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. This loan program has created or saved over 40,000 jobs so far and could create 10,000 more by year's end. For all the talk in Washington about wanting to create new jobs, killing ATVM just plain makes no sense.

"The Economic Policy Institute just released a report that my home state of Michigan has lost nearly 80,000 jobs to China since 2001. If we cripple this loan program, Michigan and the rest of the country can expect to lose even more jobs and their ability to compete globally in the 21st century. Now, I understand we are living in tough economic times and have to squeeze every penny to make sure it counts. All the same, we simply cannot afford to rob Peter to pay Paul at an enormous cost to our country's competitive future.

"It comforts me that many of my colleagues see this rascality for what it is. Over 100 of them have signed on to a letter by my friends, Gary Peters and Anna Eshoo, in opposition to gutting ATVM. I urge my colleagues to stand up for what is right by defeating the previous question and adopting my amendment, which will provide for disaster relief funding and also preserve the integrity of a critical job-creating program. Thank you for your courtesy, and I yield back the balance of my time."


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  • 52 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ye of little faith....(Ford)
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      People in glass houses should throw parties...no, ah, people in stone houses shouldn't belong to glass parties,.. dang...
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great article. I especially like the, 'oh yea, the accuser has done bad things too!' excuse. I suppose we can ignore any transgression by any politician, as long as we say, 'oh yea? Well, your guy did this!'. Great reporting...
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Looks at one post above mine. Yep.
        Grendal
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Pointing out blatant hypocracy is hardly bad reporting. It's good to show how politicians are not fighting for what is best for their constituents but instead playing political games at our expense.
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is a great example of when you don't have much ammunition, you shoot the messenger then run with your head tucked in a dark place
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      F & F. Yes, who's brain-child was this disaster? I'm sure it didn't come out of the Democratic Party Leadership. No democratic politician would have dreamed up this catastrophe.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Ezee 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel': Samuel Johnson and so it goes,.."everyone waving signs, sayin' Hooray for my side!" (Buffalo Springfield) Actually, I don't much care for muck-raking politicians like Daryl Issa either, but it doesn't matter who denounces public corruption or incompetence, each act must be judged on evidence, not the popularity of the offender or accuser. Ford is right in his desire to 'fat check', but sometimes he forgets to do it with both sides. (I guess we're all guilty of that from time to time!)
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, I agree. Just remember some of us who "fact check" Republican screeds have lost all faith the party knows anything or even stands for anything except Corporate Fraud.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typo patrol: the title says "Solaraya" and the article says "Solyndra". I think the latter is correct. The Republicans cannot get Obama out of their craw... They think he is the devil incarnate, and can do nothing right. One badly managed company doesn't mean that renewable energy is not good -- they (the GOP) either think that we the people are simple minded, or they are... Neil
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't Team B at Aptera a buch of incompetent money milking Republicans? Regardless, they are incompetent and are squandering the money.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      You went to Issa? Linked to Criminal Activity Issa? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp38iRxGcZk
      EVnerdGene
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well dang. Now we know why Aptera didn't get a loan. Asked a repubelikum for help, when the democraps are in control of the payola.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's alot more here than is being said - since this issue is being used as a political weapon. The loan to Solyndra was originally started under the Bush administration. It was rushed for approval by the Bush administration prior to leaving office (they wanted the credit for it since the technology, non silicon based panels, was so promising) - literally trying to approve it in January 2009 prior to the inauguration. It was not approved because the application needed to be redone in some way. 3 months later after the loan application was updated it was approved (this time by the Obama administration since it was in office which restructured the loan so it didn't present so much risk to the taxpayer). The earliest and largest private investors weren't friends of the Obama administration but actually a group funded by the Waltons (Wallmart owners) who are big Republican backers. One initial investor was a person who gave money to the Obama campaign, but it was the technology that got the loan, not the connections. News Corp's (same people who own Fox News) Wall Street Journal named Solyndra the "Top Clean Tech Company" of 2010. The Wall Street Journal and Fox News are now saying how shady the deal was and how obvious it was it shouldn't have gotten it - except the WSJ said it was the best clean tech company in 2010...hmmm..? It's said in political circles that if you keep repeating something, even if its a lie - it'll stick with most people who won't bother figuring the truth out. The technology Solyndra created was great - during this time Solyndra cut its costs by 50% (according to the company). Unfortunately the price of silicon based panels (the silicon needed was forecasted to stay sky high for the foreseeable future during these years, but then it dropped like a rock) dove through the floor during the second half of 2010, making Solyndra's technology way too expensive. The loan to Solyndra was 1.3% of the DOE's loan portfolio and the only one that had trouble at this point. Solyndra was a good bet at the time, but the market totally changed recently (and not generally forecast) rendering their technology (non silicon based solar panels) too expensive. Here's a timeline for the loan and company: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/13/317594/timeline-bush-administration-solyndra-loan-guarantee/
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        So wait...it started under the Bush administration - the administration that was the root of all evil in the world today, the future, and the past. Does that mean that Obama was bad because he continued something that Bush did, or, that the deal wasn't bad, because Bush did something Obama continued with? And, the giant corporation that was politically connected through campaign contributions (those are still evil, right?) 'said' that they cut costs by 50% - but, do we believe an evil corporation bent on reaping profits at the expense of workers, or, since they accepted money from Obama, they were an enlightened company that was trying? Remember, by your own accounts, George Bush (pause, for minor key chord on the piano, following by fuzzy, slow motion, black and which clip of Bush turning toward the camera) started this whole thing. I am not sure if I should be enraged or appreciating the effort.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Why am I voted down? I pointed out that Bush is evil, therefore the deal might have been bad, and therefore not obama's fault (if Obama could not trust bush...no wait). I picked on corporations as well.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          I'd move for the latter choice - appreciating the effort. At the time Solyndra was a great technology that solved a huge barrier to solar panel prices coming down (the fact that panel level silicon prices were through the roof and didn't show near term hopes of falling). Solyndra wasn't chosen as the Wall Street Journal's top clean energy company of 2010 for nothing.
          Ford Future
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Mr. Bush is an interesting person. He used to own a "green home". Remember, the Republican Party, before Cheney, did have solar leanings.
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