How Aptera plays a role in the Solyndra political battle

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.

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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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