Fossil Fueled Republicans Grandstand Against Solyndra, Solar Energy

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"Fossil Fueled Republicans Grandstand Against Solyndra, Solar Energy"

Today, House Republicans crowed over the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a company with an innovative thin-film solar technology granted a $535 million loan guarantee under the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Massive investments by the Chinese government drove down the price of polysilicon and pushed Solyndra into bankruptcy at the beginning of this month, despite annual revenues of over $100 million a year. The company is now under investigation by the FBI, likely because of assurances made to Congress by its top officials that Solyndra was in good financial health.

At a hearing today, Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee questioned administration officials about the loan guarantee, and pontificated in general that government investment in clean technology was a bad idea. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Koch Industries’ man in Congress, also asked questions at the hearing even though he is not a member of the subcommittee. These Republicans, unsurprisingly, are heavily funded by the fossil fuel and nuclear industries:


$11 MILLION FOSSIL FUEL TEAM QUESTIONS SOLAR
Rep. Cliff Stearns (FL) $405,993
Rep. Steve Scalise (LA) $339,935
Rep. Tim Murphy (PA) $933,141
Rep. Fred Upton (MI) $1,290,928
Rep. Joe Barton (TX) $3,571,595
Rep. Lee Terry (NE) $563,401
Rep. John Sullivan (OK) $1,060,278
Rep. Michael Burgess (TX) $430,568
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN) $302,248
Rep. Sue Myrick (NC) $449,085
Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA) $528,864
Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA) $194,250
Rep. Cory Gardner (CO) $386,324
Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA) $193,480
Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS) $534,006
TOTAL $11,184,096
Center for Responsive Politics. Career contributions from the energy and natural resources sector.

“The solar industry is truly dependent on subsidies,” subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) said at the conclusion of the hearing. Stearns did not express similar outrage about the hundreds of billions of dollars that have gone into subsidizing the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. None of the Republican members of the panel worried about the $11 million in subsidies they have received from the fossil fuel and nuclear industries in campaign contributions.

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“We know we’ll never have a hearing on the oil industry or the nuclear industry in this committee,” Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) noted at the hearing, questioning $41 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry and a massive nuclear loan guarantee given to Southern Company.

Watch it:

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Dave Johnson has a comprehensive takedown of the “Phony Solyndra Solar Scandal.”

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