If Republicans Try To Manufacture A Clean Energy Scandal With Fisker, These Letters May Haunt Them

Aerial picture of the site for Fisker Automotive's facility in Delaware, made possible by a clean energy loan program.

As news outlets hype the ABC News piece about Fisker Automotive, a company that received an Obama administration loan program while creating jobs both in Finland and Delaware, Republicans are likely to pounce as well. Already, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) appeared on Fox News to tout the Fisker story as part of a larger narrative about the failure of the Obama administration’s loan program. “On Solyndra, people are going to draw comparisons about [Fisker],” piped Fox News’ Bill Hemmer.

Republicans exaggerated and misconstrued the controversy over Solyndra, a failed solar company that received a subsidized loan (originating from the Bush administration), to call to cutting all clean energy loan programs.

But before Republicans turn on the right-wing echo chamber to twist the Fisker story into some sort of case of wrongdoing, they should consider this ThinkProgress report about GOP lawmakers who have requested the same type of clean energy loans. According to the report, at least 62 requested green energy subsidies from the Obama administration. Both the Indiana and Louisina Republican delegations requested taxpayer money for energy efficient start-up car companies — using the same type of program obtained by Fisker Automotive:

Reps. Todd Young (R), Larry Bucshon (R), Marlin Stutzman (R), Todd Rokita (R) and Dan Burton (R) signed a letter along with other Indiana lawmakers to Secretary Steven Chu requesting expedited action on a clean energy loan to Carbon Motors Corporation. The grant, the lawmakers claimed, would bring 1,500 jobs to Indiana while achieving “a positive impact on the environment.” View a copy of the Indiana letter supporting Carbon Motor’s Department of Energy grant request here. All five lawmakers voted ‘aye’ in a protest vote against Department of Energy clean energy grant programs.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wrote two letters to Secretary Steven Chu asking for clean energy loans for a plant that would build electric cars. The letter, sent in June of 2009, claimed that the company could create 4,000 jobs. The Associated Press and Climate Progress have reported on the letters here.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) sent a letter to Secretary Steven Chu requesting “expedited consideration” of a fuel efficiency loan grant for V-Vehicle Company to build a plant in his state. The entire Louisiana congressional delegation cosigned the June 2, 2010 letter, including clean energy critics Reps. Bill Cassidy (R), John Fleming (R), Steve Scalise (R), and Rodney Alexander (R). Vitter also sent letters recommending clean energy loan guarantees for Red River Environmental Products and Next Autoworks Company. View a copy of Vitter’s clean energy loan requests here. Fleming, Cassidy, Scalise, and Alexander voted “aye” in a protest vote against Department of Energy clean energy grant programs.

Read the rest of the report here.

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