The Romney campaign released yet another ad today on Solyndra and the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program. Romney’s ad repeats the same half-truths and lies about stimulus funding that factcheckers have repeatedly debunked.
During the campaign, Romney has routinely dismissed the nation’s 3.1 million clean energy jobs while intensifying his attacks on the industry. Ironically, the clean energy industry is booming in his home state of Massachusetts, creating 64,000 jobs across the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors.
In a story published over the weekend, the Boston Globe highlights how solar is “flourishing” in his home state:
In the past two years alone, solar energy-generating capacity in the state has more than doubled to 105 megawatts, according to the state Department of Energy Resources. That’s enough to power at least 15,750 homes.
The number of solar installation firms in the state has also exploded, to nearly 200 last year from about 43 in 2007. In total, state energy officials estimate that more than 1,300 solar energy firms — installers, manufacturers, and others — operate in Massachusetts, employing about 14,000.
In addition, Massachusetts has created a market for solar renewable energy credits, which solar project owners can sell to power plant operators to meet state regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.
The money from those sales helps further lower the cost of solar power.
Such policies have made solar economically competitive in the state, despite less than optimal sun, said Jim Dumas, principal at Solect Inc., a Hopkinton company with 10 employees. Solect is currently installing a 475-kilowatt solar system atop a commercial building in Northborough.
In April, the Center for American Progress filmed a short documentary on the explosion of activity in Massachusetts’ clean energy sector.
Even while solar grows quickly in Massachusetts, helping grow new businesses, Romney’s plan would reduce investments in clean energy. He would strike subsidies, loans, and research for the clean energy industry — all while endorsing a House GOP budget that maintains subsidies for oil and coal giants.
Despite a year of investigation finding no evidence of political misconduct, the GOP has hammered away at Solyndra. American Crossroads is up with its own ad today on Solyndra, following an earlier fact-challenged ad from its affiliate Crossroads GPS.
Factcheckers have called every one of these ads bogus. The Washington Post FactChecker labeled these ads a “depressing duty” because the same “erroneous assertions” had been debunked years ago. And Politifact gave a “false” to the claim that Solyndra contributed to higher gas prices.
In fact, an independent review of the loan guarantee program that supported Solyndra found that it will cost $2 billion less than originally anticipated.