Back in September, as the GOP was getting all riled up over the faux Solyndra scandal, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that “for the federal government to be out there picking one company over another, one type of energy source over another, I think is wrong.” Evidently, though, his attitude toward energy subsidies does not extend to nuclear plants in his home state of Ohio.
As Bloomberg reported today, despite his professed view on energy subsidies, Boehner is backing a $2 billion loan guarantee for an enriching plant run by USEC Inc., saying that failing to provide the guarantee would “betray” Ohio’s workers:
House Speaker John Boehner attacked the Obama administration for financing failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, saying government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. That hasn’t stopped him from demanding that the U.S. make a winner of a nuclear-fuel plant in Ohio, his home state.
Boehner is backing a $2 billion Energy Department loan guarantee sought by USEC Inc. (USU) for its American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, aimed at enriching uranium for commercial nuclear reactors. [...]
“In the midst of the Solyndra controversy that has raised serious questions about the Obama administration’s oversight of taxpayer dollars, hundreds of Southern Ohio workers stand to lose their jobs if the Obama administration reneges on the president’s promise to support an energy project in the small town of Piketon, Ohio,” Boehner wrote. “I urge the administration to not betray the citizens of Ohio.”
Boehner is far from the only Republican using Solyndra to score political points while asking for loan guarantees at the same time. In fact, Republican House members host $11.8 billion in loan guarantees in their districts.
According to Bloomberg, “USEC’s political action committee has given $10,000 to committees supporting Boehner since 2010.” It’s telling that he believes failure to provide a loan guarantee is a betrayal of workers, while pushing budget cuts that cost hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs is responsible governance.