Before Bashing Clean Energy As Wasteful, Rep. Forbes (R-VA) Asked Secretary Chu For BioFuel Loans

Lee Fang, in a cross-post from TP Green.

Republicans have seized on the Solyndra controversy to go on a witch hunt against all clean energy programs authorized by the Department of Energy. For instance, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) has pressed for an investigation of all clean energy programs. A post on his congressional website claims such spending is “wasteful” and boasts that Forbes has voted “against every bailout and stimulus plan.”

Republicans are on a war path to defund all clean energy programs, targeting not only the loan program tapped by Solyndra but all green jobs efforts by the federal government. As Climate Progress’ Stephen Lacey has reported, Republicans are now expanding their inquisition to include killing a program that employs veterans to install solar panels.

Forbes, for instance, sent a letter to Secretary Steven Chu expressing support for International Biofuels’ application for a clean energy loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Despite the fact Forbes voted against the funding mechanism for the loan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he requested that the Obama administration give preference to a company planning a renewable energy plant in Virginia. View a copy of the Department of Energy’s response below:

Unknown iFrame situation

Earlier this month, Forbes joined his colleagues in a protest vote against Department of Energy clean energy grant programs, including a cut against the same program he requested money from.


Climate Progress reporter Stephen Lacey has chronicled other examples of GOP hypocrisy. Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and David Vitter (R-LA), as well as Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Fred Upton (R-MI), and others had sought Department of Energy clean energy money in previous years. As ThinkProgress and Bloomberg reported, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), now managing an inquisition into the very idea of clean energy funding, had once sought a clean energy grant to a company with close connections to an Issa campaign donor.

— Lee Fang