September 15, 2012
House Passes No More Solyndras Act
by Robert Kropp
Viewed by Democrats as nothing more than election-year grandstanding, the bill stands no chance of
passing the Senate.
It's become a commonplace assumption that the attention span of the American electorate is brief.
It may be too soon for Mitt Romney to breathe a sigh of relief over the time passed since his
statements on the so-called apology by the American embassy in Egypt, but the bankruptcy of
Solyndra—if there ever was much political capital in it for Republicans at all—seems distant enough
to have little effect on the election.
Perhaps Republicans in the House are
grasping at straws in response to the polls when they passed the so-called No More Solyndras
Act, which would prevent the US Department of Energy from issuing loan guarantees for
applications received this year for funding under the stimulus package enacted by the Obama
administration in 2009. About $34 billion in authorized funds remain in the program, which would be
unavailable to new applicants; House Democrats argued that under the act, the funds would remain
available to nuclear and coal companies.
After the vote, Representative Fred Upton of
Michigan, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, "Burning money is one
source of energy that the country doesn’t need. This bill prevents any costly repeats of Solyndra
by prohibiting any new loan guarantees and subjecting pending ones to very stringent safeguards."
Last year, Upton sponsored the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would have prevented the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing a number of regulations designed to
decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In interviews, Upton has also denied the role of
human activity in climate change.
But Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush said, "You know full
well this bill will never become law," as it stands no chance of passage in the Democrat-controlled
Senate. He continued, "This is another prime example why this has been the least effective Congress
in 60 years."
Solyndra, a thin film solar company, declared bankruptcy last year after
receiving a $535 million Department of Energy (DOE) loan. The company's demise was attributed not
to the failings of the loan program but to an influx of low-priced Chinese imports.