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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.


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