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Ben Bierman (left) and Chris Gronet (right) explain solar technology to U.S. President Barack Obama on a tour of the Solyndra solar panel company May 26, 2010 in Fremont, California.
This Steven Mufson piece from the Washington Post is a solid summary of how the government has long supported, as the headline says, "failed energy projects." Mufson argues that the feds have done a lousy job of making industrial policy work and peppers his account with all manner of money losers, going back decades.
He also holds Energy Secretary Steven Chu's feet to the fire of some flawed historical examples of the government investing in projects that we think were big successes but actually weren't — or that didn't involve any government money at all!
However, Mufson also follows a line of reasoning that has, since the controversial bankruptcy of solar startup Solyndra, become widely echoed by critics of the Department of Energy's loan-guarantee program for green energy and transportation, as well as the Obama administration's support of it.
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Calif. Republica Rep. Darrell Issa has some questions for Energy secretary Steven Chu.
California's own Darrell Issa has started asking some tough questions in the aftermath of the Solyndra bankruptcy and the ensuing fracas with the Department of Energy's loan-guarantee program. This is from Jake Tapper at ABCNews:
Issa…chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government on October 7 wrote to Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu to see just what other problematic loans might exist.
Specifically, Issa is seeking “additional information regarding the loans approved on the final day of the program,” ones made to First Solar Inc, SunPower Corp., and ProLogis Inc.
“Did DOE have an independent audit of First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis conducted prior to finalizing loan guarantees for these companies on September 30, 2011?” Issa asked in the letter.”Does DOE have any ongoing concerns about the financial viability of First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis? In their respective loan applications, did First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis disclose their cash reserves?”