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Obama on Solyndra: Not Our Program Per Se

By Doug Powers  •  March 22, 2012 02:22 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

It takes a big bus to be able to back it up over all of Congress, and an even bigger one to back it up over a party that wasn’t anywhere near the bill that funded Solyndra… that is, per se:

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt,” Obama said. “But understand: This was not our program per se.”

“Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for start-ups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start up companies get to scale,” he said.

I remember well the beaming smiles on the faces of all those Republicans at the signing of the Stimulus.

The Solyndra loan was of course funded by a program in the “Recovery Act,” an Obama proposal that got the support of most Democrats in the Congress they controlled, and an even more excited reaction from Joe Biden’s office. The bill received no Republican votes in the House, and in the Senate only three Republicans voted for it — Snowe, Collins and Specter (before Snarlin’ Arlen switched parties). Hardly bipartisan support.

From Obama’s address at Solyndra, May 2010:

So that’s why we’ve placed a big emphasis on clean energy. It’s the right thing to do for our environment, it’s the right thing to do for our national security, but it’s also the right thing to do for our economy.

And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans.

Since the project broke ground last fall, more than 3,000 construction workers have been employed building this plant. Across the country, workers — (applause) — across the country, workers in 22 states are manufacturing the supplies for this project. Workers in a dozen states are building the advanced manufacturing equipment that will power this new facility. When it’s completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world. (Applause.)

It sure sounds like an Obama administration program… per se.

Obama also put part of the blame for Solyndra’s collapse on China, because the Chinese government creates an unfair competitive advantage by subsidizing their solar industry, whereas the United States government only subsidizes its solar industry per se.


**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe


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