who pushed for approval of the Solyndra loan that
Issa now condemns (Robert Galbraith / Reuters)
If you listen to what he says in public, Darrell Issa believes President Obama’s “Green Energy Agenda” is a job killer:
Tomorrow, Issa is conducting a Congressional oversight hearing called: ”How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs.”
And it’s not just a jobs killer, he says. It’s a backdoor to corruption:
“There’s been this attitude that somehow the government can weigh-in with loan guarantees and money and pick specific company winners and losers,” Issa said yesterday on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” program. “We see that as a backdoor, easy way to end up with corruption in government.”
As a result, Issa says, he’ll lead a Congressional investigation into Solyndra, a green energy firm that filed for bankruptcy despite receiving federal loan guarantees.
Republicans like Issa have tried to turn the Solyndra failure into a political scandal, but the reality is that sometimes private companies fail—even ones that have taken federal loans. And despite his scandalmongering, Issa himself has privately embraced the exact same programs he is now publicly criticizing. For example, check out this 2010 letter posted by Greg Sargent in which Issa asks the Department of Energy to provide a federal loan to a private firm in his district:
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I write to express my support of Aptera Motors’ application for a loan under the Department of Energy’s 136 Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP). Funding will allow Aptera to establish U.S. manufacturing facilities for the commercial production of its plug-in and hybrid electric cars. Aptera Motors plans to purchase and equip manufacturing facilities to begin commercial scale production of its energy efficient electric vehicles. Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district.
Electric vehicle initiatives like Aptera’s will aid U.S long-term energy goals by shifting away from fossil fuels and using viable renewable energy sources like plug-in electric energy. Additionally, Aptera’s vehicles will reduce dependence on foreign oil and enhance energy security. Aptera’s project will also promote domestic job creation throughout California as well as in other states.
Unlike many other electric vehicles, Aptera’s energy efficient electric vehicles have a range of over 100 miles per charge and the possibility to become one of the most energy efficient vehicles in the world. A loan to Aptera will help accelerate the move from gasoline-powered vehicles to cleaner electric vehicles.
I urge you to give Aptera Motors’ Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program funding application full consideration. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Press Assistant, XXXXX.
Member of Congress.
So in public, Issa talks about the “Green Energy Agenda” as if it were a menace to society and a pathway to corruption … but in private, he not only says green energy programs create jobs, he also specifically advocates for private companies.
Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa, said Aptera has been awaiting an Energy Department decision for three years.
“In the entire time that Aptera’s application has been pending, Solyndra was able to obtain taxpayer backing and go bankrupt leaving taxpayers on the hook,” Hill said in an e- mail. “Most applicants for federal programs don’t, in fact, receive the VIP treatment Solyndra did.”
In other words, Darell Issa isn’t really against “picking winners and losers.” He just wants to make sure that he’s the one doing the picking.