U.S. Sen. David Vitter today introduced the Federal Accountability of Renewable Energy (FARE) Act, which would require federal agencies to give a full accounting of all taxpayer funds given to renewable energy projects.
"I'm concerned about recent reports suggesting that the Obama administration was reckless with taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects," said Vitter. "We need an all-of-the-above energy policy that creates good jobs and keeps energy prices low for Americans, but these projects have to be viable -- they have to make sense. We can't afford any more crony capitalism where the federal government picks winners and losers and then leaves taxpayers on the hook when everything falls apart."
Recent news reports have suggested that in 2009 the White House may have pressured Office of Management and Budget reviewers to approve a loan for the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra before the OMB had time to conduct a thorough assessment of the company's financial viability.
The FARE Act would require agencies to provide the following:
* a full accounting at every federal agency that has provided any form of financial support to private-sector renewable energy projects
* a list of companies that have substantially met the stated purpose of the financial support as well as a list of those companies that have failed to meet the purpose of the financing
* total number of jobs created as a result of the financial support
* a list of venture capital firms involved in filing documents for obtaining financial support for now defunct or failing companies
* a preliminary inspector general investigation into all companies that have substantially failed to meet the objectives for the purpose of the financial support and whether there potentially existed any fraud