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Mr. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. White House adviser Larry Summers said it best. When one of Solyndra's own investors was astonished to learn his startup firm qualified for this massive DOE earmark, Summers replied the government is a ``crappy venture capitalist.'' Nearly 3 years later and $1 billion in losses to taxpayers later, isn't it clear the Department of Energy loan program has failed?
Many of us want our country to implement a comprehensive, successful energy-independence strategy that uses clean coal, nuclear, clean natural gas, and other sources. That's why Chairman Upton's bill included an amendment I authored to have the GAO examine the kind of subsidies and assistance foreign governments give to their energy companies. But after an 18-month investigation by the committee, the truth is the current loan program, as it stands, cannot be salvaged. We found that the loopholes created in this program by thwarting the letter and spirit of the law have shaken its foundation.
Solyndra was rushed, reckless, and political. It was rushed because the entire stimulus loan program was built to get money out the door quickly. The law originally said they had to pay it back, complete the projects, and the taxpayers had to be paid back first. These taxpayer safety nets were removed. Second, it was reckless. Officials at OMB, DOE, Treasury, and outside investment professionals all warned that Solyndra was doomed to fail. Even Solyndra employees questioned its longevity. Finally, it was political. Campaign bundler George Kaiser made 16 visits to the White House about Solyndra. This committee uncovered emails between Kaiser and White House officials on Solyndra. There were internal deliberations about how the White House could mask the bad news of Solyndra's bankruptcy.
Those are the facts. It's time to turn out the lights on Solyndra and this DOE loan guarantee program. I urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment and support for the bill.
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