Griffin Votes to Protect Taxpayers, Supports "No More Solyndras Act'

Press Release

By:  Tim Griffin
Date: Sept. 14, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the No More Solyndras Act (H.R. 6213):

"Even after Solyndra predictably went bankrupt--costing Americans more than half a billion dollars--President Obama still insisted it was a "good bet.' It may be true that his wealthy supporters benefited from his roll of the dice, but it is hardworking American taxpayers that are stuck with the bill. That's wrong and unfair, and this legislation puts an end to the Obama Administration's risky green energy gambling and taxpayer-funded, politically-motivated pet projects."

H.R. 6213 effectively phases out the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by prohibiting it from issuing any loan guarantees under Title XVII for applications submitted after December 31, 2011. More details can be found on the Energy & Commerce Committee's website.

On October 3, 2011, The New York Times reported: "A Solyndra investor, in an e-mail sent to the White House in late 2009, asked why the government had been willing to offer the solar start-up so much money. "One of our solar companies with revenues of less than $100 million (and not yet profitable) received a government loan of $580 million,' the investor, Brad Jones of Redpoint Ventures, wrote in December 2009 to Lawrence H. Summers, then the president's chief economic adviser, referring to Solyndra. "While that is good for us, I can't imagine it's a good way for the government to use taxpayer money.'"

On November 15, 2011, The Washington Post reported: "As the contentious 2010 elections approached, Solyndra found itself foundering, and it warned the Energy Department that it would need an emergency cash infusion. A Solyndra investment adviser wrote in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail -- without explaining the reason -- that Energy Department officials were pushing "very hard' to delay making the layoffs public until the day after the elections. The announcement ultimately was made on Nov. 3, 2010 -- immediately following the Nov. 2 vote."

On November 16, 2011, The Washington Post reported: "Executives associated with the California solar panel company also privately described Energy Department officials as more concerned with appearances than with sound business decisions. "The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically,' a Solyndra board member wrote in December to George Kaiser, an Obama fundraiser whose family funds owned a third of the company."

Published in November 2011, Peter Schweizer's book Throw Them All Out stated: "In the 1705 government-backed-loan program [alone], for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers--individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama's National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party."

On January 13, 2012, CBS News reported: "CBS News counted 12 clean energy companies that are having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: The junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES' subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra."

On March 1, 2012, in testimony to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu was asked how he'd grade his management of DOE resources over the last three years. "I would give myself a pretty good gradeĀ….maybe an A-," he responded.

On August 2, 2012, Fox News reported on a 2009 email in which Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet characterized the Obama Administration as "The Bank of Washington."

Also on August 2, ABC News reported: "Senior Obama Administration officials decided to restructure the government's half-billion-dollar loan to the California solar energy firm Solyndra even after government analysts had concluded it would cost taxpayers far less to allow the company to fail[.]"