House Republicans today passed a bill to end a loan guarantee program, but not before $88.4 billion in loans are handed out to coal and nuclear interests, while voting to allow the bill to go forward even if taxes are raised on the wind industry by up to $4 billion, threatening 40,000 jobs in the next year alone. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) decried the bill as a sham that protects imperiled nuclear projects while revealing House Republicans' true agenda to undercut innovative wind, solar and other clean energy projects.
The bill passed by House Republicans purports to end a loan guarantee program for energy projects, but will still allow tens of billions of dollars to be ferreted out to projects like the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), which has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy for months, and just received another $100 million in taxpayer money in yesterday's bill to fund the government for the next few months.
House Republicans rejected a motion offered by Rep. Markey that would have prevented the No More Solyndras Act from staying in effect if a $4 billion tax hike on the wind sector was allowed to occur. They also rejected the same motion that would require that the coal and nuclear and other projects funded by taxpayers under the continuation of the loan guarantee program be built with U.S. workers and products.
"Republicans say they want no more Solyndras, but what they really want is no more clean energy solutions. They don't want the newest clean energy technologies to compete with coal, nuclear, oil and other fossil fuels," said Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. "This bill is like saying a concert is sold out, but not before the friends of the band still get the best seats in the house. That's why Republicans are handing out tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to risky nuclear and coal projects, while cutting off funding for innovative wind, solar and other clean energy projects."