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Public Statements

No More Solyndras Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 6213, the No More Solyndras Act, as I believe it serves as a critical step in correcting the glaring missteps of the Department of Energy's failed loan guarantee program. Through a lack of due diligence, and apparent political pressure, the Obama Administration risked tax dollars in companies whose failures should have been foreseeable. Congress must learn from these mistakes and ensure that future tax dollars are not wasted.

I am greatly troubled that several of the initial recipients of the section 1705 loan guarantee program have declared bankruptcy. The most high profile of these was Solyndra, the California solar company that received $535 million in loan guarantees, but DOE also bet wrong by supporting Beacon Power, Ener 1, and Abound Solar. After Solyndra's failure, Congress investigated how DOE was awarding its money. We found that DOE ignored obvious deficiencies in these companies' business structures and rushed much of the decision making process in the name of political expedience. To put it bluntly, DOE attempted to pick winners and losers and it failed miserably.

When news of this reckless use of tax dollars became public, my constituents were rightfully outraged. In a time of record debt, DOE's gambling with tax dollars on shaky companies is indefensible. The American people expect more from their government. However, in an apparent disregard for its history of failures, DOE is insisting that it will continue to consider loan guarantees, putting millions more tax dollars at risk.

The No More Solyndras Act takes the necessary steps to protect the American taxpayer. By sunsetting DOE's loan guarantee authority, we are shielding taxpayers from future losses associated with these risky loans. Further, greater transparency and ensuring no subordination of tax dollars are important to providing taxpayer protection. While I would like for more aggressive legislation that would end the loan guarantee program altogether, I believe the No More Solyndras Act is needed to begin correcting the flaws of the DOE program.

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