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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6213, No More Solyndras Act, and Providing for Consideration of Motions to Suspend the Rules

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, in the history of this whole program, it was started for the nuclear industry. Pete Domenici, 2005. Why? Because there hadn't been a new nuclear power plant built in 30 years out in the free market so they needed the Federal Government to come in and prop it up on crutches. That's the only way it would work.

So when President Obama took over, he said, Well, maybe we should do something for solar as well. Of course, the coal industry, the oil industry, the nuclear industry, they recoiled in fear that there would actually be competition in the marketplace. When one solar company got in trouble, the Republicans pounced on solar. They pounced on wind. They pounced. That's why, by the way, the Republicans are going to allow the wind tax breaks to expire this year, but they're going to keep all of the oil tax breaks on the books.

So here we are today and they have something called the No More Solyndras Act. Ah. Except for the $88 billion that they're going to grandfather in in terms of the application date that they have selected.

So, who qualifies for that? Well, $76.5 billion would be the nuclear industry, $11.9 billion would be the coal industry. Ah, I get it now. It's not the No More Solyndras Act; it's the ``Only $88.4 Billion More for Nuclear and Coal No More Solyndras Act of 2012.'' It's just the same kind of tilted playing field that the Republicans have always had. Nuclear, oil, coal, great. Wind and solar finally getting going--12,000 new megawatts of wind installed in the United States this year; 3,200 megawatts of solar installed in the United States this year--that puts the fear of the marketplace in the coal and the nuclear and the oil industry brain. So that's why we're out here with this ``kill solar and save nuclear and coal'' with this incredible amount of money.

Now, as the gentleman from Massachusetts said, I had an amendment that I requested the Rules Committee put in place, and that is that if your company last year lost $540 million or more, you could not qualify for a loan guarantee. Remember, Solyndra lost $538 million, so I picked $540 million. And if your company is on the verge of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange and has already reached junk bond status with S&P's and Moody's, come on, you cannot qualify. I mean, come on. We're not having Federal taxpayer money go to companies on the verge of being delisted and that have already reached junk bond status.

They all voted ``no'' in the committee. When I had my amendment put up before the Rules Committee, they rejected it. Now, why did they reject it? Because the United States Enrichment Corporation lost $540 million last year; it's on the verge of being delisted on the stock exchange; it's reached junk bond status; but yet nuclear will qualify. So I said, well, we can't invest in that kind of a company.

As the gentleman from Massachusetts said, the same thing is true for buying American. If we're going to have these loan guarantees, let's at least make sure that they are American jobs. They wouldn't put that amendment in order as well.

This whole issue here is basically one of this favored oil-above-all agenda, not all of the above--not when you say tax breaks for oil companies continue and wind companies die; not when you have loan guarantees that continue on for nuclear and coal, but not for wind, not for solar. It's just so transparent. It's just arithmetic, ladies and gentlemen. Solyndra loses 538, the Enrichment Corporation--nuclear--loses 540. The arithmetic is pretty simple: They both should not qualify. But not these guys, no, no.


Mr. MARKEY. Not these guys, oh, no--no, no, no, because it's not marketplace. There's no rhyme or reason to it until you start to think about what has always been their agenda. That has always been the fossil fuel industry agenda.

I would abolish the entire program. You want to abolish this program? Abolish it. Put the vote out here, I'll vote for it. Get rid of the loan guarantee program, then let solar and wind and nuclear and coal and oil all compete in the free marketplace for private capital investment. You want to know what that would do? It would put the fear of Adam Smith in the heart of the nuclear industry because they would receive no private investment, none. It takes the Federal Government providing a crutch. So it then requires the Republican Party to take away the loan guarantees for the competition. Well, they're giving the loan guarantees,

Federal taxpayer loan guarantees, to industries that otherwise could not get any money in the private sector. The United States Enrichment Corporation can't get any private sector investment. Nuclear power industry, this loan guarantee program--two for $8 billion for a program that is already $1 billion over the two Vogtle plants in Georgia. The whole thing is bad arithmetic for the American taxpayer.


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