U.S. lawmakers spar over green energy

Sept. 17, 2012 at 7:54 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A debate over renewable energy policies in the United States turned bitter after a lawmaker accused colleagues of embracing coal and nuclear power.

The House of Representatives passed a measure to get rid of a loan guarantee program at the U.S. Department of Energy for renewable energy projects. Dubbed the No More Solyndras Act, the measure would bar consideration of loan guarantees filed after 2011.

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said his Republican counterparts were favoring energy resources like coal instead of renewables.

"Republicans say they want no more Solyndras but what they really want is no more clean energy solutions," Markey said in a statement.

Solar panel company Solyndra declared bankruptcy last year despite getting a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the committee, said phasing out the loan program would save taxpayer dollars. He said projects like the Keystone XL oil pipeline would be more advantageous to energy independence.

"This bill prevents any costly repeats of Solyndra by prohibiting any new loan guarantees and subjecting pending ones to very stringent safeguards," he said in a statement.

The Senate, controlled by Democrats, is unlikely to consider the measure.

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