Lawmakers target U.S. green loans

July 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 11 (UPI) -- Republican leaders in the United States announced they introduced a bill that proposes more transparency in loans for renewable energy programs.

Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of an investigative subcommittee, introduced draft legislation that would phase out a loan guarantee program enacted in 2005.

The bill, dubbed the "No More Solyndras Act," aims to force the Department of Energy to report to lawmakers on the details of any loan guarantee.

Solar panel company Solyndra declared bankruptcy in 2010 despite having a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

Upton and Stearns in February accused advisers to President Barack Obama of meddling in Solyndra's affairs for political gain.

"Billions of dollars were hastily pushed out the door, with the Obama administration more worried about sending press releases announcing stimulus projects than if the projects were worthy and would create jobs," said Upton in a statement.

Obama had touted the company as a centerpiece of his green economic agenda, though the initial loan was vetted by the previous administration of George W. Bush.

In a presidential election year, their bill is unlikely to pass through a Senate controlled by Democrats.

Solar manufacturer Abound Solar in June announced it was filing for bankruptcy. It was awarded a $400 million loan guarantee.

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