House lawmakers tasked with investigating the Energy Department’s $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt solar company, Solyndra, unveiled legislation today that would ban DOE officials from giving out any more loan guarantees.
“Our investigation has uncovered a number of disturbing truths behind DOE’s loan guarantee program, ground zero of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement today. “Our legislative fix will give taxpayers the peace of mind that such a disaster like Solyndra will never happen again. In light of the recent string of bankruptcies, Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Abound Solar just last week, our bill takes a stand for American taxpayers, declaring loud and clear that there will be ‘No More Solyndras.’”
DOE has issued over $15 billion in loan guarantees, and could grant approximately $34 billion more to green energy companies under current law. The No More Solyndras Act would bar DOE from granting loan guarantees to any company that filed its application after December 31st, 2011. The bill also bans the restructuring of loans, such as occurred in the Solyndra bankruptcy, that allows failing companies to repay private creditors before repaying the subsidy provided by taxpayers.
“Our ‘No More Solyndras Act’ will ensure taxpayers are no longer vulnerable to the Obama administration’s game of crony capitalism,” Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., — the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman — said in his statement. “Our ‘No More Solyndras Act’ puts American taxpayers first – something the Obama administration failed to do when it rushed to spend billions of dollars, no matter what the consequences.”
The lawmakers are hosting a hearing on the legislation on Thursday.