For those Republicans out there that fear the party has been taken over by extremist elements led, in large part, by the tea party, can turn their lonely eyes to Brian Bilbray (R-San Diego) who is more than willing to throw your money away down the crap hole of green energy subsidies.
Rep. Brian Bilbray is winning praise from the solar industry for casting the sole Republican vote this week against efforts to dismantle the federal loan guarantee program for clean energy linked to the Solyndra debacle.
In the run-up to fall elections, many Republicans in Congress have embraced the "No More Solyndras Act," which would go beyond implementing safeguards to improve loan guarantees and dismantle the program altogether.
California-based solar panel manufacturer Solyndra received a half-billion dollar federal loan guarantee before filing for bankruptcy protection last year.
Bilbray participated in vote on a rough draft of the new legislation by the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The measure moved ahead 14-6 toward a possible House vote.
The Solar Energy Industry Association expressed its appreciation on Friday in a news release.
"It takes true vision and courage to ignore politics and take a principled, fact-based stand in support of renewable energy," said Rhone Resch, president of the umbrella trade group for solar manufacturing, distribution, research and financing.
Yes. What passes for vision and courage in D.C. is committing $537 billion dollars of tax-payer money on technology that isn't market-ready and which is owned, in part, by a presidential bundler. That Bilbray is some sort of maverick, or something.
So, who does the congressman think is to blame for the Solyndra fiasco?
Reached by phone, the congressman blamed "mid-management" at the Department of Energy for mishandling clean energy loan guarantees and asserted that his colleagues in the House were "blaming the vehicle" instead of the driver.
"The program is being thrown under the bus because people don't want to admit that it was administered horrendously," Rep. Bilbray said. "The program should be able to do great things if it's administered properly."
This is a prime example of willful ignorance. The decision to award Solyndra this money was made at the White House/cabinet level. Independent and Treasury Department auditors, pleaded with the Department of Energy and the White House not to make this loan - they rightly saw it as a bad bet - but ultimately, their pleading was to no avail.
And guess what? We will blame the driver and the vehicle. Yes, it was administered poorly and yes, it is a fatally-flawed concept. If Solyndra's ability to manufacture solar panels was a viable business plan then what do they need of tax-payer money?
As the Department of Energy's green energy loan program body count continues to mount (Solyndra, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Ener1, Evergreen Solar, Range Fuels, Raser Technologies, Spectrawatt, Thompson River Power LLC; a partial list of companies that participated in the DOE loan program and which have all filed for bankruptcy), we are waiting to hear of one of its success stories and which will then beg the question if they could've succeeded without tax-payer assistance.