After House Republicans introduced the “No More Solyndras Act,” which is scheduled for a Friday vote, Democrats, like Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), have argued federal loan guarantee programs that funded Solyndra should not be ended.
The “No More Solyndras Act” would sunset the federRep. Al Green (D-TX) energy loan guarantee programs that funded high-risk ventures like Solyndra.
“There is an urgent need for venture risk in America, and the federal government must be involved through programs like the Department of Energy’s loan guarantees,” Honda wrote in The Huffington Post.
Honda said loan guarantee programs that led to Solyndra are needed because, “solar technology in the U.S. faces a big, uphill challenge from foreign competitors who have easy access to capital and inexpensive labor” and, “the cost of building manufacturing plants for solar cells is in the billions of dollars.”
“That kind of investment cannot be delivered with venture capitalist or even bank money,” Honda wrote. “Uncle Sam has to be involved, and because solar is still a developing technology, it will continue to be a high-risk venture.”
Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, which was encouraged by some of Obama’s bundlers in a classic case of crony capitalism. Officials in the Energy Department pushed for the loans despite mounting evidence that the company had a high probability of failing. Solyndra went bankrupt in 2011.