A year ago Obama told America he had no regrets pushing Solyndra as his solar model, let alone lending them more than half a Billion taxpayer dollars in what amounted to a non-recourse loan. A campaign ad by Obama in January touted the 2.7 Million green energy jobs he added while reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. It ends with: “President Obama. Kept his promise to toughen ethics rules and strengthen America’s energy economy.”
Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal asks Obama what his strategy (our massive tax dollars) has to show for Solyndra: “Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for startups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start up companies get to scale. And the understanding is is that some companies are not going to succeed, some companies will do very well — but the portfolio as a whole ends up supporting the kind of innovation that helps make America successful in this innovative 21st century economy.
Do I wish that Solyndra had gone bankrupt? Absolutely not. And obviously it’s heartbreaking what happened to the workers who were there. When you look at the overall portfolio, is it right for us to make sure that we’re not just cashing in our chips and letting the Chinese or the Germans develop the technologies that we know are going to be critical in the future? I’m proud to say that we’re going to continue to support it.”
If coal and oil do not lead to future growth why is it in such high demand in the other countries? What have all of these past decades of liberal/environmental conservation done for our growth? When hasn’t the program been The Problem?