Long Supports No More Solyndras Act09/14/12
WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Rep. Billy Long voted for the No More Solyndras Act, which ends a Department of Energy (DOE) loan program.
“The federal government needs to stop sending money to failed programs,” Long said. “This bill will terminate future risky ventures, like Solyndra, and hopefully this will be a step in the right direction to get the government fiscally sound again and protect the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.”
The No More Solyndras Act (H.R. 6213) ensures that taxpayers will no longer be left to pick up the tab for loan guarantees like Solyndra received from the Obama administration. The legislation phases out the DOE’s loan guarantee program under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by prohibiting loan guarantees from this program for applications submitted after December 31, 2011.
The Act calls for greater transparency for projects that received conditional commitments prior to December 31, 2011. Going forward the Treasury Secretary is required to provide the DOE with a written analysis of the financial terms of the conditional loan guarantees. The Act also requires the DOE to provide Congress with detailed information on any new guarantees to an existing application to protect taxpayer dollars from being wasted on failed ventures like Solyndra.
Solyndra was a California-based company that manufactured a type of thin-film solar panel. These panels were considerably more expensive than traditional solar panels, and Solyndra’s business model was reliant on the price of silicone to increase. However, the price of silicone began a considerable decrease starting in 2008, a trend that was predicted by most market analysts.
In 2009, the failed stimulus bill loosened the rules for the DOE’s loan guarantee program. Solyndra’s application for a $535 million loan and loan guarantee, despite being denied under the Bush administration, was initially approved in March of 2009. The loan and loan guarantee were awarded in September of 2009 just a few days after Vice President Biden attended the groundbreaking for Solyndra’s new facility. In February of 2011, the DOE loan was restructured, making the government the last-in-line creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.