Saturday, September 8, 2012

Paul Ryan About To Vote For GOP Bill Killing Investment In US Clean Energy Companies

Even as Mitt Romney wasted no time touting Friday's mediocre jobs report, his Vice Presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, was poised to vote for a GOP bill that would effectively end all government investment in one of America's fastest growing industries - clean energy.

House Republicans will pass a bill next week that suspends new loans for clean-energy companies under the Department of Energy program that loaned nearly $530 million Solyndra, the failed solar panel producer that Republicans have targeted as an example of government waste. 

Under the "No More Solyndras Act, H.R. 6213", any similar applications for government loans made in 2012 could not be accepted, and any applications submitted before 2012 could only be approved after a Treasury Department review of the proposed financial terms of the loan. ....Any violation of the bill would subject related officials to penalties, including a fine of at least $10,000 and up to $50,000. 

Sharply falling solar cells prices, "fueled" mostly by China's massive $46 billion investment in their own country's solar and green tech sector, has bankrupted a number of solar-energy companies in the US and abroad.

Despite this setback in one part of the industry, the Brookings Institute reported that the clean energy sector as a whole - wind, solar, fuel cell, smart grid, biofuel, and battery companies – grew at an average rate of 8.3 percent, nearly twice the growth rate of the US economy as a whole.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates "green jobs", of which the clean energy sector is a part, employed over 2.1 million worker in this country.

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