Solyndra and Republican Hypocrisy

Ok, so Solyndra was a bust. It was the first loan issued under the Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee program for companies that develop renewable energy, electric and biofuels systems. There may have been some warning signs about Solyndra’s fiscal health which should have given the administration pause. That said, Solyndra represents just a fraction of the almost 36 billion in loan guarantees made or committed to 37 other projects in 42 states including solar initiatives in speaker Bohener’s Ohio and majority leader O’Connell’s Kentucky.

Loans have also been given without complaint to companies in Virginia and Wisconsin, home of two relentless critics of the Obama administration in Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, both of whom object to virtually any kind of government spending and who would prefer that government be privatized. And while ultra-conservative Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss has campaigned vigorously to fight waste, fraud, abuse and earmarks, he has not objected at all to the 8.3 billion federal loan to the Georgia Power Company for a nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, GA. Interestingly, as Republicans have voiced skepticism over clean, renewable energy sources, preferring fracking, drilling and mining, they have not objected to federal loan guarantees to companies in their own states who specialize in solar energy.

Say No to Nukes and Clean Coal

In his first State of the Union address, President Obama called for nuclear power plants and the exploration of clean coal technologies.  He even made a reference to drilling.  I thought “drill baby drill” was the republican mantra.   Back to nukes, hey – NO NUKES.  Nuclear power plants are expensive, exceedingly so and take years to build.  Can you name a plant built in the US on time and on budget?  And they are dirty and dangerous.  Remember Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.  In the same speech,  Obama warned of the threat of nuclear weapons and pledged to work with Russia to reduce stockpiles and launchers.   So why explore nuclear power?  Spent fuel from a nuclear reactor poses a danger to the environment and could be used to make a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb.  And clean coal?  An oxymoron if ever I heard one.  I’d rather try to power something with Oxyclean, or even oxycodone, stuff potent enough to power a medium-sized middle western city for two months.