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Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Woops — Upton Pushed for a Loan for a Now Bankrupt Solar Company (Hypocrite, Much?)

February 17th, 2012 by  


Fred Upton (R-MI), House Energy and Commerce Chairman, was one of the leading Republicans who ‘led’ us down the ‘this is pointless, a waste of time, and a waste of resources’ Solyndra and clean energy loan program witch hunt (which continues today). Yes, after doubling and tripling down on their investigations of Obama’s connection to Solyndra, they have found nothing. (But they probably confused many voters into thinking otherwise along the way.)

Now, it’s actually turned out that Upton also pushed for loans for solar company (a Michigan solar company, of course) that filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. (I wonder if Upton, Issa, and others were so convinced of cronyism because of their own history “playing favorites” in politics.)

“Despite his hypocrisy, Upton plans to continue probing Solyndra, extending a battle that has not turned up any wrongdoing,” Think Progress reports. “Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), another lawmaker who continues to attack Obama for a ‘reckless disregard for the laws,’ easily forgets he too asked for a loan, on behalf of the electric car company Aptera Motors.” (Hence the note above.)

Not in a joking way at all, sometimes I wonder if such Republicans are so obsessed with government conspiracy because of how they operate in government.

And the real crime here is not pushing for a local company that you think has a bright future (something Upton did, not Obama), but it’s making one company’s failure (in the midst of a very quickly changing and transforming solar industry) into a big conspiracy that it is not. The issue is turning one failure (representing a small percentage of the loan program’s investments in clean energy) into a reason to ditch a nascent buy extremely promising industry. The issue is not looking at the fact that, overall, the government has been a superb investor, has managed its risks well, and should continue on the clean energy path it has just gotten rolling on.

The point of this piece is not that Upton shouldn’t have pushed for a home-state solar company he believed in, but that he shuoldn’t be such a hypocrite and should drop this endless witch hunt that is really about scoring political points and nothing else!

Fred Upton photo via republicanconference (CC BY-NC 2.0 license) 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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