"Senator Was Not Always Critical of Loan Program"

Republicans like Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) have pounced on solar panel-maker Solyndra's bankruptcy as proof that most renewable energy projects are wasteful. Yet Vitter and others energetically worked to bring federal dollars for renewables to their own districts.

"Republican Sen. David Vitter says the Obama administration has been 'reckless' as it awards billions of dollar taxpayer subsidies for renewable energy projects, including a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker.

The Louisiana senator and other Republicans have pounced on the bankruptcy of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra Inc., saying the White House rushed to approve a loan guarantee to the politically connected company without adequate oversight

But Vitter was not always so critical of the loan program. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show he wrote to the Energy Department at least seven times since 2009 seeking money for projects that would benefit his home state.

One of the projects backed by Vitter, a company that makes activated carbon to reduce pollution at coal-fired power plants, has received preliminary approval for a $245 million loan guarantee. The project has not yet received any money."

Matthew Daly reports for the Associated Press September 19, 2011.

 

Source: AP, 09/19/2011