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2019
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 10.23.11
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Two cheers for bipartisanship

Here in Washington, Orrin Hatch and others of the Grand Old Party are making a big deal of the failure of Solyndria: President Obama and his administration are wasting the taxpayers' money and besides the government cannot pick the right companies to back anyway.

All venture capitalists are prepared to lose some but that is not my point. My point is how we got here.

Well sir, it all started back in ‘05, you know -- President Bush's administration. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed and signed into law. It was sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). If you recall way back then, the Congress was controlled by the Republicans and the bill was supported by Jim DeMint, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, and many others.

These are the gentlemen that are now blaming President Obama for "the Solyndria fiasco."

But wait, there's more.

Under the original regulations, Solyndria was not eligible for the loan guarantee but the regulations were changed and when the selection was made in 2007 by the (let's hear it now) B____ A_____, Solyndria was among the sixteen finalists selected for the loan guarantee program. In March 2008, the Department of Energy announced that it was funding photovoltaic energy research projects and that one of the selected firms was Solyndria.

So the Obama Administration is blameless, right? No! The Obama Administration failed to do the due diligence that any venture capitalist needs to do before investing in a project. They screwed up, but not without a lot of bipartisan help. So, let's hear it for bipartisanship. Yeah!

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