Isakson bill aims at new Solyndras

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ATLANTA — The U.S. Senate is poised to pass legislation this week that Sen. Johnny Isakson introduced to prevent another energy company from getting a sweetheart deal like the now-bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson  File/Staff
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson

The Georgia Republican won agreement from both the GOP and Democratic leadership to include his measure in the appropriations bill for the Department of Energy, the agency that approved a $545 million loan guarantee for the California company in 2009.

In February, the department restructured the guarantee so that two investors would get their money back before any was returned to taxpayers after the company’s assets are sold.

It was the restructuring that Isakson sought to stop. His amendment would prohibit the department from making similar arrangements in the future.

He and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, are drafting a separate bill that would apply the prohibition to all federal agencies.

“When this came out about Solyndra, this occurred to me that this was the perfect time for this amendment,” Isakson said.

Republicans have used revelations of the loan guarantee and the adjustment for the investors as ammunition against President Obama since Solyndra backers contributed to his campaign.

The fact that the startup company was on shaky financial footing made it appear that the guarantee was a political favor, they said.

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dmcadam 12/06/11 - 07:45 am
I'm confused. The first

I'm confused. The first paragraph explains that Isakson doesn't want another energy company to get a sweetheart deal but then later in the article it states that Isakson's actual concern is over how certain investors were first in line for repayment. Which is it?

It seems that Isakson isn't bothered by our government supporting new energy start-ups. I'm not either. We should be doing more of it. Solyndra went out of business in large measure due to the rapid advances in the industry. The per-watt price of solar cells dropped so fast, they couldn't make a profit. Also, the Chinese are somewhat responsible with their massive subsidies to their solar companies, etc.

Lastly, where's the legislation that keeps Wall Street banks from using bailout money to pay bonuses! Where's the investigations and prosecutions into the fraud that was perpetrated by these firms (stated income loans and mortgage backed securities that they knew were going to fail but sold as top rated investments).

Seems to me that Isakson doesn't miss a chance to pander to the Obama-haters, but does nothing to address the actual criminals.

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