September 14, 2012

Congressman Shimkus called energy loan guarantees "imperative" before voting against them

House Republicans continue to ignore the American Jobs Act, but they found plenty of time for their ongoing effort to gin up a phony scandal around Solyndra. Today they passed the "No More Solyndras Act," mostly along partly lines. They want to end the Department of Energy loan guarantee program because one solar project failed.

Next month I expect them to pass the "No More Restaurants Act" because O'Boys Bar-B-Q chain in central Florida just closed their final location. Also, the "No More Movies Act" will be voted on in response to "Think of the Cold Light of Day" earning far less at the box office than it cost to make. As long as we're irrationally overrating to minor setbacks, then why not?

shimkusIllinois Congressman John Shimkus has been making noise about Solyndra during the House's desperate search for a scandal. He voted for the bill today that would ban the Department of Energy from approving loan guarantee applications filed after 2011. That's an important deadline. It means the act won't apply to a loan guarantee Shimkus enthusiastically supported in 2010 that's five times bigger than Solyndra's.

Shimkus lent his support to a $2.5 Billion DOE loan guarantee for Tenaska's failed coal plant in Taylorville, Illinois. The Taylorville Energy Center is stalled indefinitely after failing to get the special subsidies and fixed rate increases they need from the Illinois legislature. In other words, it's a failed project the market can't support that's far, far more expensive and unrealistic than Solyndra. But, that doesn't register as a scandal to Shimkus and other House Republicans.

Shimkus went beyond giving tepid support for the loan guarantee. He sent a member of his staff, Rodney Davis, to speak in favor of Tenaska's application at a Department of Energy public hearing in Taylorville. In a message about the loan guarantee, he said it's "imperative that we move forward with policies and financial assistance to projects like" the Taylorville Energy Center.

Yes, that's right. Shimkus just voted to end a policy he called "imperative" two years ago when it might have helped a "clean coal" hoax in his district. That double standard is what he calls an "all of the above" energy policy.