Thursday, September 22, 2011

GOP & Green: Hypocrisy Inaction Yet Again

As usual, the "TEA Party" rushes to demagoguery when it sees a salacious "SCANDAL!!!" on the horizon. Congressional Republicans then jump to hound on that issue... And then someone in the media does one's job and finds contradictions. We're seeing this at play yet again.

Case in point: Republicans praising the very "green jobs" programs they now claim is "fraud".

The GOP-led House Oversight Committee may be accusing the White House of a "job killing" green energy agenda in a hearing Thursday -- but at least ten Republicans on the panel have signed letters seeking to land green energy jobs in their districts.

In dozens of letters obtained by The Huffington Post, the lawmakers, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), argue convincingly about Department of Energy funding going to their favored projects, often touting the job-creating potential of numerous endeavors.

The issue erupted earlier this month when reports broke that the bankrupt solar manufacturer Solyndra, which got $535 million in loan guarantees from the stimulus bill, was raided by the FBI.

Although the guaranteed loan project began under the Bush administration, many Republicans were quick to hammer the deal as evidence of "cronyism" -- and proof that Obama's key green jobs effort was a huge bust.

As it turns out, many of the committee members set to grill Obama administration officials Thursday were plenty eager to help constituents cash in on the efforts.

And who's been the biggest cheerleader for green energy in his own turf? Why, Republican Darrell Issa, of course!

Issa goes farther than just asking for support for a local company — he also generally endorses the concept of using Federal money to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels and gas-powered vehicles, towards renewal energy sources. Issa even endorses the idea that this is a good way to create jobs — a position that puts him at odds with many Republicans.

And he has the nerve to hold a hearing on "How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs" today? Oh, yes. It's "killing jobs" so much that Issa keeps asking the feds for more money for it!

Steve Benen really hit the nail on the head this morning.

In their zeal to exploit the Solyndra “controversy,” House Republicans have planned a high-profile hearing today on the Obama administration’s clean-energy agenda. But the lingering hypocrisy issue is a hurdle the GOP doesn’t know how to clear.

In the wake of Solyndra’s bankruptcy, Republicans want to make a larger indictment against clean-energy programs in general. This, however, looks pretty foolish when the same Republicans complaining about the Department of Energy’s loan-guarantees program for clean tech have also fought for funding from the same program for companies in their own states and districts. [...]

A spokesperson for the committee’s Democrats told [Huffington Post reporter Michael] McAuliff, “The Republicans actually don’t seem to understand their hypocrisy. They trash the entire clean energy program after writing glowing letters to commend it. The truth is the program works, which is why they want the money for their districts.”

To me, the problem isn’t just that congressional Republicans kept seeking loans from a DOE program they believe shouldn’t exist. The more glaring issue is that these same GOP policymakers insisted, in writing, that clean-tech loan guarantees would help create jobs. And yet, today, the same Republicans are pointing to the same loan program as being part of a “job-killing” agenda.

Are these Congressional Republicans really that tone-deaf? Are we now supposed to believe them when they say "green jobs is a hoax" after these very members went to the Obama Administration with their hands wide open in asking for green energy funding?

We've talked about this extensively before. We have so much opportunity in renewable energy development right here in Nevada, and really the entire country will benefit from kicking our fossil fuel addiction and investing in the infrastructure of the future. And obviously, even many Republicans quietly recognize this as they keep asking for more money for it!

So why are they now telling the public it's so bad? Simple. They're trying to score cheap political points against President Obama. And they're desperately trying to please their masters in the fossil fuel industry who are desperately clinging to their heavily subsidized dirty energy.

Yet again, we're seeing dirty politics get in the way of good, clean policy.

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