September 30, 2011
-- by Dave Johnson
Why is the right trying so hard to help China capture the green-energy industry?
One example today, Heritage Foundation: The Solyndra Legacies,
Days before a recent deadline, the Department of Energy brazenly approved two additional loans for more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in the Obama Administration’s green jobs program. The latest ill-fated ventures include a $737 million loan guarantee to Solar Reserve for a 110-megawatt solar tower on federal land in Nevada and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150-megawatt solar plant in Arizona.
Loan guarantees like these are destined to fail, because they are either granted to companies that could not remain viable without them or because the loan was supported by political connections; or both. This round of loans includes the latter—just as it appears Solyndra was aided.
Is this campaign to kill off America's green-energy efforts just to help the Koch brothers and other oil-company funders of the right? Is that all there is to it? It's pretty darn convenient for China, either way.
Update - The right is not just on China's side against ours when it comes to the green energy industry. Look at this from Cato Institute: China Currency Legislation Is a Desperate Mistake and keep in mind that the argument is about China allowing its currency to move to market rates. Usually Cato is all about free markets -- until that benefits America instead of China.
Broader support on Capitol Hill for currency legislation boils down to this: with public approval ratings hovering in the low-to-mid teens, an embattled Congress is looking for plausible scapegoats for the dismal state of U.S. economic affairs. Thanks to a lot of media-driven hype about China’s inexorable rise at U.S. expense, Americans fear China almost as much as they loathe Congress. A vote to reclaim American jobs stolen by China—as the currency legislation is so disingenuously characterized by some of its supporters—enables politicians to return to their states and districts with concrete evidence of the seriousness of their efforts.
Only it’s not serious. It’s deeply dismaying. Instead of working hard to change homegrown U.S. policies that inhibit investment, job creation, and growth, our elected officials would choose to lay the blame for our woes at China’s feet, then cross their fingers and hope that their provocative, unilateralist legislation doesn’t unleash a torrent of adverse consequences that would make economic matters even worse. Can there be a stronger admission of failure than to launch such a desperate Hail Mary?
OK, get that? He says we should not be asking China to let its currency float to market rates, which would make American-made goods competitive in the world again.
Worse than that, he is saying America should be more like China, not the other way around. He says we need to stop protecting our people, our workers, stop protecting our environment, make it harder to unionize, and let a top few govern us. Yikes!
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 30, 2011 8:04 AM
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