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The facts behind the GOP’s false Solyndra attack

Republicans have spent 16 months and millions of taxpayer dollars looking into the Obama administration’s energy loan guarantee to Solyndra—a solar company that unfortunately had to file for bankruptcy last year.

President Obama has made a commitment to building a clean energy economy in the United States and refuses to cede the wind or solar industries to our global competitors like China. By the end of 2010, his investment in the clean energy sector through the Recovery Act created or saved about a quarter of a million jobs.

Solyndra’s loan guarantee was awarded as a part of these efforts, and after the release of 188,000 pages of documents, nine committee staff briefings, and five Congressional hearings, the facts affirm that Solyndra received a loan guarantee based on the company’s merits.

Here’s everything you need to know about why Solyndra received a loan guarantee:

  • The energy loan program was created under the Bush administration, and President Bush’s Department of Energy invited Solyndra to fully apply for a loan guarantee. President Bush signed legislation that established the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, which was created to help reduce financing risks associated with clean energy projects and put America at the cutting edge of innovation. Less than a year after Solyndra submitted its initial application for a loan guarantee in 2006, the Bush administration picked Solyndra to be one of only 16 companies invited to submit a full application. The Obama administration’s Department of Energy picked up the loan process and later awarded the loan guarantee to the company.

  • Solyndra was praised as a successful, innovative company both before and after it received the loan guarantee. The company secured hundreds of millions of dollars in private-sector investments before receiving a loan guarantee. The Wall Street Journal ranked the company fifth in its list of the top 50 venture-backed companies. And as recently as 2010, the company was known as a Silicon Valley superstar.

  • Solyndra was just one of 30 companies in a portfolio that is expected to support more than 60,000 jobs. The loan guarantees are for a range of projects, spanning some of the world’s largest solar and wind installations to geothermal power plants, that will help us compete in the global clean energy race and make sure that these energy jobs are here in the United States and not in China and Germany.

  • After more than a year of costly investigations, House Republicans have “turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.” None of the investigations found any evidence of political favors to Democrats in the loan program.

  • President Obama’s investments in clean energy are paying off, creating jobs around the country. Investments in clean energy have supported nearly a quarter million jobs through the end of 2010, and are expected to continue generating economic recovery and supporting well-paying jobs.

Despite these facts, Romney and Republicans refuse to stop using Solyndra as a political attack. As Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said himself, they will only stop pushing this false attack “on Election Day.” What’s more, Romney’s false attack is made all the more hollow by its hypocrisy. As governor, Romney created the Emerging Technology Fund as part of his 2003 stimulus package. His program gave loans to at least two companies—Acusphere, Inc. and Spherics—both of which later defaulted on their loans, costing Massachusetts taxpayers more than $2 million.

Help fight back against the GOP’s distortions by sharing the facts with everyone who needs to know the truth about Solyndra.