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Green Energy In Jeopardy

Green energy is in jeopardy—this is not surprising or shocking, and certainly not new, but the degree to which green energy is in jeopardy is increasing, and the U.S. House of Representatives is one of the primary culprits.

On September 14th, amidst the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, the House of Representatives passed the “No More Solyndras Act”, which aims to prevent post-2011 Department of Energy (DoE) loans to green energy firms.

The act is named after the failure of Solyndra, a green energy firm which received a $535 million federal loan in 2009 and went on to bankrupt, but the intentions of the act are not to prevent another Solyndra, but to prevent the possibility of investing in green energy. The irony of the Solyndra bankruptcy is the inability to compete with cheaper Chinese manufactured solar panels flooding the market, propped up by heavy Chinese government subsidies.

So the failure of Solyndra wasn’t necessarily a company failure, but perhaps a situational failure where the government has not created a proper green energy market in which private industries can thrive. Government investments spur confidence in private investors, and private investors make companies strong. So even though the government invested in one green energy firm, and private investors gained confidence to invest in this one green energy firm, there was no investment in a green energy market, which is the critical component to a green energy revolution.

While House Republicans are not making their intentions to derail and stop green energy, the more dangerous actor to green energy is inaction and apathy. Further, the worst part about federal investment in green energy is it took literally one failure for the entire thing to be abandoned. Oil companies have failed over and over and over again in a plethora of ways, destroying the economy, environment, or both, yet they are still getting massive federal handouts. It is embarrassing it has to be said, but if the United States wants a green energy revolution, failure must be expected, and everyone must try, try again.

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