Tag Archives: solyndra

DesJarlaist Defends Pushing One Loan Guarantee, Criticizing Others

First-term U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is deflecting claims that he pushed to expedite a $2 billion loan guarantee for a uranium enrichment project — and tried to mislead people about it — despite criticizing the 2011 Solyndra debacle fueled by federal funding.
From the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal:
“I make no apologies for supporting a project that is not only vital to our national security, but will reduce our dependency on foreign oil and create jobs here in Tennessee,” DesJarlais, R-Jasper, said in a written statement.
“Unfortunately, the Department of Energy has grossly mismanaged the loan guarantee program. Clearly we need to find a more efficient way to decide how we distribute these funds.
“It seems there are those that are more interested in defending President Obama’s failed Solyndra decision than ensuring that a proven technology that is critical to both our nation’s defense and energy production is not held up due to burdensome government bureaucracy,” DesJarlais stated.
A USA Today article reported that DesJarlais signed on to two letters in 2011 pushing for a decision on a loan guarantee for the American Centrifuge project and asking that funds be freed up for it, but then notified Energy Secretary Steven Chu in early March that he didn’t ask the department to expedite loan guarantees to benefit a project in his district.
State Sen. Eric Stewart, a Belvidere Democrat running against DesJarlais for the 4th Congressional District seat, called DesJarlais’ actions a “double standard,” pointing out he had no problem blasting the DOE over Solyndra while he was pushing a project for his own district.
DesJarlais, who could represent Rutherford County beginning next year in the newly-drawn 4th District, was one of several legislators who wrote Jacob J. Lews, director of Office of Management and Budget, on May 13, 2011, urging him to “make rapid completion of USEC Inc.’s loan guarantee application for American Centrifuge a top priority for the Office of Management and Budget.”

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