House Speaker John Boehner attacked the Obama administration for financing failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, saying government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. That hasn’t stopped him from demanding that the U.S. make a winner of a nuclear-fuel plant in Ohio, his home state.
Boehner is backing a $2 billion Energy Department loan guarantee sought by USEC Inc. (USU) for its American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, aimed at enriching uranium for commercial nuclear reactors.
“When it comes to emerging energy technologies, the Republicans don’t want to pick winners and losers -- unless it’s nuclear power,” Ellen Vancko, nuclear energy and climate-change project manager in the Washington office of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview.
The collapse of Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, two years after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee, isn’t a reason to withhold financing from USEC, Boehner said in a Sept. 30 posting on his website. He cited a promise by Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign to aid the company.
“In the midst of the Solyndra controversy that has raised serious questions about the Obama administration’s oversight of taxpayer dollars, hundreds of Southern Ohio workers stand to lose their jobs if the Obama administration reneges on the president’s promise to support an energy project in the small town of Piketon, Ohio,” Boehner wrote. “I urge the administration to not betray the citizens of Ohio.”
USEC’s political action committee has given $10,000 to committees supporting Boehner since 2010, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Boehner Demands $2 Billion for Ohio Plant After Solyndra - Bloomberg