My, how things change.
At the nation’s largest solar energy plant Wednesday, President Obama doubled down on his commitment to government subsidies for clean energy technology and green jobs — and deflected blame for instances when those investments have failed.
“Are you doing your ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy right if that’s what we have to show for it — Solyndra?” asked Kai Ryssdal, host of “Marketplace” on American Public Media, in an interview with Obama.
Then: “We can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans… Before the Recovery Act, we could build just 5 percent of the world’s solar panels. In the next few years, we’re going to double our share to more than 10 percent.” — Obama, remarks at Solyndra Inc., Fremont, Calif., May 26, 2010
Now: “Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for startups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help startup companies get to scale.”— President Obama, interview with American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” March 21, 2012