President Barack Obama’s jobs council, headed by GE CEO Jeff Immelt, is calling on the federal government to offer more loans like the one given to the failed solar company Solyndra, in order to promote job creation.
The 49-page report lays out recommendations for Obama and Congress to act in order to create lasting jobs, including the creation of a new government “financing institution” funding by up to $8 billion from the Treasury to “boost and maintain annual energy investments” to $30 billion or $40 billion annually.
The Jobs Council branded the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, which provided Solyndra with over $500 million in loans before the company went bankrupt, a success.
“The loan program has also shown how less than $2.5 billion in federal funds could catalyze over $25 billion of capital investment in about 30 energy and manufacturing projects, helping create thousands of jobs,” the council-members write.
They propose establishing the “Clean Energy Deployment Administration” as proposed by Senate Democrats, saying that if properly funded, it could create more than 100,000 jobs.
Solyndra is the only loan of nearly $20 billion that soured, but it was the program’s marquee name — and Congressional Republicans and the Department of Justice are investigating whether the loan was fast-tracked due to pressure from the White House.
The jobs council report includes this chart to explain how the government can leverage public and private funding to promote growth in the clean-energy sector — in an identical fashion to Solyndra.
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