Issa Claim on Energy Company In District Contradicted by Letter to Department of Energy

Oct 10, 2011 12:30pm

On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House Investigations Committee pushing for more information from the Obama administration about the $535 million loan guarantee to benefit Solyndra, was asked about a company in his district applying for a loan for which he advocated.

“You say government shouldn’t play venture capitalist. It shouldn’t be picking winners and losers,” said Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. “But it turns out that you sent several letters over the last couple of years to the federal Energy Department asking for federal loan guarantees for clean energy companies in your state. Didn’t you do the same thing that you are accusing them of doing?”

Issa disputed the charge, saying, “the request was: they have a loan application and would you please give them a yes or no — and that’s a big difference.”

But the first sentence of Issa’s January 14, 2010 letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu reads: “I write to express my support of Aptera Motors; application for a loan under the Department of Energy’s 136 Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP).”

Far from merely asking the Energy Department to make a decision, Issa advocated for the company, writing that “Electric vehicle initiatives like Aptera’s will aid U.S. long-term energy goals by shifting away from fossil fuels and using viable renewable energy sources like plug-in electric energy.”

You can read the letter – which is mis-dated as January 14, 2009 — HERE. http://abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/Issa%20Letters.pdf That letter and others from Issa in support of clean energy programs were first reported by Bloomberg News’ Jim Snyder. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-21/issa-sought-u-s-clean-energy-aid.html

A spokesman for Issa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

-Jake Tapper

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