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Congress Divided Over Future Of Clean Energy

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House passes 'No More Solyndras Act.' It now heads to the Senate.
House passes 'No More Solyndras Act.' It now heads to the Senate.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating the future of U.S energy policy after House Republicans voted to end a Department of Energy loan program for clean energy firms.

House Republicans have used the failed solar company Solyndra as a rallying cry against the Obama Administration. On Friday they voted to slowly phase out the loan program.

"I think that's a cheap political shot," says northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly. He says House Republicans are going too far in rejecting a program that has helped move the U.S. away from fossil fuels.

"The fact that some loan guarantees work out well and some don't, doesn't mean the program should be gutted," says Connolly. "It doesn't mean it doesn't serve a useful purpose in promoting innovation. We need innovation, especially in the energy sector."

The GOP says it highlights that the U.S. government is picking winners and losers in the private sector instead of letting the free market decide. Virginia Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith says the program is misguided.

"It's pretty clear that the government hasn't done a good job at figuring out who to lend money to," says Griffith. "So hopefully going forward the government will spend its money on trying to find new ways to use our energy and new ways to create energy, and doing that through research and stop backing particular companies. And let the cream rise to the top instead of trying to force it to the top."

Now the No More Solyndras Act is on its way to the Senate where it isn't anticipated to come up for a vote.


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