Ranking Member Barrasso Releases Investigative Report: “The Solyndra Syndrome & the Green Stimulus Delusion”

May 5, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), released an investigative report titled, “The Solyndra Syndrome & the Green Stimulus Delusion.” The report examines the striking parallels between the failed green energy stimulus policies of the Obama administration and the policy priorities of the Biden administration.

 “This report shows President Biden is doubling down on failure,” said Barrasso. “The Obama administration frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars on green gambles like Solyndra, while taxpayers got fleeced. Now, President Biden wants to bet trillions more on new boondoggles and another failed ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program. As with the failed stimulus, President Biden’s spending spree will take money from the people and give it to his political allies. At the same time, he has declared war on the oil and gas industry – one of the few success stories from the ‘Great Recession.’ It’s a recipe for disaster. Americans have seen the failures of these ideas before. In 2009, then-Vice President Biden was the one to announce that Solyndra would receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. We know how that ended. Now, the Solyndra syndrome is back.”

The investigative report finds: 

  • Under the Obama administration, the partisan Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 invested $90 billion for green jobs training and loan programs, and almost $3 billion more for subsidies for the purchase of new vehicles through the “Cash for Clunkers” program. These programs resulted in very few actual jobs created, failed stimulus programs, and billions of dollars wasted in green boondoggles like Solyndra, A123 Systems, and California’s bullet train. 
  • In contrast, a bright spot of the recovery from the “Great Recession” was the oil and gas industry. By the end of 2013, non-farm employment was an anemic 1.9 percent higher than it was at the end of 2009. On the other hand, the oil and gas sector’s employment was 16 percent higher. This strong jobs output helped make the United States the world’s leading producer of oil and gas. 
  • President Biden and his administration seem determined to double down on the Obama administration’s failed policies, while also punishing the oil and gas sector. He wants to invest hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in new green job training programs, new green energy financing, increased high speed rail, and new electric vehicle subsidy programs. At the same time, the president has taken executive action to damage the oil and gas industry. He signed an executive order to stop the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, ending the prospect for roughly 11,000 American jobs in 2021 alone. He has also implemented a moratorium on new oil and gas production on public lands that if made permanent could cost one million jobs and jeopardize the nearly $10 billion in revenue.

Read the full report here.