Sometimes, you read a news story that makes your head spin around a bit. The latest example: Rick Perry and Other Republicans Are Loving an Obama-backed Green Car Company by Ben Geman of the National Journal. The irony and "cognitive dissonance" (as former Solyndra PR representative Ryan Cunningham puts it) abound, as numerous conservative Republican governors compete "to lure Tesla's planned multibillion-dollar battery plant, called the Gigafactory, to their states." Here are a few highlights from the article:
- "Presidential candidate Rick Perry wanted to shut down the Energy Department. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scrambling to bring an Energy Department-backed car company's jobs to his state."
- "The GOP courtship of Tesla underscores Republicans' difficulty with federal alternative-energy supports: spending on green technology is a great small-government talking point when it fails, but the economic goodies that successful spending produces are tough to turn down."
- "During the 2011 GOP White House primary season, campaign Perry railed against government 'picking winners and losers' in energy markets and bashed the Obama administration over the collapse of the Energy Department-backed solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra...But Solyndra proved to be among the exceptions, as the Energy Department's overall loan profile has succeeded at a high rate despite a few misfires. Tesla is among the the success stories," repaying its nearly $500 million DOE loan "nine years early."
In sum, it turns out that the Department of Energy (DOE) loan program for cleantech companies has been a huge success, and Tesla is one of the major success stories. Now, many of the same people who bashed the DOE loan program are courting one of the main beneficiaries of that very same program - Tesla. Feel the irony!