Reid Takes Away Renewable Energy Money to Bail Out States

But don’t worry, he’ll get it back somehow. CQ:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Thursday that Congress eventually will restore $1.5 billion rescinded from an Energy Department renewable-energy loan program to help pay for emergency education and Medicaid aid for states.

“That money is just temporarily gone,” Reid said, referring to the funds used to offset the cost of the $26.1 billion state fiscal aid package passed by the Senate on Thursday.

The Solar Energy Industries Association had urged senators to oppose the rescission to a renewable energy loan guarantee program, which the group maintained would threaten $15 billion to $20 billion in investment in the industry.

“Solar investors, who have relied on the existence of the loan guarantee program when making their business plans, and the industry’s tens of thousands of employees, would be left high and dry,” the letter said.

But Reid, D-Nev., said the Energy Department could live without the money for now, noting it was awarded $20 billion in stimulus funds for renewable projects.

“They have been — in my opinion — very, very slow in putting that money out,” Reid said. “There’s no way, under the way things have been working, that they’re going to miss that billion-and-a-half.”

That sure is a ringing endorsement of Steven Chu and Team Obama.

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