RealClearPolitics Interview: Former-Director Ronen Discusses Solar Politics and Policy

Real Clear Politics
October 15, 2014

As the second part of RealClearPolitics' Newsmaker Series, Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon discusses solar politics with Former-Director Amit Ronen.

Cannon asks Ronen about the state of the solar energy industry following the highly publicized failure of Solyndra, a company that went bankrupt after receiving government financed loans. Director Ronen first explains the goals of the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that helped finance Solyndra and then talks about some of the market dynamics that led to the company’s bankruptcy.

Carl Cannon also asks Director Ronen about why energy politics today has become an increasingly polarizing issue that seemingly aligns Republicans with fossil fuels and Democrats with renewable energy. Director Ronen talked about how this polarization has worsened over time because historically, there has been bipartisan support for diversifying the nation's energy system through programs like clean energy tax incentives. He believes that Solyndra was purposefully linked to President Obama’s stimulus program in a politically motivated effort to show that stimulus spending was wasteful, and that President Obama's strong support for solar energy has furthered the dichotomy between traditional energy and clean energy.