Slideshow

Besides Solyndra, Who Benefits From Government’s Green Loan Program? - PICTURES

Sept. 28, 2011, 5 a.m.

You’ve heard about Solyn­dra, the now-bank­rupt sol­ar-en­ergy com­pany that pro­cured a $535 mil­lion loan guar­an­tee from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

Solyn­dra has be­come a polit­ic­al light­ning rod in re­cent weeks be­cause of the highly charged de­bate in Con­gress over fed­er­al spend­ing.

Con­ser­vat­ives point to the case as an ex­ample of what they call an over­ween­ing gov­ern­ment be­ing care­less with the pub­lic’s money. Demo­crats ar­gue that loan guar­an­tees help busi­nesses cre­ate jobs, and that Solyn­dra’s bank­ruptcy rep­res­ents the risk in­her­ent in any new busi­ness ven­ture.

The loan guar­an­tee pro­gram that backed up Solyn­dra, part of the Amer­ic­an Re­cov­ery and Re­in­vest­ment Act of 2009, ex­pires Fri­day. In all, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment guar­an­teed the loans of 32 com­pan­ies, total­ing nearly $40 bil­lion.

The com­pan­ies that have “closed-status” loan guar­an­tees have suc­cess­fully ap­plied for a loan guar­an­tee and are now re­ceiv­ing peri­od­ic checks from the gov­ern­ment to fund their pro­jects. If these com­pan­ies de­fault, it’s sig­ni­fic­ant be­cause they are us­ing fed­er­al dol­lars.

The com­pan­ies that have loan guar­an­tees lis­ted as “con­di­tion­al com­mit­ment” have cleared a crit­ic­al hurdle for get­ting a “con­di­tion­al” loan but it means they are not us­ing fed­er­al dol­lars, un­less the status is closed by Fri­day.

Here’s a closer look at the en­ergy com­pan­ies with loans the gov­ern­ment backed or is con­sid­er­ing back­ing; data comes from the De­part­ment of En­ergy.

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