Van Jones Defends Solar Energy After Solyndra Collapse

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October 4, 2011 10:07 a.m.

Van Jones, who was the White House’s point man on green jobs until he stepped down in 2009 over a truther petition he had once signed, told reporters on Tuesday that Solyndra’s recent collapse should not deter America from investing in solar energy.

“Lets be clear about that program: the $2.4 billion loan guarantee program that everyone is so upset about was a Bush loan program,” he said. “Even Bush did some things right. This was a Bush loan program and it has a 99% success rate.”

If anything, he added, the program should go further.

“If you’re going to criticize it, you might say that it has been insufficiently aggressive in trying to pursue opportunities for America,” he said, noting that China had spent an estimated $33 billion on its own solar loan program. According to Jones, China’s distorted the market with its giant investments, which it used to “flood the world with cheap solar” and hinder American companies’ growth.

“That’s not free market, that’s mercantilism,” he said. “They were trying to wipe out American solar. We shouldn’t be mad at Presidents Bush and Obama for trying to stand our solar companies up, we should be mad about China trying to knock it down, and mad at Congress for not backing this president up make up to make sure we got the energy of the future in this country.”

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