Tuesday, September 27, 2011
First Solyndra, now BrightSource
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse for alternative energy and President Obama along comes BrightSource Energy. A solar power firm with connections to the President and a loan guarantee almost three times the size of the now-bankrupt Solyndra. According to a story that appeared in World Net Daily, BrightSource is the recipient of a $1.37 billion federal loan guarantee, the largest loan ever to a privately-held solar energy firm. The Chairman, John Bryson, was nominated by the President to be the Secretary of Commerce in June of this year. The Senate has held hearings on Bryson, but he has not been confirmed to this point. Many Senators including Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Diane Feinstein raised some concerns about Bryson views on energy. As the founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and former co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy, Bryson is thought by some to be an environmental extremist and unfit for Commerce Secretary. The loan guarantee will be used to build a solar energy plant that uses mirrors to harness the sun's heat to boil water and use the steam to spin turbines to create electricity. Called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, it is viewed by some as the 21st century version of Robert Fulton's Steam Engine. Given the technology and Bryson’s connections to the President this is widely expected to be a subject of Congressional hearings.