After weeks of outrage over an ill-fated $535 million federal loan guarantee to Solyndra — a bankrupt, politically backed solar-energy company — you’d think Washington would back away from such boondoggles. Yet, there’s a good chance lawmakers will do it again, this time awarding a $2 billion loan guarantee to an Ohio nuclear-fuel project that, like Solyndra, is almost certain to fail. But rather than being a liberal project to promote “green” energy and enrich Democratic donors along the way, this loan guarantee is an attempt of Ohio politicians — of both parties — to bring the bacon home to their swing state.
Rejected for a loan guarantee once back in 2009, the troubled United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), based in Maryland, has lobbied hard to get the Department of Energy (DOE) to reconsider their case. On October 21, USEC’s insistent pleading paid off: DOE announced it would spend up to $300 million to help USEC reduce the technical problems that forced DOE to reject USEC’s original application.
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