Heartland Institute Experts Available for Solyndra Hearings Commentary

Published September 21, 2011

The U.S. House of Representatives will hold hearings Thursday and Friday on the bankruptcy of Solyndra that cost taxpayers more than $500 million in loan guarantees. Scholars and fellows at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank based in Chicago with an office in Washington – have been closely following the story and can offer expert commentary.

To include Heartland’s experts in your coverage, refer to the contact information below, or contact Media Specialist Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected].

The following pre-hearing statements may be used for attribution:

“The collapse of Solyndra – or some other company like it – was inevitable when members of both parties started handing out big subsidies to private businesses. Private profit-making companies can, do, and should fail all the time. But, when they do, their stockholders – not taxpayers – should pay the costs.”

Eli Lehrer
Director, Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate
Vice President, Washington, DC Operations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Any physicist worth his salt can tell you that solar energy, as warm and fuzzy as it may be, cannot ever contribute serious quantities of economic energy to reduce dependence on other forms of electricity. That is because the universe disperses it with such low density, that the capital costs of harvesting it will always exceed conventional alternatives by a wide margin.”

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The federal government has no business taking money out of consumers’ pockets and applying that money to back up loans taken by risky, uncompetitive businesses. While many are shocked at the apparent political favoritism and possible corruption regarding the Solyndra scandal, this scandal should not come as a surprise to anyone.

“Whenever government destroys free markets and picks winners and losers with taxpayer dollars, it is only a matter of time before Chicago-style politics and unsavory motivations begin steering the process.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Companies ask for government handouts for one of two reasons: Either they really need government support, which means there is too little private-sector demand for them to survive on their own, or they really don’t need the support, which means they want taxpayers to artificially boost their profits. Solyndra provides another example of crony capitalists in government directing the public’s money to private companies that never should have been in business in the first place.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.