Obama Revives Clean Energy Loan Program

Cue the outrage! Despite congressional furor over high-profile failures like Solyndra, the Obama administration announced yesterday that it is reviving the Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program. The program would have a broader scope this time, say officials. Rather than subsidize risky startups in renewable energy, like solar-panel and electric-car manufacturers, it will backstop investments that could work to move the coal and oil industries toward cleaner solutions. In other words, these are partial subsidies aimed at fossil-fuel companies. News of the revival coincides with an announcement of tough environmental rules regarding air pollution at new coal plants.