McNerney is suddenly running away from the issue that defined his candidacy and his entire record in Congress -- the advocacy of green energy, its supposedly endless economic potential, and the need for costly government incentives to promote its development.
Despite his ostensibly dogged commitment to green energy, Jerry McNerney was one of only two California Democrats who voted last week for the No More Solyndras Act in the House of Representatives. The legislation, H.R. 6213, calls for a complete end to clean energy loan guarantees.
McNerney's vote is more transparent than Solyndra's discarded solar tubes (which now feature in a Berkeley art installation). It was a flip-flop designed to help McNerney survive an increasingly difficult re-election campaign. This is the same Jerry McNerney who supported loan guarantees for Solyndra, the now-bankrupt recipient of $535 million in US government-backed loans -- the same McNerney who pocketed a $2,400 campaign contribution from Solyndra's lead investor.
In a recent interview, McNerney defended government loan guarantees even in the face of Solyndra's bankruptcy. "It's not a good argument to say that the failure of one company is an indication that the whole industry has a problem," he said. "I think it's reasonable that renewable resources companies can look to the government for help both in research and in incentives."
"I think there is a need for loan guarantees," McNerney said in the interview, designed to promote his book, Clean Energy Nation.
Seems like McNerney's true "signature issue" is saving his political career.