The Facts | Checking Romney's Claims that Clean Energy Stimulus Failed

5:07 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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By JEFFREY BRUNER (Gannett

Question: Did the federal government loan $90 billion to clean energy companies, half of which have gone out of business?

Answer: Mitt Romney made this claim five times during Wednesday's debate and both numbers are incorrect.

The $90 billion figure includes many things -- energy-efficiency programs, modernizing the nation's electric grid, advanced battery technology, mass transit projects, job training, and research for making coal more environmentally friendly. The Weatherization Assistance Program, for example, has made 1 million homes more energy-efficient since 2009.

Some companies did receive loan guarantees through the stimulus funding, as well as through a program approved by Congress in 2005. Three of the 26 companies approved for loan guarantees -- about 12 percent -- have filed for bankruptcy protection.

FactCheck.org crunched the numbers and found the money at risk from bankruptcies is about 4 percent.

(Jeffrey Bruner is the wire chief for the Gannett National Wire Desk in Des Moines.)

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