Solyndra Hypocrisy: David Vitter Sought Energy Loans He Now Seeks to Scrutinize Washington scandals have a predictable rhythm, and the Solyndra solar loan scandal has entered the phase where critics start exploiting the controversy to push their ideological agenda. For example, Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has filed a bill to increase scrutiny of taxpayer-financed renewable energy projects. It wouldnt scrutinize taxpayer-financed non-renewable energy projects, like the nuclear reactors that Vitter so ardently supports. It wouldnt scrutinize why a certain Louisiana Senator has worked so hard to protect oil companies from liability for their spills. It would just crack down on Big Renewables. We cant afford any more crony capitalism, Vitter said on Wednesday. Vitter should know. Hes written a bunch of letters to the Energy Departments loan program seeking loans for renewable energy firms. For example, on July 1, 2009, Vitter and Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana wrote Energy Secretary Steven Chu to support a loan application by the V Vehicle Company, a clean-car start-up (backed by T. Boone Pickens and the venture capital leviathan Kleiner Perkins) that was planning a Louisiana factory. This vehicle would serve as a catalyst for job creation, they wrote. A year later, Vitter joined the entire Louisiana delegation in another letter pushing expedited consideration for VVC. Alas, the Energy Department rejected the loan, citing concerns about the companys financial viability. Vitter must have been annoyed by all this due diligence, because in December 2010after VVC changed its name to Next Autoworkshe, Landrieu and Congressman Rodney Alexander tried once more. Every day that Next Autoworks application is delayed is another day that workers cannot be hired, the wrote. So far, no luck. No wonder Vitters angry: His cronies are losing! Vitter had better luck when he and Texas Republicans John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison pitched Chu on a loan guarantee for Diamond Green Fuels, a project (led by the Texas petroleum refiner Valero) to build a plant near New Orleans to convert animal fats and used cooking oils into renewable diesel. Funding from the loan guarantee program can play an important role in its construction, they wrote. In March, the Energy Department provided conditional approval for a $241 million loan guarantee. But Diamond later withdrew its application, saying the government process was too burdensome; in other words, once again, the feds were being too careful with taxpayer dollars. Instead, Valero plans to finance the plant itself.