Obama speech steers clear of Keystone pipeline rejection, Solyndra failure

President Obama made no mention in his State of the Union address Tuesday of his decision to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline or the federal loan guarantee to failed solar firm Solyndra.

Obama rejected the pipeline last week under a GOP provision in December’s payroll tax cut law that required a decision on Keystone by Feb. 21. 


Obama said the GOP effectively forced him to reject TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta to Texas pipeline by forcing a permit decision before officials could complete their review of the project.

Obama's speech likewise steers clear of mentioning Solyndra, the California solar panel company that went bankrupt last year after receiving a half-billion dollar federal loan guarantee in 2009.

But while Obama doesn’t mention Solyndra specifically, he says some failures are not a reason to walk away from federal support for green energy.

"Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away. Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail," Obama said. "But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy."

"I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here," said Obama, who argued it’s time to "double down" on the clean-energy industry and called on lawmakers to pass clean-energy tax credits.

Republicans have spent months hammering the administration over Solyndra, alleging the loan guarantee program was politicized and more broadly using the failed company to attack the White House green agenda.