Will Rep. Issa Explain Why GOP Leaders Wanted 'Job-Killing' Green Jobs?

September 20, 2011 2:30 pm ET — Matt Gertz

Darrell Issa

On Thursday, the House Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on "How Obama's Green Energy Agenda Is Killing Jobs." That Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) would choose to hold such a hearing is no surprise; as chairman, he has made clear that he is militantly opposed to any pro-environment policy that would reduce the profits of the big oil companies that fund his campaign.

It will be interesting, however, to see how Issa will deal with the fact that several Republican leaders have sought funding for their constituencies from the very Obama-backed green energy policies Issa claims are "killing jobs."

The New York Times examines several such examples in an article this morning:

[Senate minority leader Mitch] McConnell, of Kentucky, is one of several prominent Republicans who have worked to steer federal money to clean-energy projects in their home states, Energy Department documents show. [...]

Another Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, recently asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint an outside investigator to determine how the Department of Energy distributes clean-energy money. But in 2009, Mr. Smith wrote to Mr. Chu asking him to approve loan guarantees from stimulus money for a Texas project proposed by Tessera Solar, documents show.

Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan and another critic of the Energy Department program, signed letters along with other members of the Michigan delegation in 2009 and 2010, pushing at least five clean-energy projects in his state, including a $207 million loan request from EcoMotors International. And Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, praised the opening last year of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in his state, which relied upon an Energy Department grant.

It seems unlikely that Issa plans to bring these Republican luminaries before his committee and ask them what they know that he doesn't.