Romney's $15 Million Green Energy Fund

  • Scott Detrow

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Republican Mitt Romney campaigns in Virginia

Since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is raising money in Pittsburgh today, it’s worth spending a few minutes looking at his energy policies.
The former Massachusetts governor has blasted the Obama Administration for providing loan guarantees to now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra. But Politico’s Ben Smith took a look at Romney’s tenure in the Bay State, and discovered he boosted alternative energy projects with government funding.

In 2003, Romney launched the Massachusetts Green Energy Fund, a $15 million project aimed at providing “an opportunity to capitalize on two emerging trends: the growing level of investment interest in clean energy and the importance of Massachusetts’ academic and corporate R&D in forming clean energy technology companies,” according to its website.
At the time, Romney called the fund a “springboard for the commonwealth by focusing on job creation in the renewable energy sector.”
And it is in the nature of venture funds that some of their projects fail. That’s why the private sector funds can get such high returns, and why some energy projects seen as having a huge public upside — from nuclear to solar — have convinced government officials to back them.
And so while Romney has criticized Solyndra on the campaign trail as a major failure of the Obama administration, his Green Energy Fund invested in several companies that have since failed or not lived up to expectations.

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