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Government investment in new energy? Look at the Pentagon, not Solyndra

What with half a billion dollars in federal cash flushed down the California toilets of the Solyndra solar panel company, the nation has been presented with a nearly irresistible opportunity to scoff at government investment in alternative energy.

If you must, scoff at the means — not the end. It can be done right, and in fact is being done right. Here in Georgia, among other places.

Two days before Solyndra executives were forced to make a perp walk into a U.S. House committee room, where they took their Fifth Amendment pledges of silence, Pew Charitable Trusts issued a detailed report on the Pentagon’s effort to wean U.S. forces from foreign oil.

The paper shows us a Department of Defense that is already one of the largest sources of venture capital in the world when it comes to solar energy, wind, geothermal and biomass fuel. As of last year, the Pentagon was the sponsor of 450 separate projects. The U.S. Army alone plans to spend $7.1 billion on energy development and …

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