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f we are going to be able to compete inthe 21st century, then we have tosupport cutting-edge technologies andmanufacturing, asserted President BarackObama at the White House News Conference. Clean energy is part of that package of technologies ofthe future that have to be based here in the UnitedStates, if we are going to be able to succeed. The loanguarantee programme is designed to meet a particularneed in the marketplace. A lot of small startups can getangel investors, they can get several million dollars toget a company going, but it is very hard for them tothen scale up, particularly if these are new cutting-edge technologies. It is hard for them to find privateinvestors. Other countries are putting enormoussubsidies into these companies and giving themincentives to move offshore. Even if the technology wasdeveloped in the United States, they end up going toChina because the Chinese government will say: we aregoing to help you get started. We will help you scale up.We will give you low-interest loans or no-interest loans.We will give siting. We will do whatever it takes for youto get started here.And that is part of the reason why a lot of technologiesthat developed here, we have now lost the lead in -solar energy, wind energy. And so what the loanguarantee programme was designed to do was to closethat gap and say, let us see if we can help some ofthose businesses locate here and create jobs here inthe United States.Now, we knew from the start that the loan guaranteeprogramme was going to entail some risk, bydefinition. If it was a risk-free proposition, then wewould not have to worry about it. But the overallportfolio has been successful. It has allowed us to helpcompanies, for example, start advanced batterymanufacturing here in the United States. It has helpedcreate jobs. There were going to be some companiesthat did not work out; Solyndra was one of them. Butthe process by which the decision was made was onthe merits. It was straightforward. And of course therewere going to be debates internally when you aredealing with something as complicated as this.But I have confidence that the decisions were madebased on what would be good for the Americaneconomy and the American people and putting peopleback to work. And by the way, let me make one lastpoint about this. I heard there was a Republicanmember of Congress who is engaging in oversight onthis, and despite the fact that all of them in the pasthave been supportive of this loan guaranteeprogramme, he concluded that we cannot competeagainst China when it comes to solar energy. I do not buy that. I am not going to surrender to othercountries' technological leads that could end updetermining whether or not we are building a strongmiddle class in this country. And so we are going tohave to keep on pushing hard to make sure thatmanufacturing is located here, new businesses arelocated here, and new technologies are developed here.And there are going to be times where it does not workout, but I am not going to cave to the competition whenthey are heavily subsidising all these industries. nThe above remarks by President Barack Obama at the WhiteHouse News Conference on 6 October 2011, are taken fromthe President's response to a question about Solyndra - adesigner and manufacturer of highly innovative solar systems,and the first recipient of the government loan guarantee forrenewable energy. For further information please visit:www.whitehouse.govRight: Barack ObamaTHEFUTURELIES INCLEANENERGY 142G20 MEMBER COUNTRIESBARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAIOfficial White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy