Barbour: Miss. stimulus different than Obama stimulus

March 7, 2011

Energy, Politics

By Amy McCullough

Gov. Haley Barbour pointed at the difference between Mississippi’s stimulus and Obama’s stimulus at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara, California, according to a post by the WSJ’s Marketwatch.

Barbour said there has been “a lack of support from the White House for nuclear power, and a wrongheaded bias toward renewable energy production.

‘My biggest concern is that the Obama energy policy seems very clear: To increase the cost of energy so Americans will use less of it,’ Barbour said.

Barbour also sought to distinguish between his state’s financial incentives for private companies, compared to the Obama administration’s. The White House, he said, is ‘picking winners and losers’ by favoring alternative energy firms – whereas in his state, ‘We treat them like any other manufacturer.’

Soladigm Inc., a Silicon Valley-based maker of energy-efficient window technology, for example, won a $40 million loan and $4 million in incentives from the state last year to help build a facility in Mississippi. It had been suggested on Thursday to one of Soladigm’s backers, high-profile venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, that he may owe Barbour some support for a presidential run as a result. Barbour chuckled at the notion.

‘The only obligation Vinod (Khosla)’s got to me is to have profitable companies,’ Barbour said, ‘to pay my taxes.’”

However, the tens of millions in loan money recently given to green energy startups far surpass any amounts given to manufacturers in state history.

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