SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — California has halted an alternative energy program following the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a Fremont solar company that received $25 million in state tax breaks.

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority has frozen a sales tax exemption program to new applicants amid questions about how the current recipients were chosen.

Los Angeles Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, who authored the bill establishing the program, is holding a hearing Wednesday in Sacramento to answer questions about whether the tax breaks are spurring job creation and cleaning up the environment or just giving away taxpayer money.

In just a year, the little-noticed state panel has authorized $104 million in tax breaks to help 33 “green” companies in California buy equipment and add jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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