SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — The state treasurer is calling California’s tax break program for clean energy companies a “wise and needed one” despite the failure of its most high-profile recipient—the solar startup Solyndra.

Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Wednesday told a panel of state lawmakers that the program is intended to promote the growth of alternative energy manufacturing plants in California and complements the state’s push for renewable energy.

Lockyer said nearly 70 percent of all businesses do not make it past eight years, and that risk extends to clean energy companies such as Solyndra.

Democratic state Sens. Alex Padilla and Lois Wolk called the hearing to find out if regulations need to be changed after the state awarded $25 million in sales tax breaks to the failed Fremont company.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  1. Tours Martel says:

    The only “green” these firms are interested in is in the taxpayers’ pockets. No real environmental benefits, huge risks, and losses to our already bankrupt Treasury- is this what the people of California want? We have real needs in education, road maintenance, and water storage. Let’s be adult about it, and prioritize our spending.
    You can’t have everything you want.

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