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Because of adverse market conditions following Hurricane Isaac, a prominent renewable energy company appealed to the government for a short-term loan, to be repaid within three months, with interest.

As expected, Republicans hit the roof, railing for hours about the Obama administration’s decision to grant the loan, invoking the name of Solyndra as often as they noted their opposition to the “socialism” inherent in such a government bailout. On the eve of their convention in Charlotte, Democrats were left having to explain the decision to grant yet another massive loan to a private sector company, even as the public is leery in the wake of TARP and the auto bailout.

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The U.S. Department of Energy will lend 1 million barrels of oil to Marathon Petroleum Corp. after the company requested it because of impacts related to Hurricane Isaac.

The government will lend the barrels from a Strategic Petroleum Reserve site in Louisiana.

Marathon will have to return the same quantity of oil within three months, plus additional “premium barrels,” which the department described as “similar to interest.”

With oil priced at $97 a barrel this morning, that’s a bailout of $97 million.

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Through its two PACs, Marathon has given nearly $350,000 in contributions to candidates for federal office this year, overwhelmingly to Republicans.

Not a single one of whom said a word.