House energy committee steps up investigation of Solyndra

On Thursday the House Energy and Commerce Committee ramped up its ongoing investigation of the federal government’s $535 million loan to Solyndra, a solar energy company that recently announced it will file for bankruptcy.

In a letter to the White House, committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns requested a scheduled briefing on the matter by no later than September 12 and asked for all documents related to the loan guarantee between Solyndra and the White House.

In 2009, Solyndra was the recipient of a half-billion-dollar loan through the Department of Energy, funded by stimulus monies. The company was touted as a model of President Obama’s green energy initiative. But despite heavy backing by the federal government, the company struggled to meet expectations, falling fall short of the 4,000 or so jobs it was projected to create.

In November of 2010, the company announced it was postponing a planned expansion and laying off several hundred employees. In February of this year, the Department of Energy was forced to restructure the terms of its loan with Solyndra. Two days ago it announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was laying off some 1,100 workers.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating the details of the loan since February. It has subpoenaed the Office of Management and Budget for documents, and the committee says it has found evidence of White House involvement in Solyndra’s loan application.

“We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra’s application, and communicated with DOE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials during the course of their review in 2009 and when those officials were restructuring the Solyndra deal this year,” Upton and Stearns wrote. “Documents received by the Committee also show that DOE and OMB officials were aware of the White House’s interest in the Solyndra loan guarantee. In addition, we are also aware that a major investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, was a bundler for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.”

Kaiser in fact raised somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s campaign. He also personally donated $53,500. Many other Solyndra executives and board members donated to Obama as well.

For its part, the White House insists the aims — and outcomes — of its green energy initiative are still good.

“While we are disappointed by this particular outcome, we continue to believe the clean-energy jobs race is one that America can, must and will win,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said today in an emailed statement.

  • Pingback: Did Valerie Jarrett Push Corrupt Solyndra Loan Deal? | Floyd Reports

  • alpha_male

    Just another reason to disband the DOE. 


    This is quite a test, eh’ boys?  Optimally, frustration turns to anger, then anger turns to energy, then energy tuns to success.  Optimally.

  • Anonymous

    Hope and Change?  Drain the swamp?  A new way of doing business in Washington?  Obama’s abilities extend only to giving nice speeches filled with lies and false hope. He is nothing but the song and dance man for a corrupt- to -the -core Democratic machine that is destroying this great Country. Obama’s Chicago style politics are those of the Capone days, only difference is that this gangsta is protected by a corrupt National media. His ineptitude as a leader, his inexperience as CEO of a great country have all come home to roost.  Please run Hillary, oops forgot about Whitewater, go Conservatives in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    This is the way the game is played:

    Pixie Dust Wind Co. hires an expensive Washington D.C. lobbyist having rapport with the Obama Administration. The principles of Pixie Dust are advised that they will get no where by going directly to DOE prior to being approved by the West Wing. The lobbyist sets up an appointment and the CEO of Pixie Dust is interviewed by Obama’s Renewable Energy Czar, prior to being permitted an appointment to discuss their “shovel ready project” with the Department of Energy. In that first meeting, verbal agreements are made that Pixie Dust Wind, Inc will retain “LOL Law Partners, Ltd.” which are “highly recommended” by the Renewable Energy Czar.

    With appointment in hand, the CEO of Pixie Dust Wind visits the Department of Energy where Pixie Dust Wind is gratuitously placed on the list of “potential” awardees of grants and loan guarantees from the DOE.

    Pixie Dust Wind’s new White house “recommended” legal advisers show up in force at their first company meeting. Not two or three but 20 barristers, each billing Pixie Dust Wind, Inc $3k per hour. There will be many such meetings. The Attorney’s recommend increasing the size of the project and  Loan Application to cover the cost of “legal contingencies”. Not to worry. “LOL Partners” will be more than happy to wait for its receivables until after Pixie Dust receives its Federal Loan Guarantee.

    After a suitable period in which 25% of the “shovel ready projects” projected cost is converted into Attorney Fees to “LOL Law Partners”, lightning strikes. Manna from Heaven. Pixie Dust Wind, Inc is issued a $Billion dollar Loan Guarantee.

    Upon deposit in the account of Pixie Dust Wind, the first checks written cover the invoices of “LOL Law Partners, Ltd.” Just in time for their firms annual contribution to “Progressive causes”……………

  • spike1120