Loan-guarantee administrator departs Energy Dept. in latest Solyndra fallout
Jonathan Silver, administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, is resigning from his post, Fox News reports.
Until now, Silver was the head of the DOE’s Loan Programs office. That office oversaw the program that gave now-bankrupt Solyndra its $535 million loan guarantee. The transaction left taxpayers on the hook when the company failed. Silver, however, didn’t take the job he’s now leaving until two months after Solyndra’s loan guarantee was approved.
Though President Barack Obama continues to tout solar energy as a boon for the future, Silver’s resignation may signal that key Obama administration officials lack confidence in a strategy of subsidizing loan guarantees for companies in what Obama calls the “green jobs” economy.
In emailed comments to The Daily Caller, however, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said Silver’s departure was planned months in advance, and before Solyndra’s bankruptcy.
“In early July, shortly after the fiscal year 2011 budget was completed by Congress and it became clear that no significant new funds were included for the loan program, Jonathan Silver informed me that he intended to return to the private sector shortly after September 30, the statutory end-date of the 1705 loan guarantee program,” Secretaru Chu told TheDC.
“Under his leadership,” Chu continued, “the loan program has demonstrated considerable success, with a broad portfolio of investments that will help American companies compete in the global clean energy market.”
*This story has been updated.