Politics
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0, Monday Aug. 10, 2009 at The Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/Eric Jamison) U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0, Monday Aug. 10, 2009 at The Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)  

Energy Secretary Chu agrees to testify before Congress about Solyndra

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

President Barack Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, has agreed to testify about the failed solar energy company Solyndra before congressional investigators on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing, according to committee staff, will be on November 17.

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Taxpayers are burdened with that cost since the solar panel manufacturer went bankrupt.

“We appreciate Secretary Chu making himself available and look forward to hearing his testimony on DOE’s involvement with the half-billion dollar loan to Solyndra,” Energy and Commerce’s Oversight and Investigations subcommittee chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns said in a statement. “We hope he will finally provide answers about why DOE consciously ignored the direct warnings from their own experts that Solyndra was doomed to fail, and granted the loan to Solyndra.”

“We are also interested in why Secretary Chu and the Energy Department, at a time when Solyndra was fresh out of cash, still went ahead and restructured Solyndra’s loan in violation of the plain letter of the law. Dr. Chu’s testimony is an important piece of the overall Solyndra puzzle as we seek answers on why taxpayers are now on the hook for a half billion dollars,” Stearns said.

Follow Matthew on Twitter