Facing subpoena threat, White House allows officials to testify on Solyndra

Paul Conner Executive Editor
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Staring down a subpoena threat, the White House agreed Thursday evening to allow administration officials to testify before a House committee investigating the Solyndra loan guarantee.

The House energy oversight subcommittee was scheduled to meet Friday morning to consider a resolution that would serve subpoenas to White House officials involved in managing the Solyndra loan guarantee. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Solyndra scandal)

Instead, the White House and committee Republicans struck an agreement Thursday evening where five officials will testify. The Department of Energy lost over half a billion dollars in taxpayer money when Solyndra went bankrupt last year.

Solyndra turned into a political scandal for the administration when internal documents revealed that top Solyndra investors were donors to President Obama and that the loan guarantee was fast-tracked to meet an arbitrary deadline, despite concerns about the viability of the solar power company.

“We are pleased that we will finally have a chance to talk to those administration officials who actually did the substantive work on the Solyndra loan guarantee,” Republican Reps. Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns said in a joint statement. “Speaking to these key players is critical to learning the lessons of Solyndra as we work to ensure taxpayers are never again paying the price for the administration’s risky bets.”

The five administration officials scheduled to testify are the OMB’s energy branch chief Kevin Carroll, branch chief Kelly Colyar, program examiner Fouad Saad, deputy assistant to Vice President Joe Biden and senior adviser to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Aditya Kumar and deputy assistant to the President for energy and climate change Heather Zichal.

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