White House orders review of energy loans

US President Barack Obama speaks at the Solyndra Inc. solar facility
US President Barack Obama speaks at the Solyndra Inc. solar facility in Fremont, California, 2010. The White House Friday ordered an independent probe into government loans to clean energy firms, after a solar panel firm which took half a billion dollars in public money went bankrupt.

The White House Friday ordered a probe into US government loans to clean energy firms, after a solar panel company took a half billion dollar Energy Department loan guarantee and then went bankrupt.

The announcement by Chief of Staff William Daley came as Republicans crank up pressure on the administration over the loan made to California-based Solyndra and other outlays designed to spur jobs.

"The President is committed to investing in clean energy because he understands that the jobs developing and manufacturing these technologies will either be created here or in other countries," Daley said.

"While we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st Century , we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars."

The independent analysis will be led by Herb Allison, a former Treasury Department official, and will focus on the Department of Energy's loan portfolio.

Daley said Allison was "tough, always tells it like it is, and we look forward to his thorough and candid assessment."

The White House announcement came after a Republican-led Energy and Commerce subcommittee of the House of Representatives scheduled a meeting next week to decide whether to subpoena White House documents on Solyndra.

Stephen Chu will also face a grilling before the committee next month.

President Barack Obama's Republican foes have been hunting for evidence that politics at the White House improperly shaped the Energy Department's decision to provide Solyndra with a $535-million loan guarantee.

The White House has denied acting inappropriately.

An official said that the probe conducted by Allison would last 60 days and would conclude with a public report to the administration that includes an evaluation of the current Department of Energy loan portfolio.

It will include recommendations on how to improve the system and establish an to identify concerns with managing the program.

Allison will also be authorized to bring in a team of outside experts to assist in the review of the portfolio and preparation of the report.

One report suggested that White House officials pressed for a decision on the loan to Solyndra so Vice President Joe Biden could announce the approval at a groundbreaking for the company's new factory in September 2009.

The Washington Post report was based on emails between the Office of Management and Budget and White House officials.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the emails showed only that White House officials were seeking information on the loan to work out the vice president's schedule.

Republicans however charge that evidence shows that the White House, in its rush to push out stimulus spending, had cut short the final review process for the loan to Solyndra.

Critics of the administration say that the firm, once hailed as a shining example of Obama's push to create green jobs in a new economy, was instead an symbol of unwise federal handouts.

California-based Solyndra has now filed for bankruptcy, closed its doors and laid off 1,000 workers, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the $535 million loan.


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Citation: White House orders review of energy loans (2011, October 29) retrieved 18 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-white-house-energy-loans.html
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Oct 29, 2011
The fastest way to get rich. Start a business, get a loan of few billion dollars from the Feds and declare bankruptcy.

Oct 29, 2011
Of course, this is no surprise. As I've said before, these clowns from both parties are pissing our nation's lifeblood down the drain. The bigger the program, the more dollars involved, the easier it is to steal. And, undoubtedly, for those inclined to do so, the more tempting.

Perhaps we should start adding a "Benedict Arnold" clause to these sorts of large cash "giveaways" (sorry, loans). By which I mean, the penalties should be more in line with other forms of knowingly bringing harm to your own country.

Oct 29, 2011
"He invests OUR money and then fails to deliver." - Pirouette

Got a chuckle out of this. I suppose you have this image in your head of the President of the United States whipping out his personal checkbook and writing these checks? There's plenty of blame to go around for this nonsense.

Oct 29, 2011
The owners are probably strong Republican supporters otherwise the republicans would be all over this like a rash.
The Obama government that gave the money needs to follow the money trail and look at the prospect of deliberate fraud.
It should recover its money from the directors and any shareholders who benefited from this and if fraud can be proven then imprison the thieves.
As for Vindicar Decarian why lower US standards as you suggest?
Why not force US companies to pay third world workers at US pay rates?
That is a much simpler solution as it removes the advantage of off shore virtual slave labour in many of these third world countries.
At the same time it preserves US jobs.

Oct 29, 2011
"He invests OUR money and then fails to deliver." - Pirouette

Got a chuckle out of this. I suppose you have this image in your head of the President of the United States whipping out his personal checkbook and writing these checks? There's plenty of blame to go around for this nonsense.


Indeed. Bush cartel is partly to blame for your missing money, Obama is just a follow up of Bush.

http://www.youtub...Aaku7tFs


Oct 29, 2011
The owners are probably strong Republican supporters otherwise the republicans would be all over this like a rash.

"Solyndra's other major investor was George Kaiser, a major Obama and Democratic bundler"
"Solyndra employees have donated more than $20,000 to federal lawmakers over the years, most of it going to Democrats. A breakdown of donations by the Center for Responsive Politics shows 72 percent went to Democrats, 27 percent to Republicans and 1 percent to Libertarian candidates."
http://www.washin...page=all

Oct 31, 2011
The utter lack of awareness everyone here seems to have about "amounts of money" is PATHETIC.

Repulithugs talk about these things in isolation, because putting it in the context of overall govt. spending, would reveal their con.

Just how absurd is it to be up in arms about Solyndra well the ENTIRE amount supposedly LOST by Solyndra is LESS THAN the cost of 2 F-35s, a jet that has yet to be completed.

It is .0007% of our annual defense budget of 698,000,000,000.

When considered in the context of total Federal Govt. spending, the amount lost on Solyndra is the equivalent of a penny on the sidewalk not worth losing a second to pick up.

Yet in their effort to supposedly end government waste Republithugs are up in arms about that penny.

Anyone caught illegally profiting off the demise of Solyndra must pay the price.

Finding that out should be and is part of the Govt. routine.

Efforts by Repubs to play it up are just cynical politics and definitely a waste of money.


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