FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2012
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Energy and Commerce Report
Shines Spotlight on Solyndra Scandal
The Obama administration ignored warnings from its own analysts to cut its losses on a $535 million loan to Solyndra, and instead restructured the deal, leading to bigger costs to taxpayers when the solar panel maker went bankrupt, Republican investigators said on Thursday.
In its final report on its 18-month probe into the failed loan, the Republican-led House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee said the Democratic administration rushed into the deal, then helped keep the company going despite a series of red flags and explicit warnings.
The 147-page report highlights analysis done by a financial analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget who flagged early in January 2011 that the government would recover more of its money if it allowed the struggling company to go bankrupt instead of giving Solyndra another chance.
Instead, the Energy Department restructured the loan, which put the government behind private investors in the eventual bankruptcy. …
Senior Obama Administration officials decided to restructure the government's half-billion-dollar loan to the California solar energy firm Solyndra even after government analysts had concluded it would cost taxpayers far less to allow the company to fail, according to a newly released report on the investigation into the Solyndra matter by House Republicans.
The decision appeared to be made at least in part out of concern with how it would look if Solyndra -- the first recipient of government funds meant to spark growth in the nation's production of cleaner burning fuels -- went bust, according to the report, which quoted extensively from internal administration emails. …
A House GOP report capping a probe of the Obama administration's backing for Solyndra calls the solar firm's collapse a “cautionary tale” of political pressures and misguided policy leading to the loss of about a half-billion taxpayer dollars.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans on Thursday released a report on their investigation of Solyndra, the solar panel-maker that struggled after receiving a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009 and went belly-up last year.
“Solyndra is a prime example of the perils that come when the Federal government plays investor, tries to keep a company and industry afloat with subsidies and attempts to pick the winners and losers in a particular marketplace. Policy and political pressures inevitably come into play to the detriment of taxpayers, as it did with Solyndra,” states the 154-page report available here. …
As the Obama administration moved last year to bail out Solyndra, the embattled flagship of the president’s initiative to promote alternative energy, a White House budget analyst calculated that millions of taxpayer dollars might be saved by cutting the government’s losses, shuttering the company immediately and selling its assets, according to a congressional investigation.
Even so, senior officials in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget did not discourage the Energy Department from proceeding with its plan to restructure a federal loan to Solyndra — a move that put private investors ahead of taxpayers for repayment if the company closed, the investigation by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee found. …
Friday, August 3, 2012
Posted by Michele Kearney at 5:46 PM