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November 13 , 2010

Solyndra and the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program: House Hearings on Stimulus Funding for Solar Energy Company


On September 14, 2011, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled “Solyndra and The DOE Loan Guarantee Program.” Here is a full reproduction of the published material from that hearing, with statements by the Subcommittee chairman, Cliff Stearns and Committee chairman Fred Upton; the internal memorandum from the Investigations staff; backup material including email excerpts from the DOE regarding the loan guarantee; statement by Jeffrey D. Zients, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management And Budget; testimony of Jonathan Silver, Executive Director Loan Programs Office, U.S. Department of Energy; and supplemental White House material including comments by Press Secretary Jay Carney.

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The opening statement by Fred Upton reads:

"In 2009, Solyndra was the first company to receive a Department of Energy loan guarantee funded with stimulus dollars. Just two years after getting $535 million in taxpayer dollars, and being touted by President Obama as a model for how the government's venture capital program in green technology should work, the company has filed for bankruptcy and been raided by the FBI. We started looking into the DOE Loan Guarantee program and Solyndra's deal in February. Some questioned the basis for this investigation. After four months of wrangling with the Obama Administration to produce relevant documents, the Committee was forced to issue a subpoena to OMB. I think Solyndra's recent bankruptcy filing and last week's FBI raid clearly show that the Committee was more than justified in its scrutiny of this deal. Pursuant to our oversight functions, we have an important responsibility to pursue answers regarding the use of the taxpayer's money. Our investigation raises several questions about whether the Administration did everything it could to protect taxpayer dollars. Why did the Administration think Solyndra was such a good bet? Why did the Administration push ahead with restructuring the Solyndra guarantee this year, when some in the government voiced serious concerns about the commercial viability of the company? Why did DOE and OMB allow the government to be subordinated to the private investors, in apparent violation of the law?"

This is a privately authored news service and educational publication of Progressive Management.

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