November 17, 2011 |
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is a physicist, not a politician, but he was unflappable under attack from Republicans and refused to apologize for a $535-million loan guarantee given to now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra. In his first appearance before Congress since the Solyndra controversy broke nearly three months ago, Chu firmly pushed back against allegations that political favoritism and bureaucratic incompetence led his agency to approve the Solyndra loan guarantee. "Was there incompetence?"
November 4, 2011 |
The Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to issue a broad subpoena demanding more documents from the White House as part of the committee's investigation into a government loan guarantee for the failed solar equipment maker Solyndra. In a vote along party lines, the committee's subcommittee on oversight approved a draft subpoena that calls for all "internal communications" among top White House staff during the period in 2009 when Solyndra sought a $535-million loan guarantee from the government, through its financial troubles in 2010 and, ultimately, during its move toward bankruptcy protection two months ago. "The committee still hopes to work with the White House to obtain relevant communications from key personnel such as former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, former National Economic Council Director Larry Summers and Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President [Joe]
October 28, 2011 |
Reporting from Washington Shifting its position on Energy Department loan guarantees, the White House said it would review all pledges to avoid such ill-fated decisions as the much-publicized $535-million loan guarantee for California solar equipment maker Solyndra, which fell into bankruptcy early last month. The step aims to defuse the embarrassing Solyndra episode, which has given rise to criticism that the Obama administration has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in public money.
October 26, 2011
First Solar surprised investors for the second time in as many days Wednesday, releasing its third-quarter earnings a week early after the sudden departure of its CEO sent the company's stock plunging 24 percent Tuesday. If the early release was intended to halt the stock's slide, it was a shrewd decision. In the first hour of trading, shares rose 14 percent, cutting the previous day's losses in half even though the results from the third quarter demonstrated mostly how tough the market has become for U.S. solar companies.
October 15, 2011 |
As Republican lawmakers pound the Obama administration for pouring a half-billion dollars into now-bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra, a much bigger federal government bet on green energy looks to be quietly paying off for California. Six large solar power plants to help the state meet its ambitious clean electricity goals are proceeding on schedule, according to their developers. Like Solyndra, these projects carry federal loan guarantees — $7 billion worth in total — which are considered key to attracting private investment in alternative energy.
October 8, 2011 |
A top fundraiser for President Obama was far more involved in the $535-million loan guarantee to now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra than the administration had previously disclosed, according to newly released emails. Steven Spinner, a former Energy Department official, was supposed to be recused from the decision to select Solyndra to participate in the agency's $25-billion program to back loans for renewable energy projects because his wife's law firm represented the company.
October 7, 2011 |
The director of the controversial Energy Department program that guaranteed a $535-million loan to the now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra stepped down Thursday, hours after President Obama defended the program at a news conference. Obama asserted that the loan guarantees helped new technology companies compete with heavily subsidized rivals in Europe and China. The Energy Department, meanwhile, said Jonathan Silver had told Secretary Steven Chu earlier in the year that he planned to leave when it became clear the program would be finished with its loan guarantees by the end of September.
September 26, 2011 |
Long before the politically connected California solar firm Solyndra went bankrupt, President Obama was warned by his top economic advisors about the financial and political risks of the Energy Department loan guarantee program that boosted the company's rapid ascent. At a White House meeting in late October, Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, and Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, expressed concerns that the selection process for federal loan guarantees wasn't rigorous enough and raised the risk that funds could be going to the wrong companies, including ones that didn't need the help.
September 23, 2011 |
The Department of Energy granted final approval to three new loan guarantees for green energy projects, even as it faced continued scrutiny over $528 million in government loan assurances to solar panel maker Solyndra, which went bankrupt. The new guarantees were announced Friday after executives of Solyndra invoked their 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination before a congressional subcommittee investigating the loan guarantee process. Meanwhile, two other solar companies said they would probably not get funding under the same program, despite earlier promises from the government.
September 20, 2011 |
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said that he plans to launch an investigation into government loan programs, in response to the implosion of solar equipment maker Solyndra, which got a $535-million federal loan guarantee in 2009. Solyndra was the first recipient of a loan guarantee under a program authorized by the Bush administration in 2005 and beefed up under President Obama's stimulus act. But in the last few weeks, the company has shuttered its operations, laid off nearly all of its 1,100 workers and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.