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.
October 6, 2011 |
The director of the controversial Energy Department lending program that guaranteed a $535-million loan to the now-bankrupt solar equipment maker Solyndra stepped down from his post Thursday, administration officials confirmed. The announcement of the departure of Jonathan Silver came hours after President Obama defended the program during a news conference, asserting that it helped new technology companies compete with heavily subsidized rivals in Europe and China. The Energy Department said Silver had told Secretary Steven Chu earlier in the year that he planned to leave his post when it became clear the loan program had finished its lending in late September.
October 26, 2011 |
California political leaders chose a site near the headquarters of Solyndra to kick off hearings on how the state's growing clean-tech industry can proceed in the wake of that solar company's dramatic collapse. The U.S. solar industry is reeling now that its standout champion, First Solar Inc, just ousted its chief executive and warned on profits in the face of the same stiff Chinese competition that felled Solyndra. Yet people who "had never supported clean tech" should not be allowed to use Solyndra against the sector and its backers, state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro)
November 2, 2011 |
A full year ahead of the next presidential election, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has whipped out a $2.4-million ad campaign slamming President Obama's stimulus plan. The ads will air over the next two weeks in swing states Florida, Michigan, Virginia and New Mexico. The ad campaign from the group, linked to the conservative Koch brothers, attacks Obama's former support for the solar company Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy this year after receiving $528 million in government loans.
November 3, 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 ongoing investigation into a government loan guarantee to 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 Biden," the Energy and Commerce Republicans said in a statement in preparation for the vote.
September 13, 2011 |
Solar energy equipment maker Solyndra Inc., reeling from a recent bankruptcy filing and FBI raids last week on its Bay Area office and executives' homes, faces a public and probably embarrassing reckoning before a House subcommittee. The hearings Wednesday are the latest step by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its oversight arm to push an investigation it launched in February into the Energy Department's decision to give Solyndra a $535-million loan guarantee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The committee wants to explore, in particular, questions about whether the loan from the $787-billion stimulus fund was granted because of Solyndra's financial ties to a major Democratic fundraiser, George Kaiser.