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September 2, 2011
When Solyndra, a Bay Area maker of industrial solar panels, announced plans to file for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, it wasn't just a blow for the company's 1,100 laid-off employees or the investors who have pumped millions into the venture. It called into question the Obama administration's entire clean-energy stimulus program. Solyndra was the first company to be awarded a federal loan guarantee under the stimulus, worth $535 million. Taxpayers are likely to end up on the hook for much if not all of that amount, a highly embarrassing development for President Obama because he was among the company's biggest cheerleaders.
February 1, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he is leaving the Obama administration, ending a tenure marked by active development of alternative energy that won plaudits from environmentalists and drew attacks from conservatives, especially after the bankruptcy of the federally-backed solar panel maker, Solyndra. Chu said that he planned to stay at least through late February and was prepared to stay longer in order to hand over the agency to a new secretary. A Nobel laureate in physics, Chu oversaw the deployment of $35 billion in stimulus funding, much of it to research initiatives and companies charting new vehicle fuels, advanced batteries for large-scale power storage and  renewable energy.
September 23, 2011 | By Dana Hull
Republican and Democratic lawmakers came out swinging at Friday's hourlong hearing in Washington about bankrupt California solar manufacturer Solyndra Inc. Brian Harrison, Solyndra's chief executive, and W.G. "Bill" Stover, its chief financial officer, invoked their 5th Amendment right to remain silent and refused to answer any questions. Each was flanked by a criminal attorney. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushed forward with aggressive questions about the company's $535-million loan guarantee from the Energy Department, Solyndra's deteriorating financial health and decisions to restructure the company's debt this year.
September 15, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House approved a bill Friday that would limit the Energy Department's power to issue loan guarantees for new green-energy projects, a move stemming from the controversy over the failure of California solar equipment maker Solyndra. The so-called No More Solyndras Act is the Republicans' response to the collapse of Solyndra two years after it received a $535-million loan guarantee from the Obama administration. The measure was approved 245 to 161, mostly along party lines.
September 20, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee
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 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
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 | From Reuters
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 | By Alexa Vaughn, Washington Bureau
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.
September 13, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
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.
November 3, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
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.
August 31, 2012 | Dana Hull, Hull writes for the San Jose Mercury News/McClatchy
When solar panel manufacturer Solyndra Inc. filed for bankruptcy last year, thousands of employees were let go, dozens of vendors were left high and dry, hundreds of millions of dollars were lost -- and millions of glass tubes were abandoned in a San Jose warehouse. Now some of those tubes, a signature design element of the company's cylindrical-shaped solar panels, have found a second life as modern art. Yet like so much about Solyndra, they've become another flash point in the controversy surrounding the Fremont, Calif., company.
August 15, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns has conceded victory to political novice Ted Yoho, a tea party favorite who bested the veteran congressman by just over 800 votes in Tuesday's primary contest. Stearns is a 12-term congressman representing the Gainesville, Fla., area.  He was competing for a district that was redrawn through redistricting to include voters from a larger geographic area that he had not previously represented.    Still, he clearly was not expecting a credible challenge to his 13 th bid for the GOP nomination, as he lost the race while sitting on more than $2 million in campaign cash.
May 31, 2012 | By Seema Mehta and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
FREMONT, Calif. - Politics often feels like a carnival sideshow. Thursday was one of those days. Mitt Romney and aides to President Obama held competing news conferences on opposite sides of the nation, each aimed at establishing a layered and damaging narrative about the opponent and illustrating why he is incompetent to right the nation's economy. The events were a small preview of a general election battle that will be waged in person and on airwaves across the nation.
May 31, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
FREMONT, Calif. - Mitt Romney made a secretive trip to the shuttered headquarters of the Solyndra solar-energy company, arguing it was a symbol of “crony capitalism” that received federal loan guarantees because of its ties to the Obama administration, and asserting that it showed the president's lack of understanding of how the economy works. “It's a symbol not of success but of failure. It's also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest,” Romney told reporters across the street from the glass building, reiterating a Republican charge that the firm received a $535-million federal loan guarantee because one of its largest investors is a major fundraiser for Obama.
February 23, 2012 | By David Colker
Remember Solyndra, the solar panel maker that got $535-million government loan guarantees, only to file for bankruptcy less than two years later?    Well, some of its remaining employees could get bonuses of up to $30,000 apiece, even though the company is being liquidated. The judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings has OK'd paying a total of nearly $370,000 in bonuses if certain landmarks are reached, including the timely auction of some Solyndra assets, according to a Bloomberg News report.
February 11, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
An independent audit of federal loan guarantees that backed such alternative energy projects as now-failed solar equipment maker Solyndra failed to turn up the waste and incompetence that critics said riddled the programs. But the audit showed that laws establishing the Energy Department programs lacked adequate provisions for thorough monitoring and oversight of the loan guarantees once they were approved. One program created in 2007 did not "provide any requirements regarding governance and monitoring of loans after closing," the report said.
October 6, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee
President Obama defended the Energy Department loan program that backed the now-bankrupt and beleaguered solar equipment maker Solyndra and didn't miss a chance to take a swipe at Republicans investigating the program. Obama said the program, started under the Bush administration but beefed up with funds from the stimulus act, was meant to provide nascent clean technology companies in the U.S. with the kind of support the Chinese and European governments give to their native enterprises.
October 3, 2011 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama is cruising the Internet these days -- sometimes on a pre-release iPad given to him personally by Steve Jobs -- with a reading list made up mostly of mainstream media outlets. "Typically I read on the Web what I read in hard copy," Obama said in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Monday afternoon. Obama said there are some exceptions to the rule, and that he does read some blogs as well as and, the two outlets that were live-streaming the White House interview.
December 14, 2011 | By George Avalos
A federal grand jury has launched an inquiry into Solyndra, according to court records, an indication that scrutiny of the bankrupt solar panel maker has intensified. The existence of the grand jury investigation was disclosed in papers filed as part of Solyndra's bankruptcy petition, which followed the company's abrupt closure and dismissal of 1,100 employees in August. By the time the Fremont, Calif., maker of tubular solar panels filed for bankruptcy in September, it had received $535 million in federal loan guarantees and $1.1 billion in venture capital funding.
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