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Controversy surrounding solar panel manufacturer Solyndra’s recent bankruptcy filing just won’t go away, and could imperil the White House. The company’s federal stimulus loans are at the center of a widening investigation into clean-energy technology funding by House Republicans, and may lead to subpoenas of White House records.

Clean Power

House Republicans Widen Solyndra Probe, May Subpoena White House

Controversy surrounding solar panel manufacturer Solyndra’s recent bankruptcy filing just won’t go away, and could imperil the White House. The company’s federal stimulus loans are at the center of a widening investigation into clean-energy technology funding by House Republicans, and may lead to subpoenas of White House records.

A probe into Solyndra's bankruptcy may spread to the White House and other clean energy companies.

[Editor’s note: In my opinion, this is just another witch hunt by the Republican Party geared at taking down any attempts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Solyndra was 3.4% of the U.S. government’s clean energy portfolio.

Is every investment expected to work out? (No. These sorts of investments are risks. This is an inherent part of such investments. And in the case of solar, China is competing hard with us and doing much better in that competition now that a Tea Party House of Representatives and filibusting Senate are thwarting every attempt to give security and help to a young solar energy industry.)

Did the White House know Solyndra would be undercut by the Chinese and fail? (That’s a pretty ridiculous question. If it did, why would it spend time highlighting and getting press coverage for this company? That would be nonsensical unless it were masochistic… and it’s the Tea Party that wants to kill government, not the Democrats.)

Is the Republican Party really not engaging in this for political purposes and more than it would with fossil fuels? Come on! How did it respond to the BP oil spill, a real disaster?! By apologizing to BP and trying to protect BP from any scrutiny or request for compensation by those hurt by the spill! The Republican Party has a clear agenda — make Obama look like a failure, protect the billions of dollars fossil fuel companies make every year, protect the rich from having to pay taxes (even if that means, as it must, hurting the middle class and the poor), and kill any attempt to transition the U.S. and the world to a new, clean energy economy. Anyway, here’s energyNOW!’s coverage of the story:]

Controversy surrounding solar panel manufacturer Solyndra’s recent bankruptcy filing just won’t go away, and could imperil the White House. The company’s federal stimulus loans are at the center of a widening investigation into clean-energy technology funding by House Republicans, and may lead to subpoenas of White House records. The full video is available below:

U.S. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, recently told energyNOW! correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan that he may expand the initial investigation into loan guarantees Solyndra received from the U.S. Department of Energy to cover other clean energy companies. “We’re trying to understand how this stimulus package of $60 billion dollars is going to work,” said Stearns. “Is most of the money going to companies like Solyndra, or is it actually going into companies that will succeed in manufacturing and create jobs for this country?”

The House Energy Committee has already subpoenaed the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Department of Energy for documents related to the Solyndra loan guarantee but is expanding its’ search to the White House. “I think the President would find it in his best interest to cooperate and give us all the information so it does not appear to be a politically oriented decision,” said Stearns. He also said the committee would issue subpoenas for documents related to the decision if President Obama blocks the request through executive privilege.

Even though many industry analysts have said the bankruptcy filing news is a byproduct of market forces, and Solyndra an acceptable contender for federal funding, Stearns feels the funding had political undertones. “It looks like the people involved in this were tied politically to the White House,” he said.

 
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Written By

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

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