Obama admin. knew was cheaper to cut off Solyndra-Republicans

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:16pm IST

WASHINGTON Aug 2 (Reuters) - The Obama administration ignored warnings from its own analysts to cut its losses on a $535 million loan to Solyndra, and instead restructured the deal, leading to bigger costs to taxpayers when the solar panel maker went bankrupt, Republican investigators said on Thursday.

In its final report on its 18-month probe into the failed loan, the Republican-led House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee said the Democratic administration rushed into the deal, then helped keep the company going despite a series of red flags and explicit warnings.

The 147-page report highlights analysis done by a financial analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget who flagged early in January 2011 that the government would recover more of its money if it allowed the struggling company to go bankrupt instead of giving Solyndra another chance.

Instead, the Energy Department restructured the loan, which put the government behind private investors in the eventual bankruptcy.

The panel reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents, including many internal emails that have been embarrassing for President Barack Obama, who had toured the factory and held the company up as an example of how the government could help spur renewable energy jobs.

The failure has become a political weapon for Republicans ahead of the Nov. 6 presidential and congressional elections as they seek to highlight their own energy policies, which are more favorable to the fossil fuels industry than to alternatives.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has staunchly defended decisions made on Solyndra, blaming the company's demise on falling prices for solar panels because of Chinese subsidies.

The FBI has been investigating the failed company for close to a year in tandem with the Energy Department's Inspector General, an independent watchdog. It is unknown when that review will wrap up.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Economy

REUTERS SHOWCASE

RBI Annual Report

RBI Annual Report

RBI reiterates commitment to bring down inflation .  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Economy to grow 5.8 pct in 2014/15, says Mayaram.  Full Article 

Monsoon Update

Monsoon Update

Monsoon to display lull as floods ease.  Full Article 

Regulatory Troubles

Regulatory Troubles

U.S. regulator alleges Dr Reddy's breached packaging rules  Full Article 

Defence Sector

Defence Sector

Indian firms tool up for defence orders on Modi's 'buy India' pledge  Full Article 

Factory Activity

Factory Activity

Economy fears deepen as August HSBC flash PMI at three-month low  Full Article 

Fed Minutes

Fed Minutes

Fed notes labor market progress, but not convinced yet - minutes  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage