WASHINGTON Aug 2 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
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.