Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Solyndra Hearing Set, Minus Key Witnesses Solyndra Hearing Set, Minus Key Witnesses

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Energy / ENERGY

Solyndra Hearing Set, Minus Key Witnesses

President Obama tours the Freemont, Calif., headquarters of the now-defunct Solyndra solar company in 2010.(Photo by Paul Chinn-Pool/Getty Images)

photo of Amy Harder
September 22, 2011

With embattled Solyndra executives refusing to answer questions at a congressional hearing on Friday, House Republicans are turning their investigation back to the Obama administration.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Thursday, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked for all e-mails between Chu’s department and three other executive branches that had a hand in approving the $535 million federal loan guarantee for Solyndra, the bankrupt solar manufacturer facing a FBI investigation.

The lawmakers want by next Wednesday all relevant e-mails between the Energy Department and the White House, Office of Management and Budget, and the Treasury Department. Committee Republicans have already received thousands of pages of documents from the White House and OMB related to the loan guarantee.

 

The request came ahead of what had been a highly anticipated Friday hearing, where Solyndra’s top executives--CEO Brian Harrison and chief financial officer W.G. Stover--were scheduled to testify. But on Tuesday, attorneys for Harrison and Stover told the committee that both would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Harrison and Stover are still scheduled to appear before the panel at 9 a.m.

The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing--“From DOE Loan Guarantee to Bankruptcy to FBI Raid: What Solyndra’s Executives Knew”--is now expected to serve largely as a way for members of both parties to discuss aspects of the congressional investigation. Solyndra executives had assured Congress as recently as July that the Freemont, Calif.-based maker of solar photovoltaic systems was in good financial standing.

On Aug. 11, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, laying off 1,100 workers. It was the third U.S. solar company in a matter of weeks to declare bankruptcy, but it had been a poster child for the nascent solar industry. In May 2009 the Energy Department awarded the $535 million loan guarantee, and President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Chu all visited the company to tout renewable energy’s potential—and its potential to generate jobs. Some Republicans have questioned whether Solyndra got special treatment because an Obama fundraiser was a private investor in the start-up.

Democratic staff on the committee circulated a memo to the panel’s Democrats on Thursday seeking to debunk several Republican claims, including that the George W. Bush administration rejected the Solyndra loan guarantee and that the Obama administration rushed the approval process.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Energy Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of energy coverage.

Sign up form for Energy Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus