The Obama administration has said the loan to Solyndra came only after a thorough review by Energy Department analysts, and that no one from the White House exerted pressure to influence the decision to back the loan in 2009, or to restructure the financing this year after it became clear Solyndra was not thriving financially.
Asked about the wisdom of throwing its support behind Solyndra, Press Secretary Jay Carney said there is always risk in such a financing. But in the case of Solyndra and other green energy firms, he said, the risk is worth it.
"I think there were Republicans who thought investments in clean energy were a mistake, that they were ready to cede that vital industry to foreign competition," Carney said during Thursday's White House press briefing. "They were ready to cede the automobile industry to foreign competition, a million jobs there. I -- we just disagree on that front."
The Oklahoma-based George Kaiser Family Foundation, a prime investor in Solyndra, said in a statement cited by the Tulsa World newspaper that the company had been unable to overcome "serious challenges in the marketplace, especially the drastic decline in solar panel prices during the past two years caused in part by subsidies provided by the government of China to Chinese solar panel manufacturers."