Solyndra Told Congress It Was 'On Track' For Success


'Who Exactly Are Solyndra's Executives Trying to Protect?'

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressed outrage that the executives -- after promising to freely answer questions -- would now insist on remaining silent.

"Who exactly are Solyndra's executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?," said a statement released by Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R.-Mich., and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who chairs the oversight and investigations subcommittee.

"We have many questions for Solyndra's executives on their dealings with the Obama administration, their efforts to secure federal support for a project that appeared doomed from the outset, and why they made certain representations to Congress regarding their dire financial situation just two months ago," the statement said.

Friday's hearing was intended to be the second act to hearings held last week, during which a senior Energy Department official and a top White House budget analyst attempted to explain why they decided to grant the loan to Solyndra, and why they agreed to restructure the loan after it became increasingly clear the firm was in dire financial trouble.

The path taken by Solyndra's application for a massive government loan was just one of several questions explored by members of the House investigative subcommittee last week. Members grilled Jonathan Silver, head of the Energy Department's loan program, and Jeffrey Zients, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, as to why the initial loan was approved, and why the Solyndra deal was restructured earlier this year. The restructuring came at a time when the company was already showing signs of financial stress, with Chinese competitors offering similar products for less money.

Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, has told ABC News that the decision to restructure the loan was intended to salvage the government's initial investment.

"Since the restructuring went forward, if anything, this email is yet another piece of evidence that political or optical considerations took a backseat to putting the company and its workers in a better position to succeed and repay the loan," he said.

The loan had been shelved by the Bush administration but was fast-tracked just days after President Obama took office. Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser has visited the White House 16 times, including four meetings with such senior aides as Valerie Jarrett, Austan Goolsbee and Pete Rouse in the months prior to the loan's approval.

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The White House has maintained that those meetings covered other topics -- including Kaiser's charitable work. And both the White House and the Department of Energy have been steadfast in their position that politics played no role in the decision to grant Solyndra the loan.

"The Department of Energy conducted exhaustive reviews of Solyndra's technology and business model prior to approving their loan guarantee application," said LaVera,. "Sophisticated, professional private investors, who put more than $1 billion of their own money behind Solyndra, came to the same conclusion as the Department: that Solyndra was an extremely promising company with innovative technology and a very good investment."

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