Emails released earlier this month show that at least one official of the Office of Management and Budget worried that Solyndra was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to ill-conceived government loans to green energy companies.
“(W)hat’s terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one started to look better,” the official emailed . “Bad days are coming.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government on October 7 wrote to Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu to see just what other problematic loans might exist.
Specifically, Issa is seeking “additional information regarding the loans approved on the final day of the program,” ones made to First Solar Inc, SunPower Corp., and ProLogis Inc.
“Did DOE have an independent audit of First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis conducted prior to finalizing loan guarantees for these companies on September 30, 2011?” Issa asked in the letter.”Does DOE have any ongoing concerns about the financial viability of First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis? In their respective loan applications, did First Solar, SunPower, or ProLogis disclose their cash reserves?”
Issa expressed concern that First Solar relies on cadmium telluride, “a highly toxic and regulated carcinogen, which forms an integral and essential part of its thin film manufacturing process.”
The questions clearly suggest the concern that the Department of Energy officials in charge of the loan program did not conduct due diligence before sending billions in loan guarantees out the door — a concern that seems to have been shared by officials of the Department of Management and Budget.