Solyndra Bankruptcy Scandal Involves White House

Sep 14, 2011, 12:08 by R.E. Christian

E-mails suggest the White House pressured budget watchdogs for a quick OK on a loan to a solar technology firm that later failed, The Washington Post reports.

In e-mails sent in late August 2009, staffers with the Office of Management and Budget complain of "time pressure" to finish a review of the $535 million loan to Solyndra, the Post said.

"There isn't time to negotiate," another e-mail said.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke by satellite feed at the Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking for Solyndra's factory in California, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu attended in person. The company declared bankruptcy two weeks ago and closed the plant, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the Solyndra loan.

A spokesman for President Barack Obama, Eric Schultz, said the administration had an "active interest" in the timing of the approval. But he said the decision to approve the loan was made by career staff members.

Solyndra was set up to make solar cells. The investors included the George Kaiser Family Foundation, set up by an Oklahoma billionaire who was an Obama fundraiser, the Post said.

Source: UPI