Solyndra Fallout Separates Treasury from DOE

By Published On: October 14, 2011

Solyndra’s chief executive officer resigned a week before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigation started its second hearing into the company’s use of $535 million in federal loan guarantees. At press time, the subcommittee is set to inquire why taxpayers were put second to private investors in collecting debt in Solyndra’s Sept. 6 bankruptcy. Fremont-based Solyndra’s loan guarantee was approved by the Department of Energy--an agency under fire for backing alternative energy by the House panel. In the Oct. 14 hearing, the House subcommittee is set to interview two Treasury Department staff over that agency’s “ministerial role” in signing off on DOE loan guarantees. According to a subcommittee staff memo, the hearing appears to be an attempt to isolate Treasury’s involvement in loan guarantees from DOE’s role. In the last House hearing on Sept. 23, Solyndra executives--now former chief executive officer Brian Harrison, and chief financial officer Wilbur Stover--refused to testify on the grounds they could incriminate themselves.

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