New information about the approval process for the $535 million Department of Energy loan to the failed California solar energy company Solyndra contrasts sharply with the sworn testimony of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu last November to Congress.
Chu told a House Committee, "I want to be clear: Over the course of Solyndra's loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political decisions." According to a Politico.com story published overnight, White House politics was at the center of a "rushed" one day approval of the loan.
"The Treasury Department's review of Solyndra's $535 million federal loan guarantee was 'rushed' through in about one day in March 2009, 'based on an expedited review request from DOE so that a press release could be issued,' according to a Treasury inspector general report that gives further evidence of the early Obama administration's eagerness to announce progress in funding clean energy."
"The report, issued Tuesday, also quotes internal Treasury documents that portray the Energy Department as being under pressure to get the loan agreement out the door."
"'DOE says that their hands are tied on this issue,' the audit quotes one Treasury email as saying, discussing one detail of the financing terms. 'They are under pressure to complete a deal.'"