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Solyndra the 'tip of the iceberg'?

Sept. 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The White House deflected criticism that it put pressure on officials to get major stimulus funding through for bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra.

The FBI and officials from the U.S. Department of Energy last week raided Solyndra's offices in San Francisco. The raid was apparently in connection with $535 million in loan guarantees from the U.S. Energy Department, though the FBI didn't offer details about the raid.

Republican critics of U.S. President Barack Obama claim e-mail messages from 2009 suggest his administration used political pressure to get the loan through to showcase his commitment to a green economy, something Obama trumpeted in his State of the Union address in January.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, in statements to reports, said accelerating the process for Solyndra was part of an effort "to get an answer to make a scheduling decision."

He suggested much of the original process, meanwhile, was from policies left over from the administration of George W. Bush.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., during testimony on Capitol Hill, said he felt Solyndra might be just "the tip of the iceberg" regarding a series of stimulus funding decisions.

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