Republican lawmakers accuse President Barack Obama's administration of neglect in the vetting of a $535 loan guarantee for solar panel company Solyndra. Obama touted the company as a centerpiece of his green economic agenda, though the company eventually declared bankruptcy.
Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives accused their Republican counterparts of politicizing the issue. Republicans on the House Energy and Subcommittee, for their part, expressed frustration that Energy Secretary Steven Chu never apologized during his testimony on the Solyndra scandal.
"The Department of Energy was receiving financial reports showing that Solyndra was bleeding cash and going bankrupt," Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House energy committee, said in his remarks. "DOE also failed to mention that, behind the scenes, they were continually taking extraordinary steps to keep Solyndra on financial life support."
Chu defended the decision to back the loan, which he noted was vetted by the Republican administration of President George W. Bush before it landed on Obama's desk. With China making gains in the renewable energy sector, an aggressive policy was needed in the United States, he said.
"As the secretary of energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind," he added. "I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra's loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations."