Solyndra critique a matter of politics?

Sept. 16, 2011 at 7:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- The "scheduling" issue with Solyndra cost taxpayers $535 million, Republicans note, but the White House spokesman said much of the criticism could be political.

U.S. President Barack Obama is facing a backlash over his so-called green jobs initiative following the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra. The FBI raided Solyndra's offices in San Francisco last week and Republican critics say the bankruptcy may be the "tip of the iceberg" in a flawed stimulus initiative.

House Republicans point to statements from Solyndra claiming that subsidies in foreign markets for solar panels made it tough to do business. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce said the White House knew this but went ahead with the $535 million loan guarantee anyway.

The House further notes that authorities in the Office of Management and Budget, in 2009, felt they didn't have sufficient time to review the Solyndra measure "given the time pressure we are under."

White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the measure by saying that accelerating the process for Solyndra was part of an effort "to get an answer to make a scheduling decision."

Carney said the White House needed to be "aggressive" in the clean-energy race. He said Americans need to make the choice between making their own renewable energy products or buying them from foreign countries like China.

Republicans, who've been pressing the White House for more domestic drilling of oil and natural gas, said that Carney's "scheduling" matter cost U.S. taxpayers $535 million.

Carney countered by saying "I think there's always an element of politics in these things."

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