House furious over Solyndra's silence

Sept. 21, 2011 at 8:48 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- House Republicans expressed concern over U.S. Energy Department loans for clean energy programs, saying the scandal over Solyndra is reason for caution.

Republican lawmakers said they are concerned about the expected $9 billion in loan guarantees from the Energy Department given the recent bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra, once touted as the centerpiece of U.S. President Barack Obama's green economic initiative.

Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer W.G. "Bill" Stover received subpoenas to appear Friday before an investigative subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Their lawyer, however, advised the executives to decline to answer questions.

Solyndra, a San Francisco company which filed for bankruptcy this month, received $535 million in low-interest loan guarantees from the Energy Department. GOP critics say e-mail messages from 2009 suggest the Obama administration used political pressure to get the loan through so it could show its commitment to a green economy.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House committee, said he and his colleagues were upset that Solyndra executives were refusing to testify.

"Who exactly are Solyndra's executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?" asked Upton.

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