Committee Presses Chu For All Communications Between Government And Solyndra

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and every member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations are seeking additional documents from the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding now-bankrupt Solyndra's $535 million loan guarantee.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, members requested all materials related to communications between the DOE and the White House, as well as all communications between the DOE and the Treasury Department.

Referencing last week's"Solyndra and the DOE Loan Guarantee Program," hearing, the committee members wrote that they were unsatisfied thus far with the lack of details regarding the relationship between Solyndra and the agencies.

"Members of the Subcommittee asked Jonathan Silver, director of the DOE Loan Programs Office, to describe the DOE's contacts with the White House during the review of the Solyndra loan guarantee in 2009 and during its restructuring this year," the committee wrote." Mr. Silver acknowledged that the DOE and the White House did have discussions about the Solyndra guarantee; however, he was not able to identify the particulars of these communications with White House officials and personnel, including which officials in the White House communicated with DOE about Solyndra, the substance of those communications, and when those communications occurred.

The committee members went on to request that Chu provide all documents containing communications between the DOE and the White House (including, but not limited to, the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the National Economic Council) related to the half-billion-dollar loan to Solyndra. The committee set a deadline of Sept. 28.

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is holding a hearing, titled"From DOE Loan Guarantee to Bankruptcy to FBI Raid: What Solyndra's Executives Knew," today. Despite earlier pledges that Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover would voluntarily answer the subcommittee's questions, lawyers representing the company have declared that the executives plead the Fifth Amendment and decline to answer questions.

To view the letter to Energy Secretary Chu, click here.


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