Obama White House Rebuffs Request for Solyndra Documents
On May 26, 2011, the White House posted this video praising Solyndra as a Recovery Act success story. In August, Barack Obama’s gleaming example of green technology – Solyndra – filed for bankruptcy. The solar panel manufacturer squandered $535 million of stimulus money in a little over a year.
Top Obama bundler George Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. And top Solyndra officials also made numerous visits — 20 — to the White House, according to logs and reporting by The Daily Caller. Solyndra officials in the logs included chairman and founder Christian Gronet and board members Thomas Baruch and David Prend. The company secured the $535 million loan despite the fact that it was widely known Solyndra was in deep economic trouble and had negative cash flows since its inception.
Kaiser said he did not use political influence or talk to administration officials about a massive government loan to Solyndra. However, the Solyndra investor made multiple visits to the White House in the week before the Department of Energy approved a $535 million guaranteed loan to Solyndra on March 20, 2009
But, Barack Obama had no regrets.
In fact, Barack Obama was so impressed with the failed solar company that the administration wanted to give it another $469 million on top of the $535 million to make it an even billion dollars in taxpayer cash.
Today the Obama White House announced that it would not honor a subpoena and release all documents related the the $535 million Solyndra scandal to a House committee.
The AP reported:
The White House on Friday strongly rebuffed a subpoena from House Republicans seeking all communications about a failed solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar federal loan guarantee.
In a letter to two top Republicans on the House energy panel, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said the request “was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation.”
The White House and the Energy Department have already turned over 85,000 pages of documents on Solyndra Inc. The California-based company filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers after receiving $528 million in federal backing.
Ruemmler said those documents show no wrongdoing or political favoritism by the administration. She added that curiosity alone is not a justification to encroach on the Executive Branch’s longstanding confidentiality interests.
House Republicans have used Solyndra to highlight what they see as President Barack Obama’s failure to create clean energy jobs. The company was the first to receive a federal loan guarantee under the 2009 stimulus law, which greatly expanded the program. Obama visited the company last year to praise it publicly.
Documents already obtained by the committee show that the administration knew the firm had problems, yet continued to support it.
On Thursday, a subcommittee of the energy panel voted on party lines to issue the subpoena, calling the White House “obstructionist.”