Upton and Stearns Statement on White House's Initial Response to Solyndra Subpoena
WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Committee this afternoon received a series of internal White House documents and emails produced in response to subpoenas issued by the committee on November 3, 2011. The committee served subpoenas to the Executive Offices of the President and Vice President in conjunction with its investigation, launched nearly nine months ago, into the $535 million loan guarantee made by the Department of Energy to now-bankrupt Solyndra under the 2009 stimulus law.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) issued the following statement:
"When this investigation began, our goal was to determine whether the U.S. Department of Energy was making wise investments as it put taxpayers on the line for billions of dollars in stimulus loan guarantees. Solyndra was the flagship loan recipient, yet long before its bankruptcy, serious questions had been raised about its long-term prospects.
"As our investigation has unfolded, many more questions have emerged about both the initial loan to Solyndra and the subsequent restructuring that put taxpayers at the back of the line. We have uncovered serious disagreements within the Obama administration about the legality of the restructuring, as well as alarm bells that were ignored before the initial loan was ever made. We have also found that interest in Solyndra was not limited to the Department of Energy or Office of Management and Budget: some of the president's most senior advisors were closely monitoring the loan as well.
"To understand how the decisions were made in the Solyndra affair, we need to consider involvement at every level - including the White House. After nearly nine months of investigation, and one month in which we were seeking specific documents from the White House without response, we were forced to issue subpoenas to compel their cooperation. This afternoon, the White House Counsel's office turned over an initial document production in response to our subpoena, and we are carefully reviewing their documents now.
"The White House's production includes a limited number of self-selected documents, along with their own interpretation of what those documents show. While the subjects of an inquiry are not the ultimate arbiters of their actions, we're hoping this is the beginning of an effort to finally make public these missing pieces of a process that left us all holding the bag for over 500 million dollars. We appreciate that the White House has now responded to our subpoena with some of the responsive documents, and we look forward to further productive discussions as we continue to pursue a full and complete picture of how this administration manages the taxpayers' dollars, whether it is fulfilling its commitments to transparency and good government, and what lessons can be learned to prevent a similar loss in the future."