In Wake of Solyndra Bust, Stearns Expresses Concern as DOE Rushes to Finalize Nearly $5 Billion in Loans over Next 48 Hours
WASHINGTON, DC - Responding to media reports that the Energy Department has recently approved approximately $1 billion in loan guarantees for two different solar energy projects, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, expressed concern with the nearly $5 billion in loan guarantees DOE still must finalize over the next 48 hours before the September 30, 2011, deadline.
Stearns made the following statement:
"The September 30, 2011, deadline has been on the calendar since the stimulus was signed into law in February 2009, which means DOE has known exactly how much time it had to perform due diligence and approve guarantees for fully vetted and worthy entities. The administration's flagship project Solyndra is bankrupt and being investigated by the FBI, the promised jobs never materialized, and now DOE is preparing to rush out nearly $5 billion in loans in the final 48 hours before stimulus funds expire - that's nearly $105 million every hour that must be finalized until the deadline. Solyndra was the product of a bad bet rushed out the door and taxpayers are now on the hook. We cannot afford DOE rushing out more Solyndras in these final hours."
Although the agency has recently attempted to blame the Energy and Commerce Committee investigation for any loans that fail to meet the September 30, 2011, deadline, the Department of Energy previously stated the Solyndra investigation has had no impact on other loan approvals. According to a September 24, 2011, Bloomberg News report on SolarCity's pending loan, "The Energy Department has not changed its requirements, Damien LaVera, a department spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions. "˜All of the extensive due diligence and legal documentation simply cannot be completed by Sept. 30,' he said. "˜The questions surrounding the Solyndra application had no impact on other applications, including this one.'"
Committee leaders recently pressed Energy Secretary Chu on the outstanding loan guarantees. View the letter HERE.
View DOE's response to the Committee leaders HERE.