Energy Secretary Chu Slated to Testify TOMORROW in Ongoing Solyndra Probe
**NOTE TIME CHANGE: Hearing Now Scheduled for 10:00 a.m. ET**
WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, November 17, 2011, on "The Solyndra Failure: Views from DOE Secretary Chu." The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, and will include testimony from the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu. The hearing is part of an ongoing investigation into the $535 million Department of Energy loan guarantee to Solyndra and its implications for taxpayers and jobs.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) issued the following statement:
"Nine months ago, we launched an investigation to determine whether the widely publicized $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra was a good investment for taxpayers. Since then, Solyndra has declared bankruptcy, the FBI raided the company's offices, and several federal agencies have launched their own investigations.
"Our goal is to determine how the decisions were made to guarantee and lend over half a billion dollars to this company. We want to find out why the administration restructured the loan after Solyndra had reached a technical default, and how they explain putting private investors in line ahead of taxpayers. And we need to understand how all the warnings, from inside and outside the Department of Energy, were ignored and this risky bet was allowed to happen.
"Only when we have a complete picture of who made these decisions, and why, will we be able to close this chapter and use the lessons learned to make sure a Solyndra-style loss to taxpayers never happens again. Secretary Chu's testimony should shed light on key questions about the decision-making inside the Department of Energy and the role of other agencies and officials, from the Office of Management and Budget to the west wing of the White House. We want to hear his thoughts on why two of the first three loans made with stimulus subsidies have gone belly up. We need to understand why red flags were ignored because of the urgency to get these dollars out the door. And we need to know whether this administration believes, after all we have learned, whether it was a mistake to put taxpayers on the line for half a billion dollars to this one company."
For more information on tomorrow's hearing, including a background memo and related reference materials, please visit the Energy and Commerce Committee website here.