Committee Leaders Launch Investigation into $267 Million Loan to Open Range Communications

November 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today sent a bipartisan letter to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) launching an investigation into the $267 million loan to Open Range Communications, made available by the 2002 Farm Bill. Open Range filed for bankruptcy on October 6, 2011.

"Open Range's bankruptcy potentially puts $73.5 million of taxpayer money at risk. In light of Open Range's bankruptcy, the Energy and Commerce Committee requests a bipartisan briefing to explain the RUS application review process for the Open Range loan and the oversight RUS conducted to ensure taxpayer funds were used as intended," wrote the committee leaders.

Members requested RUS provide any and all documents related to Open Range's loan application, the decision to approve the loan, subsequent developments on the loan, and additional information about the total number and amount of broadband loans provided under the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills.

A full copy of the letter is available here.

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