The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s new factory, newly obtained e-mails show.Much more here, and believe it or not, the Obama Green Team is looking to drop another
The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget.
The August 2009 e-mails, released toThe Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to the e-mails, which were provided by Republican congressional investigators.
Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.
One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”
“We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),” one official wrote. That August 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”
White House officials said Tuesday that no one in the administration tried to influence OMB’s decision on the loan. They stressed that the e-mails show only that the administration had a “quite active interest” in the timing of OMB’s decision.
$1.2 billion on this solar scam, one that will allegedly produce 900 jobs.