As mandated by the stimulus bill, the Obama administration has until September 30 to “spend” all the funds allocated for the Department of Energy loans program, which guaranteed a $535 million loan to the now defunct solar company Solyndra. The program has already allocated about $8 billion so far, but has an additional $10 billion worth of loans in the works that must be finalized before the end of the month or the money will be reclaimed. Republicans have called on the administration to put these loans on hold in light of the Solyndra situation. Meanwhile:
The Obama administration is moving to finalize as many as 15 loan guarantees for renewable energy companies before the stimulus program ends on Sept. 30, and Republicans are questioning whether that could lead to more failures like Solyndra Inc., a company that filed for bankruptcy and may leave taxpayers on the hook for a half-billion-dollar loan.
The loan guarantees essentially make it easier for the companies to get financing as the government guarantees repayment in the event of default. In Solyndra’s case, the loan came from the government itself, but private banks often provide the financing.
A spokesman for the Energy Department said the department won’t take any shortcuts during the approval process.
“We will only close the deals that are ready to close on Sept. 30,” said spokesman Damien LaVera.
That is, barring any “looming press events” that need attending.