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And the Solyndra Scandal Reaches the West Wing



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Andrew Stiles has a good round-up of the latest news and e-mails that show the West Wing’s interest in getting a quick approval of the Solyndra loan, over the objections of OMB. This e-mail stands out:

“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.”

But today we have Daniel Poneman from the DOE writing in USA Today:

This month, Solyndra , a California-based company, filed for bankruptcy. Solyndra had been named one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies and reported sales growth of 40% to $140 million last year. In 2006, the company applied for a federal loan guarantee. It underwent years of rigorous internal and external review before being approved — before the perfect storm of deteriorating market conditions.

Well, first: we know the Bush administration turned down the Solyndra application in 2009:

The White House also noted to ABC News that the Bush administration was the first to consider Solyndra’s application and that some executives at the company have a history of donating to Republicans. The results of the Congressional probe shared Tuesday with ABC News show that less than two weeks before President Bush left office, on January 9, 2009, the Energy Department’s credit committee made a unanimous decision not to offer a loan commitment to Solyndra.

And second, I asked in 2009 why Goldman Sachs was advising the DOE on the loan while at the same time downgrading the solar industry.

There was no perfect storm that sprang out of nowhere — Solyndra was a disaster and a waste of taxpayer money from the start.



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