The rats are leaving the ship. Washington Post:
The head of the Energy Department’s embattled loan program announced Thursday that he was stepping down amid an expanding probe of the agency’s $535 million loan to a now-shuttered solar company.
The departure of Jonathan Silver comes as the Obama administration faces intense pressure from Capitol Hill about whether it properly vetted the solar start-up Solyndra before providing it with taxpayer backing. President Obama used a Thursday news conference to credit agency officials with using their “best judgment” in approving the loan, part of a $35.9 billion federal effort to invest in breakthrough technologies that could create jobs and spur economic growth.
Silver had been criticized by Republicans during a House subcommittee hearing three weeks ago, and White House e-mails released this week showed that officials were anxious about the loan program and whether the agency was properly monitoring it. Silver’s boss, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, has accepted responsibility for the Solyndra decisions.
Energy officials said Thursday that Silver decided to leave the job in July, recognizing that funding for the program was expiring. His office handed out an additional $4.7 billion in loan guarantees on Sept. 30, the last day of the program.
In a statement, Chu praised Silver’s performance. “Because of my absolute confidence in Jonathan and the outstanding work he has done, I would welcome his continued service at the Department, but I completely understand the decision he has made,” Chu said.
The rest here.
Let’s grant Silver immunity and get some answers, no?