Official in Charge of Green Energy Loan Program Resigns


From The Washington Post:

Under Silver’s leadership, the program grew to be the largest project finance effort in the United States. He headed both a $70 billion dollar investment program in alternative energy and a $20 billion investment program in advanced automotive technology.

The House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee is investigating a range of issues surrounding the federal government’s loan guarantee to Solyndra, including the fact that DOE officials learned the company was violating its loan deal and subsequently changed the loan terms so that it could continue receiving taxpayer funds.

In a hearing last month. the subcommittee’s chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) grilled Silver on whether DOE officials had been more skeptical about backing a loan for Solyndra under the Bush administration. After reading an e-mail exchange from that period, Stearns asked, “Do you understand that the Bush administration essentially decided that the due diligence was not complete at this point?”

“No, Mr. Chairman, in fact the credit committee which you are referring to is, as I said, made up of a group of career professionals, is also exactly the same group of career professionals . . .” Silver replied, before Stearns cut him off.

“Oh I understand that, but the point is, what I just quoted to you is the truth, isn’t that correct, that that quote is accurate?”

“I haven’t seen that e-mail, sir. I wasn’t there,” Silver responded.

“Well you can be assured it is,” the congressman said. “And the DOE should quit talking with Solyndra, that was the recommendation.”

The day after the hearing, Stearns called for Silver to be fired.

Read the whole thing here. Interestingly, President Obama defended both the Solyndra loan and the overall loan program at today’s press conference:

“The process by which the decision was made was on the merits, it was straightforward,” Obama said. “I have confidence the decisions were made on what would be good for the American economy and the American people.”

Despite the high-profile Solyndra collapse, Obama said the overall portfolio of the DOE loan guarantee program “has been successful.”

Which begs the question; if the program were successful and all decisions made strictly on the merits, why is Mr. Silver resigning?


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