Solyndra House Hearing Turns Into a Partisan Skirmish

WASHINGTON (KCBS)— A Friday House hearing into bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra and its half a billion dollar federal loan guarantee turned into a tense partisan skirmish.

Two treasury officials testifying that they had never seen a loan structured like the one given to the Fremont company.

At issue were newly released emails that show the Treasury Department was concerned about the company’s restructuring and the loan money at stake.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

By restructuring the loan, it allowed private investors to move ahead of taxpayers for repayment in the event of a default.

Obama Administration officials, who touted Solyndra as the poster child for green technology, argue that without that infusion of cash, the company would have gone bankrupt, putting more than 1000 people out of work.

But Republicans, like Louisiana’s Steve Scalise, continue to insist that the White House pushed through the loan despite the red flags.

During the hearing, Scalise asked who made the decision to put the taxpayers at the back of the line, adding that there was $535 million of taxpayer dollars at stake.

“When we wanted the information, we weren’t able to get it until we subpoenaed,” Scalise said.

Emails released last week show disagreement among officials at the Energy Department, Treasury and Office of Management and Budget over the Solyndra’s financial health.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu who approved the restructuring is expected to appear before the House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight by the end of the month.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan

More From CBS San Francisco

Get The New CBS SF Bay Area Local App
Got Our Weather App?

Listen Live