Solyndra: A Big Story for the Wrong Reasons

A bankrupt green energy company will create both real and political problems for President Obama today, as the U.S. House of Representatives continues its investigation into how Fremont, California-based Solyndra LLC used its access to the president and his inner circle in order to secure and lose half a billion taxpayer dollars.

Until last Thursday, the investigation into Solyndra had been coming only from the legislative branch of the federal government. In February, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan ) opened a probe into a $535-million loan guarantee awarded to the maker of innovative solar panels by the Obama Department of Energy. That loan followed multiple visits to the White House by Solyndra officers and by George Kaiser, a Tulsa, Oklahoma billionaire and Obama fundraiser. Late in August Solyndra announced it would declare bankruptcy.

Last week, following a cycle of negative news coverage and revelations about the company’s close ties to the president, the executive branch response began with a raid on Solyndra’s headquarters by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Energy’s Inspector General. News coverage highlighting DoE Inspector General Gregory Friedman’s hawkishness about insufficient due diligence in making lending decisions suggests the Obama Administration’s image management apparatus is making an effort to show…

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