A congressional report concluded Friday that “political pressure” by a White House eager to tout stimulus spending was largely to blame for fast-tracking the ill-fated $535 million Solyndra loan guarantee — findings compounded by the release of an email that showed the former CEO once referred to the aid as “The Bank of Washington.”
The email and the report were released by Republicans, who continue to use the scandal to portray the Obama administration as careless with taxpayer money in pursuit of its alternative-energy agenda.
The email, posted online by the Republican National Committee, was a late 2009 message from ex-CEO Chris Gronet. “The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” he exclaimed, pointing to the recently approved loan guarantee and other tax incentives the company might use.
The report, meanwhile, was released by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and caps a nearly yearlong investigation by the panel into why the government allegedly ignored red flags to approve the loan. Solyndra, a solar-panel firm, filed for bankruptcy last year.
“It is clear (the Department of Energy) should never have issued the loan guarantee to Solyndra,” the report said, adding that a subsequent decision to restructure the terms “violated the plain language of the law.”