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Hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - "The Solyndra Failure: Views from DOE Secretary Chu"


Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Chairman Emeritus and senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, submitted for the record the following opening statement Thursday at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Hearing "The Solyndra Failure: Views from DOE Secretary Chu":

"Thank you Mr. Chairman. This Committee has been investigating the Department of Energy's (DOE) loan guarantee program for over nine months and the Solyndra scandal represents a mismanagement of that program to the highest degree.

"The truth is that after reviewing the documents and examining the facts, this Committee has discovered mischievous dealings by Solyndra executives and investors, Department of Energy representatives, personnel at the Office of Management and Budget, and staff at the White House itself. As I have said before, the facts show that Solyndra was a bad bet, a bad deal, and now a failed enterprise financed on the backs of honest taxpayers who will not be repaid. And, now, unfortunately, there is another bankrupt green energy company that received 43 million dollars under this same DOE program.

"I would like to welcome Dr. Chu, the Secretary of the Department of Energy, and thank him for his testimony and I hope he is prepared to answer this Committee' s questions. Secretary's Chu's answers today will hopefully fill in the many gaps that remain in the Solyndra story including; did his acceleration policy of the loan program lead to poor decisions and improper due diligence of companies that received the first round of loans, did the Department of Energy ignore multiple warnings and red-flags about the financial viability and market competitiveness of Solyndra, did the Department restructure a bad deal to make it even worse for the taxpayers because they felt they had too much invested in Solyndra or was the Department feeling pressure from a White House that felt it had too much to lose with the collapse of the company they touted as "a green energy success story and the true engine of economic growth', was the Secretary aware that the restructuring of the Solyndra loan, in my opinion, violated Title 17 of the Energy Policy Act, and finally should the taxpayers trust that the Department is issuing, monitoring, and restructuring these loans in a fair, thorough, and responsible way?

"18 billion dollars was appropriated under the stimulus for the DOE Loan Guarantee Program. Over 16 billion dollars has been allocated, 4.5 billion went out on the last day authorized under the stimulus alone. We know that nearly $600 million of that has gone to two now bankrupt companies. Mr. Secretary we want to make sure that the Department remembers that these billions of dollars come from hard-working Americans and they want us to make prudent investments in companies that demonstrate they are strong investments based on merit."

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