Thursday, November 17, 2011
Energy Secretary Steven Chu will accept full responsibility Thursday for the decision to risk $535 million on Solyndra, the government-supported solar panel manufacturer that shut its doors earlier this year laying off 1,100 workers, and is now the subject of multiple federal investigations.
“As the Secretary of Energy, the final decisions on Solyndra were mine, and I made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind,” Chu has written in testimony prepared for his first appearance before Congress to answer questions about the failed loan.
“I want to be clear: over the course of Solyndra’s loan guarantee, I did not make any decision based on political considerations,” says Chu’s prepared testimony, which was made public by his aides late Wednesday. “My decision to guarantee a loan to Solyndra was based on the analysis of experienced professionals and on the strength of the information they had available to them at the time.”
Chu’s testimony before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that has been investigating the loan is expected to be followed by pointed questions from Republican members who have been highly critical of the Solyndra loan. The loan to the California energy firm was at one time held up by the Obama administration as a model of the president’s plan to infuse start-up clean energy firms with federal support in hopes of sprouting a vibrant new high tech industry.