OBAMA admin reworked SOLYNDRA LOAN to favor donor | ajc.com
FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2011, file photo, Solyndra workers leave Solyndra in Fremont, Calif. Newly released emails show that the Obama administration was worried about the financial health of a troubled solar energy company even as officials publicly declared the company in good shape. An email from a White House budget official to a co-worker discussed the likely effect of a default by Solyndra Inc. on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Friday, September 16, 2011
Obama admin reworked Solyndra loan to favor donor
By MATTHEW DALY
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show.
Administration officials defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, solar panel maker Solyndra Inc. would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.
Even with the federal help, Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and laid off its 1,100 employees.
The Fremont, Calif.-based company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under a stimulus-law program to encourage green energy and was frequently touted by the Obama administration as a model. Obama visited the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters last year, and Vice President Joe Biden spoke by satellite at its groundbreaking.
Since then, the implosion of the company and revelations that the administration hurried Office of Management and Budget officials to finish their review of the loan in time for the September 2009 groundbreaking has become an embarrassment for Obama as he sells his new job-creation program around the country.