US lawmakers probe solar company loan guarantee

Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:50pm GMT

* Lawmakers question loan guarantee to solar company

* Solyndra received $535 mln guarantee about 2 yrs ago

* Solyndra pulled IPO plans after auditor raised concerns

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - A top Republican lawmaker on Thursday queried the Obama administration about its decision to issue a $535 million loan guarantee to a solar company that has since run into financial problems.

Representative Fred Upton, who heads the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, questioned the Energy Department for providing its backing to solar panel maker Solyndra Inc nearly two years ago.

"In the mad dash to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, projects were rushed and the highly-touted benefits from ribbon cuttings were not realized," Upton said in a letter to the department.

Upton and Republican Cliff Stearns, who heads an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, have asked the department to turn over documents and communications related to the loan guarantee.

Solyndra was the first company to receive a loan guarantee under a long-delayed advanced clean energy program created by the a 2005 energy law.   Continued...

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